Cheesy Mexican Appetizer

mexican appetizer "sombreros" with cheese and salsa
Diana Rattray
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 48 servings

This easy Mexican appetizer recipe is made with bean dip, cheese, jalapeño peppers, chili sauce, guacamole, and tortilla chips. Feel free to use a little sour cream to garnish this appetizer.

This tasty dish would be perfect for any Cinco de Mayo gathering and beyond.


  • 4 dozen tortilla chip rounds (larger chips, not bite-sized)
  • 2 (8-ounce) cans bean dip (about 16 ounces total)
  • 1 (12-ounce) jar jalapeños (sliced, drained)
  • 3/4 cup picante sauce (or chili sauce, or salsa)
  • 12 slices cheese (Monterey Jack or another cheese, cut in quarters)
  • 2 cups guacamole
  • Optional: sour cream

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Heat oven to 350 F.

  3. Arrange the tortilla chips in one layer on parchment-lined baking sheets.

  4. Gently spread some bean dip on each large chip.

  5. Place a jalapeño ring or two on the bean dip. Drizzle a little salsa or chili sauce over the top and place a quarter-slice of cheese on each.

  6. Bake in the heated oven until cheese melts, about 10 to 15 minutes.

  7. Top each appetizer with a small dollop of guacamole or sour cream and add another jalapeño ring for garnish, if desired.

  8. Serve immediately and enjoy. Note that these do not store well as they will become soggy. You might consider baking these in batches so you can serve your family and guests hot, tasty appetizers, instead of cold, soggy ones.

Recipe Variations

  • Replace the bean dip with leftover chili or burrito filling with ground beef. Or use canned chili with or without beans as the first layer on the chips.
  • Large, round tortilla chips work well in this recipe, but tortilla "scoops" can be used as well. Or make the appetizers with large triangle-shaped chips.

More Mexican Appetizer Ideas

South of the border flavors liven up any party, not just for Cinco de Mayo. Baked ground beef nachos, made with taco-seasoned beef, refried beans, cheddar cheese, chopped peppers, and onions, are a great hot dip. For a cold appetizer dip, consider classic guacamole with lime and cilantro. If something a little more substantial is desired, tortilla roll-ups with olives or tortilla pinwheels with cream cheese filling are sandwich-like snacks for the heartier appetite.