This Jalapeño Cheddar Dip with Shamrock Chips is an easy appetizer that's a must for your St. Patrick’s Day spread. It's cheesy, spicy, and perfect for dipping. It comes together in minutes and is easily prepped ahead of time to cut down on time spent in the kitchen.
Everybody loves an easy-to-make appetizer, and this recipe is no exception. This spicy jalapeno popper dip comes together in no time, making a warm, creamy, bubbly dish that will keep you coming back for more! If you love jalapeno poppers, this dip is a must-try. It's a spicy dip, but if your guests aren't fans of spicy food, don't worry, you can easily adjust the heat level and make this the perfect appetizer for everyone.
One of the best things about this dip is that it's perfect for a variety of occasions. From football season, to St. Patrick's day and even summer get-togethers, everyone will absolutely love this jalapeno cream cheese dip. When buying jalapenos, be sure to look for vibrant peppers free from blemishes and white lines.
Why you’ll love it
Festive- This dish is perfect for your St. Patrick's Day feast, but it's also an excellent appetizer for any party. Jalapeno cheese dip is as shareable as it is irresistible, whether you're throwing a bash for St. Patrick's Day or enjoying the big game, You can easily switch up your dippers to fit the occasion.
5 ingredients- The dip itself has only five ingredients, making it a super simple snack or appetizer. It's a foolproof recipe regardless of how much experience you have in the kitchen, which also makes it great for potlucks. If you are a cooking novice or working on a budget, this recipe is perfect for you.
Easily customizable - The amounts of the ingredients can easily be changed to match your personal taste and spice preferences. If you're not typically a fan of spicy foods, don't worry, there's plenty of opportunity to tone the heat down and still enjoy this delicious dip.
Cream cheese- Cream cheese gives this jalapeno dip recipe its delicious smooth base. It not only provides a great flavor but also gives the dip a nice creamy consistency that tastes delicious with tortilla chips.
Greek yogurt- Greek yogurt makes the cream cheese easier to dip in but also adds a great tang. It's an excellent way to incorporate protein into the dip too! Be sure to use plain Greek yogurt with no added sweeteners.
Mayonnaise- I like to use just a small bit of mayonnaise for this dip. It gives it a little added fat and helps to keep the dip super creamy. There's a small amount in this recipe, so you can easily swap it out for sour cream or an egg-free mayo if needed.
Cheddar cheese- Shredded sharp cheddar cheese adds so much flavor to this delicious dip. Sharp cheddar contrasts the cream cheese and takes the dish to the next level. If you want to swap the cheese, just keep in mind to choose a complementary variety such as mild cheddar, Monterey jack, or pepper jack cheese. Shredded parmesan cheese, for example, has a strong taste but not necessarily one that complements the style of the dip.
Jalapeños- Fresh jalapenos give this dip its spice. In a pinch, you can use canned jalapenos or pickled jalapeños from a jar, but they can taste a little muted in comparison. If you aren’t used to chopping fresh jalapeno peppers, keep in mind that they have oil inside that can be irritating to sensitive skin, so be sure to wear gloves if there’s a chance it might bother you.
Easy Homemade Tortilla Chips- Shamrock Shape!
I love to make my own tortilla dippers for this recipe because they're so much fun and super easy! I used Mission spinach herb tortillas because they are green.
Here is the shamrock cookie cutter I used. It would have been easier with a cookie cutter that had a little thicker stem, though, so keep that in mind when choosing a cutter. You can also use a circle cutter for rounds if that's all you have on hand.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Line the sheet pan with parchment and place the shamrocks on the pan.
Brush the shamrocks lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
Bake until lightly golden brown. Watch them closely because they can brown quickly; it should take 5-10 minutes.
Brush with olive oil.
Sprinkle with salt.
How to Make Jalapeño Cheddar Dip
Making this dip is so simple; it's mixed and ready to bake in less than 10 minutes! It’s always helpful to set up your mise-en-place before beginning for a smooth cooking experience.
Be sure your cream cheese is softened. Shred the cheese and chop the jalapenos, so you're ready to add them to the dip. If you're using green chilies instead, be sure to drain the can well.
Aside from compiling the ingredients, now is also an excellent time to preheat the oven to 375 degrees and prepare a baking dish with cooking spray.
Mix the wet ingredients
In a large bowl, begin by mixing the cream cheese. It can be difficult to get lumps out of a cream cheese dip once all the ingredients are added, so be sure you're using softened cream cheese. If your cream cheese isn't yet soft, break it into pieces and microwave in 15 seconds ingredients and stir until it's smooth but not melted.
Add in the mayonnaise and greek yogurt, mixing until very smooth.
Fold in the cheese and jalapenos
Next, fold in a portion of the grated cheese, reserving some for the top of the dip. Add in the jalapenos. Mix it all together until well combined.
Season the dip with salt and pepper.
Scrape the mixture into an oven-safe casserole dish.
Top with the remaining cheese and bake until the dip is bubbling at the sides and has a light golden brown top.
- Freshly shredded cheese- Pre-shredded cheese often has a light coating of starch that keeps it from melting as smooth as fresh off-the-block cheese. While you can use either in this recipe, freshly shredded cheddar will give you the best taste and melt.
- Softened cream cheese- Softened cream cheese will work best for mixing into this recipe. Leave it out for 30 minutes to soften before you make the dip, and it will be much easier to work with.
- Use olive oil - Olive oil will help your chips crisp up in the oven. You won't need much, but using a taste-free, extra virgin olive oil is the healthiest option for brushing onto your tortillas. I wouldn't recommend substituting with a different type of cooking oil or using butter.
Substitutions and variations
Add meat- Add bulk to this dip by adding cooked, diced or shredded chicken. Try bacon that's been cooked and crumbled on top for a smoky flavor.
Heat level- If you don’t like the spice level, you can add fewer jalapeños or replace them with chopped green chilies for a mild dip. Remember, when chopping jalapenos, fully removing the seeds and membranes will lessen the heat level.
Dippers- This yummy dip will pair well with a variety of dippers. Shamrock chips are a must-have for St. Patrick's day but don't forget a colorful array of veggies, pita chips, or small slices of toasted bread for some crunch.
Customize it- Add a sprinkle of garlic powder to the cream cheese mixture. Or, if you like a crunchy topping, add a sprinkle of panko bread crumbs to the top of the dip before baking. Try topping with sliced green onions before serving for a fresh element.
Shamrock Chip with Cheddar Jalapeno Dip
- 4-6 spinach tortillas
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt to season and taste
- 1 cup Greek Yogurt
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise If you are not into mayo, definitely just omit.
- 3 tablespoons lowfat cream cheese, softened
- 1 ½ cup cheddar, grated I prefer to grate myself as the pre shredded cheese never melts as well. I also love a sharp cheddar, but use your cheddar of choice.
- ½-1 cup chopped jalapenos If you are looking for a less spicy dip, use green chilis.
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Add Greek Yogurt, cream cheese, and mayo to a small mixing bowl. I used a 4-cup measuring bowl. Mix until smooth. I used my hand mixer for this, but certainly, use whatever you are most comfortable using. Next, add 1 cup of grated cheddar and peppers. Mix until incorporated.
- Pour into an oven-safe dish. You can see from the post, my container is about 2 cups. Place in oven and bake until bubbly and lightly browned.
- While the dip is baking, start your chips. Place tortillas on the cutting board. I layered 2 tortillas together and cut them this way. Make sure and press until the cookie cutter has cut through. It will take a little wiggling.
- Put all chips on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
- Place in the same 375-degree oven as the dip. Bake until lightly golden brown. These are thin, so it won't take long. Be sure to keep an eye on them, I have burned them more times than I care to admit!
- They should both be coming out at about the same time.