When I was a teenager my family spent many weekends at a cabin on Lake Eufaula in Oklahoma. The cabin was owned by the company my dad worked for and some of my favorite memories were made there. Something we loved about those weekend were the special meals we had every time we went. My dad was in charge of breakfast, it was either thick Belgian waffles or his delicious fluffy omelets. We often made homemade ice cream. But the first night we ALWAYS had cheesy sausage dip and tortilla chips.

My mom would brown some pork sausage then add a can of Rotel and a block of Velveeta. (Go ahead and click those links if you aren’t familiar with these classics.) We just thought it couldn’t get any better than that! Now I’m a mom with a bunch of kids who love nothing more than cheese dip and chips. However these days Velveeta cost more than good cheddar cheese. I already buy a ridiculous amount of cheese to feed the horde so buying more expensive (and questionable) cheese isn’t really an option.

Enter Creamy Sausage Dip!

One day a friend shared her sausage dip recipe. She made it with sausage, Rotel, and cream cheese. I gave it a try and it was an immediate hit! It was much cheaper and I felt better about the ingredients I was using. Over the years I’ve adapted the recipe to include some vegetables and low fat cream cheese. I’ve served this at graduation parties, potluck dinners, community group dinners, and fun family night meals. People are always scraping the pot clean at the end of the night!

Creamy Sausage Dip Recipe

  • 1 lb package bulk sausage
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2-3 cups vegetables, diced
  • 1 can Rotel
  • 1 8 ounce package of cream cheese, low fat if you prefer

In a wide saucepan over medium heat, start cooking the sausage. Be sure to break up any big pieces of sausage as it cooks. Once the sausage is broken up, add the onion and let that cook while you prep the other vegetables. I try to dice everything pretty finely so it cooks quickly. I typically use zucchini and a red bell pepper as my 2-3 cups of vegetables. Feel free to use those or leave them out as you like. A friend of mine adds chopped mushrooms so that’s another option.

Sausage and onion for Creamy Sausage Dip.
Zucchini added for Creamy Sausage Dip.
Vegetables added for Creamy Sausage Dip.

Finishing the Dip

Once you’ve browned the sausage and the vegetables are tender, it’s time to add the other ingredients. Pour in the Rotel along with the liquid in the can. Add the cream cheese and turn the heat to low. Stir to break up the cream cheese so it can start melting. Give it a stir every few minutes. It should begin to thicken and get really creamy. Taste it and see if you need to add any salt, usually it’s pretty flavorful because of the sausage. If you like more spicy dip you can use hot Rotel or add some red pepper flakes or a diced jalapeno.

Base for Creamy Sausage Dip.
Cream cheese and rotel for Creamy Sausage Dip.
Creamy Sausage Dip.

When it’s all mixed and bubbling away, take it off the heat and serve with tortilla chips. For a party I usually triple this recipe and make it in my instant pot so it stays warm. To feed my family of eight I just double the recipe and serve alongside a platter of raw vegetables or fresh fruit. Like I mentioned above, you can use regular cream cheese or low fat in this dip. I typically use low fat or neufchatel cheese. No one noticed a difference so I stick with the low fat.