Spicy Tex-Mex Cheese Dip
Spicy tex-Mex Cheese Dip

I've been looking for a new make-ahead dip to serve at parties and I think I've hit the dip jackpot with this one! I tested this out over the weekend and my husband and daughter both gave it the thumbs up, literally, because their mouths were full of chips and dip at the time! It's creamy and cheese-y but with just enough kick to keep things interesting. Perfect for holiday parties and football games! 

When I was growing up it wasn't a party without some sort of dip/chip combo. Often it was the traditional onion soup mix kind (see my homemade version of that here) or my Mom's Oriental Dip. Nowadays, dips aren't all that "in", but I'm on a campaign to bring them back! And I think that once you taste this, you'll join the movement too! It's particularly yummy!!

What makes this a bit unusual is the inclusion of not only roasted red pepper but of roasted jalapeño pepper too, which adds a smokiness and depth to the overall flavor. And a little zing too! 

And like all perfect party foods this comes together easily and can be made several days in advance which can mean the difference between sanity and mental breakdown in terms of party prep!

Each dunk of dip is a real palatte wake-up call. There's the sharp cheddar cheese accompanied by mild green chiles, a light hint of lemon and of course, the roasted red pepper and jalapeno, all enrobed in a sour cream/mayo base. Totally decadent and delish! If you're still looking for something a little bit different to serve for the holidays, give this spicy, cheese-y dip a try and jump on the "let's bring the party dip back" bandwagon!!

Spicy Tex-Mex Cheese Dip

Makes about 3 1/2 cups of dip
Prep Time:  20 minutes (plus time to roast peppers, which can be done ahead and kept refrigerated)


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated (about 3 cups)
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, roasted, peeled,seeded and diced (use half if you want less heat)
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and diced
  • One 4 1/2 ounce can mild green chiles, diced
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2-3 shakes cayenne pepper

The Recipe

1.  You can roast the pepper in a few ways, either over a gas flame, in the oven or on the barbecue. To roast the red pepper over a gas flame, using a pair of tongs to hold the pepper over a high flame, rotating the pepper so that all the sides get charred and blackened. Then place in a paper bag, fold it up tightly and let cool. Remove the skin, stem, core and seeds. To roast in the oven rub pepper with olive oil. place on a baking sheet and roast in a 450ºF oven for about 20 minutes. Turn the pepper twice during baking so that all sides get charred. Remove from the oven and when cool, take off the skin, stem, core and seeds. To roast on the barbecue, turn the heat up high, brush the peppers with some olive oil and place on the grill. Turn with tongs as the outsides get charred. When done, remove from the grill and place in a bowl covered with plastic wrap to steam off the skins or inside a paper bag. However you do it, once the peppers are charred, let them cool, peel them and dice them.

2.  To make the dip, place everything in a large bowl and stir together well. Let chill for several hours in an airtight container to allow the flavors to come together. Serve with tortilla chips, crackers, assorted veggies etc.

3.  Dip can be made up to 5 days ahead and stored, chilled, in an airtight container. Give it a good stir before serving.


Note:  Recipe adapted from The Foster's Market Cookbook by Sara Foster. I toyed around with amounts and spices and left out cumin and coriander because we're not big fans of those two, but if you are, stir a little of them in. Also I omitted the lemon zest and cut down the lemon juice, because I think it was a bit too lemony with both and got in the way of the tex-mex thing.

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