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Jenna's Queso

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Chef notes

Jenna Bush Hager's favorite crowd-pleasing recipe — a queso dip with a few delicious extras — is incredibly easy to whip up.

"I absolutely love queso. Queso is basically considered a food group in Texas," Jenna says. "Growing up, when my mom was tired of cooking, we would go out to eat at least once a week, and it was almost always Mexican, so we ate a lot of queso!"

Jenna's revamped recipe is a twist on a popular dish served at the Magnolia Cafe in Austin, Texas, called Mag Mud.

And Savannah Guthrie is also a big fan.

"It's great because it has everything in there: beans, queso or even meat if you like," Jenna said. "It's probably not the most healthy dish, but who cares about calories when it's so cold outside? This is the perfect comfort food for winter or when you're watching football games."

Plus, she added, it couldn't be easier because you basically just dump everything into a pot and it's ready to serve in about 15 minutes.

Jenna's queso is definitely a big hit at home: "My husband absolutely loves it." And since Henry likes his queso with a bit of spice, Jenna usually tops his serving with slices of jalapeño peppers. "But the great part about this recipe is that it's so versatile. So for my daughters, I use about half the Ro-tel and always make them their own little portion."

A love of queso clearly runs in the family. "My daughters love it! Honestly, they love it so much they tried to eat it with a spoon and thought it was cheese soup," Jenna laughs, "which definitely isn't a bad idea!"

On Oct. 16, as Kelly Clarkson’s daytime show kicked off from her new studio at 30 Rock, Hoda and Jenna surprised her with chips and Jenna's famous queso.

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