Spicy Taco Dip

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This spicy taco dip with cream cheese is an easy party dip everyone loves. Seasoned cream cheese layer is topped with fresh veggies, perfect for dipping your tortilla chips into!

A container of homemade taco dip has a spicy cream cheese filling and is topped with shredded cheese and lettuce. A serving spoon has scooped a portion out.

When I was in college and a bunch of friends were getting together for a party, it was never a matter of if and simply a matter of who would be in charge of bringing the taco dip.

I've enjoyed countless servings of this party classic in my life and it never gets old.

Each version of this Mexican layer dip is just a little bit different depending on the hostess's personal spin on assembly and ingredients.

My take on this taco dip recipe is an old fashioned classic with one tiny upgrade. I think you'll find it makes the best-tasting taco dip you've ever tried.

Why This is the Best Recipe

I love make ahead cold dips for parties, but I'm pretty sure this is the best taco dip recipe because:

  1. Smooth and Creamy Base: Instead of taco seasoning, I use taco sauce for the creamiest layer ever.
  2. Classic Recipe: There's nothing especially fancy here, this is just a good old fashioned party dip with budget-friendly ingredients!
  3. Easy to Prep: Your friends will think you spent a lot of time on this recipe, but really it is so easy to just toss together.

My taco dip doesn't have any beans in it, it is just a simple seasoned creamy dip with fresh veggies. If you prefer beans, you'll want to check out this seven layer dip.

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Ingredients

The ingredients to make the taco dip are on the counter.

This easy taco dip recipe only needs a handful of things:

  • Cream Cheese: Use full-fat cream cheese for the best texture and flavor. However, a lighter cream cheese can be used if you prefer. Just know that the texture will be thinner.
  • Sour Cream: I almost always use Light sour cream, but a full-fat sour cream will make the dip extra creamy.
  • Taco Sauce: Traditionally a packet of taco seasoning is used to flavor the creamy base. I use taco sauce to avoid that gritty texture a powdered seasoning can sometimes leave behind. Buy the spiciest bottle of taco sauce your family will eat--it will be cooled down significantly in the dip, so you need the extra kick!
  • Shredded Mexican Cheese
  • Shredded Lettuce
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Frozen Corn
  • Fresh Green Onions
  • Tortilla Chips for Serving
  • OPTIONAL: A fresh jalapeno pepper. You could mince this and add it to the cream cheese base for a little crunch.

Make the Cream Cheese Base

Add the softened cream cheese to a large mixing bowl and use a hand mixer to really whip it smooth. Be sure to break up any of the chunks of cream cheese so it is easier to dip your chips.

Pour in the taco sauce and blend it in.

The step by step photos show how to season the cream cheese filling.

Add just half of the shredded cheese to the creamy base and fold it in with a spatula.

This helps to ensure there is a bit of cheese in every single bite of the dip even after the toppings begin to shift around as people eat it at the party.

Spread the creamy layer into the bottom of your serving dish.

If you're making this in advance, cover and chill this layer for up to 24 hours.

Assemble the Fresh Veggie Layers

Just before you plan to serve the dish, layer the fresh veggies on top.

Start with the shredded lettuce and then top it with chopped up fresh tomatoes. I used cherry tomatoes because they are so sweet.

Sprinkle the thawed frozen corn over the top.

The step by step photos show how to layer the veggies on top of the taco base.

Sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese over the top and finish with a sprinkle of the green onions.

Variations

You can make this taco dip as mild or as spicy as your family enjoys.

Select your favorite taco seasoning instead of the taco sauce. Consider adding a fresh jalapeno for extra kick.

You could also top it with chopped bell peppers, chopped red onion, or use fresh cilantro in the mix.

Make Ahead Tips

You can make the creamy base layer up to 24 hours in advance. Store it separately from the vegetables and only assemble it before serving so everything remains crisp and fresh.

The container of taco dip is ready for the fridge.

Serving Suggestions

The taco dip is set out on the table at the party, a spoon is taking a scoop.

This easy taco dip is always a hit at a party. Serve it with a big bowl of your favorite tortilla chips or Frito corn chips.

We love the extra flavor the "hint of lime" chips offer, that's always our favorite pick.

📖 Recipe

A container of homemade taco dip has a spicy cream cheese filling and is topped with shredded cheese and lettuce. A serving spoon has scooped a portion out.

Spicy Taco Dip with Cream Cheese

5 from 1 vote
This is the best ever spicy taco dip with cream cheese because of Mom's secret tricks! Serve it at your Cinco de Mayo party or for Taco Tuesday. At a party, you'll find the pan practically licked clean by your guests.
TOTAL TIME 15 minutes
PREP TIME 15 minutes
YIELD 3 cups of taco dip

Ingredients
  

  • 1 (8 oz) brick of cream cheese softened
  • 1 (16 oz) container of sour cream
  • 1 (8 oz) bottle of SPICY taco sauce
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese divided
  • 1 bag of shredded lettuce
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes chopped
  • 1 cup frozen corn thawed
  • 1 bunch of green onions chopped
  • Tortilla chips for serving

Instructions

  • Using a hand mixer, whip the cream cheese until smooth in a large mixing bowl.
  • Blend the whipped cream cheese with the container of sour cream until light and fluffy.
  • Pour in the entire bottle of taco sauce and beat it in until smooth.
  • Stir in just 1 cup of shredded cheese with a spatula. Reserve the other cup of cheese for the top later.
  • Spread the seasoned cream cheese base into your serving dish.
  • Top the taco dip base with shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, corn, the remaining 1 cup shredded cheese, and chopped green onions. Chill until serving.
  • NOTE: If you plan to make this dip in advance, you can prepare the seasoned base up to 24 hours in advance and keep it in the fridge. Be sure to store the fresh vegetables separately, they will begin to wilt within an hour or so of adding them to the dip. Just assemble the layers before serving so everything remains crisp.
COURSEDips
CUISINEMexican

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The photo collage shows the taco dip from the side and from the top so you can see the layers.

4 Comments

  1. Pingback: Family-friendly New Year's Eve recipes you can make ahead
  2. Pingback: The easy make-ahead spicy artichoke dip your guests will inhale
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  4. This looks super tasty!! I can’t wait to give it a try! It’s all delicious ingredients 🙂

5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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