The Pioneer Woman's Signature Queso Dip Ingredient Changes Everything

We've all been guilty of the number one Mexican restaurant mistake: gorging ourselves on the salty tortilla chips dunked in juicy salsa that are brought out before your meal so that by the time said meal arrives, you're completely stuffed. We don't blame you — that stuff is addictive. But the only thing even more addictive than chips and salsa is chips and queso. After all, who wouldn't choose hot, melted cheese over chopped-up vegetables? Exactly.

While there are plenty of delicious queso recipes out there that you can whip up at home whenever the craving hits, The Pioneer Woman has one that's particularly unique (and particularly mouthwatering). What sets hers apart is one special ingredient that most traditional quesos lack and that will take yours to the next level. Perfect for a Taco Tuesday appetizer or something to munch on during Superbowl Sunday, here's Ree Drummond's trick to the best queso.

Ree Drummon's queso packs in flavor and protein

If you're whipping up a big batch of Drummond's famous queso recipe, you'll need more than just a hunk of Velveeta and a can of Rotel — you'll also need hot breakfast sausage. Crumbled up and mixed into the cheesy, chunky mixture, the sausage adds both texture and a spicy, meaty flavor that Drummond strongly believes makes it a "crowd-pleaser." Southern Bite has a similar recipe but he uses ground Italian sausage instead of breakfast sausage (and recommends draining the grease from your meat prior to mixing in the cheese).

One thing to keep in mind while you're cooking your queso, however? The Pioneer Woman says to make sure you really chop up the sausage into piecey crumbles so it's easy to scoop up with chips. No golf ball-sized chunks of meat, please. You'll also want to brown the sausage completely before adding in your other ingredients to ensure it's fully cooked.