Cheesy Mexican Dip

4.5 from 33 votes
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This easy Mexican Cheese Dip is an ooey gooey crowd-pleaser, and so quick to make. Just layer 4 ingredients and bake until hot and melty. Then rip open that bag of tortilla chips and get ready to scoop all the cheesy goodness. It’s the ultimate game day snack or party appetizer recipe!

Melting cheese dip dripping off of a tortilla chip.

Why You’ll Love This Mexican Cheese Dip

  • Cuisine Inspiration: Mexican-inspired
  • Primary Cooking Method: Oven
  • Dietary Info: Gluten-free option
  • Skill Level: Easy

My mom and I have a thing for cheesy dips. My most-requested recipe by family and friends is my Honey Nut Baked Brie recipe. When my mom gets invited to a party, she is always asked, or dare I say, begged to make her famous Mexican dip recipe.

She is always happy to make a batch because it literally takes just minutes to assemble. And all of the friends and family are thrilled because… the cheese. Seriously, THE CHEESE! They love it and here is why you will too…

  • Quick and easy. It’s like an extra cheesy, simplified version of a Mexican Seven Layer Dip but with only four layers – the four best layers! You only need those four ingredients and one pan – no bowl, no mixing, no fuss. Just layer everything and pop it in the oven.
  • Crowd-pleaser. We are at the point that instead of waiting to be asked, my mom just offers to bring this recipe to a party because she knows it will get devoured. This is sure to happen to you too!
  • So versatile. This cheese dip is vegetarian and can be made with gluten free ingredients. But you can also feel free to customize it by adding more toppings, sandwiching in layer of refried beans or Mexican chicken, or using a different dipper than Tostitos Scoops (our favorite), such as mini bell peppers or even pretzel nuggets.
Hot dip with melted cheese on top in a white baking dish.

Mexican Dip Ingredients

Here’s a quick list of what you’ll need and how you can customize it with different toppings. Be sure to scroll to the recipe card for the quantities and full instructions.

  • Cream cheese. Regular or light are both good to use. I do NOT recommend fat-free, as it doesn’t melt well. Let the cream cheese soften to room temperature to make spreading easier.
  • Salsa con Queso. Choose your favorite brand, and feel free to use hot, medium or mild.
  • Salsa. Again, your preferred brand and heat level can be used.
  • Shredded cheese. I usually use sharp cheddar cheese, but feel free to use Monterey Jack, pepper Jack, or a combination. Grate it yourself or use a bag of pre-shredded cheese.

Is Salsa con Queso Gluten Free?

This can vary by brand, so you will have to confirm by reading labels or contacting the manufacturer, especially since this can often change. One popular brand, Tostitos Salsa con Queso contains no gluten ingredients and I’ve seen reports of people eating it without issue, but it may be manufactured in a facility that handles other wheat products, so consider that when buying. But at this time, it appears that Great Value from WalMart and Herdez are listed as gluten free. Others like On The Border and Chi-Chi’s used to be listed as gluten free on the company website, but it is not clear at this time, so you will have to check the package.

You can also make your own queso recipe that is thickened with cornstarch. You’ll need about 1 1/2 cups of the queso dip.

Toppings To Add

We like to scoop up this dip just as it is, but you can customize with classic taco toppings such as these:

  • Shredded lettuce
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Sliced jalapenos
  • Red onions or green onions
  • Cilantro
  • Sour cream
  • Guacamole
Layered hot salsa and cheese dip in a casserole dish surrounded by tortilla chips and lime halves.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I bake this Mexican Cheese Dip in?

You have several options for baking the queso dip. You can layer it in a shallow ceramic casserole dish that has about a 1 1/2-2 quart capacity. Or use a glass baking dish, either a 8- or 9-inch square one of an 11×7-inch rectangular pan. However, if you are taking the dip to a party and you don’t want to worry about getting your baking dish back, you can also make it in a disposable aluminum pan, and then just toss it in the trash when it is gone. Fewer dishes to wash!

Can I make Mexican Dip in advance?

You can definitely layer the ingredients in the pan the night before or early in the day. Just cover and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake it. It may need a couple of extra minutes in the oven to get hot all the way to the middle.

You can reheat it in the oven or microwave, too. I’ll tell you more about that below in the Storage section. The cheese doesn’t get quite as gooey, but it is still delicious.

A hand dipping a tortilla chip into Mexican cheese dip in a bowl.

Proper Storage

Refrigerate: Any leftover Mexican cheese dip should be covered tightly with plastic wrap or transferred to an airtight container and refrigerated. While it will not melt as well when reheated, it will be safe to store for up to a day or two as long as it was not left out for more than 2 hours.

Freezer: Do not freeze this dip. The dairy products will separate and produce an undesirable consistency.

Reheat: Pop the cheese dip back in the oven for about 20 minutes or heat it up in the microwave for several minutes until it is fully heated through.

Hot mexican dip in a baking dish and spooned into a bowl.

Make it a Party

Whether you are throwing a fiesta for Cinco de Mayo, having a game day tailgate, or just getting together with friends, a spread of Mexican snacks or a Taco Bar is always a tasty way to celebrate. Here are some ideas to complete your menu…

A hand dipping a tortilla chip into layered Mexican dip.
4.5 from 33 votes

Mexican Cheese Dip

This easy Mexican Cheese Dip is an ooey gooey crowd-pleaser, and so quick to make. Just layer 4 ingredients and bake until hot and melty. Then rip open that bag of tortilla chips and get ready to scoop all the cheesy goodness. It's the ultimate game day snack or party appetizer recipe!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. package cream cheese, light or regular
  • 15-16 oz. jar of salsa con queso
  • 15-16 oz. jar of salsa, mild, medium, or hot
  • 1.5 cups shredded cheese (cheddar, Monterey Jack, pepper Jack, or a combination)
  • Toppings, if desired, such as jalapenos, onions, tomatoes, cilantro, etc.
  • Tortilla chips

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Spread cream cheese in an even layer in the bottom of a square or small rectangular (about 11 x 7 inches) baking dish.
  • Pour the salsa con queso over the cream cheese layer and spread evenly.
  • Gently spoon the salsa over the queso layer to cover completely.
  • Sprinkle the cheese over the top of the salsa.
  • Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until heated through and cheese is melted and lightly browned.
  • Scatter toppings on top, if desired and serve with tortilla chips for dipping.
Nutrition Facts
Mexican Cheese Dip
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 222 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Fat 18g28%
Saturated Fat 10g50%
Cholesterol 60mg20%
Sodium 1034mg43%
Potassium 235mg7%
Carbohydrates 7g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 9g18%
Vitamin A 775IU16%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 236mg24%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Disclaimers: Please discuss your individual dietary needs (i.e. gluten free) with a physician. Even when not specified, be sure to verify all ingredients are gluten free, if needed, by reading labels on all packaging and/or confirming with the manufacturer this varies by brand and can change at any time. Nutrition information shown is an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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139 Comments
  1. My favorite appetizer has to be Kebabs! I also always serve some kind of dip with chips and yours look like the next one to try 🙂 Delicious!

  2. I pinned this make it later, my husband and I love anything with cheese! In fact, if I had cream cheese at home right now I’d scrap tonight’s dinner plan and make this!

    My two favorite appetizers are buffalo chicken dip and jelly meatballs. The meatballs are my super easy requested recipe.

  3. Cassandra

    I love bbq meatballs in the crockpot… or the mexican dip that is just layered cream cheese, canned chili and shredded cheese. Yum Yum.

  4. Rebecca

    We have a family recipe called “Seafood Pizza” that is actually a dip! The base is cream cheese and other seasonings spread on a plate, topped with a layer of cocktail sauce to look like tomato sauce and baby shrimp and crab meat for “cheese.”

  5. Wild Orchid

    I love 7 layer mexican dip.

    Entered the rafflecopter as “Wild orchid”

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

  6. Laura

    3 stars
    My family loves the cocktail smokies wrapped in bacon then covered in brown sugar and baked for about 45 min. Doesn’t matter where I take them, they disappear very quickly!

  7. Rebecca D

    Our favorite app is simply potato chips with onion dip made from Lipton Onion Soup Mix and sour cream. Family fav that goes way back!

  8. Cindy Dupin

    I so need new pots and pans, mine are all hand me downs and I can’t find the lids to most of them… These are pretty enough to put on the table as well !!!! Love them !!! Thanks for the opportunity to win them !!!! Good luck everyone !!!!!!!!!! BTW: thanks for all the wonderful recipes, I so enjoy your page !!!!!!!!!! 🙂

  9. Alison

    This is such an amazing giveaway! I go for the classic chips and salsa/guacamole appetizer, but I like to make at least the guacamole from scratch.

  10. Laurie

    My favorite appetizer for game day is the min hot dogs in a sweet and spicy sauce that I cook in a crock-pot! Yum!

  11. Kristen

    My favorite appetizer is wings! Or my father-in-law’s dip. I have no idea what he does but it’s delicious.

  12. Meg @ The Housewife in Training Files

    5 stars
    I adore guacamole! Still feel a tad bit healthy when I eat a lil too much! Its all healthy fat right?

  13. Nancy A.

    I just usually cut up Velveeta cheese in a bowl, add a can of Rotel tomatoes and microwave. Quick, warm and yummy!

  14. Amy Lewis

    My favorite game day appetizer would have to be Jalapeno Poppers and Jalapeno Popper Dip! The best and you can’t go wrong with them!!!

  15. K. Jones

    I am ALL ABOUT ANYTHING with CHEESE!!!!! This is a great idea for my little Superbowl gathering I will be having. My plan was the spinach/artichoke dip, but this is it!!! Thank you. #Cheesenista

  16. Beva Bradford

    5 stars
    My favorite game day appetizer is Homemade Queso! This recipe looks delicious, will have to add it to the menu.

    1. Chris

      before, You r amazing!!! []Patty Rodriguez Reply:April 28th, 2011 at 10:40 pmThanks so much finerd!!![]Patty Rodriguez Reply:June 5th, 2011 at 5:22 pmthanks for your comment Rebecca, looking forward to cooking with you![]

  17. Diana Cote

    5 stars
    I love making little chili cups topped with sour cream, guacamole, cheese and chives. I also love making wings with a creamy buffalo dip, served with cheese fries.

  18. Dani H

    Definitely Buffalo chicken wings with celery & carrots sticks and blue cheese dressing!

    Thanks for a chance at the giveaway!

4.52 from 33 votes (5 ratings without comment)

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