With just a few ingredients and less than 10 minutes, you can turn a block of cream cheese into one seriously savory, delicious dip. This easy Cream Cheese Dip made with salsa, taco seasoning, and freshly grated cheese is rich, creamy, and sprinkled throughout with amazing Tex-Mex flavor!
This quick and easy dip recipe is a great last-minute contribution to any potluck party but works just as well for a make-ahead party appetizer. Serve alongside tortilla chips or Fritos and watch it disappear!
HOW TO MAKE CREAM CHEESE DIP WITH SALSA
- Grate the Cheese
- Mix Up the Cream Cheese Base
- Add Salsa and Cheese
This Cream Cheese Dip is so seriously easy to make, it requires only three tiny steps. The first of which is grating the cheese.
CAN I USE PRE-SHREDDED CHEESE INSTEAD?
If you’re wondering whether or not it is worth your time to grate fresh cheese over buying pre-shredded, packaged cheese, the answer is yes — it totally is. Freshly grated cheese has a softer texture and better flavor. You really can taste the difference.
However, if you are in a pinch for time, of course, feel free to sub in 1 1/2 (8-ounce) packages of good, high-quality pre-shredded cheese.
THE CREAM CHEESE BASE
The cream cheese base consists of cream cheese (no surprise there), taco seasoning, and tomato paste. The tomato paste is optional, although it does give a seriously savory boast of tart and tangy tomato flavor to the dip!
You’ll mix together room temperature cream cheese, taco seasoning, and tomato paste until the mixture appears very smooth and creamy. A handheld mixer on medium-high speed will make very quick work of this task!
Once you’ve got your cream cheese looking good, you can move on to the add-ins!
ADD THE SALSA AND CHEESE
Lastly, add the salsa and mix until smooth. Then, add the cheese and you can serve it as-is or refrigerate the Salsa Cream Cheese Dip until party time!
LOVE SALSA? YOU’LL LOVE THESE RECIPES TOO!
INGREDIENTS FOR CREAM CHEESE DIP
Cream Cheese | The most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to the cream cheese for this dip is that it must be at room temperature in order to smoothly blend with the other ingredients. Note that if you have softened your cream cheese in the microwave and it overheats, it could develop a curdled look if it comes into contact with cold salsa!
Taco Seasoning | For ease and convenience, taco seasoning is a great option for adding extra Tex-Mex flavor to your dip! Don’t have any? Check the spice cabinet and see our alternative option below!
Tomato Paste (Optional) | As mentioned above, the tomato paste is optional but it does add a nice balance to the dip and an extra pop of tomato flavor that you won’t get from the salsa alone.
Salsa | As far as the salsa goes, it is best for this recipe to use a thin salsa over a chunky salsa. My personal favorite is Mateos Gourmet Salsa.
Grated Cheese | This recipe calls for a freshly grated mix of both Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese. As mentioned above, if you’re in a pinch for time, sub in a good-quality, pre-packaged Mexican cheese blend.
SPICE SUBSTITUTION FOR TACO SEASONING
If you don’t have a packet of taco seasoning but have a cabinet full of every other spice, you could use the following spice blend instead: 1 teaspoon of cumin, 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1 teaspoon paprika, and a pinch of salt. And, boom — homemade taco seasoning, made in a pinch!
WANT TO AMP UP THE SPICE?
As is, this Cream Cheese Dip is fairly mild and not very spicy at all. If you’d like to kick up the heat, you can add a pinch or two of cayenne pepper or simply choose a salsa labeled “spicy.”
WHAT TO SERVE WITH CREAM CHEESE DIP
There are lots of options when it comes to dippers for this Cream Cheese Dip With Salsa! Below are a few of our faves:
- Tortilla Chips
- Fritos Corn Chips
- Celery Sticks
- Bell Pepper Strips
GOT LEFTOVERS? TRY THIS!
If you end up with leftovers, put your Cream Cheese Dip to great use as a spread! Make a Tex-Mex style wrap and smear it across a large tortilla or pita and enjoy it with lettuce, tomato, avocado, and some sliced chicken or beef!
You could also use it on quesadillas! Just spread it onto two flour tortillas and add some chopped meat or veggies and warm the whole shebang in a pan on the stovetop until the cheese is warm and melty!
CAN YOU MAKE CREAM CHEESE DIP AHEAD OF TIME?
This is an excellent make-ahead dip and can be made up to a whole day in advance and kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve!
5 MORE CREAM CHEESE DIPS YOU’LL LOVE
- French Onion Dip
- Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Artichoke Jalapeño Dip
- Refried Bean Dip With Cream Cheese
- Hot Crab Dip With Cream Cheese
Cream Cheese Dip with Salsa requires just a few ingredients and less than 10 minutes to make! It’s made with salsa, taco seasoning, and freshly grated cheese for a rich, creamy dip loaded with Tex-Mex flavor!
- 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
- 1 1/2 tablespoon tomato paste (optional)
- 1/2 cup salsa
- 1 cup freshly grated Cheddar cheese
- 2 cups freshly grated Monterey Jack cheese
Add the cream cheese, taco seasoning, and tomato paste to a small mixing bowl and use a handheld mixer on medium-high speed to blend until smooth and creamy in appearance.
Add the salsa and mix until well-combined. Add the Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese and mix once more. Serve and enjoy or refrigerate until ready to serve!