If you have 10 minutes, you have plenty of time to make Easy Taco Dip, the best ever layered Mexican dip that's loaded with your favorite toppings and perfect for parties. Break open a bag of corn chips and get your next fiesta started!
Some things really ARE all that and a bag of chips. Easy Taco Dip is the kind of recipe that people absolutely go bonkers for. All you have to do is make sure there's enough for everyone.
In a world of meat-heavy party food, sometimes it's refreshing to offer something that's crisp and crunchy, cool and spicy at the same time. By the way, that's also why Veggie Pizza is so popular, too! People do like to eat vegetables, but sometimes the healthy stuff gets lost in the shuffle of meatballs and chicken wings. Easy veggie dips to the rescue!
Because it's so cheerful and colorful, guests young and old just can't stay away from it.
Making Easy Taco Dip for a bigger group? Click and slide the number next to “servings” on the recipe card below to adjust the ingredients to match how many you’re feeding—the recipe does the math for you, it’s that easy.
Cold Taco Dip Ingredients:
Fun Taco Dip Toppings:
Now for the fun part! Pick a few, or go crazy and try them all.
(And if you're really in a rush, the salad bar at the grocery store just might have most of these ingredients for you, prepped and ready to go.)
- Cheese. Shredded cheddar, pepper Jack, or crumbled queso fresco.
- Peppers. Chopped bell peppers: green, orange, red, or yellow add crunch and color to this fun party dip.
- Scallions. Finely chopped scallions taste good on everything.
- Tomatoes. Diced tomatoes or sliced cherry tomatoes.
- Jalapeño peppers. Fresh chopped or picked jalapeños.
- Black olives. If you got 'em, use 'em!
- Chilies. Canned New Mexican chilies, Hatch chilies, are excellent mixed into the base or scattered on top.
- Pico de Gallo. Make your own pico here.
- Chopped cilantro and onion. aka Mexican Relish. It tastes great on tacos, so it should taste just as great on taco dip.
- Lettuce. In theory, shredded lettuce should add crunch to the dip, but it doesn't. It really doesn't. If you must have lettuce on the dip, throw it on at the very last minute. Otherwise it gets soggy and unappetizing.
- Beans. A handful of cooked black beans add some protein.
How to make Easy Taco Dip:
If you have time, let the cream cheese warm up to room temperature--that makes mixing a little easier.
- To start, mix together the cream cheese, sour cream, and taco seasoning. Then spread the mixture into the bottom of a shallow dish: pie plate, casserole, or baking dish.
- You can chill this overnight if you like. Just covert top with plastic wrap and pop it in the refrigerator. The flavors will mingle together and taste even better.
- When you're ready to serve Easy Taco Dip, all you have to do is cover the cream cheese mixture with the toppings you like. Cheese first, then the crunchy colorful stuff. Now where are those chips?
Easy Vegan Taco Dip:
This vegetarian party snack can go full-on vegan with just a few switch-outs.
- Use plant-based sour cream or vegan sour cream substitute instead of traditional dairy sour cream.
- Buy a tofu-based cream cheese substitute (or your favorite vegan cream cheese product) in place of regular cream cheese.
- Instead of shredded cheese, pick your favorite vegan cheese or nutritional yeast.
Easy Taco Dip: Make It Ahead
Taco Dip is the best make-ahead cold appetizer. Blend the cream cheese, sour cream and seasoning together and refrigerate it overnight, then get your toppings prepped.
If you have to tote the appetizer somewhere, like a work party, potluck, or book club, it's super convenient when everything is separate.
How long can taco dip sit out?
How long can you leave out taco dip? Try to keep track of how long the dip sits out at room temperature. It should be fine for up to two hours, but chances are the dip will be loooooong gone by then.
If you're hosting a party that looks like it will go on for awhile (as all good parties should) make a couple recipes and replenish the taco dip as your guests mingle. Your work is done here. Time to have a drink!
How about a cold light Mexican beer? The acid in the beer cuts right through the richness of the dip and it's just perfect, much like Easy Taco Dip!
Easy Taco Dip Recipe
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese softened
- 16 ounces sour cream
- 2 tablespoons homemade taco seasoning or 1 packet store-bought
Toppings (choose your favorites):
- 2 cups shredded lettuce see notes
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 medium tomato seeded and diced
- 1 small green pepper stemmed, seeded, and diced
- 1/2 cup sliced black olives
- 2 scallions sliced
- jalapeño chiles sliced (pickled or fresh)
- In a large bowl, add cream cheese, sour cream, and taco seasoning. Mix well until combined.
- Spread cream cheese mixture in the bottom of a shallow pie plate or 9-inch x 13-inch baking dish. Top with lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, peppers, and olives or your own preferred toppings. Serve with tortilla chips.
To make ahead:
- The entire dip can be made and refrigerated ahead of time (see my recipe notes about the perils of shredded lettuce, though!).
- Or, blend the cream cheese, sour cream, and taco seasoning the night before and refrigerate. All vegetables may be chopped or sliced and refrigerated in covered containers until assembly time.