There’s nothing fancy about this easy taco dip, but it will take you just a few minutes to put together and will likely be the hit of the party. With just five ingredients, all of your friends will be asking for the recipe!
I’ve learned that sometimes the easiest things can be the biggest hits. And when you’re planning a party, any dishes you can put together that will save you stress and be party hits are must-makes.
I’ve been making this simple taco dip ever since high school when my mom got sick of making it for my get-togethers and started having me do it myself. That means I’ve been making it for approximately 80 billion years. Which is a long time.
It’s not one of those crazy 7-layer dips, but it’s incredibly easy and absolutely delicious and seriously makes the crowd go crazy. It’s simply cream cheese, salsa, cheese, lettuce, and olives all thrown together in a pie dish. It really doesn’t get much easier than that.
And I seriously have never made anything that people go so wild over. I often feel guilty when people rave about it because it takes about 5 minutes to make and literally a child could do it.
Sometimes I wonder if people really like me or if they’re just inviting me to their parties for the taco dip!
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
You'll love this recipe for two reasons... Because it's so easy to put together and because everyone you serve it to will be obsessed with it.
Bring it to parties, serve it for a Super Bowl snack, or just make it for you and your family.
In any case, if you need a staple party recipe in your arsenal, this is it.
An easy taco dip needs to have simple ingredients, right? And this one definitely does!
Here's everything you need for the recipe (be sure to view the recipe card at the bottom of this post for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions):
- Cream cheese
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Shredded lettuce
- Sliced black olives
I also recommend serving with a big bowl of tortilla chips.
🌮 How to make easy taco dip
Ready to see how easy this taco dip is? It’s just a few simple steps!
Spread cream cheese on the bottom of the pie plate. And then spread the salsa over the top.
Next up- sprinkle the cheddar cheese over the salsa and top it all with shredded lettuce and sliced black olives if you’re using them (they’re easy enough for the haters to pick out!).
And you’re done! That literally took 5 minutes and that’s only if you’re a slow cream cheese spreader. You can make this easy taco dip a day ahead and keep it in the fridge.
When you’re ready to serve it, just make sure you take it out of the fridge about 15-20 minutes before enjoying as you’ll want the cream cheese to soften a little bit to prevent broken chips.
🎉 Variations on recipe
Though I think this taco dip is perfect as is (and as easy as could possibly be!), there are plenty of alternations you could make to it. Some will add a little time to the prep, but it's always fun to mix things up sometimes.
Here are some recommendations:
- Add ground beef, ground turkey, or shredded chicken: Simply sauté ground meat with seasonings, drain the oil, and add a layer of it over the cream cheese.
- Add black beans or beans of your choice.
- Add a layer of guacamole or diced avocado.
- Change up the cheese: I use shredded cheddar, but you could use Monterey Jack or pepperjack or your favorite cheese.
- Add jalapeños: If you're looking for a bit more of a kick, mix diced jalapeños into the cream cheese before spreading.
- Add veggies: Mix in diced tomatoes, bell peppers, or onions for added nutrition and crunch.
- Add a layer of sour cream to make this similar to a 7-layer dip.
- Add garnishes: Top the dip with fresh cilantro, scallions, or a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
In case you're wondering, my favorite salsa to make this taco dip with is Newman's Own Habanero Hot Salsa, which is seriously the best salsa in the world. And it's really not that spicy. I have friends who greatly dislike spicy food, and I've never had a complaint about this.
Just be careful not to make the mistake I've made before and use peach salsa (the jars look way too similar). Unless of course you enjoy peach salsa in your taco dip. Then, by all means, go crazy. Luckily, this is such an easy taco dip to make that if you mess anything up, you can make another one in no time at all.
⏲️ How to prepare ahead of time
You can certainly make this easy taco dip ahead of time! In fact, sometimes that's better to do because then all of the flavors will have time to meld together and become even more delicious.
I wouldn't make it any longer than a day ahead of time, but if you need to, I'd wait to add the lettuce and olives.
Once your taco dip is made, wrap the dish tightly with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge.
Remove from the fridge about 15-20 minutes before serving to let the dip come to room temperature a bit.
For the purposes of this taco dip, simple tortilla chips are fine to serve with it since it's all about the dip here.
Since this easy taco dip is ideal for football watching and Super Bowl parties, I feel it's only right to include a shoutout to the Patriots team for making it to the 2018 Super Bowl.
You should also know that the first time I wrote this post, it was 2008 and the Patriots were also in the Super Bowl. And they sadly lost. And Chels and I ate this taco dip while crying over the game. I cannot even believe that was ten years ago. But that just proves this taco dip stands the test of time!
🥳 More easy dip recipes
Though I don't think it gets any easier than this easy taco dip, I have plenty of party dip recipes that are simple to make and perfect for all kinds of gatherings, including Super Bowl parties! Here are some of my favorites:
- Bacon White Pizza Dip
- Caramelized Onion Goat Cheese Dip
- Spinach, Onion, and Bacon Dip
- Greek Taco Dip
- Bacon Blue Cheese Spinach Dip
- Beer Cheese Dip (from The Cozy Cook)
- Cream Cheese Cranberry Dip (from Julie's Eats and Treats)
If you're looking for simple appetizers that your party guests will love, I highly recommend this easy taco dip. But be aware that once you make it, you'll be bringing it to parties for life.
Just make sure nobody ever figures out how easy it is to make or else they'll be asking you to bring something else, too. It can be our little secret.
What's your favorite easy party appetizer?
Easy Taco Dip
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup jarred salsa
- 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 cups shredded lettuce
- ¼ cup sliced black olives, optional
- Using a spatula, spread cream cheese in the bottom of a 9-inch pie dish. Top with salsa and spread to cover cream cheese.
- Sprinkle cheese over the salsa, layer lettuce on top, and top with black olives.
- Remove taco dip from fridge about 20 minutes before serving. Serve with tortilla chips.
View Web Story for this recipe.