Kimchi Queso Dip

Make all your kimchi cheese dreams come true. Kimchi Queso Dip is the Tex-Mex, Korean fusion appetizer that’s perfect for any time of the day or night.

kimchi queso dip in cast iron pan with chips on the side
kimchi queso dip in cast iron pan

In my childhood home, there was one rule for breakfast:  no kimchi.  To start off the day with kimchi breath was considered a major faux pas. 

I still ate it anyways.  If people thought I had bad breath, well, I was ok with that.  Kimchi was worth it.   

I loved kimchi so much that when I moved out, there was always a jar of kimchi in my fridge no matter where I lived.  It tasted good with Korean food.  And it tasted good with pizza and tacos, too.  There’s just something about that spicy, crunchy bite of pickled cabbage. 

kimchi queso dip in cast iron pan

That’s why the first time I ate queso cheese dip, I automatically thought, this would taste so much better with kimchi.  

Queso cheese dip, a Tex-Mex amalgamation, is delicious.  Commonly eaten at chain restaurants and casual parties, I consider it regular, good, ‘old American fare.  Except that whenever I eat it, I’m always thinking it needs something more.  Something pungent and funky.  Something like kimchi.

hand scooping up kimchi queso dip

If I do say so myself, kimchi and cheese are good friends.  Add ground beef/sausage and a little gochujang (Korean chile paste) to the mix and you get childhood BFFs. Kimchi really makes this dish spectacular.

This makes for a great appetizer but in truth, I like to eat this anytime of the day or night.  IThe acidic crunch of the kimchi really cuts through the heavy fattiness of the cheese and ground beef/sausage. So does beer. Enjoy!


kimchi queso dip in cast iron pan with chips on the side

Kimchi Queso Dip

Make all your kimchi cheese dreams come true. Kimchi Queso Dip is the Tex-Mex, Korean fusion appetizer that's perfect for any time of the day or night.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Appetizer, Booze Food, Snack, Superbowl Party Food
Cuisine: Fusion Food
Keyword: KImchi Queso Cheese Dip
Servings: 6 as appetizer
Author: The Subversive Table


  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 1 red bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 lb/250g ground beef or sausage
  • 2 Tbsp Gochujang (Korean chile paste)
  • 1 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese (grated)
  • 1 1/2 cup cheddar cheese or monterey jack (grated)
  • 1 cup kimchi (chopped into bite-sized pieces)


  • Heat oven to 350F/ 175C.
  • Heat a 10 inch cast-iron skillet to medium heat. Add 1 Tbsp vegetable oil. When the pan is hot, add onion, red bell pepper, cumin, and salt. Saute until the vegetables are softened and slightly browned, about 5 minutes.
  • Add ground beef/sausage and gochujang. Break up meat chunks with a wooden spoon until cooked through and brown, about 5-8 minutes.
    Kimchi Queso Cheese Dip
  • Remove from heat. Add cheese. Gently mix with a fork until well combined.
    Kimchi queso cheese dip
  • Transfer to the oven and bake for 5-7 minutes. The goal is for the cheese to gently melt. Watch carefully so that the cheese does not overcook and harden too much.
    kimchi queso cheese dip
  • Remove from oven. Add kimchi to the middle in a small mound. Garnish with cilantro, green onion, avocado, red chili pepper (or jalapeno), and/or sour cream.Serve immediately with plenty of tortilla chips and lime wedges.
    kimchi queso dip in cast iron pan with chips on the side


*The cheese will gradually harden as it cools. If it hardens too much, reheat in a 350F/175C oven for a few minutes until the cheese melts into runny puddles once again.
**If you don’t own a cast-iron skillet, cook in a regular pot/skillet up to step 3.  Transfer contents to an oven-proof dish and mix in the cheese.  Then bake for 5-10 minutes, as per usual. 
***Either Ground beef or sausage works.  I’ve tried both and they both taste good.  The sausage is more crispy than the ground beef.  

Do you love kimchi like me?

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30 minutes, All Recipes, Appetizer, Beef, Gochujang, Kimchi, Korean, Pork, Potluck, Snacks

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