Recipe: Healthy Chili Cheese Dip

Dips + Sauces Recipes, Snack and Appetizer Recipes

By: Deborah Murphy, MS, RD, LDN


If you are looking for a delicious game day appetizer that won’t weigh you down, this healthy chili cheese dip recipe is just the thing! Healthier swaps like lean ground turkey and Greek yogurt make this classic party appetizer a little lighter.

When you think about classic appetizers for the big game, they all seem to have one thing in common – cheese! We also love cheese around here, but wanted to lighten up our favorite chili cheese dip. This recipe uses a few different lighter swaps and uses no Velveeta – but still tastes just as good as the classic. 

With less than 10 ingredients and minimal cooking time, this homemade chili cheese dip is a great option any time you need an easy appetizer to feed a crowd during football season. Just keep some tortilla chips on hand in the pantry so you are all set to serve!

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    Ingredients You’ll Need

    healthy chili cheese dip ingredients separated in white bowls on white counter backdrop
    • Lean Ground Turkey: for a meaty dip with fewer overall calories and saturated fat content we swapped the ground beef with lean ground turkey. It still has lots of great flavor! You can also use ground chicken if you prefer. 
    • Taco Seasoning: we always keep a few packets of taco seasoning in the pantry for taco night or dishes like this dip. The spice blend adds tons of great flavor to this cheesy dip recipe. If you don’t have taco seasoning, you can make your own with a few spices like chili powder and cumin.
    • Red Onion: red onion adds a bit more flavor to the meat in this dish. You can use yellow or white onion instead. If you don’t have onion, you can use 1 teaspoon of onion powder. 
    • Black Beans: add some fiber to this dip with black beans. Use canned pinto beans, kidney beans, or chili beans if you prefer. You can omit it if you don’t like beans. 
    • Salsa: rather than canned tomatoes, add more flavor to your chili cheese dip with some salsa. Use a spicy salsa if you want a spicier dip. 
    • Greek Yogurt: rather than sour cream or cream cheese, add creaminess with less saturated fat by using plain Greek yogurt.
    • Shredded Cheese: add some of the shredded cheese to the creamy filling and sprinkle the rest over the top of this dip before baking. We use sharp cheddar cheese but you can also use pepper jack cheese or Mexican cheese.

    How to Make Healthy Chili Cheese Dip

    healthy chili cheese dip prep dual image with left side pan with browned turkey and beans right side with drop topping mixture
    • Brown the Turkey: add the olive oil, ground turkey, onion, and taco seasoning to an oven-safe skillet. Cook over medium heat, breaking the turkey up into small pieces, until the turkey is browned and cooked through. Stir in the drained and rinsed black beans and turn off the heat. 
    • Mix together the Yogurt, Cheese & Salsa: while the turkey cooks, stir together the yogurt, ½ cup of the shredded cheese, and the salsa. If using an oven-safe skillet, stir that into the cooked turkey then top with the last of the cheese. (If you don’t have an oven-safe skillet, transfer the dip filling to an 8×8 inch baking dish.)
    • Bake: add dip to the oven for 10 minutes until it is bubbly and the cheese on top is melted.

    Recipe Tips

    Topping Suggestions: before serving, garnish this easy chili cheese dip with chopped tomatoes, fresh cilantro, chopped avocado, green onions, or red onion. Sliced black olives or pickled jalapeno also make great topping options.

    Make it Spicy: add heat by mixing in some cayenne pepper or chopped jalapeno before cooking. You can also add a few dashes of hot sauce before serving. 

    Dipping Options: serve with your favorite kind of tortilla chip, corn chips, or scoops for dipping. You could also use this as a topping for hot dogs, baked potatoes, or nachos. 

    Make it Vegetarian: use a plant-based ground beef alternative like Beyond meat instead of the ground turkey OR you could also skip the ground turkey and use a can of vegetarian chili instead.

    Storage

    • Fridge: allow this homemade cheesy chili dip to cool and then transfer to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
    • Freezer: put dip in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating in the microwave or in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 5-7 minutes.

    What is chili dip made of?

    Most recipes for chili cheese dip call for canned chili, shredded cheese, cream cheese, and salsa. In this lightened up version, we swapped the cream cheese for Greek yogurt and used ground turkey instead of canned chili.

    hand dipping chip into healthy chili cheese dip in pan on white counter

    More Game Day Recipes You’ll Love

    Ingredients

    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 3/4 lb lean ground turkey
    • ½ red onion, chopped
    • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
    • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
    • 1 cup Greek yogurt
    • ⅔ cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
    • ⅓ cup salsa

    Directions

    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
    2. Add olive oil, ground turkey, onion, and taco seasoning to an oven safe skillet over medium-high heat. Saute until turkey is cooked through and then stir in the black beans; cook another 1-2 minutes and set aside.
    3. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the greek yogurt, ½ cup of the shredded cheese, and salsa. Stir the yogurt mixture into the ground turkey mixture in the skillet. Top with the remaining shredded cheese and bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the dish is bubbly.
    4. Serve warm with tortilla chips or chopped veggies for dipping.

    Nutrition Information Per Serving

    Calories: 280

    Protein: 28 gram(s)

    Fat: 6 gram(s)

    Carbohydrates: 35 gram(s)

    Fiber: 11 gram(s)

    Sugar: 8 gram(s)

    Rate this Recipe

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    5 Comments


    on Reply

    Krissie sounds like a lot of fun at a party.


    on Reply

    Agreed, Chris! You do a great job and thanks for all of these wonderful recipes and tips. Much appreciated.


    on Reply

    Thanks for the catch! We made the update :)


    on Reply

    This is NOT healthy with dead turkey carcass. And yogurt made from deadly cow's Milk - Another very unhealthy source. Seriously, please check the chemicals and cholesterols added to this meal with the aforementioned products. A plant based diet is a healthy diet. Cut out the turkey and yogurt.


      on Reply

      Hi Krissie - we think that eating turkey and yogurt can be a part of a healthy diet! If you'd like you can always choose to buy organic, which we often do, or dairy-free yogurt!




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