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.
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.
But don’t stop there. You could serve it with pretzels, french bread, or even slices of bell pepper.