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Need a crowd-pleasing appetizer, a potluck dish, or just a family-friendly dinner? This easy pizza dip recipe is the perfect solution! Whether you’re hosting a holiday party, a New Year’s Eve bash, or a Super Bowl get-together, this simple make-ahead appetizer is always a winner.

Dipping bagel chip in easy pizza dip recipe
Table of Contents
  1. Pizza Dip is an Easy Make Ahead Appetizer
  2. Ingredients
  3. How to Make Pizza Dip
  4. How to Eat Pizza Dip
  5. Preparation and Storage
  6. Recipe Variations
  7. Tips for the Best Pizza Dip Recipe
  8. Easy Pizza Dip Recipe

Pizza Dip is an Easy Make Ahead Appetizer

After eating the leftovers for lunch at the office, Keith sent me an email with the following message: “Pizza Dip. The best recipe all year!” So, if that’s not convincing, I don’t know what is! It obviously got two-thumbs-up in our household.

While this baked pizza dip is perfect for holiday parties, football parties, or New Year’s Eve snacking, the meaty dip eats like a meal — so you can serve it to your family for supper, too! It’s not just a party food.

Browned Italian sausage in a skillet with wooden spoon

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a hot pizza dip recipe. As always, specific measurements and step-by-step instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Cream cheese: use a block of Philadelphia cream cheese that’s softened at room temperature (not a tub of spreadable cream cheese, which won’t have the right texture).
  • Grated Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese: because every good pizza dip recipe needs plenty of ooey, gooey, melty cheese. Cheddar cheese works fine in addition to the mozzarella.
  • Italian sausage: sweet, mild, or hot — any variety will work.
  • Onion and mushrooms: fresh veggies add flavor and texture to the dip.
  • Marinara sauce: or sub with pizza sauce.
  • Pepperoni: I like mini pepperoni for this dip, but you can use regular pepperoni or turkey pepperoni as well.
Cheese mixture in a glass bowl for layered pizza dip

How to Make Pizza Dip

This is an easy layered pizza dip that is packed with hearty, flavorful ingredients. It’s basically like a casserole! I’ve included the detailed directions in the recipe card below, but here’s the quick version:

  1. Brown the sausage, mushrooms, and onions. Drain off the fat.
  2. Stir together the cheese mixture.
  3. Layer the ingredients in a baking dish.
  4. Sprinkle with extra shredded cheese.
  5. Bake until hot and bubbly!
Cream cheese layer in baking dish to assemble pizza dip
Layers of ingredients for easy pizza dip recipe in baking dish before oven
Sprinkling mozzarella cheese over pizza dip
Pizza dip on baking sheet before oven

How to Eat Pizza Dip

You can either set this pizza dip out on a counter and let your party guests serve themselves, or you can spoon out individual portions onto a plate or bowl for dinner. Again, it’s a lot like a pizza casserole, so it totally works as an entree.

We like to serve the dip with toasted or untoasted baguette slices, bagel chips, tortilla chips, or pita chips.

Gray baking dish with pepperoni pizza dip

Preparation and Storage

  • Prep ahead! You can assemble the dip in advance and keep it covered in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake it for your party. Before baking, let the dish sit out on the counter and come to room temperature for at least 30-60 minutes.
  • Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
  • Freeze the assembled pizza dip before baking. If you have leftover dip that you would like to freeze after baking, that will work as well. The quality of the frozen dip may not be as good as when it was fresh, but you can safely store it in the freezer for a few months. The higher the fat content in the dip, the better it will freeze. A full-fat cream cheese dip is less likely to separate after freezing.
  • Reheat individual servings of leftovers in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.
Overhead image of easy pizza dip surrounded by bread for dipping

Recipe Variations

  • I use sweet Italian sausage, but you can substitute with hot Italian sausage for a spicy dip. You can also use turkey Italian sausage if you prefer.
  • Add other veggies to the skillet with the mushrooms and onions. Diced bell peppers, black olives, drained canned diced tomatoes, or any of your other favorite pizza toppings are great options as well! You can even use ham, bacon, or pineapple if you like those flavors.
  • Swap out the marinara sauce and use pizza sauce instead.
  • Add even more flavor to the dish with some Italian seasoning, oregano or basil, garlic powder, or crushed red pepper flakes.
Eating pizza dip with bagel chips

Tips for the Best Pizza Dip Recipe

  • For convenience, look for bulk Italian sausage. This way you don’t have to remove the casings from the sausage on your own.
  • For another shortcut, look for a container of sliced mushrooms and use frozen pre-diced onion. You won’t even have to pull out your cutting board!
  • I prefer mini pepperoni, since I don’t have to chop it before adding it to the dip. You can substitute with chopped pepperoni or turkey pepperoni as well.
  • Bake the dip on top of a baking sheet in case any bubbles over. This makes cleanup easy.
  • Use full-fat block-style cream cheese for the best texture.
Casserole dish full of easy layered pizza dip recipe garnished with parsley

More Dip Recipes to Try

Square side shot of a pan of pizza dip.

Easy Pizza Dip

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 362 kcal
Need a crowd-pleasing appetizer, a potluck dish, or just a family-friendly dinner? This Easy Pizza Dip recipe is the perfect solution!

Ingredients
  

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage, casings removed
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 1 (25 ounce) jar marinara sauce
  • 1 cup mini pepperoni or chopped pepperoni
  • For serving: bagel chips; pita chips; tortilla chips; sliced baguette rounds

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a large skillet, brown sausage, mushrooms, and onion over medium-high heat until no longer pink. Drain off excess grease.
  • In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, Parmesan, and 1 cup mozzarella. Spread ½ of the cream cheese mixture onto the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
  • Top first layer of cream cheese with ½ of the marinara sauce.
  • Top the marinara with ½ of the sausage mixture. Sprinkle ½ of the pepperoni on top.
  • Repeat layers.
  • Top with an additional 1 cup of mozzarella and additional pepperoni, if desired.
  • Bake for 20-30 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Notes

  • For convenience, look for bulk Italian sausage. This way you don’t have to remove the casings from the sausage on your own.
  • For another shortcut, look for a container of sliced mushrooms and use frozen pre-diced onion. You won’t even have to pull out your cutting board!
  • I prefer mini pepperoni, since I don’t have to chop it before adding it to the dip. You can substitute with chopped pepperoni or turkey pepperoni as well.
  • Bake the dip on top of a baking sheet in case any bubbles over. This makes cleanup easy.
  • Use full-fat block-style cream cheese for the best texture.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/8 of the dipCalories: 362kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 31gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 102mgSodium: 1954mgPotassium: 747mgFiber: 2gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 860IUVitamin C: 24.8mgCalcium: 351mgIron: 7.5mg
Keyword: easy pizza dip, pizza dip recipe, pizza dip with cream cheese
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Blair Lonergan

This recipe was originally published in February, 2013. It was updated in December, 2018.

blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

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Comments

  1. Fredregen@aol.com says:

    Looks awesome and I bet it tastes even better!!! Big hugs to you and boys. I’m a big fan of the seasoned mom. Keep up the good work.

    1. Blair says:

      Thanks, Fred! It definitely tastes even better than it looks. 🙂 Thanks for reading — I’m so glad that you can keep up with what we’re doing!

  2. Kevin says:

    Send some to Alexandria 🙂

    1. Blair says:

      You got it. After all, I believe that you have a birthday coming up…

      1. Uncle Kevin says:

        I believe that I would be very excited to try the pizza dip 🙂 That would be incredible if you made some for our party on March 9th.

  3. Megan says:

    5 stars
    That looks delicious! I’m definitely going to try it in the next couple weeks. Thank you for sharing it.

    Can I ask the brand of the blue pan that you cooked it in? So pretty.

    1. Blair says:

      Hi, Megan! There are two different pans shown in the photos. One is a large blue skillet by Le Creuset, which I used to brown the sausage. You can find a similar one here: https://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/le-creuset-signature-deep-skillet/?pkey=s%7Cle%20creuset%2010%20inch%20skillet%7C561%7Cnewcore%2Basc%7C1%7C72%7CLe%20Creuset%20Signature%20Cast-Iron%20Deep%20Skillet

      The dish that I baked the dip in is a Le Creuset Cast Iron Oval Baker in French Grey: https://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/le-creuset-cast-iron-oval-baker/?pkey=s%7Cle%20creuset%20cast%20iron%7C85%7Cnewcore%2Basc%7C1%7C72%7CLe%20Creuset%20Cast-Iron%20Oval%20Baker

      Hope that helps! 🙂

  4. Gina says:

    This looks like a great dip!! Our family loves dips, I am going to add this to the list. I may just serve it with bread sticks and call it dinner.

    1. Blair says:

      Thanks, Gina! I’ve definitely done the same thing. It’s such a fun dinner — especially with kids!

  5. Chantel says:

    Could this be done in a crockpot instead of the oven?

    1. Blair says:

      Yes, I think so — you would just need a small(ish) slow cooker since there wouldn’t be enough dip to fill the bottom of a larger 6-7 quart slow cooker. I would just cook the dip on low for a few hours until everything is melted and gooey. The only difference is that the cheese and pepperoni on top will not get browned and crispy in the oven.