Creamy Cheesy Bean Dip
How to make refried bean dip that’s ultra creamy, perfectly spiced, and the perfect dip for tortilla chips or vegetables. Use canned or homemade refried beans, cheese, spices, and sour cream to make this crave-worthy dip! Jump to the Cheesy Spiced Bean Dip Recipe or watch our quick recipe video showing you how we make it.
Watch How to Make the Recipe
How to Make Cheesy Bean Dip
This dip made with refried beans really cannot get much simpler. When we have them on hand, we love starting with homemade refried beans. Here’s our simple recipe that shows you how to make them using dried beans or using canned. They are so flavorful and creamy! You can use pinto beans or black beans to make them.
When we don’t have homemade beans on hand, we go for canned refried beans. While the creaminess and flavor isn’t as good as homemade, the canned beans do make this bean dip recipe come together fast.
The rest of the ingredients are simple. I prefer fresh onion and garlic, which I quickly cook in a little oil and a variety of flavorful spices before stirring it into the dip. To add even more flavor I add a good amount of salsa and a can of green chilies. To make it ultra creamy, I stir in both sour cream and cream cheese.
This cheesy bean dip is best when served warm so I bake it in the oven until heated through. Since we do bake it, I always add some extra cheese to the middle and on top of the dip. This way, every scoop of bean dip gets a bit of cheese.
You can serve the bean dip as is or do what we did in our photos and add a handful of diced avocado, tomato, and cilantro.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make bean dip ahead of time?
Yes, absolutely. Make the dip as directed in our recipe below, and then add the dip and cheese to a baking dish. Cover the dish, and then refrigerate up to 3 days until you are ready to bake.
Can I make bean dip in the slow cooker?
Yes! Cook the onions, garlic and spices as directed in the recipe below, and then add them along with the remaining bean dip ingredients to your slow cooker. Stir until well combined, and then cook on LOW for 2 to 3 hours or until the cheese is melted and the dip heated throughout.
Can I make this bean dip vegan?
Yes! Make sure that you use vegan friendly refried beans and use vegan substitutes for the sour cream, cream cheese, and shredded cheese. Instead of vegan shredded cheese (I am not the biggest fan), try stirring in 4 to 5 tablespoons of nutritional yeast to the dip to add a cheesy flavor.
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Creamy Cheesy Bean Dip
Perfect for parties, watching the game and family gatherings, this easy bean dip comes together in no time. Start with canned refried beans or use homemade refried beans to make it. If you follow our recipe for refried beans, you may want to reduce the amount of cumin since we already call for cumin in the refried beans recipe.
You Will Need
One 15-ounce can refried beans or use 1 3/4 cups refried beans, see our homemade refried beans
2 teaspoons olive oil
3/4 cup finely chopped onion (half medium onion)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
3/4 teaspoon ancho chili powder, try our homemade chili powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 cup mild or medium salsa, try our roasted tomato salsa
One 4-ounce can diced green chilies, see notes
1/2 cup (4 ounces) cream cheese
1/2 cup (4 ounces) sour cream
3/4 cup shredded cheese
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
Pinch cayenne or hot sauce, optional for spicy dip
Optional toppings: Fresh lime juice, diced avocado, chopped tomatoes, sliced jalapeño, fresh cilantro, hot sauce
Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (176° C).
Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic then cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are soft, translucent, and smell sweet; about 5 minutes. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, and coriander.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together the refried beans, salsa, diced chilies, cream cheese, and sour cream. When they are ready, stir in the cooked spiced onions and garlic.
Taste the dip, and then adjust with salt and pepper as needed. For a spicy bean dip, add a pinch of cayenne pepper or a few dashes of hot sauce.
Transfer about half of the dip to a small baking dish (see suggestions in the notes below). Scatter half of the shredded cheese over the dip then top with the remaining bean dip. Finish with the remaining shredded cheese.
Bake the dip until hot throughout and the cheese melted, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve warm with a spritz of fresh lime juice on top.
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- Dish suggestions: Most small (1 1/2 to 2 quart) baking dishes will work. We’ve also used small (8-inch) cast iron pans for baking and serving.
- For vegetarian bean dip, make sure that you use vegetarian refried beans. For vegan bean dip, use vegan refried beans, vegan sour cream and vegan cream cheese (a combination of or use just one), as well as vegan shredded cheese or substitute with 4 to 5 tablespoons of nutritional yeast for sprinkling in the middle and on top.
- Diced green chilies are sold in small 4-ounce cans at the supermarket. We love the Hatch brand and usually purchase mild.
- Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.