We have this one dip recipe in my family–a Mexican cheese dip that’s such a favorite that we make for just about every party. It wouldn’t matter if we were serving lasagna or glazed ham; we’re making this dip. Aren’t we considerate?
The recipe couldn’t be simpler…or richer: Mix 1 8-ounce block of cream cheese, 1 12-ounce bag of shredded cheddar cheese, and 1 small jar of salsa in a microwave safe bowl; microwave on high, stirring halfway, until melted, about 4 minutes. Stir and serve with tortilla chips. It’s a 5-minute cheesy miracle, obviously, but it’s not the lightest appetizer.
Now, I knew I couldn’t mess with tradition–at least not beloved recipes with only 3 ingredients that will probably be engraved on my my family crypt–so I decided to try making a new hot and cheesy dip. I wanted it to taste rich without breaking the bank calorie-wise.
So…pizza dip! Layered pepperoni pizza dip–cheesy and gooey and hot from the oven. It has all the Italian flavor of pizza: from the cheese to the sauce to the toppings. The bottom layer is cream cheese, seasoned with oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper. On top of that is a half cup of your favorite tomato sauce, then fresh scallions, basil, artichoke hearts, and olives. You finish the layering with shredded mozzarella and pepperoni, then bake until the dip is melted and gooey.
It’s a dippable pizza, friends! Grab your pita chips and dig in.
Layered Pepperoni Pizza Dip
- 8- ounce package ⅓ less fat cream cheese softened
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese 4 ounces
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup your favorite tomato sauce
- ½ cup finely chopped scallions
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil plus more for garnish
- 1 cup canned artichoke hearts packed in water, drained and chopped
- ¼ cup sliced black olives
- 12 slices turkey pepperoni
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, stir the cream cheese, ½ cup of the mozzarella, the oregano, garlic powder, and pepper. Spread the cream cheese mixture over the bottom of the prepared pie plate. Spread the tomato sauce over the cheese layer. Layer the scallions, basil, artichokes, and olives evenly over the sauce. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella over the top then arrange the pepperoni over the cheese.
- Bake until the cheese is melted and the dip is warm throughout, 18 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle with additional fresh basil and serve hot with baked pita chips for dipping.
Photography by Ashley McLaughlin Photography