My family loves chili. Who doesn’t? When I make it for my kids and husband, I keep it simple so I know everyone will eat it. But when I’m looking for appetizers for a party, I use the most convenient, most stress-less recipes I know.

My mom recently told me about an old recipe she found and made for a family gathering that was super easy to make, but everybody reallllllly dug into. I thought of it when I was trying to plan a dinner after my daughter’s kindergarten graduation that I had invited everyone to as a casual gathering but would still have to cook for during a stupendously busy week.

For this appetizer, called “Moon Dip” because of it’s apparent likeness to the surface of the moon, I used the (what I now know is gluten free!) Hormel Chili With Beans and only three other ingredients. And everybody loved it!

Spread a can or two of chili into the bottom of a square pan (or more if you’re using a larger pan or feeding a lot of people).

moon dip with Hormel chili

Scoop a container of cream cheese (can be regular or low-fat) with spoonfuls on top of the chili and place under your oven’s broiler for a few minutes until the cream cheese has softened into a delightfully squishy/melty consistency. Spread the heated cream cheese evenly over the top of the chili.

moon dip with Hormel chili

Next, smooth a layer of guacamole over the top of the cream cheese, spreading evenly, and sprinkle a layer of cheese on top of that (I used Monterey Jack but you can use any kind, really).moon dip with Hormel chili

Place the pan back under the broiler until the cheese is melted and gooey and you can’t keep your spoon or chips out of it any longer.

moon dip with Hormel chili

This “Moon Dip” won’t be pretty, but it will be popular at your next party or family gathering. (There were no leftovers at our house.)

moon dip with Hormel chili


Moon Dip with Hormel Chili

1-2 cans Hormel chili (with or without beans*)
1 container cream cheese
shredded cheese (I used Monterey Jack)


Spread the chili on the bottom of an 8×8 pan and scoop spponfuls of the cream cheese on top of the chili. Heat under the broiler (or in the microwave if you’re using a mocrowave-safe dish) until cream cheese is softened but not yet starting to brown. Smooth the cream cheese out evenly over the chili.

Spread the guacamole evenly over the cream cheese, then add a layer of shredded cheese. Heat under the broiler until cheese is melted and gooey.

Serve with tortilla or corn chips.


*Be sure and check the label if you’re making this gluten free. When I looked, the chili with beans WAS gluten free but the chili without beans was not. Ingredients can change, though, so don’t take my word for it.

Kansas Hormel Chili Nation

Take a short quiz on Hormel’s website, and you can get a $1 off coupon to try this recipe yourself. (I promise, it’ll be popular) And check out Hormel’s Facebook page for a lot more Chili Nation recipes.

Thank you to Hormel for sponsoring this post and inspiring me to try a new way to eat chili. All opinions are my own, as always.