This easy 4 ingredient Chili Cheese Dip is the perfect appetizer for your next party or the big game! It features a layer of cream cheese and sour cream, followed by a layer of canned chili, and finally topped off with some melty shredded cheese. This cheesy dip is sure to win rave reviews!
Be sure to check out my popular and super easy Layered Cream Cheese and Salsa Dip - another 4 ingredient recipe!
When it comes to appetizers, dips are really at the top tier. Who doesn't love dunking their chip (or toasted baguette chip) into something warm, melty, and totally delicious?
This homemade chili cheese dip is so good, so cheesy, and so melty. But the best part? It actually just calls for 4 simple ingredients, AND uses canned chili - talk about simple!
You could use your favorite brand of chili, or use leftovers from a batch you made yourself from scratch. No one has to know, and everyone is going to love this comforting and satisfying recipe.
Why You'll Love This Easy Chili Cheese Dip Recipe:
- It's the perfect appetizer! Whether it's for a chill weekend, your next party, or the big game.
- The recipe calls for just 4 ingredients and is ready for the oven in just 5 minutes.
- Perfect for serving with your favorite tortilla chips, corn chips, or fresh veggies.
- Can be made in the oven, the microwave, or even the slow cooker!
- Chili: You'll need one can of chili to make this recipe or about 1 ½ cups of homemade. If you want to make this cheesy chili dip keto or low-carb, use an all-meat chili. If you want it to be vegetarian, use a vegetarian canned or homemade chili.
- Cream cheese: If you can, allow your brick of cream cheese to soften at room temperature. It's not absolutely essential, but it does allow it to combine with the sour cream a bit better. I don't recommend using the cream cheese that comes in a tub, as it doesn't hold up well to heating.
- Sour cream (optional): This ingredient is optional but recommended. Look for a thick sour cream that is similar in consistency to greek yogurt. Daisy brand is one that is very popular and is also very thick.
- Shredded cheese: For a super easy prep you can use a shredded Mexican cheese blend. If you want to switch up the flavors you can try your favorite shredded cheese like Monterey jack, Colby jack, etc.
- Tortilla chips (for serving): You'll need something for serving with this easy dip recipe. Tortilla chips, corn chips, and pita chips are all great options. For keto or low-carb options, you could try celery sticks, mini peppers, or Quest chips.
- Baking dish: You'll need a medium-sized baking dish that is oven-proof (or microwave-proof if you prefer that method). I used a Staub 7.5 X 6" dish, but a glass 8X8" baking dish works great too.
- Hand mixer: In order to get the cream cheese and sour cream layer super smooth and well combined, I recommend using an electric hand mixer. If you don't have one, make sure your cream cheese is super soft and blend it with a sturdy silicone spatula.
How to Make Chili Cheese Dip
To get started, preheat the oven to 400ºF (204ºC) and lightly spray your baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
Add the cream cheese and sour cream to a medium-sized bowl and whip it with an electric hand mixer until smooth and creamy.
Spread the cream cheese and sour cream mixture into the bottom of your baking dish in a smooth, even layer.
Then add on top the full can of chili, spreading it out evenly and to the edges.
Finally, sprinkle with 1 ½ cups of Mexican blend shredded cheese (or your favorite blend of shredded cheese) and place it in the oven.
Bake the chili cheese dip in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until it is hot and bubbly and all of the cheese is melted.
Remove the dish from the oven and allow it to cool for a few minutes before serving it with your favorite tortilla chips, corn chips, veggie sticks, etc.
Feel free to sprinkle the top with chopped green onion, green peppers, red onion, etc. This can really make the dish your own and add a boost of flavor.
You can also make this recipe in the microwave for a super easy way of prepping this easy dip!
- Spread the cream cheese onto a shallow microwave-safe plate or baking dish.
- Top with the chili and shredded cheese.
- Microwave on high for 2-4 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.
- Serve with tortilla chips, corn chips, veggies, etc.
Storing and Reheating
Storing leftovers: Allow the leftover chili cheese dip to cool completely before adding it to an airtight container or covering the dish tightly with plastic wrap. Store it in the fridge for 1-2 days - any longer than that and the layers begin to weep and release a lot of liquid.
Reheating leftovers: Once you're ready to reheat your leftovers you can do so in the oven or in the microwave. I've tested both and the best results come from the microwave, as the oven method tends to cause the cream cheese and sour cream to curdle a bit (but it still tastes fine!).
To reheat in the microwave, heat the dip in 1-minute intervals until warmed through. If using the oven method, add the cold dish to a cold oven. Set the temperature to 350ºF and allow the dip to cook until warmed through - about 20 minutes or so.
Make ahead: If you want to make this cheesy dip ahead of time for your next party, you can absolutely do that. Just assemble the dip and cover it tightly with plastic wrap. Store in the fridge for up to 1 day in advance. When you're ready to bake, place the cold dish in a cold oven and set the heat to 400ºF (204ºC). Bake until hot and bubbly.
Variations and Substitutions
Favorite toppings: Although this recipe is supposed to be super simple, that doesn't mean you can't get creative with toppings and fillings! Try additions like jalapenos, green onions, seasoned ground beef, hot sauce, bell peppers, red onion, etc.
Alternative cheeses: The recommended cheese is a shredded Mexican blend cheese, but you can use whatever you have on hand, or a blend of various kinds of cheese. Some good options include pepper jack cheese, Colby jack, shredded cheddar cheese, or even a bit of mozzarella cheese for stretchiness.
Chili: Part of what makes this chili cream cheese dip the easiest recipe ever is that it uses canned chili. But don't be limited by that! Try using some leftover homemade chili if you have some on hand, or use a can of chili with your favorite flavor combos like all-meat chili or chili con carne. It's also easy to find vegetarian chili options if you would prefer for it to be a meatless appetizer.
Keto/Low Carb: Use an all-meat chili (either homemade or canned) in the recipe. Serve with celery sticks, mini peppers, or Quest chips.
Slow Cooker Chili Cheese Dip
If you want to make a crockpot chili cheese dip, this recipe is super easy to adapt. I recommend that you use a smaller 4 quart slow cooker to make this dip.
The larger 6-quart slow cooker models don't work as efficiently when they are less than half full. Alternatively, you could place an oval baking dish with the dip in the slow cooker and fill the outside crock with water - this will make sure the dip heats evenly.
- Lightly spray the inside of your slow cooker crock with cooking spray.
- Combine the cream cheese and sour cream until completely smooth.
- Spread the cream cheese and sour cream mixture into the bottom of the crockpot.
- Add in the full can of chili, spreading it into an even layer.
- Top with shredded cheese.
- Cook on "high" for 2 hours, or on "low" for 3-4 hours.
- Serve and enjoy!
Chili Cheese Dip
- Medium baking dish 8" X 8" or 7.5" X 6"
- 8 ounces cream cheese brick style, softened
- ½ cup thick sour cream
- 15 ounce can of chili
- 1 ½ cups shredded Mexican blend cheese or cheese of choice
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF and lightly spray a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray.
- Add the softened cream cheese and sour cream to a medium-sized bowl and blend with an electric mixer or silicone spatula until well combined and smooth.
- Spread the cream cheese and sour cream mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
- Add the full can of chili on top and spread it into an even layer.
- Finally, sprinkle on 1 ½ cups of shredded cheese.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until bubbly and hot, OR heat in the microwave for 2-4 minutes on high.
- Serve with your choice of tortilla chips, corn chips, sliced veggies, etc.
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