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Bacon Beer Cheese Dip in a Sourdough Bread Bowl

Zach Pagano / TODAY
Cook Time:
10 mins
Prep Time:
10 mins

Chef notes

Who doesn't love a good cheese dip? This is the ultimate easy yet delicious party food, and it's my go-to for football parties. Using Anchor Steam beer and San Francisco sourdough keep it local for me at home in the Bay.

Technique tip: Most cheese dip recipes call for just adding cheese to hot liquid, but they always come out grainy and not smooth and delicious. My pro technique of creating a beer sauce with a bacon fat roux helps to stabilize the cheese dip, keeping it silky smooth and super dippable.

Swap option: Love beer? Try a darker stout! Hate beer? Use milk instead. Add canned chilies for a creative take on queso.


  • 1 large sourdough loaf (unsliced)
  • 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter, melted
  • One 12-ounce package bacon, diced
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • cups Anchor Steam beer
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon whole-grain mustard
  • Chopped chives, for garnish



Preheat oven to 400°F.


Using a small sharp knife, cut a football-shaped hole in the top of the loaf. Pull the top off and hollow out a bowl in the bread, keeping the interior bread hunks on the side for dipping.


Cut the bread top and bread hunks into bite sized pieces.


Brush melted butter all over the outside and inside of the bread bowl. Use the remaining butter to toss the bite-sized bread chunks. Set the buttered bread bowl and bread chunks onto a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10-12 minutes, until light golden brown. Set aside.


In a medium saucepan, cook the diced bacon over medium heat until cooked and crispy. Remove the bacon bits from the pan; set aside. Drain the fat from the pan and discard all but 2 tablespoons of bacon fat. Return the pan to the heat with the 2 tablespoons of fat and add the garlic. Sauté over low heat for 1 minute. Add the flour and stir together with a wooden spoon. Cook for 1 minute over low heat.


Add the beer to the bacon fat and flour (roux) slowly, whisking constantly. When the beer is completely whisked into the roux and the mixture is smooth, turn the heat up to medium-high and bring the mixture to a simmer, whisking constantly.


Once the beer sauce has simmered for 2 minutes and has thickened, turn the heat off and add the cheddar and cream cheese. Whisk until the cheeses are completely melted, and add the salt, pepper, onion powder and mustard. Add the cooked bacon bits and fold into the cheese dip.


Pour the bacon beer cheese dip into the toasted bread bowl and top with chopped chives. Serve with toasted sourdough bread, veggies, soft pretzels or mini sausages.