This hearty homemade chili cheese dip is easy to prepare and is always a fan favorite at any tailgate or party.
Chili cheese dip is a classic appetizer, but if you scarf this down for a meal I won't tell anyone. Heck, it is basically a cheesier version of Frito Pie. Truth be told, one of my favorite perks of running this website is eating appetizers I create for dinner. It sure beats planning a party just for an excuse to devour this dip!
Chili Cheese Dip
Chili cheese dip is a popular party appetizer that features three simple ingredients: cheddar cheese, cream cheese, and chili. My recipe features real cheese, rather than processed melting cheese, and you can use leftover homemade chili or even canned chili for simplicity.
How to Make Chili Cheese Dip
Since the chili is already prepared, this dip comes together in minutes. the cream cheese simply needs to be melted into the chili and then the Cheddar cheese is sprinkled in as well. Mix together and it is ready to serve! It is hard to find an appetizer that is easier to prepare.
How to Customize this Chili Cheese Dip Recipe
The recipe is ripe for customizing to fit your tastes. The heat level can easily be adjusted by using hotter, or more mild, chili. You can also add your favorite hot sauce (ghost pepper sauce!!!) to amp up the Scoville units.
Beyond adjusting the heat level of the dip, feel free to also add fresh onions for crunch, or top it off with vibrant slices of green onion. Even a dollop of sour cream wouldn't be out of place on top of this dip. Finally, some people enjoy spreading a thick layer of cheddar over the dip and then baking it to form a gooey cheesy crust.
Best Chili for Chili Cheese Dip
The easiest way to make this recipe is simply grabbing two cans of chili from the supermarket. But, this dip is potentially my favorite use for leftover homemade chili. Pretty much any thick and hearty homemade chili will work well in a chili cheese dip. If you are looking for inspiration, try my classic chili, steak chili, turkey chili, or venison chili recipes.
If you decide to use store-bought canned chili and you aren't thrilled with the flavor, feel free to doctor it up with some of my homemade chili seasoning.
What to Serve with Chili Cheese Dip
My two favorite things to serve with chili cheese dip are tortilla chips, or Frito Scoops corn chips (affiliate link). However, if I am looking for something heartier, dipping slices of a toasted baguette is pretty hard to beat.
How to Store Chili Cheese Dip
This dip can be made in advance if desired. Typically for cheesy sauces, you need to worry about the cheese separating when reheated, but the cream cheese acts as a binder in this dip so that isn't a concern. After preparing the dip simply store it in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, then microwave it to reheat it when ready to serve.
Chili Cheese Dip
- 2, 15 ounce cans chili (or substitute 3 cups homemade chili)
- 2, 8 ounce packages cream cheese
- 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
- tortilla chips or corn chips
- Heat chili and cream cheese together in a medium saucepan set over medium heat on the stovetop. Mix together as cream cheese melts.
- Add Cheddar cheese and mix to combine.
- Serve immediately with tortilla or corn chips.
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