Matt’s El Rancho Bob Armstrong Dip Recipe

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You’ve had queso, but have you had Bob Armstrong Dip from Matt’s El Rancho in Austin, Texas? This is the dip of all dips, and the queso of all quesos. We’re stoked to be sharing the Matt’s El Rancho Bob Armstrong Dip Recipe with you today– so incredibly easy to make and it will transport you to Austin at first bite.

Matt’s El Rancho Bob Armstrong Dip Recipe: The History

Bob Armstrong was a Texas land commissioner for years, and according to the folks at Matt’s El Rancho, he sat in the restaurant one day and asked for something different. They whipped up a delectable, unique queso, and thus the Bob Armstrong Dip was born. Bob Armstrong passed away in 2015, but his legacy still lives on. The Bob Armstrong Dip is still the number one most ordered menu item at Matt’s El Rancho, and is arguably one of the most iconic menu items in all of Austin.


Bob Armstrong Dip: Three Components

This Matt’s El Rancho Bob Armstrong Dip Recipe is a three-part concoction. First comes the queso, which is the foundation for your dip. This isn’t just any ho-hum queso, it has fresh onions, tomatoes, red bell pepper, and poblano pepper distributed throughout, giving it great texture and acidity. Next is the homemade guacamole, made with fresh avocado, lemon, a pinch of salt and garlic powder, and (the ingredient that surprised us the most) a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Lastly is the ground beef, sauteed with red bell pepper, onion, celery, and seasonings. The queso is housed in a wide, shallow serving bowl, with about 1/2 cup of the guacamole and 1/2 of the meat served atop, both in their own distinct, separate areas.

This recipe has been shared in several publications, including this awesome cookbook dedicated just to all things food and Austin. Let us know if you make the Matt’s El Rancho Bob Armstrong Dip Recipe at home!



Matt's El Rancho Bob Armstrong Dip Recipe

A legendary queso found at the restaurant Matt's El Rancho in Austin, Texas, named after former Texas land commissioner Bob Armstrong.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Tex-Mex
Keyword Austin, Texas, Bob Armstrong Dip, Bob Armstrong Queso, Matt's El Rancho, Matt's El Rancho Bob Armstrong Dip Recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 6 people


For The Meat

  • 8 ounces ground beef (225 g)
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red bell pepper (35 g)
  • 1/4 cup finely diced onion (35 g)
  • 1 stalk celery, finely diced
  • 1/2 tsp granulated garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

For The Guacamole

  • 2 ripe avocadoes, peeled, pits removed
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp granulated garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 small Roma tomato, finely diced
  • salt to taste

For The Queso

  • 1 stalk celery, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red bell pepper (35 g)
  • 1/4 cup finely diced white onion (35 g)
  • 1/2 cup diced poblano pepper (75 g)
  • 1/2 cup diced Roma tomato (90 g)
  • 2 cups shredded or cubed American cheese (225 g)*



  • Heat a pot over medium heat, then add all the ingredients. Cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent and the meat is cooked, about 5 minutes. Most of the liquid should evaporate, but the mixture shouldn’t be dry. Keep warm while you prepare the other components.


  • Combine the avocados, lemon juice, granulated garlic, and oil, mashing everything slightly. The mixture should be chunky, not smooth. Stir in the tomato and season with salt.


  • Bring 3/4 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the celery, bell pepper, onion, poblano, and tomato and boil briefly to cook everything, about 1 minute. Turn the heat down to low, and gradually whisk in the cheese. Heat for a few minutes, stirring constantly. If the cheese seems too thick once all melted, add 1 Tablespoon of hot water at a time until the desired consistency is achieved. When all the cheese is melted and everything is heated through and smooth, remove from the heat so it doesn’t overcook. Do this step right before serving: If you used American cheese the dip will separate as it cools; if you used processed cheese it will develop a skin on top as it sits. Pour the hot queso into a wide, shallow serving bowl. Add a scoop of meat and a scoop of guacamole, about ½ cup of each. Do not mix. Guests should combine the queso, guacamole, and ground beef together with tortilla chips as they eat it.


*Velveeta works fine too in a pinch.

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