Chili Cheese Dip is the ultimate easy party dip! It's uses only 3 ingredients and can be baked in the oven or made in the microwave.
I've probably eaten this recipe more than any other recipe on the blog. Growing up, this is the dip that everyone in my family loved because it's beyond easy to make, it's full of cheesy goodness, and it is great for sharing.
This is the kind of recipe to make when you're short on time but need to bring something to a gathering or need something to put out for guests.
- Uses only 3 ingredients!
- Ready in 15 minutes in the oven or 5 minutes in the microwave
- Great as an appetizer or last-minute party dip
You just need three ingredients to make chili cheese dip!
- Plain cream cheese: I use the blocks of cream cheese, not the spreadable kind. You can use fat-free cream cheese or light cream cheese for a lower fat option.
- Chili: I've always used canned chili in this recipe but you can use homemade if you prefer. I like using a traditional diner-style vegetarian bean chili. Try my chipotle black bean chili, quinoa chili (I also have an instant pot version) or three bean chili for homemade options.
- Cheddar cheese: I prefer medium or sharp cheddar but mild also works.
How to make the recipe
It's all about the layers:
- Spread a block of cream cheese into an oven-safe casserole dish
- Top with a can of chili
- Cover with shredded cheese
- Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly
Recipe FAQ and expert tips
- Serving ideas: Fritos/corn chips are my go-to vehicle for this dip but celery is a good veggie option.
- Toppings: We usually keep it simple and topping-less but fresh chopped cilantro and green onions are great as a garnish.
- Cream cheese: It's easiest to spread the cream cheese if you let it come to room temperature first. You can also slice it up and microwave it for 15-30 seconds to soften in.
Assemble casserole according to recipe instructions in a microwave safe dish. Microwave uncovered for 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbling.
Keep leftovers covered and refrigerated for 3-4 days for best quality.
Reheat single portions or the entire dish in the microwave in 1-2 minutes. You can also cover it with foil and reheat it in the oven at 350F until the cheese is melted again, about 10 minutes.
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Baked Vegetarian Chili Cheese Dip
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 15 ounce can of vegetarian chili
- 1 and ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese mild or sharp
- optional toppings: chopped cilantro, green onion
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Evenly spread cream cheese in an 8x8 inch or similarly sized casserole dish. Spread chili across the top of the cream cheese. Top with shredded cheddar.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly. Serve with corn chips.