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Delicious Cheese Dips (3 Varieties | Cold or Hot)

Have you ever made a cheese dip or spread that people rave about? With fresh grated cheese and 5 simple ingredients you will have not one, not two, but 3 varieties of delicious cheese dips that your friends and family will love! A simple dip that makes a big impact to a crudités platter, cracker or charcuterie board.

You can serve these delectable and hearty dips, hot or cold! Heat them up in an oven or microwave safe bowl and serve with pita chips, carrot chips, tortilla chips and crackers for hot, stringy, super tasty appetizers!

3 sensational, show-stopping, cracker hoarding dips you can make for your next pool party, backyard barbecue, holiday feast or evening soirée!

Square image with three cheese dips gruyere cheese dip, jarlsberg cheese dip and smoked gouda cheese dip on a platter with veggies and crackers.

At our local grocery store we have a Murray’s gourmet cheese section with a couple of creamy cheese dips that are out of this world!

I mean, the kind you buy the first time out of curiosity and then mysteriously find yourself with a container in your grocery basket every time you hit the store.

The kind that you can grab some crisp crackers or some carrot sticks and dig in, where you think twice about sharing with your friends and loved ones. Yeah, that’s the stuff!

Three different cheese dips in white bowls with veggies surrounding, Jarlsberg Jalapeno, Smoked Gouda and Garlic Gruyere Dip.

Over the holidays I was tinkering around with a Million Dollar Cheese dip recipe, the ones that are all over Pinterest and I think I might have stumbled upon what I think are the perfect copycat recipes for these decadent gourmet deli dips.

So friends who love Chads Smoked Gouda dip, Jarlsberg Jalapeño dip and regular Jarlsberg cheese dip from the Kroger™ chain; grab some fresh veggies and crackers and whip up these delectable dips in minutes. Oh and it makes plenty, so you won’t mind sharing with those around you!

The ingredients and steps for each recipe are very similar, but deliver delightfully different flavors.

First a few prep details so you are ready to whip together your awesome cheese dips in minutes!

How to Toast Fresh Garlic

In a heavy duty skillet (I love my small Lodge Cast Iron skillet), over medium-high heat, pour about 1 tablespoon olive oil. Once hot, toss in your finely chopped garlic (start with 2 cloves) and stir until golden, stir the entire time and don’t walk away, just takes a couple of minutes and it will burn fast!

For tips, substitutions and other ideas for toasted garlic, see recipe below.

Toasted Garlic sitting on a paper towel for three cheese dips.

BASIC CHEESE DIP MAKING INSTRUCTIONS

In a small mixing bowl, mix together your softened cream cheese (if using) and mayo. You may want to whisk or stir the cream cheese up prior to putting the mayo in, but either way you can get it pretty smooth whisking it well.

Mayo & Cream Cheese ready for whisking for hot cheese dips.

Toss in your shredded cheese(s), minced red onions or green onions, your salt, toasted garlic and bacon bits.

TIME SAVER | I love these Epic Bacon Bits, they are all natural, no nitrates or nitrites, gluten free; they hold up great and actually look like real, thick bacon! I toss the bag in my freezer so they last longer and use them for bacon emergencies. You have bacon emergencies don’t you? Tell me I’m not alone!!

Bacon Bits in a measuring cup over Shredded Smoked Gouda cheese in a larger glass mixing bowl for smoked gouda cheese dip.

Stir it all about, mixing until ingredients are combined. Now, it tastes fine right away, but I like the flavors to hang out, mingle, get to know one another; place them in a covered container and refrigerate for 30 minutes or more. 

HOSTESS TIP | Can be made a couple of days ahead of time; this will firm it up, but it becomes more spreadable as it sits out.

Aren’t they gorgeous, well I think they are beautiful because I’m pretty sure, at least in my food world that cheese takes the cake…so to speak.

Garlic Gruyere Dip | www.thefreshcooky.com

Smoked Gouda Cheese Dip

Ingredients for Smoked Gouda Dip let to right, mayonnaise, uncured bacon bits, cream cheese, wedge of gouda cheese, red onion and garlic bulb| www.thefreshcooky.com

Ingredients for Smoked Gouda Cheese Dip

  • Smoked Gouda cheese packs a flavorful punch of smokey, salty flavors in this dip.
  • Mixed with cream cheese (optional)
  • Creamy real mayonnaise
  • Toasted garlic
  • Minced red onions
  • Real bacon bits — drooling yet?
Smoked gouda cheese dip in white serving bowl with crackers and veggies nearby.

Jarlsberg Cheese Dip with JALAPEñO 

Ingredients for this amazing, slightly spicy dip! Oops, my jalapeno is missing from the photo! Trust me it’s in there.

Ingredients for Jarlsberg Jalapeno Cheese Dip L to R, Mayonnaise, White Cheddar Sharp Cheese, Jarlsberg Cheese, Uncured Bacon Bits, chopped red onions, toasted garlic. | www.thefreshcooky.com

INGREDIENTS FOR JARLSBERG CHEESE DIP

Nutty and flavorful Jarlsberg cheese is the star in this dip, along with cream cheese (optional), mayo, garlic, red onions, bacon bits, minced fresh jalapeño and a little salt. If you don’t like heat, omit the jalapeño!

White bowl full of jarlsberg cheese dip with jalapenos.

GARLIC GRUYÈRE CHEESE DIP 

Ingredients for Garlic Gruyere Cheese Dip L-R Bacon Bits, Sharp White Cheddar Cheese, Mayo, Cream Cheese, Gruyere cheese, green onions, toasted garlic.

Ingredients for Garlic Gruyère Cheese Dip

  • Slightly salty, sweet, nutty, and creamy, Gruyère shines in this dip,
  • Mixed with optional cream cheese
  • White sharp cheddar
  • Mayo
  • Toasted garlic
  • Green onions
  • Bacon bits and a little salt
  • It’s like fondue in dip form! This one is especially yummy baked (hot), but just as delicious cold.
Garlic Gruyere Cheese Dip in white bowl with little tag on naming the dip, with crackers and veggies on a platter.

Spoon a small amount into pretty serving bowls and if desired, place markers on them so your guests know what they are dipping in to.

Variations

  • Want a softer, more spreadable dip? Omit the cream cheese! Reduces the overall caloric intake as well.
  • Prefer a firmer dip, keep that cream cheese in there.
  • If you plan on baking it, I recommend keeping the cream cheese in for a smoother, creamier hot dip.
  • Also, feel free to adjust your shredded cheese up or down as different mayo’s and cream cheeses have different moisture contents.

How to use leftover cheese dips

  • Spread a little onto your next sandwich
  • Make a grilled cheese or quesadilla using the spread(s)
  • Place a dollop on top of grilled, baked chicken or fish, melt and devour
  • Place a scoop on top of a baked potato (nom!)
  • Spread onto flour tortillas and roll into pinwheels, slice for a quick appetizer
  • HEAT | Place in a shallow, oven safe dish and heat until bubbly in a 350º oven for 20-25 minutes, serve with tortilla or pita chips

Can you freeze delicious cheese dips?

You bet! I do not think they are quite as creamy and good for just dipping while cold, but if baking and using hot, or mixing into something, then yes, they are fabulous and a great way to avoid food waste!

Try these other cheesy recipes:

Sharing this week on Weekend Potluck, check it out!

Like this recipe?
Don’t forget to give it a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️star rating in the recipe below!

Square image with three cheese dips gruyere cheese dip, jarlsberg cheese dip and smoked gouda cheese dip on a platter with veggies and crackers.
Yield: 2 cups each dip

Delicious Cheese Dips (3 Varieties | Cold or Hot)

Prep Time: 6 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 8 minutes

Three variations of cheese dips, delicious hot or cold. Smoked Gouda Dip, Jarlsberg Jalapeno cheese dip and Gruyere Cheese Dip pack a flavorful punch of cheesy, creamy, deliciousness with just a few ingredients and are ready in minutes! Be sure to read the notes for some fabulous variations!

Ingredients

Toasted Garlic

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced fine
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil

Smoked Gouda Dip

  • 1-1 1/2 cups smoked Gouda cheese, shredded
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened (optional)
  • 1/2 cup (scant) real mayonnaise
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon toasted garlic
  • 1 tablespoon red onion, chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup bacon bits (homemade or store bought)
  • sea salt to taste (start with 1/4 teaspoon, taste)

Jarlsberg Jalapeno Dip

  • 1-1 1/2 cups Jarlsberg cheese, shredded
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened (optional)
  • 1/2 cup (scant) real mayonnaise
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon toasted garlic
  • 1 tablespoon red onion, chopped fine
  • 1/2 small fresh jalapeno, seeds removed, chopped fine (increase or decrease amounts based on heat)
  • 1/4 cup bacon bits (homemade or store bought)
  • sea salt to taste (start with 1/4 teaspoon, taste)
  • garnish with a couple slices of fresh jalapeno (optional)

Garlic Gruyere Dip

  • 1-1 1/2 cups Gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup sharp white cheddar, shredded
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened (optional)
  • 1/2 cup (scant) real mayonnaise
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon toasted garlic
  • 1 tablespoon green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup bacon bits (homemade or store bought)
  • sea salt to taste (start with 1/4 teaspoon, taste)

Dipping Suggestions

  • carrots, sliced
  • bell peppers, red, orange, yellow, green, sliced
  • jicama, sliced
  • cucumbers, sliced
  • celery, sliced
  • sugar snap peas
  • variety of crackers
  • tortilla chips (great when dips are heated)

Instructions

Toasting Garlic

  1. Chop desired amount of garlic, start with two cloves, more if you'd like to use in other recipes.
  2. In a heavy duty pan, over medium-high heat, pour about 1 tablespoon olive oil. Once hot, toss in your finely chopped garlic and stir until golden, stir the entire time and don't walk away, just takes a couple of minutes and it will burn fast! 
  3. Using a slotted spoon scoop the garlic out onto a paper towel to drain, cool completely.
  4. Make up extra toasted garlic and keep it in a clean, recycled spice jar in your fridge for use on salads, pastas, garlic toast, etc.

All Dip Instructions

  1. Mix together softened cream cheese (if using), mayonnaise, whisking until smooth.
  2. Add in bacon bits, red or green onions (depending on dip), toasted garlic, salt (to taste) and shredded cheese(s) (plus chopped jalapeno for Jarlsberg Jalapeno dip). Mix well until combined.
  3. May be served immediately, but flavors are better if allowed to sit in fridge for 30 minutes or more. Serve with your favorite crackers, veggies, or chips. See notes about storing, freezing and heating.

Notes

In a tightly covered container, keeps in fridge up to 7 days. If left out for more than 2 hours, discard leftovers. Freeze up to 3 months.

Tips for Freezing Dips | Some amount of separation may happen if frozen and thawed, higher fat content yields less separation. If you decide to freeze, the best use for the cheese dip(s) would be to thaw, stir in a little cream and bake until bubbly.

Substitution for Toasted Garlic |  I recently found this product at our grocery store, and it's pretty delicious; organic garlic nuggets

See post for more tips for cold dips and how to keep your hot dips creamy.

  • HEAT | Place in a shallow, oven safe dish and heat until bubbly in a 350º oven for 20-25 minutes, serve with tortilla chips

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

48

Serving Size:

2 tablespoons

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 93Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 160mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 4g

The nutritional information is estimated and may not be entirely accurate.

Did you make this recipe?

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kathleen

ABOUT KATHLEEN

I enjoy sharing easy recipes that are wholesome and delicious. I am fed by my faith, family, friends & food! Welcome to my kitchen! Read more...

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