Appetizers, Recipes

Copycat Chuy’s Creamy Jalapeno Dip

This creamy, addictive jalapeno dip is famous… and for good reason! I don’t make very many copycat recipes, but I can’t get enough of this Chuy’s classic!

This creamy, addictive jalapeno dip is famous... and for good reason! I don't make very many copycat recipes, but I can't get enough of this Chuy's classic!

Can I be honest? I’ve only been to Chuy’s once… I don’t remember what I had to eat for dinner, but what I DO remember is this awesomely creamy and slightly spicy jalapeno dip. I ate my weight in tortilla chips absolutely covered in this dip, and then I slathered it all over my food. Ridiculous.

This creamy, addictive jalapeno dip is famous... and for good reason! I don't make very many copycat recipes, but I can't get enough of this Chuy's classic!

When you hear “jalapeno dip” you probably think spicy, right? But it’s really not, especially if you de-seed the jalapenos. All you have is the wonderful, creamy dip full of zesty lime and cilantro, garlic and ranch. It is to die for, like nothing you’ve ever tasted.

This creamy, addictive jalapeno dip is famous... and for good reason! I don't make very many copycat recipes, but I can't get enough of this Chuy's classic!

If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to put this dip on anything and everything. I loooove it with tortilla chips, and it’s also excellent when served with carnitas or barbacoa. I suspect it would be good with any Mexican/Tex-Mex dinner. How do I know? Because I also like eating it by the spoonful! I’m sure you will too–enjoy! 🙂

one year ago: Baked Tilapia with Coconut-Cilantro Sauce 
two years ago: Southwestern Cilantro Mac and Cheese
three years ago: Dark Chocolate Double Coconut Macaroons
four years ago: Blueberry Burgers
five years ago: Orange-Glazed Chicken Stir-Fry
six years ago: Lemony Kale Pasta

Copycat Chuy’s Creamy Jalapeno Dip

  • Servings: ~2 1/2 cups
  • Print

from Macaroni and Cheesecake


  • 2 large jalapenos, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup cilantro
  • 16 ounces sour cream
  • 1 packet ranch dressing mix (1 ounce), storebought or homemade
  • zest and juice of one lime
  • 2-4 tablespoons milk


In a food processor, pulse together jalapenos, garlic, and cilantro until finely chopped. Add sour cream, ranch seasoning, and zest and juice of one lime. Process until smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl, then whisk in milk in one tablespoon increments until the dip is pourable.

Serve with tortilla chips, on tacos, with grilled chicken, steak, or pork, etc. The possibilities are endless! Enjoy!

Appetizers, Recipes

SRC: Baked Jalapeno Popper-Ranch Dip

This month for the Secret Recipe Club I was assigned Wendy’s wonderful blog, The Weekend Gourmet. As I’ve said before, numerous times, I absolutely love being part of the SRC. It’s a fun way to try new blogs and recipes and be part of a fun community. If you’ve missed my past SRC posts, the premise is this: you’re assigned a different member’s blog every month. You visit their blog, choose any recipe you want, then make it and share it on your blog… all while keeping your assignment a secret! Everyone else posts about their secret blog the same day. It’s fabulously fun to try out new blogs. If you have a blog, definitely check it out and consider joining! I highly recommend it.

Anyway, when I first visited Wendy’s blog I was overwhelmed by the number of fabulous recipes there. Wendy is from Texas, and is as warm and welcoming as can be. I mean, how could she not be… she’s from Texas after all. Plus, she has a cat. Nice people always have cats. 🙂  I could hardly decide what to make. Peppermint White Hot Chocolate? Cranberry-Nut Caramel Popcorn? Citrus-Walnut Brown Rice Pilaf? Mmm, I wanted to make them all. In one day. What a delightful day that would have been! But I asked Ben, my chief culinary consultant what sounded good to him, and then we got to talkin’ about appetizers. Our church small group takes turns bringing snacks each week, and if left to my own devices, I would always bake something. But Ben wanted to do something different, so we settled on Jalapeno Popper Dip. But not just any Jalapeno Popper Dip… Baked Jalapeno Popper-Ranch Dip.

Baked Jalapeno Popper-Ranch Dip | The Pajama Chef

This dip is, in a word, awesome. Spicy and creamy and cheesy. Yum. In another word, addicting. It’s great hot right out of the oven [but beware… Wendy calls it hot lava right out of the oven, and I agree]… and it’s equally as good cold out of the refrigerator [ask me how I know… it’s a great 11 pm snack to finish off peppermint tea… ha!]. And in a last word, forgiving. The recipe I’ll give you will be Wendy’s, through and through… even though my version was laden with “mistakes.”

Baked Jalapeno Popper-Ranch Dip | The Pajama Chef

There were so many! I misread the recipe and put all the ranch seasoning in the cheesy mixture, instead of splitting it between the cheese and the topping. I forgot to buy the green onions so those were omitted. I accidentally used up the plain green yogurt in another recipe, so had to substitute some sour cream and mayo instead. I also rubbed jalapeno juice into some tiny cuts on my hand, which was fun. But you know what? Even with all that craziness, this dip was just SO good. It was just demolished by everyone who tried it, even an adventurous two year old. 🙂 You should totally make it for your next appetizer need… I wish I could have posted it before the Super Bowl, but alas… Ben loved it and says you can eat it anytime!

Baked Jalapeno Popper-Ranch Dip | The Pajama Chef

Enjoy, and be sure to check out Wendy’s blog for more recipe inspiration. Thanks for a great recipe, Wendy!!

Baked Jalapeno Popper-Ranch Dip [from The Weekend Gourmet]
click to print


  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened [I used Neufchâtel]
  • 6 ounces plain greek yogurt [I used 4 ounces sour cream + 2 ounces mayo]
  • 1 – 1 ounce package dry ranch dressing mix
  • 1 small can chopped jalapeno peppers, drained [I used 3 fresh jalapenos, about 1 heaping cup, and deseeded 2 of them]
  • 2 sliced green onions
  • 1 cup shredded co-jack cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • olive oil 


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray a shallow casserole dish [I used a 10 inch dish].

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine cream cheese, yogurt, and half of the ranch seasoning. Mix on low until everything is combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl, then add the jalapenos, green onions, and cheese. Mix again, then spoon into prepared dish.

In a second bowl, stir together the breadcrumbs, parmesan, and the rest of the ranch seasoning. Spread on top of the cheese mixture, then spray or drizzle on olive oil.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until topping is golden brown and dip is bubbly. Turn dish around halfway for even browning.

Cool for 5 minutes before serving with tortilla chips.

Time: 40 minutes.

Yield: serves 10-12.

Be sure to check out other great SRC recipes here, and have a great day!

Also linked with: Weekend Potluck.

Appetizers, Recipes

Buffalo Pretzels

So, I was really sad earlier in the week because I thought the Super Bowl was this Sunday and that I wasn’t going to have time to share a couple awesome party recipes with you! Turns out I was mistaken and it is actually a week from Sunday so I am golden! You’d think with a sports fanatic for a husband I’d be up on my sports dates, but that is not always the case. Alas. Like any good food blogger, my only concern with the Super Bowl [or other sporting events like it] is the food. Sometimes that means making elaborate, over the top awesomeness… other times, it means making really simple things that are just so amazing you wonder why you’ve never thought of them before now.

Buffalo Pretzels | The Pajama Chef

These Buffalo Pretzels fall into the latter category. I mean, really… they just look like plain ‘ole boring pretzels. But take one bite and you realize they are actually little bites of spicy goodness… all the flavors of buffalo wings with a fraction of the work and no mess! These pretzels are coated in a ranch dressing-laced buffalo wing sauce [I used bottled, but if you wanna get fancy you could make your own] then baked down, Chex Mix style. After making these pretzels, I have visions of other saucy baked pretzels treats in my future. Sriracha Pretzels? Sweet and Sour Pretzels? Some sort of sweet and spicy ginger pretzels? Oh man, I’m excited now!  [But don’t ask me to google it. I’m sure someone else has already stolen my ideas and I don’t want to be sad, not on a Friday. :)]

Buffalo Pretzels | The Pajama Chef

But anyway… I can’t say enough great things about these Buffalo Pretzels! They are the perfect party snack… simple, quick, addicting, flavorful. Everyone will love them, guaranteed! Plus, you can make ’em in advance, because they last at least a week when stored in a ziploc bag or sealed container… that is, if you can stope eating them! Enjoy! 🙂

Buffalo Pretzels [from A Taste of the Best]
click to print


  • 12 cups pretzels [about 1 1/2 pounds]
  • 9 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 package ranch dressing seasoning [1 ounce]
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 2 tablespoons buffalo wing sauce


Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Grease two large baking sheets well, or cover with parchment paper.

Place half of the pretzels in a large bowl and set aside. In a measuring cup, whisk together butter, ranch seasoning, celery salt, and buffalo wing sauce. Pour half of the sauce over the pretzels [use the measuring cup to gauge this], then toss to coat. Pour onto one of the prepared baking sheets and spread out evenly, in one layer if possible. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Place pans in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, then stir each sheet and switch positions in the oven. Repeat until pretzels have absorbed all of the sauce. For me, this was about 30 minutes of baking total. Original recipe called to bake for 60 minutes, so just follow your instincts with your oven. Cool on baking sheets before transferring to a bowl or storage container.

Time: 35-65 minutes.

Yield: 12 cups pretzels.

Notes: These are not spicy, but they are pretty salty. I think the celery salt could be cut down or eliminated with no real damage to the flavor. I made 4 batches for an event expecting 120 people, and this was more than enough.

This recipe is linked up with: Weekend Potluck.

Main Dishes, Recipes, Sandwiches and Wraps

Southwest Chicken Panini

Southwest Chicken Panini |
Dinner on our new cute kids’ plates from Target!

Ages ago, I found a recipe for Southwest Chicken Salad Panini. It sounded good, so I filed it away in my recipe box–which is actually a 12″x12″ crate with a bunch of binders and folders… there are so many recipes I want to try. Let’s not even mention my GoogleReader and Firefox bookmarks… Oh. My. Goodness. But what can I say? I learned from my mom! She has a ton of recipes too! 🙂 Anyway, I finally got around to making the sandwiches. It was super easy and made for a good, quick weeknight dinner, perfect for sitting around and watching TV. The panini had a ton of flavor, a little bit of spice, and was very filling. On the side, steamed green beans and rutabaga fries were great too… we just couldn’t get enough!

Southwest Chicken Panini

  • Servings: 2
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adapted from Kraft


  • 4 slices whole wheat bread
  • 2 slices cheese [I used havarti]
  • 1 tablespoon mayo or Miracle Whip
  • 1 tablespoon ranch dressing
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 cup cooked chicken, cut into chunks
  • black pepper
  • cooking spray


Heat panini grill, George Foreman grill, or a medium sized skillet to medium heat. I used a panini grill, but any of the other options would probably work just as well. In a medium sized bowl, mix chicken, Miracle Whip, and ranch to combine. Then season with paprika and a dash of pepper. Spray one side of each piece of bread with cooking spray, then fill the bread with a slice of cheese and chicken salad. Place on grill/skillet when hot and cook until cheese has melted and bread is toasted. This should take anywhere from 4-8 minutes, depending on your grill/skillet.


Veggies–especially tomatoes–would be a great addition to this panini! I just didn’t have any when I made it. 😦  The original recipe did call for it though.