17 Crave-Inducing Cheese Dips

Whether you're craving spicy queso or creamy fondue, this roundup of our favorite cheese dips has you covered.

Queso Flameado, served in an enameled cast iron skillet.
Photo: Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Food Styling by Ruth Blackburn / Prop Styling by Christina Daley

Try to name a better snack than a bowl of molten, gooey melted cheese — we’ll wait. Let’s celebrate some of our favorite ways to serve the ultimate snack. If you’re a fondue fan, we have plenty of recipes, from Gouda, Pancetta, and Onion Fondue with Pretzels to a Classic Swiss Cheese Fondue. For a little spice, there’s always Rick Bayless' simple, no-frills formula for Queso Fundido, as well as more elaborate affairs, like this layered Queso Flameado. Of course, for comfort food, it's hard to go wrong with our four-cheese Warm Spinach-Artichoke Dip. For other options, including a simple whipped feta and classic pimiento cheese, browse our collection of favorite cheese dips below.

01 of 17

Nacho Snack Dinner with Sweet Potato Queso

Nacho Snack Dinner with Sweet Potato Queso
Antonis Achilleos

This is a great idea for movie night or game night. Or, you know, any time of any day during the whole year. Smooth, creamy pureed sweet potato helps thicken this queso, while the subtle sweetness adds more dimension to the flavor.

02 of 17

Classic Swiss Cheese Fondue

Swiss cheese fondue with dippers like bread, potatoes, salami, apples
Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Food Styling by Ruth Blackburn / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Cheese fondue is said to have originated on Alpine farms as a way to feed a family inexpensively. Now, this concoction of melted cheese is a decadent way to celebrate chilly winter nights. It features melted Gruyère along with other Swiss cheese; Emmentaler, Vacherin Fribougeois, Appenzeller, and Raclette are blended in, depending on the region and personal preferences. Splashes of kirsch and wine and a bit of garlic are the traditional seasonings, but you can add a few chopped herbs, a swirl of mustard, or a spoonful of toasted spices if you like. Eat the cheese, dipping accompaniments like cubed bread, cooked potatoes, sliced apples, pears, cornichons, pickled pearl onions, and salami into the pot.

03 of 17

Spinach Maria

Spinach Maria with toasted baguette
Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Ali Ramee / Prop Styling by Christina Daley

Spinach Maria is a classic dish originating from Calhoun's, an East Tennessee barbecue joint. It's made with lots of spinach, Monterey Jack cheese, and crushed red pepper. The cheese sauce is rich with warmth from the cayenne and nutmeg, and the extra layer of melted cheese on top makes it perfectly indulgent. As tasty a side dish as this is, it's also great served as a dip with toasted pita wedges or tortilla chips.

04 of 17

Pimento Cheese with Salt-and-Pepper Butter Crackers

Pimento Cheese with Salt-and-Pepper Butter Crackers

TV chef Carla Hall makes her own crunchy crackers to serve with her cheese spread, a riff on a Southern classic. While the butter crackers are highly recommended, use store-bought saltines and celery sticks if you’re tight on time. For a fantastic vegan version of this dish, find a recipe here.

05 of 17

Walnut Pesto and Goat Cheese Dip

Walnut Pesto and Goat Cheese Dip, topped with diced avocado and served with trimmed radishes, young carrots, and celery sticks.

William Meppem

For this delicious and easy cheese dip, toasted walnuts are blitzed in a food processor and combined with chèvre, shallots, and watercress. Diced avocado adds an extra layer of creamy richness on top.

06 of 17

Corn Queso Fundido

Overhead view of a half-eaten skillet of Corn Queso Fundido

Chris Court

F&W's Justin Chapple uses frozen sweet corn, poblano chiles, onions, and garlic to create this cheesy, slightly spicy dip. Half of the corn is puréed, which adds just enough chunkiness to the dip. For a spicier result, Chapple garnishes the queso with thinly sliced jalapeños in addition to radish matchsticks and cilantro for a freshness and crunch.

07 of 17

Whipped Feta with Cucumbers

Whipped Feta with Cucumbers, served with pita chips.

Seth Smoot

The taste of the Mediterranean shines through in this airy feta spread that's served with olive oil–marinated cucumbers. Spoon both mixtures on pita chips or toasted baguette slices. For a slightly more involved variation on this theme, try our recipe for Smoky Baked Zucchini Chips with Whipped Feta.

08 of 17

Queso Fundido

Rick Bayless's Queso Fundido, served on a tray with tortilla chips and salt-rimmed margaritas.

Frances Janisch

This classic recipe for queso fundido from Rick Bayless keeps it simple: chiles, onion, and tomato are briefly cooked in a skillet, then Monterey Jack is gradually added and stirred so that it melts smoothly and evenly. Bayless like to add a splash of tequila to the pan before the cheese, which adds earthy notes to the dip (feel free to skip this extra step if desired). 

09 of 17

The Stinker Cheese Fondue

The Stinker Cheese Fondue
© Abby Hocking

This fondue made with Taleggio, a melty, brine-washed Italian cheese, is cookbook author Liz Thorpe’s favorite. Including its rind enhances the funkiness and adds an almost bacony flavor. The recipe also calls for Époisses cheese and a floral, dry Riesling.

10 of 17

Silky Potato Fondue

A black and a white serving bowl containg Silky Potato Fondue with thinly sliced radish, carrot, and squash, as well as lettuce and endive leaves.

Con Poulos

In this recipe, David Barzelay takes his master cheese sauce recipe and incorporates potatoes, white wine, and lemon juice, resulting in a supersilky dip that holds up at the table for far longer than most fondues. This is so good that it goes with everything from crudités to Ruffles potato chips.

11 of 17

Blue-Cheese-and-Walnut Dip with Waldorf Crudités

Overhead closeup of a platter holding crudités like sliced apple and grape skewers and a bowl of Blue-Cheese-and-Walnut Dip.
David Malosh

This dip starts by toasting and chopping walnuts, then adding them to a combination of blue cheese, mayonnaise, and buttermilk to create a Waldorf-style dip. A touch of vinegar and minced shallot add a little extra savoriness and acidity. The Waldorf theme would not be complete without apple and grape crudités.

12 of 17

Aged Gouda Fondue with Caraway Croutons

Closeup of a cheese-blasted caraway crouton being lifted above a bowl of Aged Gouda Fondue.

Ryan Robert Miller

"My friend Natalie's mother, who lives in Amsterdam, brings me aged Gouda each year," chef Barbara Lynch says. "I wanted to serve it as a fondue instead of on its own as an hors d'oeuvre." For those without an overseas cheese connection, Lynch suggests buying an eight-month-aged Gouda — "Nothing too smoky; just a beautiful, salty Gouda."

13 of 17

Gouda, Pancetta, and Onion Fondue with Pretzels

Gouda, Pancetta and Onion Fondue with Pretzels. © Quentin Bacon

© Quentin Bacon

Leyden, a Dutch cheese flecked with cumin seeds, inspired Laura Werlin to create this cumin-spiced Gouda fondue. Serve it with soft, warm pretzels or pickled vegetables for dipping.

14 of 17

Philly Cheesesteak Queso

Philly Cheesesteak Queso
Abby Hocking

F&W’s Justin Chapple combines Tex-Mex queso and Philly Cheesesteak to make his crowd-pleasing dip. He mixes provolone and white American cheeses to form a gooey base for sautéed peppers, onions, and thinly sliced rib-eye steak. Justin recommends serving this dip with toasted slices of hoagie rolls, but tortilla chips are just as delicious.

15 of 17

Achari Pimiento Cheese Spread

Achari Pimiento Cheese Spread, served on a platter with toasted naan.
Victor Protasio

Chef Farhan Momin gave this Southern staple a makeover by incorporating his mother’s classic Indian pickling spices into the cheese mixture. Serve this with some crackers, between two slices of white bread, or with toasted naan.

16 of 17

Queso Flameado

Queso Flameado, served in an enameled cast iron skillet.
Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Food Styling by Ruth Blackburn / Prop Styling by Christina Daley

In this irresistible snack, charred poblano pepper and pureed cilantro and serrano chiles serve as a built-in salsa, layering spicy, garlicky flavors into the rich, melted cheese. Flaming it with tequila makes the whole thing a little extra. The pickled carrots on top add acidity and brightness; feel free to substitute pickled jalapeño slices if you have some on-hand.

17 of 17

Warm Spinach-Artichoke Dip

Warm Spinach-Artichoke Dip and slices of toasted baguette.
Justin Walker

This luxe version of the classic features four kinds of cheese, plenty of tender artichoke hearts, and a crisp, golden top.

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