Crockpot Taco Dip
This easy crockpot taco dip recipe is made with a short list of pantry ingredients, and is perfect for parties, holiday gatherings, gameday, or anytime you need to feed a crowd.
About this Recipe
Whether it’s for gameday, the holidays, an impromptu get-together, or just a weeknight-in, trust me when I say that you NEED this easy crockpot taco dip in your life!
Since it comes together as an easy slow cooker recipe, it’s one of my go-to appetizer recipes to make anytime I need to feed a crowd quickly & easily.
I make mine with hearty ground beef, diced tomatoes, cream cheese, shredded cheese, and Mexican-inspired spices for a super satisfying, flavorful creamy, cheesy dip.
My family loves it served with just some corn chips on the side, and topped with chopped green onion & fresh tomatoes, but there’s tons of other fun ways you could use it.
It’s honestly perfect for the holidays (hello easy Thanksgiving appetizer!), and I love making a big batch for watching the big game.
Tip: This easy appetizer is great for a chips & dip bar, to up-level any taco salad, for an over-the-top baked potato bar, for loaded homemade nachos and more!
Process & Tips
This beauty of this easy slow cooker recipe is that it uses super simple ingredients (including plenty of pantry staples!) for super simple prep.
All you have to do is quickly brown your ground beef in a hot pan and season with some spices.
Then transfer the spiced taco meat to your slow cooker, add in your diced tomatoes, cover and let the crockpot work its magic.
At the very end you mix in your cream cheese & shredded cheese and add a little lime juice and hot sauce to really amp up all the flavors.
And just like that you’ve got a tasty, cheesy taco dip that’ll have everyone going back for seconds!
Tip: I tested this recipe with both traditional and dairy-free cream cheese and cheese. Both work equally well, so if you want to make this dairy-free, just be sure to use dairy-free cream cheese and dairy-free cheese!
Fun Ways to Serve This Dip
Make a chips and dip bar: Serve the warm taco dip alongside some fresh guacamole, tomato salsa, and 7-layer dip for a super festive party spread to feed a crowd.
Make taco dip stuffed potatoes: Serve over baked potatoes with extra shredded cheese on top, for a fun and filling meal.
Make the best nachos ever: Add corn chips to a sheet pan, ladle over the warm taco dip, then pop under the broiler for a few minutes. Serve with any additional toppings you like. Yum!
Make a taco salad: Allow the dip to cool a bit, then add a few heaping spoonfuls to the top of some crisp romaine lettuce, then layer with sliced tomatoes, cilantro, black olives, and some crumbled chips on top.
Ingredients & Modifications
Ground beef: I used lean ground beef but the type of ground beef is up to you, either a 95% lean ground beef or traditional 80% lean ground beef will work. The extra fat from an 80% lean ground beef will lend extra flavor but you may want to drain a little of the extra grease from the pan before adding to your slow cooker.
Ground cumin: I love the earthy flavor that cumin adds to this dip, and it pairs particularly well with the hearty ground beef.
Garlic powder: I love the ease and convenience of using granulated garlic powder in this recipe, but you could also use fresh minced garlic in its place if you prefer.
Mild chili powder: The chili powder (along with the garlic powder and cumin) is the base for the taco dip spices & flavors. Mild chili powder doesn’t add much heat to your recipe but does add lots of flavor.
Diced fire roasted tomatoes with green chilis: I love the extra flavor that the canned fire roasted tomatoes with green chilies add to this soup. For a completely mild version, replace the tomatoes with green chilis with regular diced tomatoes.
Cream cheese: You can use either traditional or dairy-free cream cheese, both will work great in this recipe. Wait to add it until the end, the heat from the dip will melt it fully and create such a creamy, delicious texture.
Shredded Mexican cheese blend: This is typically a blend of four cheeses – including Monterey Jack, Cheddar, Queso Quesadilla and Asadero cheeses. So it’s a great shortcut ingredient. You could also use just all of one type of cheese that you like, for instance all Monterey Jack cheese. Or even a dairy-free cheese.
Lime juice: Don’t skip the lime juice, as it adds a much needed acid to “wake up” the flavors at the end of the long cooking time. You could also use fresh lemon juice in its place.
Hot sauce: I love the little bit of heat and acidity that hot sauce adds to this recipe. If you like things more on the spicy side, add more hot sauce to taste. Or simply omit it altogether if you’re sensitive to heat
Kosher salt: Look for kosher salt with the regular iodized salt at the grocery store (it has a subtler flavor). Use less iodized salt if that’s what you have on hand.
Tips for Storing Leftovers
This crockpot taco dip tastes even better the next day, so it’s a great make-ahead appetizer option!
It keeps well in the fridge for up to 3-4 days, in a sealed container.
Although I do think this dip keeps better fresh from the refrigerator, you can also freeze it in a freezer friendly container for up to 2-3 months.
Just be sure to thaw it fully, warm it up (you can use the slow cooker again for this!), and give it a good stir before serving.
More Slow Cooker Ground Beef Recipes
Slow Cooker Spicy Cabbage Soup
Crockpot Taco Dip
- 1 pound 92% lean ground beef
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 2 (15-ounce) cans diced tomatoes with green chili, such as Rotel
To Add at the End
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1 cup Mexican shredded cheese blend
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- hot sauce to taste
Optional Serving Suggestions:
- Corn chips, chopped green onion, chopped tomatoes
- Heat a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add the beef, breaking apart with a spoon. Sprinkle with cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, and ½ salt, stirring to combine. Cook until browned, about 5 minutes.
- Drain any excess grease, then carefully transfer the cooked beef mixture to a 6-quart slow cooker. Add the diced tomatoes with green chili and ½ teaspoon salt, string to combine.
- Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours, or low for 4-5 hours, or until the beef is very tender.
- Add the cream cheese and cheese, stirring until melted and well incorporated. Add the lime juice and stir again. Taste and add additional salt or hot sauce if desired.
- Turn the slow cooker to warm and serve. If making ahead, store the cooled tip covered and refrigerated for 3-5 days. To serve, add back to the slow cooker, and reheat on low for 1-2 hours.
Made this as a Thanksgiving day snack for my family. I expected to take some home with me, but no luck! It went SO quickly, and to rave reviews. It was a relief having such an easy, delicious snack to put out during the daytime. It’s already been requested for next year’s pre-dinner spread!
Love that, Jennifer! So happy to hear it was a hit and an easy one at that!
I no longer have a slow cooker, do you think it would work in a dutch oven in the normal oven?
I haven’t tested it, but you could definitely give it a try. If you test it out let us know how it turns out!
Was wondering if this is possible to make with vegan meat crumbles (quorn brand) or if it could be made with ground chicken or ground turkey? Hoping to make a vegan version for a family member and a beef alternative for some non beef eaters.
Yes, it will definitely work with ground turkey or ground turkey! I haven’t tested with vegan meat crumbles, and am not as familiar with how they’d hold up in the slow cooker. I think you could just saute, then add the the slow cooker with the tomatoes and warm for 30-60 minutes on high before adding the vegan cream cheese and cheese. If you give it a try let me know how it turns out!