Homemade Chili Cheese Dip made with just four ingredients (chili, shredded cheese, cream cheese, and salsa) can be made on the stove top or in the slow cooker!

There’s just something about warm cheesy appetizers that warms the soul. They’re a must for tailgating or game-watching parties, and our other favorites are Baked Fontina Cheese Dip and Spinach Artichoke Dip!

Chili cheese dip in a bowl with tortilla chips around it.

We are nearing Superbowl time, aka the one day of the year that I actually sit and watch the ENTIRE game! This task is made easier by having a large pot of homemade Chili Cheese Dip (or “QUESO” as we call it in our house) within reach.

Seriously though, what’s better than a relaxing Sunday afternoon watching a great game–and hopefully some funny commercials!? But the best part of the Superbowl is the party food!

If you’re looking for some more great food ideas, don’t miss this roundup of Fun Party Appetizers!  This chili cheese dip though….hold the chips and give me a spoon! And it’s only four ingredients, making it the easiest appetizer ever!

You only need FOUR Ingredients:

  • Chili: You can use homemade chili, or your favorite canned, store-bought chili.
  • Cream cheese
  • Shredded cheddar cheese: Be sure to shred the cheese fresh, instead of buying pre-shredded cheese as it wont melt as smoothly. I use a both pepperjack and cheddar.
  • Salsa

Ingredients for chili cheese dip including chili, shredded cheese, salsa and cream cheese.

When Choosing Chili:

Obviously I am a big fan of homemade chili.  My Classic Homemade Chili recipe is so easy to throw together and it’s freezer friendly if you want to save some for another day!  However, any type of chili (even chili from a can) will work for this recipe.

When Choosing Cheese:

For the cream cheese: Cream cheese is a major player in this recipe in terms of the flavor and consistency it adds.  I recommend Philadelphia cream cheese and definitely recommend sticking with the full fat version!

For the cheese:  I use pepperjack and sharp cheddar cheese. I beg you to avoid buying pre-shredded cheese at the store.  I know it’s convenient but, especially when your melting cheese, pre-shredded cheese is NOT the way to go.  Block cheese melts much smoother and tastes SO much better!

How to Make Chili Cheese Dip:

On the Stovetop:

1. Combine ingredients in saucepan.  Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.

2. Cook, stirring constantly, until all ingredients are thoroughly combined and the cheese is bubbly, about 6-8 minutes.  Add more milk to thin the mixture, if necessary.

3. Serve.

A saucepan with chili, salsa , shredded cheese and cut up cream cheese.

For Crockpot Chili Cheese Dip:

  1.  Layer in slow cooker. Spray the bottom of your slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray (or use a liner). Place cream cheese cubes in the slow cooker. Smoother them with chili, then salsa, then the cheddar cheese.
  2. Cook on LOW for 1-3 hours.
  3. Stir and serve.

Serve with:

  • Chips
  • Cubes of bread
  • Fresh chopped vegetables


To store: Store this chili dip in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

To make ahead: You can make chili cheese dip 1-2 days ahead of time.  Follow storage instructions. Reheat on the stovetop.

To freeze: Allow the dip to cool completely and store it in a freezer safe container in the freezer for 2-3 months.  Reheat on the stovetop.

A hand dipping a tortilla chip in chili cheese dip.

Consider trying these popular appetizers:

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Chili cheese dip in a bowl with tortilla trips on the sides.
Prep 2 minutes
Cook 8 minutes
Total 10 minutes
Save Recipe


  • 2 1/2 cups chili homemade, or 2 (14 oz cans) store-bought
  • 4 ounces cream cheese , cut into cubes
  • 2 cups shredded cheese I use pepperjack and sharp cheddar
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • cayenne pepper , optional, for heat


To make in a saucepan:

  • Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. 
  • Cook, stirring constantly, until all ingredients are thoroughly combined and the cheese is bubbly, about 5 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips, bread cubes or vegetables.

For Crockpot Chili Cheese Dip:

  • Spray the bottom of your slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray (or use a liner). Place cream cheese cubes in the slow cooker. Smoother them with chili, then salsa, then the cheddar cheese. 
  • Cook on LOW for 1-3 hours. Stir and serve.


Calories: 291kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 11gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 74mgSodium: 704mgPotassium: 374mgFiber: 3gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 1000IUVitamin C: 1.5mgCalcium: 211mgIron: 2.9mg

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Have you tried this recipe?!

RATE and COMMENT below! I would love to hear your experience.

I originally shared this recipe January 2015. Updated January 2020 with process photos and instructions.

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I made a family chili with the wrong chili spice, cayenne pepper. Making it to hot on the back side. I used it in this way it was very well received by Superbowl party.

  2. This was absolutely delicious, made it for a party. I used 3 cans of chilli, was thick and creamy. Everyone loved it. I will be making this again!!

  3. 1 star
    This recipe blows. It’s way too thin. My only difference is that I used chive cream cheese. It was made in the crockpot on low for 2.5 hours. It was served with Fritos scoops. I was embarrassed by this crap.

    1. That flavored cream cheese in the little plastic tubs is a spreadable (thinner) consistency than regular cream cheese in the blocks. I wonder if that could have made yours thinner?

  4. 5 stars
    I threw this together using leftover chili. Definitely more than the sum of its parts! My chili wasn’t super thick, so it almost had a thick soup consistency. I ended up crushing some tortilla chips into it and ate with a spoon. Obviously not health food but oh so good!

  5. 5 stars
    Once upon a time I made dip with velveeta and canned chili and my family liked it. Then I switched it up and thought let’s make it with homemade chili and good cheese. So I googled it and stumbled upon this. Our world changed we went from a good dip, to a down right amazing dip. Thanks for the tips. Definitely the only way I make it from now on!

  6. This sounds yummy! and like a great idea for left over chili. We always end up with tons of leftovers, so i think ill try this next time! thanks for sharing!