Happy Valentine's Day my friends!
Today, as a special treat, I'm sharing one of my favorite dip recipes that I make on the reg - pizza dip! I thought it'd be fun to do a heart-themed version, because this is such a fun recipe to make on-the-fly and share during a movie night, game night, or just a fun evening with your gal pals. Kids love it, guys love it, everyone seems to love pizza dip!
And why wouldn't you??? Hot bubbling cheese and savory sauce topped with your very favorite pizza toppings and served with something crunchy - maybe garlickly too (depends on what your evening activities involve)! This dip is so easy to put together - you just layer traditional pizza ingredients in a baking dish and bake it up! And you can make it up to a day ahead of time - maybe the night before your get-together, in the morning before work, or right before you need it.
As written with the specified ingredients, this recipe is gluten-free, kid-friendly and can be made ahead! If gluten is a concern for you, ensure the products are labeled "gluten free" so that you can be sure gluten contamination during processing/packaging did not occur.
Below are some modifications you may enjoy:
- Use a blend of cheeses for more complex flavor - it'd be really nice to incorporate some Asiago or Pecorino Romano cheese with the Parm + Mozz combo.
- Change up the toppings - my favorite piizza toppings are turkey pepperoni and jalapenos, but I think Italian chicken sausage + artichokes or Canadian bacon + pineapple would be delicious!
- Make it vegetarian - consider roasted red pepper, mushrooms, sauteed spinach, and artichokes for a satisfying meatless option.
Are you ready to make this yummy pizza dip? I’m so excited for you to try this recipe! Once you get the chance to make it, please let me know how it turns out for you! Leave a comment and rate the recipe below. This will help me with the creation of future recipes!
I’d also love to feature your creation in my weekly newsletter, so you can upload a photo to Instagram with the tag @sweetcayenne5 to be featured! Quick and easy recipe videos are available on my YouTube channel, and lots of menu inspiration on my Pinterest boards.
- 8 ounces (1 package) reduced fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1 ½ cups freshly-grated, block-style, part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
- 1 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese, divided (use a fine grate)
- 1 cup of your favorite pizza or marinara sauce (Rao’s is amazing!)
- ½ teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 30 slices turkey pepperonis (I like Boar’s Head brand; substitute with Italian chicken sausage, Canadian bacon, salami, or just do veggies)
- ⅓ cup each of sliced banana peppers, jalapenos, and pitted green olives (or whatever jarred veggies you like - sun-dried tomatoes, pepperoncinis, black olives, artichokes, etc)
- Pita chips, pretzel thins, toasted garlic bread rounds, or veggies for dipping
- Preheat oven to 375℉. Spray a 9-inch baking or pie dish with cooking spray.
- Use an offset spatula to spread the softened cream cheese over the bottom of the dish.
- Sprinkle ¾ cup of the mozzarella over the cream cheese, followed by ½ cup of the parmesan.
- Evenly spoon the pizza sauce over the cheeses, then sprinkle the Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper on top.
- Sprinkle the remaining ¾ cup of mozzarella and ½ cup of Parmesan over the sauce.
- Top the cheese with pepperonis, banana peppers, jalapenos, and olives (or whatever you are using). I like to do the pepperonis in a heart and place the veggies in the corners - that way if someone doesn’t like a particular topping, they can just stick to portions they like!
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until the top is golden and cheese is bubbly. Serve piping hot with pita chips, veggies, etc.
- Store leftover dip in the refrigerator for up to a week. Reheat gently in the microwave for about a minute, covered.