This easy homemade chili cheese dip recipe is effortless to prepare with three simple ingredients and is the perfect appetizer for your next party.
Chili cheese dip is a popular party appetizer that features three simple ingredients: cheddar cheese, cream cheese, and chili. My easy recipe features real cheese, rather than processed melting cheese. Best of all, it is just as easy to make, but shredded cheddar cheese packs in far more flavor than chili cheese dip with Velveeta cheese.
Ingredients & Substiutions
- Chili - This versatile dip is a great way to use up leftover homemade chili or you can use any can of chili from the grocery store for simplicity. If you are looking for homemade options, give any of these chili recipes a try: classic chili, steak chili, turkey chili, or venison chili. Otherwise, canned chili, such as Hormel, is so frequently used that this dip is often referred to as Hormel chili cheese dip.
- Cream cheese - Cream cheese is the secret ingredient that allows you to use real cheese in this easy dip recipe. Making chili cheese dip with cream cheese binds everything together so it can easily be reheated without the cheese separating.
- Cheddar cheese - You can substitute your favorite cheeses, such as pepper jack cheese, but I think sharp cheddar cheese has the best flavor for this cheesy dip. However, Velveeta can be substituted if desired.
This recipe can be customized with your favorite additions. Add hot sauce or crushed red pepper flakes to adjust the heat level of the dip. For a stronger chili flavor you can sprinkle in additional homemade chili seasoning to taste.
Beyond adjusting the heat level of the dip, feel free to also add fresh onions for crunch, green chilis, black beans, or top it off with vibrant slices of green onions. Even a dollop of sour cream would be a nice addition to this dip. Finally, some people enjoy spreading a thick layer of shredded cheese over the dip and then baking it to form a gooey cheesy crust.
How to make it
Since the chili is already prepared, this chili cheese dip recipe comes together in minutes. First, the cream cheese simply needs to be melted into the chili by heating it together in a saucepan on the stove top set over medium heat. Then the cheddar cheese is sprinkled into your chili mixture. Stir everything together and it is ready to serve!
I recommend serving this dip with corn chips (I love Fritos Scoops for this) or your favorite tortilla chips. However, a toasted baguette is great as well. This can be kept warm at a party in your slow cooker set to the warm setting.
Storing and Reheating Leftover Dip
This 3-ingredient chili cheese 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 any leftover chili cheese dip in an airtight container (or covered in plastic wrap) in the refrigerator for up to a week, then microwave it to reheat it when ready to serve.
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Easy Chili Cheese Dip (only 3 Ingredients)
- 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
- Gently 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 chips or corn chips.
This recipe was originally published on October 18, 2019, here on FoxValleyFoodie.com.