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State Plate Recipe: Spicy Arkansas Cheese Dip

Is Bling your Thing?

If sparkly, shiny objects catch your appreciative eye, head to Arkansas! It’s the only state in the country that boasts an active diamond mine—and the only one in the world open to the public. That’s right. Anyone can mine for diamonds and other precious stones at Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro.

Or is Dip your Delight?

The big game! Family cookout! Or simply, the weekend! Every occasion calls for cheese dip. And Arkansas knows how to kick it up. Try this easy-to-make appetizer or party snack recipe for your next gathering of family and friends.

Spicy Arkansas Cheese Dip

Serves: 6


  • 6 T flour
  • 1/2 lb. packaged, smooth-melt cheese, such as Land O’Lakes or Velveeta
  • 2 C Jack Cheese, grated
  • 2 C Milk
  • ½ C Cilantro, minced and loosely packed
  • 1 med. Jalapeño, minced
  • 1 med. Poblano Pepper, minced
  • 2 C Mild Green Chiles, diced (canned or fresh)
  • 2 C Tomato, minced
  • 1 C Yellow Onion, minced
  • 1 T Ground Cumin
  • 2 T Dark Chili Powder
  • 2 T Black Pepper
  • 2 T Garlic Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Cayenne


  1. Combine all ingredients in a double boiler over simmering water in the bottom chamber. If you don’t have a double boiler, you can use a slow cooker set on low.
  2. Melt cheese, stirring to mix all ingredients. Serve warm.
  3. If the dip is too thick, thin it to your preferred consistency with milk.
  4. Serve with your favorite crunchy tortilla chips.

A Note about Jalapenos

Wash all peppers thoroughly. Because spicy peppers have oils that can burn or irritate the skin, it’s best to wear rubber gloves when cutting them. The kind you see food service or medical personnel wear are ideal, as you can use them to prep your peppers, then throw them away.