This pizza dip is sure to be the hit of the party! Herby cream cheese is topped with marinara sauce, more cheese, and pizza toppings for a melty dip that tastes just like your favorite pizza.
It’s really no big secret that I enjoy the comfort of my own home rather than being the social butterfly. On occasion, my friends can get me out of the house to endure the rough terrain with the promise of delicious food.
One of the gatherings that my friend Brittani managed to drag me to once was loaded with all kinds of fantastic snack foods. There happened to be a pizza dip in particular that had me repeatedly heading back to the appetizer table.
It was everything that I love about pizza, from the ooey, gooey cheesiness to the rich sauce and delectable pizza toppings. The minute I ate it, I knew I needed to figure out how to create a pizza dip recipe at home.
After playing around a bit, I came to realize that this pizza dip is not only delicious, but incredibly easy! And it would be the perfect appetizer for any party or game-day spread.
WHAT IS PIZZA DIP?
Pizza dip is a savory, cheesy, melty appetizer that has all of the flavors of your favorite pizza in a dippable form.
This dip starts out with a rich cream-cheese base that is covered in zesty pizza sauce. It gets topped with pepperoni, bell peppers, onions, black olives, and – most importantly – more cheese before going in the oven to get hot and melty.
If you can’t have a party without dips, this is one you have to add to the menu. It will be right at home alongside buffalo chicken dip, spinach artichoke dip, and spicy sausage dip.
HOW TO MAKE THIS SIMPLE PIZZA DIP
This pizza dip is not only delicious, it’s easy to make and even easier to customize! Let’s talk through it.
Ingredients you’ll need
For the base of this dip, you will need:
Softened cream cheese: The base of this dip is softened cream cheese. If you forget to set your cream cheese out ahead of time, don’t worry. I’ve got some tips on how to soften cream cheese quickly.
Garlic powder, dried oregano, dried parsley, & dried basil: The cream cheese gets mixed with all of the flavors you would find in a pizza seasoning. If you want to simplify the recipe, you could replace these with 1 ½ teaspoons of your favorite pizza seasoning.
Shredded mozzarella cheese: You can’t have pizza without mozzarella cheese!
Parmesan cheese: I love the saltiness that parmesan cheese adds to this dip.
Pizza sauce: Use your favorite jarred pizza sauce or you can even swap in quick marinara sauce instead.
The place to get really creative and have fun with this recipe is in the toppings!
I like to make my pizza dip with:
- Diced green bell pepper
- Diced onion
- Sliced black olives
Don’t like those toppings? That’s ok! Use your favorites instead. Some others you might consider are:
- Cooked and crumbled sausage
- Cooked and crumbled bacon
- Sliced jalapeños
- Sliced mushrooms
- Shredded chicken
- Sun-dried tomatoes
Making this recipe
The first step to making pizza dip is making the cream cheese base.
Mix the softened cream cheese with the garlic powder, oregano, parsley, and basil. Spread this into a 9-inch oven safe dish – a skillet, pie pan, or shallow baking dish works well.
Top the cream cheese with half of the mozzarella cheese and half of the Parmesan cheese. Spread the pizza sauce on top, then sprinkle on the rest of the cheeses.
Add your toppings; in this case, evenly distribute the bell pepper, onion, pepperoni, and black olives over the top.
Bake the dip for about 20 minutes, or until the cheeses are melted and the dip is bubbly.
SHORTCUT AND MAKE-AHEAD TIPS
Short on time? No problem!
Assemble the dip in a shallow 9-inch microwave-safe dish. Cover and microwave for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the dip is heated through.
I definitely prefer baking this pizza dip, but it’s always nice to have a quick shortcut option just in case!
If you need to prep the dip ahead of time, you certainly can. Just assemble the dip, cover, and refrigerate for up to a day before baking.
If you choose to assemble it ahead of time, I would avoid putting it in a metal pan or skillet due to the acid in the tomato sauce. If you refrigerate it in a glass or ceramic dish, let the dip sit at room temperature while the oven preheats to take the chill off the dish before it goes in the oven.
I like to serve pizza dip with crostini, but it’s also the perfect dip for breadsticks!
But don’t stop there. You could serve it with pretzels, french bread, or even slices of bell pepper.
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried parsley
- ¼ teaspoon dried basil
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup pizza sauce
- ¼ cup diced green bell pepper
- ¼ cup diced onion
- 2 ounces sliced pepperoni
- 2 tablespoons sliced black olives
- Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, garlic powder, dried oregano, parsley and basil.
- Spread cream cheese mixture into a 9-inch oven-safe skillet, pie pan, or shallow baking dish. Sprinkle ½ cup of mozzarella and ½ cup of Parmesan on the cream cheese mixture.
- Top with the pizza sauce and sprinkle the remaining cheeses over the pizza sauce.
- Top with bell pepper, onion, pepperoni and black olives.
- Bake in preheated oven 20 minutes or until cheese is fully melted and bubbly.
Tuesday 7th of February 2023
Looks so good!! What do you use for the dipper part? Thank You
Wednesday 8th of February 2023
You can use anything you like! Crostini, torn pieces of a crusty bread, breadsticks, pretzels, bagel chips...hope you enjoy! Jamie
Tuesday 15th of June 2021
I have made this dip so many times, I have lost count. It is so good and there are never any leftovers. This is one of the dips my coworkers request for their birthday 'spread'. I eat low carb so I make my own pizza sauce to cut down on sugars. I serve with crostini for most people and parmesan crisps for the low carb peeps. I bake in the morning before work and we reheat throughout the day in the microwave as we graze. :) But, just like pizza it is also good room temp or even cold. You will not be disappointed! Thanks for the recipe Jamie, I should have thanked you years ago!
Wednesday 16th of June 2021
So happy to hear you enjoy the dip so much, Brenda! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving your feedback.
Sunday 20th of October 2019
I made this today for my church's appetizer pot luck. It was a hit. Even my picky eater enjoyed it.
Tuesday 22nd of October 2019
So happy to hear you enjoyed the dip, Michelle! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving your feedback! -Jamie
Thursday 9th of July 2015
I am a pizza lover myself and this dip sounds amazing! Thanks for sharing!
Thursday 9th of July 2015
It is so good, Rachel! I hope you try it soon! -Jamie
Friday 1st of November 2013
Can't wait to try this! I think I will use ricotta cheese instead of cream cheese though to keep it really Italian.
Monday 4th of November 2013
Sounds great! Let us know how it turns out! Have a wonderful day!