It’s always nice to have a few appetizer recipes on hand. Whether you need some great game-day snacks, happy-hour nibbles or delicious dips to put out for an impromptu gathering, crowd-pleasing appetizer recipes are the way to go. Bonus points if those appetizers require minimal ingredients and no actual cooking to put together, like this beer dip.
With only four ingredients and a few minutes to spare, you’ll have one of the most delicious party dips that everyone will be fighting over with their chips and pretzels. And, since this beer dip is so customizable, you can make it your own with other ingredients you have on hand. Let’s get dipping!
Ingredients for Beer Dip
- Cream Cheese: Regular or reduced-fat cream cheese will work for this recipe. Just make sure the cream cheese is soft for easier mixing.
- Beer: Remember, the type of beer you choose will matter for the taste! If you want something lighter, choose a lager. For something more robust, go with a pale ale, porter or stout. Be cautious of really hoppy IPAs, which are generally floral and more bitter, as they might change the dip’s taste too much.
- Ranch dressing mix: If you can’t find a packet of salad dressing mix at the store, you could always make it yourself with our ranch dressing and dip mix recipe.
- Cheddar cheese: Not sure which bag of cheddar is considered the best? Here the best cheddar cheese brands according to our Test Kitchen.
Step 1: Mix the ingredients
In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, beer and ranch salad dressing mix until smooth and well combined.
Editor’s Tip: If your cream cheese is still cold from the fridge, it might take a little elbow grease to get the texture right. You can quickly soften cream cheese by microwaving the block for 20 seconds in five-second intervals. Or, if you have a little time, letting the cream cheese sit at room temperature for 35 to 45 minutes should do the trick.
Step 2: Add the cheese
Stir in the cheddar until evenly combined. Serve with pretzels and whatever else you like!
- Make it spicy: Add a little extra kick of flavor by sprinkling in a dash of cayenne pepper, a splash of hot sauce or even a diced jalapeno.
- Try different cheeses: You could play around with a different type of cheese in this recipe. Try a creamy Mexican cheese blend or a spicy pepper jack. You could even make up your own blend of cheese by using 1 cup cheddar and 1 cup of your creative choice. (And whichever type you pick, shred your own cheese for the best flavor!)
- Add some meat: Add some heft to your beer dip by mixing in some bite-sized pieces of cooked meat like spicy sausage or bacon. Just wait to incorporate any cooked meat until it’s cooled room temperature; if you add hot meat to the cheese, it will melt and won’t have the texture you want for mess-free dipping.
Can you make beer dip ahead of time?
Yes, you can easily make this ahead of time! The prepared dip can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three to five days. It’s perfect to prep and have ready to go once your guests come over. When it’s time to serve, give the dip a stir, then transfer it to a bowl. Let the dip sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes before serving so it softens for easier dipping.
Beer Dip Tips
What is the best beer for beer dip?
Thankfully, there’s no single best beer you need to use for a beer dip. Experiment with your favorite beer styles, and see which you prefer. The heartier the beer you pick, the heartier the flavor it will lend to the dip. Of the different types of craft beer, a pale ale, porter and stout are great picks for beer dip.
What do you serve with beer cheese dip?
This beer cheese dip is one of those appetizers that can work well for all kinds of snacking. Pretzels and crunchy snacks like crackers and chips are a given. A colorful crudités platter would also work really well. Include colorful, crisp vegetables like bell peppers, carrots, celery, cucumbers and radishes.
And, of course, to round out this appetizer, you can’t go wrong with serving beer dip alongside a few cold beers. Not sure which beer to stock up in your cooler? Here are our picks for the best cheap beer brands.