Every year for New Year’s Eve my mom would make a bunch of fun appetizers and snacks. One of them was this recipe for The Best Chili Cheese Dip. We all loved it, but my brother, Jeremy, really loved it. It was his favorite. We also had this Chewy Chex Mix almost every New Year’s Eve. I love sharing the same food traditions with my family now.
One of the things that make this The Best Chili Cheese Dip is how simple it is to make. All you need is some cream cheese, chili (my mom always used the chili without beans), some grated cheese, and a dash of hot sauce. Sometimes the simplest recipes are the most delicious.
This dip is made in a saucepan. It just takes a few minutes to melt together. I like to take an extra step and pour it into a baking dish, top it with more cheese, and put it under the broiler for a minute. I like the presentation of this a little better. You can’t go wrong with broiled cheese on top of anything. We always serve this dip with corn chips. It would also taste delicious with some crusty French bread.
This dip is definitely best served hot. If you’re worried about it cooling off on the serving table, put it in a crockpot to keep it warm.
More Great Appetizers
- Bacon Wrapped Cheese Fries
- Caramel Corn Puffs
- Cranberry Salsa
- Amazing Strawberry Cheesecake Pastry Bites
- Texas Caviar
- Easy Homemade Pot Stickers
step by step pictures on how to make the best chili cheese dip
Frequently Asked Questions about making The Best Chili Cheese Dip
can I use fat-free cream cheese?
I recommend using full-fat or 1/3 less fat cream cheese in this recipe. I have never had success using fat-free cream cheese in recipes where the cream cheese is cooked.
can I make this in a SLOW COOKER?
Yes, you can. It’s a little high maintenance in the slow cooker because you need to stir often and add ingredients at certain times. I suggest preparing it on the stove first and then transferring it to the slow cooker to keep warm.
does it matter what type of chili I use?
No, not necessarily. My mom always used chili without beans. I have made it both ways, with and without beans. I don’t notice a huge difference. I think it tastes great both ways. If you have a favorite canned chili, I suggest using that one.
is this dip spicy?
As written, no. Unless you choose a spicy chili, it is not spicy. The addition of hot sauce can be tailored to your personal spice tolerance. I add about a teaspoon of hot sauce and would still consider this dip to be mild on the heat scale.
what is the best type of cheese to use?
For best results, shredded Cheddar or Colby Jack are both great choices for this dip. I typically just use a bag of shredded Colby Jack because I keep it on hand. A Mexican blend cheese would also work great in this recipe.
can I make this dip in advance?
Yes, you can. It can be reheated. If you are planning to make it in advance, I suggest waiting to add the cheese until ready to serve. If you are wanting to make it just a few hours in advance, use the crockpot method mentioned above.
- 2 8 oz packages of cream cheese
- 2 cans chili (with or without beans)
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- 1 tsp hot sauce (to taste)
- In a medium saucepan, mix the cream cheese and chili, stirring often. Heat slowly to a simmer.
- Once the mixture is simmering, stir in the hot sauce and 1 cup of cheese. Stir until cheese is melted.
- Pour into an 8x8 baking dish.
- Sprinkle with the remaining cup of cheese.
- Place under the broiler until cheese is melted and a little toasty. (If you do not have a broiler, another option is to sprinkle the top with cheese and cover it with foil, letting it sit for 5 minutes or until cheese melts.
- Serve hot with corn chips or chunks of bread.
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