3-Ingredient Southwestern Dip

published Dec 13, 2023
3-Ingredient Southwestern Dip Recipe

Combine sour cream, salsa, and cheese for an easy dip everyone will love.

Serves8 to 12

Makes3 cups

Prep5 minutes

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Overhead shot of southwest dip in a shallow white bowl with tortilla chips surrounding it.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: Ben Weiner

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In 1963, my family and I moved from Alabama to Arizona. It was a huge change in climate, work, and school for our son, and in many ways, it also proved to be a food culture shock. I was a young mother from New York State who had grown accustomed to Southern cooking; now I was learning about Southwestern-influenced food.

We lived close to Arizona State University, and with football games a walk away, I soon began inviting couples to our home for hors d’oeuvres pre-game and potlucks afterward. I acquired the recipe for my favorite dip from a friend during these years. Because I was a working mom, I appreciated how quick it is to mix together and the simplicity afforded by the three ingredients: I usually have the sour cream, cheese, and salsa . I have served this dip with chips, but it is also tasty with veggies such as carrot and celery sticks, broccoli and cauliflower bites, and jicama slices. And it keeps very well in the fridge for a few days — if there are leftovers!

My two daughters, both born in Arizona, remember the dip recipe, but it has been in our family for so many years they don’t recall exactly when I first served it. I’ve taken it to tailgate parties and potluck dinners; they both have made it on many occasions for their family special events. My family every year, and Christmas Eve dinner at my daughter’s is Mexican food. This year as usual I plan to bring my Southwestern dip with a tray of vegetables and chips.

3-Ingredient Southwestern Dip Recipe

Combine sour cream, salsa, and cheese for an easy dip everyone will love.

Prep time 5 minutes

Makes 3 cups

Serves 8 to 12

Nutritional Info


  • 5 ounces

    sharp cheddar cheese (about 1 1/4 cups shredded)

  • 1 (16-ounce) container

    sour cream (2 cups)

  • 3/4 cup

    mild chunky salsa, such as Pace

  • Kosher salt

  • Serving options: corn or tortilla chips, potato chips, or crudités


  1. Grate 5 ounces sharp cheddar cheese on the large holes of a box grater (about 1 1/4 cups). Place in a medium bowl. Add 1 (16-ounce) container sour cream and 3/4 cup mild chunky salsa, and stir to combine. Taste and season with kosher salt as needed. Although it can be served immediately, it’s best refrigerated for 30 to 45 minutes first to let the flavors meld. Serve with tortilla chips, potato chips, or crudités for dipping.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftover dip can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.