Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Fire-Roasted Sausage Queso

By Stacie Morgan, September 22, 2016, Recipes

Welcome to Cooking with Less Kilowatts! There is nothing better than sitting down in the evening to enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal. But did you know that changing what you do in the kitchen can make an impact on your monthly electricity bill? Each week, I will help you find ways to cook using less energy while still getting a satisfying, flavorful meal. Trust me – I won’t just tell you to do everything in the microwave. I’ll help you cut down on your energy consumption.

Texas has a few foods that deserve a special place on the food pyramid, and queso is definitely one of them, as the flavor combinations are nearly endless! Today’s queso recipe is one of the most flavorful versions I’ve ever prepared, and all you’ll need is your microwave. Talk about low energy use!

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Fire-Roasted Sausage Queso | Bounce Energy Blog

Queso = The Fifth Food Group.

The key to preparing this queso in the microwave is using pre-cooked breakfast sausage crumbles instead of another protein. Sure, you can make this with ground beef or chorizo sausage, but I wanted to create a low energy usage queso for your family to enjoy. The crumbles really work well with the cheese, salsa, and pico de gallo in this dish.

We recommend that you choose a fire-roasted tomatillo salsa at your grocery store because it imparts a smoky flavor that really sings in this recipe. But if you’d rather use another salsa you like more – like a regular green salsa or fire-roasted red salsa, the queso will still taste great!

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Fire-Roasted Sausage Queso | Bounce Energy Blog

I think I could eat some good queso with nearly every meal.

I made today’s recipe super-easy by picking up a container of pico de gallo from my local grocery store, but feel free to make yours from scratch! It won’t take any additional energy use – just some knife time – as pico de gallo is just a mixture of tomatoes, onions, cilantro, jalapenos, and a little lime juice.

The mashed avocado used in this recipe is simply one large avocado mashed up with a big spoonful of the pico de gallo mixed in and topped with a sprinkle of sea salt So easy!

This is a versatile dish that can be used in so many ways!

Fire-Roasted Sausage Queso

Ingredients:

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Fire-Roasted Sausage Queso | Bounce Energy Blog

Queso doesn’t require many ingredients, but they have to be good!

  • 1 lb. White cheese (This recipe uses Velveeta)
  • 1 lb. Yellow cheese (This recipe uses Velveeta)
  • ½ c. Cream
  • 1 ½ c. Pre-cooked sausage crumbles (or substitute in any pre-cooked meat)
  • ½ c. Pico de gallo plus 1 extra large spoonful
  • ½ tsp. Garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. Taco seasoning
  • ¼ tsp. Paprika
  • ½ c. Fire roasted tomatillo salsa
  • 1 Large avocado
  • Pinch salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp. Chopped cilantro
  • 1 Bag blue corn tortilla chips

Directions:

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Fire-Roasted Sausage Queso | Bounce Energy Blog

A classic guacamole is the perfect complement to queso.

1) Mash the avocado together with 1 extra large spoonful of pico de gallo and a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Fire-Roasted Sausage Queso | Bounce Energy Blog

While this recipe uses Velveeta because of the ease of microwave cooking, other recommended cheeses for queso include Monterey Jack, Asadero, Cotija, & Chihuahua.

2) Cut the white and yellow cheese into evenly sized quarters. Place into a large microwave safe bowl and cook in microwave for two minutes.

 

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Fire-Roasted Sausage Queso | Bounce Energy Blog

Stir, stir, and stir some more. You do NOT want lumpy queso.

3) Stir the cheeses. Add the cream. Cook again for 1-½ minutes.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Fire-Roasted Sausage Queso | Bounce Energy Blog

Time to make things interesting.

4) While cheese and cream is cooking in the microwave, mix together the sausage crumbles, seasonings, and pico de gallo into a small mixing bowl.

5) Remove first bowl from microwave. Place second bowl in the microwave and cook for 1-½ minutes.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Fire-Roasted Sausage Queso | Bounce Energy Blog

I repeat: You do NOT want lumpy queso.

6) While the sausage is cooking, stir the cheese mixture to ensure it completely combines with the cream.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Fire-Roasted Sausage Queso | Bounce Energy Blog

This fire-roasted tomatillo salsa delivers spot-on flavors.

7) Add the tomatillo salsa to the cheese mixture and mix thoroughly.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Fire-Roasted Sausage Queso | Bounce Energy Blog

Keep stirring!

8) Add the microwaved sausage mixture in with the salsa/cheese mixture and stir to combine. Cook in the microwave for one more minute  to fully incorporate ingredients.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Fire-Roasted Sausage Queso | Bounce Energy Blog

Avocado and cilantro kick this queso up a few notches.

9) Serve with the mashed avocado in the middle of the queso. Top with the fresh chopped cilantro.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Fire-Roasted Sausage Queso | Bounce Energy Blog

Sure, you can arrange chips on a plate because you value presentation, or you just dip in chip after chips like a savage.

Serve this queso with blue corn tortilla chips, over a baked potato, on scrambled eggs in a breakfast taco, or any way you want. It’s cheese!

Check in next week for another Cooking with Less Kilowatts series entry ready to help you create delicious, homemade recipes while keeping energy use and effort to a minimum!

Recipe and Images by Stacie Morgan

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About 

Stacie is a Texas A&M graduate using her animal science education and passion for food to get creative in the kitchen. She previously worked in business before becoming a mom to a special little boy. She's excited to share recipes her family enjoys at home - and they may even help you save energy and be more green in the kitchen.

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