This keto chili cheese dip makes the perfect party appetizer for your next party or game day! It comes together really easily and is infinitely customizable for your tastes. It’s ideal for keto-eaters and non-keto eaters alike! It’s even a home run for my kids!
The other day I was craving chili. That’s unusual for me, as I’ve never been a huge chili person. But it’s winter in Minnesota and it’s cold and I wanted something hearty.
But instead of making a regular chili, I decided to experiment with making a chili cheese dip. I figured it would be good to create something that could double as dinner or an appetizer for a party or game day.
I was totally convinced my kids would put up a fight because they hate anything remotely spicy (even though I’ve kept the base recipe here quite mild) but I underestimated the effect of eating chips with dinner. They devoured this and each ate a bigger portion than I did.
Keto Chili Cheese Dip
Traditional chili is not keto-friendly because of the beans. So we leave them out– however, I’ve heard of some people using black soy beans as a lower carb alternative.
Let’s talk ingredients. I opted to use a can of crushed tomatoes rather than diced. I did this from a textural standpoint, but crushed tomatoes are higher in carbs per can than diced. So if you’d prefer a chunkier chili or want to cut the carbs, use diced tomatoes instead.
I kept this chili pretty mild (my family is not big on spicy foods) but it would be really easy to up the spice factor.
I used all ground beef, but you could swap out half the ground beef for chorizo. You could also add a diced jalapeño or other peppers in with the onion. And while I opted not to put much in the way of cayenne pepper in ours, you can add as much as your taste buds prefer.
The spice blend I used here consists of chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, coriander, oregano, and basil. I added a little garlic and onion powder for extra flavor. And I opted to use a dash of cinnamon and a tiny bit of cocoa powder for depth. Those are totally optional, however.
Many chili cheese dip recipes call for cream cheese. Some have a layer underneath the chili and others mix it right in for a creamier chili.
I liked the idea of layers, but I wanted to make this all in one skillet (I don’t need to make extra dishes, thanks) so I decided to add little bits of cream cheese between the chili and the cheddar. This gives little pockets of creaminess that adds to the texture of the dish.
Top it with some cheddar, and pop it into the oven. I found it worked best and fastest to bake it for about 5 minutes at 400°F until the cheese melted, then switch the oven to broil to get it nice and golden brown.
I sprinkled the top of mine with sliced green onion, but you could also top with some diced jalapeño or chopped cilantro. Whatever floats your boat.
I served mine with low carb chips from my nachos recipe, but I also like these chili lime pork rinds here as well. For a lighter option, use celery sticks.
Hot and bubbly, melty, cheesy goodness right there.
This is a great option for serving at a party because you can easily provide regular chips for any guests who don’t eat low carb and everyone will be happy.
- 1 Tbsp avocado (or coconut) oil
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb (.45 kilo) ground beef
- 28 oz (794g) crushed tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- salt & pepper
- cayenne pepper to taste
- dash cinnamon (optional)
- 1/4 tsp cocoa powder (optional)
- 2 oz (57g) cream cheese
- 4 oz (113g) shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 scallions, sliced thin (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C)
- In a large oven-proof skillet, heat avocado oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent.
- Add beef and garlic, and cook until meat is browned.
- Add tomatoes and all the spices. Bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes (or longer!) stirring occasionally.
- Top chili with dallops of cream cheese, then layer shredded cheddar on top.
- Bake for 5-10 minutes, until cheese is melted. Switch oven to broil for another few minutes until cheese becomes golden brown.
- Top with green onion and serve with low carb chips, pork rinds, or veggies.
As written, this chili is quite mild. For added spice, consider replacing half the beef with chorizo, sauté diced jalapeño along with the onion, and/or add more red pepper.
If you like bell pepper in your chili, add along with onion.
For chunkier chili, you can substitute canned diced tomato for the crushed tomato.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 279Total Fat: 20.4gSaturated Fat: 8.5gSodium: 510mgCarbohydrates: 10.5gNet Carbohydrates: 7.6gFiber: 2.9gSugar: 5.5gProtein: 15.7g