19 Super Bowl Dips That Are Actually the Main Event

Philly Cheesesteak Queso
Photo: Abby Hocking

We get that the Super Bowl, for some people, is about sports. But for the rest of us, it's about the excellent snacking opportunities, and a core category is Super Bowl dips. There's nothing wrong with opening a jar and digging in, but once you realize the vast array of dips you can make yourself, including a classic Buffalo Chicken Dip and many (many!) intriguing versions of queso, you'll see why we love a good dip. We've got bubbly warm cheese dips, classic spinach dips, a a smoked bluefish option, and even a vegan pimiento cheese. Open a bag of chips, and scroll down to find your ideal party dip.

01 of 19

Queso Flameado

Queso Flameado
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 jalapeno slices if you have some on-hand.

02 of 19

Philly Cheesesteak Queso

Philly Cheesesteak Queso
Abby Hocking

F&W’s Justin Chapple combines two favorites—Tex-Mex queso and Philly Cheesesteak—to make his crowd-pleasing dip. He combines 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.

03 of 19

Bacon Guacamole

Bacon Guacamole
© Todd Porter & Diane Cu

Guacamole does just fine without bacon, but, well, if you're going to add some meat to it, bacon is definitely the way to go. This recipe adds just that little extra smokiness and saltiness, care of just three strips of bacon.

04 of 19

Creamy Spinach and Shrimp Dip

Creamy Spinach and Shrimp Dip
© Fredrika Stjärne

Vegetables just taste better when you get to dip chips in them, and particularly when they're enhanced with shrimp, like in this spinach dip. It's also one that you can make without touching the stove, a bonus if you're already juggling too many appetizers.

05 of 19

Blue Cheese and Walnut Dip

Blue-Cheese-and-Walnut Dip with Waldorf Crudités
David Malosh

Waldorf salad has many things to recommend it, but unfortunately, it's difficult to eat with chips. Luckily, that problem is solved with this dip, which you can accompany with the traditional trappings of a Waldorf, like apple slices and grapes.

06 of 19

Fancy Clam Dip

Fancy Clam Dip Recipe
Justin Walker

Using canned clams makes this dip easy to source, no matter where you live. Cream cheese and crème fraîche make this dip creamy, while the dill and hot sauce brighten everything up. This dip is best served along thick, crispy, barely salted kettle chips. Just saying.

07 of 19

Instant Pot Baba Ganoush

baba ganoush
Caitlin Bensel

If the Instant Pot you got for Christmas has been sitting sadly in the corner, now is your chance to put it into action. The pressure cooking function allows you to get the texture of a great Baba Ganoush without fussing over a grill. Plus, you can make it a couple days ahead of time, if you'd rather relax on Super Bowl Sunday than spend time in the kitchen.

08 of 19

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Buffalo Chicken Dip
© Abby Hocking

This crowd-pleasing dip from F&W’s Justin Chapple has all the punchy flavors of buffalo chicken wings. It gets its creamy texture from a combination of cream cheese and sour cream. Serve it with tortilla chips and celery sticks.

09 of 19

Queso Fundido

Bayless's Queso Fundido al Tequila
© Frances Janisch

This quick dip of melted cheese flavored with tomatoes, chiles, onions, and a hint of tequila is just the thing to satisfy a craving for something warm and gooey. The Monterey Jack cheese used in this recipe melts to a perfectly gooey texture and the chopped chiles, onion, and tomatoes give the dip texture and build on the flavor of the cheese — think of it as an amped up version of pepper Jack cheese. 

10 of 19

Achari Pimiento Cheese Spread

Achari Pimiento Cheese Spread
Victor Protasio

Farham Momim gave pimiento cheese a kick by adding Indian pickling spices to the shredded cheese, mayo, and roasted red peppers. Serve this with some crackers, between two slices of white bread, or toasted naan.

11 of 19

Caramelized Five-Onion Dip

Caramelized Five-Onion Dip

A mix of five different alliums — shallots, scallions, and sweet, yellow, and red onions — upgrades classic caramelized onion dip with layers of flavor. Taking the time to cook the onions low and slow concentrates their flavor, while adding scallions halfway through cooking keeps them just fresh enough to serve with chips, toasted bread, or vegetables like endive, steamed fingerling potatoes, and roasted Broccolini.

12 of 19

Cheddar Rillettes

Cheddar Rillettes
Greg DuPree

Unlike traditional rillettes — such as pork or duck — which rely on fat to preserve and flavor the meat, this pimento cheese–inspired version made with cheddar incorporates rendered bacon fat to create the perfect texture and lend a pleasant, smoky flavor. Sprinkle the crisp bacon on top for crunchy contrast.

13 of 19

Warm Spinach Artichoke Dip

Warm Spinach-Artichoke Dip Recipe
Justin Walker

Filled with four kinds of cheese and plenty of tender artichoke hearts, this dip is creamy with a crisp, golden top. Be sure to drain the thawed frozen spinach well to avoid excess water, which can break the cheese sauce.

14 of 19

Pico de Gallo

Pico de Gallo Salsa

Matt Taylor-Gross

Pico de Gallo, also known as salsa fresca, is a traditional Mexican dish with an emphasis on using the freshest ingredients. What sets it apart from other salsas is that the ingredients, in addition to being fresh, are raw and not pureed or pounded together. This dish is widely used as topping for tacos and burritos, and is commonly paired with grilled fish or chicken, or as a dip for tortilla chips.

15 of 19

Smoked Bluefish Spread

Smoked Bluefish Spread
Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Smoky, rich, and creamy, this delicious spread brings together luscious smoked bluefish with light and fluffy whipped cream cheese, tangy whole-milk yogurt, and a dash of acidic hot sauce and horseradish. Don't skip on chilling the dip for at least an hour; time in the fridge allows the flavors and textures to meld.

16 of 19

Vegan Pimiento Cheese

Vegan pimento cheese, served with fried saltine crackers and pickles green tomatoes
Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Food Styling by Ruth Blackburn / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Pimiento cheese is an iconic snack in the South, and beloved all over. For this vegan version, sweet pimientos stud a creamy and savory base made with extra-firm tofu. The pickle brine and apple cider vinegar lend an acidic brightness to the mixture, while nutritional yeast and miso provide deep umami notes that keep you coming back for more. 

17 of 19

Dill-Tahini Dip

Dill-Tahini Dip
Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Prop Styling by Christina Daley / Food Styling by Emily Nabors Hall

This quick, simple dip from chef Stephanie Izard  is light and perfect for summer entertaining. The tahini, soy sauce, and harissa add complexity, and yogurt makes it nice and creamy. Serve the lightly seasoned dip as a snack with vegetables or with kabobs; as a marinade for grilled meats; or as a spread for wraps and sandwiches.

18 of 19

Smoked Salmon Dip

Smoked salmon dip with crostini and white wine
Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell

This creamy, smokey dip features flaky smoked salmon two ways: half is finely chopped to add a pleasant texture to the dip alongside briny pops of capers, and the rest is pureed with the mayonnaise, sour cream, and cream cheese, lending its beautiful color and deepening the flavor. Fresh dill and chives keep the dip light while lemon juice adds brightness while also keeping the dip perfectly scoopable — no broken chips here.

19 of 19

French 75 Dip

French 75 Dip with Crudite
Photo by Huge Galdones / Food Styling by Christina Zerkis

This vegan dip offered at the Nashville bar White Limozeen was inspired by its namesake effervescent gin cocktail born out of Paris in the early 1900s. The sauce mimics the delicate flavors of the botanical cocktail by adding juniper berry and lemon to a base of aquafaba, the vegan, multi-use liquid used for canned chickpeas.

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