overhead photo of skyline chili dip with a tortilla chip dipped halfway in

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Why I love this skyline chili dip

This chili dip – and the Cincinnati chili that inspires it – has always been a favorite of mine. The unique flavors of the chili make this creamy dip so satisfying, and it’s a great option for your game day spread.

Obviously, the original recipe isn’t dairy free, but I didn’t want to change it because I know a lot of people still rely on this recipe for the original version.

Instead, I decided to test it out and make sure it would work with my favorite dairy free alternatives. I don’t love to rely on substitutes alone, but this is one of the times that I am thankful they exist (and that they have been getting better and better over the years).

More game day recipes you’ll enjoy: / BBQ Pulled Pork Nachos / Buffalo chicken meatballs / beer brats / ground chicken burgers

skyline chili dip recipe

Here’s what you’ll need to make this skyline dip recipe


To make this dairy free, I used Earth Grown vegan cream cheese and Daiya cheddar cutting board shreds. If you have your own favorite swaps, feel free to use them.

You’ll also need some Cincinnati chili. I normally use this brand from the can, but you can totally use leftovers if you have some.

How to make chili cream cheese dip

There are two ways to make this dip, and while the original dairy-based version works really well in the oven, I have started making this dairy free version in the microwave. I find that the vegan cheese shreds just melt better in the microwave, so I have decided to embrace it.

To make it in the oven: Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Spread the cream cheese evenly on the bottom of your dish and cover with a layer of chili. Top with cheddar shreds and bake for about 10 minutes.

In the microwave: Simply cover the dish with something microwave safe, and heat at full power for about 3 – 5 minutes, or until all layers are heated through.

hand holidng a tortilla chip that has been dipped in skyline chip dip

FAQ’s and tips for making skyline dip

What makes Cincinnati chili different?

The difference is in the way that the meat is cooked. Cincinnati Chili has a thinner consistency and the flavors are different as well. It’s more savory and less spicy than traditional chili and is very unique.

How long does Skyline Chili Dip last?

If left covered in the fridge, you can expect your dip to last up to 4 days and still taste great. 

Can I freeze chili cheese dip?

You can freeze your dip in an airtight container for a longer storage solution if you can’t eat it fast enough after it’s been made. Just thaw it out and warm it up to safe temperatures again before eating.

Can I make this recipe dairy free?

Yes you can! Just substitute the cream cheese for a dairy free version that you enjoy and use dairy free cheese as well.

dairy free cream cheese chili dip recipe

More chili recipes like this one

More dip recipes to try


Skyline Chili Dip

If you’re looking for a delicious skyline chili dip recipe to bring to the super bowl parties look no further. This chili dip with cream cheese is a simple 3 ingredient appetizer or snack you can quickly make in the oven. Serve with chips and enjoy! #appetizer #superbowl

  • Author: Melissa Belanger
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 16 servings 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


  • 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened*
  • 1 7-ounce bag cheddar shreds*
  • 2 10-ounce cans Cincinnati-style chili


  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F (180˚C).
  2. In a large baking dish, spread cream cheese in an even layer. Add the chili in an even layer and top with cheddar shreds.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes or until edges are bubbling.
  4. Serve with tortilla chips

OR Cover and microwave for 5 minutes


*Use vegan for dairy free. See our favorite dairy free substitutes for recommendations.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 150
  • Sugar: 0.4 g
  • Sodium: 362.8 mg
  • Fat: 11.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 6.7 g
  • Trans Fat:
  • Carbohydrates: 9.6 g
  • Fiber: 0.2 g
  • Protein: 3.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 7.8 mg

Keywords: dairy free, chili dip, cincinnati chili, dairy free dip, dairy free appetizer, 3 ingredient

Last Updated on November 12, 2021 by Melissa Belanger

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