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Look no further for a delicious Halloween appetizer because Pumpkin Queso Dip with Spooky Dippers is a crowd-pleaser! The queso contains pumpkin, which makes it great for autumn and adds to the pretty orange color. Spooky dippers are easy to make in any festive shapes you want!

overhead view of pumpkin queso with spooky tortilla chips on wooden tray

Halloween is right around the corner! I know a lot of people who go all-out in terms of costumes, spooky food, and over-the-top decorations. Whether you’re looking for Halloween appetizer ideas to serve up at your party or to bring to a potluck or friend’s party, this cheesy dip is the perfect choice.

Depending on what kind of Halloween party you want to throw (and whether it’s for kids or adults), your Halloween party foods can range from mildly spooky (like these cute shaped tortilla chip dippers!) or creepy, to disgusting and grotesque.

Everyone loves dipping into cheesy, flavor-packed queso, right? It’s one of those things that when you see it on a menu, it elicits the thought: Ooooh, queso! (You can’t go wrong with melted cheese!) And these easy-to-make baked tortilla chip dippers in Halloween shapes make this appetizer fun and festive!

hand dipping bat tortilla chip into pumpkin queso

What is Queso Dip?

In its most basic form, queso dip is just cheese and salsa melted together.

You can play with different types of cheese and different flavors of salsa. And also, add spices if you want to kick things up!

This recipe adds pumpkin for fall flavor. It’s quick and easy to whip up, and uses minimal ingredients.

Tip: Customizing Homemade Tortilla Chips

Bats, cats, and ghosts are perfect tortilla chip shapes for Halloween, but you can customize the shapes and make this for any holiday or celebration!


Ingredients Explained

In this section I explain the ingredients and give substitution ideas where applicable. For the full recipe (including the ingredient amounts), see the recipe card below.

pumpkin queso ingredients

Pumpkin Queso Dip Ingredients

  • Canned diced tomatoes with green chilies (I used RO*TEL) – This ingredient stands in for salsa here, but you can use salsa instead if you prefer. Make sure you don’t drain it; we need the liquid for the perfect consistency.
  • Cream cheese – This adds creamy texture.
  • Canned pumpkin puree – Look for “solid pack” pumpkin, and make sure it’s not pumpkin pie mix.
  • Garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, and cumin – These spices add a ton of savory flavor! If you want to simplify, you can substitute with 1 tablespoon of your favorite taco seasoning instead.
  • Sharp white cheddar cheese – I love the sharp bite of cheddar here, but you can use any type of cheddar you like or have on hand. And to echo the orange color in pumpkin and drive home the fact that there’s pumpkin in it, you can use yellow cheddar instead of white.
  • Fresh cilantro – This adds a pop of bright green color and fresh flavor.

Tip: Add Crunch & Play Up the Pumpkin

Right before serving, sprinkle roasted pumpkin seeds on top for added crunch. It’s a great way to add another form of pumpkin!


It’s really easy to make homemade queso dip! After you make it once you’ll want to make it all the time and play with the flavors.

how to make pumpkin queso
  1. Add the canned diced tomatoes with green chilies to a skillet (don’t drain it first, we need the liquid!). Add the cream cheese, pumpkin, and spices. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking to incorporate the cream cheese.
  2. Whisk in the cheddar a bit at a time until fully incorporated.
easy pumpkin queso in brown crock topped with fresh cilantro

Serve it garnished with fresh cilantro, along with spooky dippers at your next Halloween gathering!

How to Make Tortilla Chips in the Oven

To play up the Halloween theme, I made spooky dippers (basically just fun shaped homemade tortilla chips) to serve with this cheesy dip. I used bat, cat, and ghost-shaped small cookie cutters for my spooky dippers, and you can change them based on what season it is.

If you have soft corn tortillas, it’s very easy to make homemade tortilla chips!

how to make baked halloween tortilla chips
  1. Use cookie cutters to stamp out festive shapes from the corn tortillas.
  2. Arrange the stamped out shapes on a baking sheet and season as desired. Bake until light golden brown, cool, and enjoy!

Tip: Serving Suggestion

With pumpkin added, this dip is perfect for fall. You can serve it in a hollowed-out pumpkin to make it even more festive. And don’t forget the Halloween shaped tortilla chips; they’re fun for any age!

More Halloween Appetizer Ideas

  • Halloween Deviled Eggs – These are deliciously creepy, and look like something that hatched in a swamp!
  • Crescent Roll Veggie Pizza – Although this isn’t specifically a Halloween party food, it’s an easy appetizer that everyone goes crazy for. It’s a great recipe for any occasion!
close up of fall crock with pumpkin queso topped with cilantro

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Pumpkin Queso Dip Recipe with Spooky Dippers

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Yields: 16 servings
Pumpkin Queso Dip is creamy, cheesy, and deliciously spiced with a hint of pumpkin for the perfect fall or Halloween appetizer in less than 30 minutes! Serve it with baked tortilla chips in fun Halloween shapes.

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Pumpkin Queso Dip:


For the Pumpkin Queso Dip:

  • Add the canned diced tomatoes with green chilies (with juices), cream cheese, pumpkin puree, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, and cumin to a large skillet over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, whisking frequently to incorporate the cream cheese.
  • Once simmering, whisk in the cheddar a handful at a time until fully incorporated.
  • Serve warm, garnished with fresh cilantro if desired.

For the Spooky Dippers:

  • Preheat the oven to 375F. Lightly spray a large baking sheet with avocado oil.
  • Use cookie cutters in Halloween shapes (such as a bat, cat, pumpkin, ghost, etc.) to stamp out shapes from the corn tortillas.
  • Arrange the stamped out corn tortilla shapes on the prepared baking sheet and lightly spray the tops with avocado oil. Lightly sprinkle on a bit of sweet paprika, onion powder, and salt.
  • Bake until light golden brown on both sides, about 8 minutes, flipping once halfway through.

To Serve:

  • Serve the Pumpkin Queso Dip warm along with the Spooky Dippers.


  • Net Carbs: 2g per serving (1/4 cup of dip without dippers)
  • Recipe Yield and Serving Size: This recipe makes about 4 cups, or about 16 (1/4-cup) servings.
  • Nutritional Information: The nutrition information for this recipe was calculated without the Spooky Dippers.
  • Make it Spicy: If you like spicy heat, feel free to add hot sauce or cayenne pepper to the queso to taste.
  • Serving Suggestion For Leftovers: I love this Pumpkin Queso reinvented as leftovers! It’s delicious tossed with zucchini noodles (or any noodles you like) for a cheesy pasta-type dish.


Calories: 117kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 142mg | Potassium: 117mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1584IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 128mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information is automatically calculated and should be used as an approximate.

Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Pumpkin Queso, Pumpkin Queso Dip, Pumpkin Queso Recipe

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Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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