This incredibly flavorful cream cheese dip is easy to mix by hand. It's ready in about ten minutes!
It gets its wonderfully smoky flavor from the addition of smoked paprika and bacon bits.
Dips make such a wonderful appetizer or snack. They're certainly the perfect way to entice picky eaters to eat their vegetables!
They can be fairly complex and require baking in the oven, or they can be super simple and easy like this cream cheese dip that is literally ready in ten minutes (pimento cheese is another good option if you want something quick and easy).
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this cream cheese dip. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Cream cheese: Make sure to use a block of cream cheese and not a tub of "cream cheese spread."
Sour cream: I'm often asked if reduced-fat sour cream is OK. It is, but it's not recommended. The best flavor and texture come from full-fat ingredients.
Dijon mustard: This thick and creamy French mustard adds tang and saltiness to the dip.
Spices: I use garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper.
Cheese: Shredded sharp cheddar adds texture as well as flavor to the dip.
Bacon bits: These add a wonderful smoky flavor and saltiness.
This is such an easy recipe. The detailed steps are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview:
- Your first step is softening the cream cheese in the microwave. I find that 10 seconds per side works well. You want it very soft so that it will be easy to mix by hand.
- Now, place the softened cream cheese in a medium bowl and use a spoon or a rubber spatula to stir it. This serves to soften it further and it also aerates it, making it fluffy.
- Add the sour cream, Dijon mustard, and spices. Mix well.
- Add the shredded cheese and mix until fully combined. This will take a couple of minutes.
- Now, mix in the bacon bits. That's it! The tasty dip is ready.
- Since we're not going to heat the dip and melt the cheddar, it's best to use finely shredded cheese.
- The dip is excellent right after you make it and you can serve it immediately. But if you have time to let it sit and rest at room temperature for 30 minutes, it will be even better, because the flavors will have a chance to meld.
Frequently asked questions
That's actually not recommended. Greek yogurt has less fat and more tang. This dip is tastier when made with sour cream.
There's no need for added salt. The ingredients add plenty of saltiness. But you can always taste and decide for yourself.
I serve it cold. But you can bake it and serve it as a hot dip. Bake it in a small 1-quart baking dish until the cheese is melted, about 20 minutes in a 350°F oven.
I love this recipe as is and almost always make it as written. But in case you'd like to vary the basic recipe, here are a few ideas for you:
- Use half mayo and half sour cream (½ cup of each).
- For a thicker, more textured dip, use 2 cups of shredded cheddar. For a thinner and creamier dip, use just 1 cup.
- Make it spicy with ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
- Try a different cheese such as gouda or smoked gouda.
- Use chili powder instead of smoked paprika.
- Use 3 minced garlic cloves instead of garlic powder.
- ½ cup of chopped chives adds flavor and color to the dip.
I almost always serve dips with fresh-cut veggies. They make the perfect vehicle for scooping up most dips. As you can see in the photos on this page, I often use broccoli florets, cauliflower florets, carrots, celery, and large cherry tomatoes.
Other veggie options include mini bell peppers, cucumber slices, and snow peas.
If you'd like to serve this dip with something other than vegetables, here are a few more options:
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 5 days. Remove the portion you're going to use and let it stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
I don't recommend freezing this dip.
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10-Minute Cream Cheese Dip
- 8 oz cream cheese*
- 1 cup sour cream (8 oz)
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 cups cheddar cheese finely shredded
- ¼ cup bacon bits
- Place the cream cheese on a microwave-safe plate. Soften it in the microwave, about 10 seconds per side.
- Place the softened cream cheese in a medium bowl. Using a spoon or a rubber spatula, mix it to further soften and make it fluffy.
- Add the sour cream, Dijon mustard, and spices. Mix to combine.
- Mix in the shredded cheese and bacon bits.
- Serve immediately, or allow the dip to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.