This easy Pepperoni Pizza Dip appetizer served hot and bubbly is the whole nine yards and then some. Stretchy cheese, savory marinara, and meaty pepperonis sit atop a thick layer of cream cheese goodness. Perfect for any game day but especially the Superbowl, where dips are king!
This Pizza Dip recipe is extremely customizable. Just add a few extra pizza toppings like black olives, green bell peppers, and onion to turn it into a supreme. Throw in some cooked ground beef for a meat-lovers pizza, or add peppers and steak to turn this dip into a Philly Cheesesteak Pizza dream. You could even turn it into a Pesto Pizza dip by swapping out the marinara for pesto!
It's one of the most universally loved foods in easy-to-make appetizer form and it comes together insanely fast and with only a few, simple ingredients. Serve it up with toasted baguette slices, french bread, baked garlic toast cut into sticks, bagel or pita chips, or even breadsticks. Tastes just like pizza... or maybe even better.
HOW TO MAKE PIZZA DIP
To kick off your Pepperoni Pizza Dip you will need to get your oven preheating to 375°F and have ready either a greased, small au gratin baking dish or a 9-inch pie plate. Then, it's on to the cream cheese base!
For the cream cheese base, you will need softened cream cheese. You can quickly soften cream cheese by removing it from the foil packaging, placing it in a microwave-safe bowl, and microwaving it for about 30 to 40 seconds. You don't want the cream cheese melted, but it should not be cold or stiff. It must be smooth and pliable so the other ingredients can easily mix into it and be distributed evenly.
Transfer your cream cheese to a medium-sized mixing bowl and add in the heavy cream. In this recipe, heavy cream mellows out the tang from the cream cheese and ensures the base of this Pizza Dip bakes up with the perfect consistency!
Next, in goes shredded mozzarella cheese. It is best if you grate your mozzarella cheese right off the block. Freshly grated cheese will have both better texture and flavor! Add salt to the mixture and use a handheld mixer on medium-high speed to mix until well combined.
Transfer the cream cheese mixture to your prepared dish and spread it to the edges. Now, it's time to make a quick (and insanely delicious) pizza sauce from scratch!
To make the pizza sauce, combine tomato sauce, fresh chopped basil, a little sugar, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder in a small bowl. Stir the ingredients, pour over the cream cheese mixture, and spread the pizza sauce to the edges.
Lastly, time for the toppings! We kept the topping list simple for this recipe, but feel free to add as many as you'd like and get creative!
Our tiny topping list begins with fresh mozzarella cheese. As you probably noticed, there are two types of mozzarella cheese called for in this recipe. The first is shredded mozzarella. Mozzarella off of the block will have a lower moisture content than fresh mozzarella cheese. A cheese with a lower moisture content is ideal for the base of our Pizza Dip because it won't water it down.
Fresh mozzarella cheese is soft and creamy, melts beautifully, and is largely responsible for those incredible cheese stretches you know and love. Not to mention, it's so addictively delicious!
That said if you don't want to buy two different types of mozzarella cheese, feel free to use block cheese for both the base of the recipe and the pizza topping. Should you choose to go that route, you will need about 1 ½ cups of additional shredded cheese for the topping.
If you are working with fresh mozzarella, lay a few sheets of paper towels down on the work surface, and tear your mozzarella ball into small shreds. Place the torn mozzarella on top of the paper towels, top with another few paper towels, and gently press to absorb the excess moisture from the mozzarella cheese.
Add about ⅔ of the mozzarella cheese over your pizza sauce, then add a layer of pepperonis. Finish your Pizza Dip with the remaining mozzarella cheese and all of the Parmesan cheese. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 375°F, or until the cheese is melted and the edges are bubbly.
If you want to see some gorgeously browned edges and cheese bubbles across the top, turn your broiler on high, but be sure not to walk away! Watch closely and as soon as those brown cheese bubbles appear across the top of your Pizza Dip, remove it from the oven and cool slightly.
If desired you can top your Pepperoni Pizza Dip with a sprinkle of Italian seasoning or crushed red pepper flakes.
6 MORE DIP RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
An easy Pepperoni Pizza Dip appetizer served hot and bubbly featuring stretchy cheese, savory marinara, and meaty pepperonis on top of a layer of cream cheese goodness.
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1 ½ cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
- 1 ¼ teaspoons Kosher salt, separated
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon minced basil
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 (8-ounce) ball or log of fresh Mozzarella cheese
- 15-20 pepperoni slices
- ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 375°F and have ready a greased 9" pie dish or small au gratin dish.
Combine the cream cheese, cream, shredded Mozzarella, and a ½ teaspoon of salt in a medium-sized mixing bowl and use a handheld mixer on medium-high speed to combine.
Spread the cream cheese mixture across the bottom of the prepared pan and set aside until ready to use.
In a small mixing bowl, stir together tomato sauce, basil, sugar, ¾ teaspoon Kosher salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.
Pour the tomato sauce over the cream cheese mixture and spread to the edges.
Lay a few sheets of paper towels down on a work surface, and tear the fresh Mozzarella into small pieces over the towels. Lay another few paper towels over the mozzarella and gently press to absorb excess moisture.
Sprinkle about ⅔s of the fresh Mozzarella over the sauce, add pepperoni slices, the remaining Mozzarella, and all of the Parmesan.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. For browned edges and cheese bubbles, turn the broiler on high and watch closely. Do not walk away. Remove as soon as brown bubbles begin to appear across the top. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
Serve with toasted baguette slices, torn French bread, garlic toast, breadsticks, bagel chips, or pita chips.
Note, if you see any excess moisture on top of your dip after it has finished baking, you can use paper towels to dab it away.