Cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Dip

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Ooey, gooey cheesy pepperoni pizza dip is full of pepperoni pizza flavor with fresh ingredients for a delicious, addictive appetizer in no time! 

Picture of spoon dipping into pepperoni pizza cheese dip
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picture of pepperoni cheese pizza dip in pan

Easy Pizza Queso

My family and I love pizza. I mean- who doesn’t??

We also LOVE cheese dip.

Like, LOVE cheese dip.

It’s one of our favorite appetizers- and so easy to make.

I have recipes for pimento cheese dip,  green chile pepper dip, spicy linguica queso dip, cheeseburger dip, green chile guacamole, and my green chile crack dip.

But this dip—- it is SO delicious.

Picture of bread roll bring dipped into melted pizza cheese dip

How to Make Cheesy Pizza Dip

To make this recipe, you’ll need the following:

  • Olive Oil (2 tbsp): Olive oil serves as the cooking medium for sautéing the onions and garlic. It adds a subtle richness and helps infuse the flavors of the aromatics into the dip.
  • White Onion (diced): Diced onions provide a savory, slightly sweet flavor to the dip when sautéed in olive oil. They add depth and aroma to the dish.
  • Garlic (diced): Garlic contributes a strong, aromatic flavor to the dip. When sautéed, it becomes milder and adds a pleasant, savory note.
  • Mozzarella Cheese (8 oz): Mozzarella cheese is the main cheese in the dip, and it brings a creamy and stretchy texture when melted. It provides a mild, milky flavor that is characteristic of pizza.
  • Cream Cheese (6 oz): Cream cheese adds a rich and creamy texture to the dip, making it smooth and easy to scoop. It also adds a tangy and slightly salty flavor.
  • Canned Diced Tomatoes with Basil (8 oz): Canned diced tomatoes with basil contribute a tomatoey and slightly herby flavor to the dip. The basil enhances the overall pizza-like taste.
  • Diced Basil (1/2 cup): Fresh basil is a key ingredient that brings a fresh and aromatic quality to the dip. It adds a burst of herbaceous flavor and brightens up the dish.
  • Pepperoni (15 slices or 1/2 a large stick, cut into small bites): Pepperoni slices or bits add a savory, slightly spicy, and smoky flavor reminiscent of traditional pizza. They provide a delightful contrast in texture to the creamy dip.

Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, you’ll use this process:

  • In a cast iron skillet, heat oil until shimmery. Add onion and let brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic when onion is slightly browned. Stir and let brown and soften another 5 minutes.
  • Add cheese and diced tomatoes. Let cheese melt, stirring often to prevent from sticking.
  • Add pepperoni and freshly diced basil when cheese is melted.
  • Serve with breadsticks, chips, or pieces of bread!
picture of pepperoni pizza cheese dip in pan

Tips and Tricks for Perfect Pizza Cheese Dip

Use Quality Cheese: Opt for high-quality mozzarella cheese and cream cheese. The quality of the cheese will significantly impact the final taste and texture of the dip.

Properly Dice the Ingredients: Ensure that the onions, garlic, and basil are finely diced for even distribution of flavors and textures in the dip.

Sauté the Onions and Garlic: Sauté the diced onions and garlic in olive oil until they become translucent and fragrant. This step enhances their flavors and removes any raw taste.

Layer the Ingredients: Layering the ingredients can help create a visually appealing dip. Start with the cream cheese and then add the sautéed onions and garlic, diced tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese on top.

Don’t Overcook: Be careful not to overcook the dip in the oven. Heat it until the cheese is melted and bubbly, but avoid letting it brown or become too oily.

Add Spices and Seasoning: Consider adding Italian seasoning, dried oregano, red pepper flakes, or black pepper to enhance the pizza flavor. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.

Customize with Toppings: Feel free to customize the dip with your favorite pizza toppings. Sliced olives, green bell peppers, mushrooms, or cooked sausage can be added for extra flavor and texture.

Garnish: After baking, garnish the dip with additional fresh basil leaves or a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese for a burst of color and flavor.

Serve with Dipping Options: Offer a variety of dipping options such as baguette slices, breadsticks, tortilla chips, or fresh vegetables like carrot sticks and cucumber slices.

Keep it Warm: If serving at a party or gathering, consider using a small slow cooker or a chafing dish to keep the dip warm throughout the event. This ensures it stays gooey and enjoyable.

Prepare in Advance: You can prepare the dip in advance and refrigerate it. When ready to serve, bring it to room temperature and bake until heated through, or reheat in the microwave in short intervals.

Experiment with Variations: Don’t be afraid to experiment with variations of the recipe. You can make a vegetarian version by omitting the pepperoni or add different types of cheese for unique flavor profiles.

Monitor Oven Temperature: Keep a close eye on the dip while it’s in the oven to prevent burning. If the top starts to brown too quickly, cover it with aluminum foil.

Serve with Marinara Sauce: Consider serving the dip with a side of marinara sauce for dipping. It adds an extra layer of tomatoey goodness to each bite.

FAQs

Can I make cheesy pizza dip ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the dip ahead of time and refrigerate it before baking. When you’re ready to serve, bake it in the oven until it’s heated through and the cheese is bubbly.

Can I use pre-shredded cheese instead of shredding my own mozzarella?

While pre-shredded cheese is convenient, it may not melt as smoothly as freshly shredded mozzarella due to the addition of anti-caking agents. Freshly shredded mozzarella is recommended for the best texture.

Can I make this dip spicy?

Absolutely! You can add heat by including red pepper flakes or chopped jalapeños to the dip. Adjust the amount according to your spice tolerance.

What can I use for dipping instead of bread and chips?

You can dip breadsticks, tortilla chips, pita wedges, pretzel bites, crackers, or even fresh vegetable sticks like celery, bell peppers, and carrot sticks.

How long should I bake the dip?

Bake the dip until it’s heated through and the cheese is melted and bubbly. This usually takes about 20-25 minutes in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C).

Can I make this dip gluten-free?

Yes, you can make it gluten-free by using gluten-free crackers, bread, or chips for dipping. Ensure that the other ingredients, such as canned diced tomatoes and pepperoni, are also gluten-free if needed.

What if my dip turns out too thick?

If your dip turns out thicker than you prefer, you can thin it out by adding a small amount of milk, cream, or tomato sauce and stirring until you achieve the desired consistency.

Can I freeze leftover pizza dip?

While it’s possible to freeze leftover dip, the texture may change when thawed, and it might become grainy. It’s best enjoyed fresh or refrigerated for a day or two.

Can I make this dip vegetarian?

Yes, you can make a vegetarian version of cheesy pizza dip by omitting the pepperoni or replacing it with vegetarian pepperoni or other meatless alternatives.

How do I store leftover pizza dip?

Store any leftover dip in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat it in the microwave or oven until heated through before serving again.

Can I use a different type of cheese in this dip?

Absolutely! You can experiment with different cheeses to customize the flavor. Some options include cheddar, provolone, or a blend of Italian cheeses.

What can I do if my dip separates?

If your dip separates or becomes too greasy, you can blot the excess oil with a paper towel. Stirring in a little more cream cheese or cheese can also help re-emulsify the dip.

picture of pepperoni pizza cheese dip in pan

What to Serve with Cheesy Pizza Dip

Baguette Slices: Thinly sliced and toasted baguette slices are a classic choice. They provide a crispy exterior that contrasts nicely with the creamy dip.

Tortilla Chips: Tortilla chips, whether plain or flavored, are a great option for scooping up the dip. Their saltiness complements the cheesy flavors.

Breadsticks: Breadsticks, whether store-bought or homemade, are ideal for dipping. They have a satisfying crunch and are perfect for scooping up the cheesy goodness.

Crackers: An assortment of crackers, such as plain, whole wheat, or multigrain varieties, work well with cheesy pizza dip. They offer a variety of textures and flavors.

Pita Chips: Pita chips are sturdy and can handle the thick and creamy dip. They add a Middle Eastern twist to the appetizer.

Vegetable Sticks: Fresh vegetable sticks like carrot, celery, cucumber, and bell pepper strips offer a healthy and crunchy option for dipping. They balance the richness of the dip.

Pretzel Bites: Soft pretzel bites are a fun and slightly salty choice. They pair nicely with the cheesy and savory dip.

Crostini: Toasted crostini, made from thinly sliced and toasted baguette, is an elegant option. It adds a rustic touch to your dip presentation.

Grilled or Toasted Naan: Grilled or toasted naan bread, cut into wedges, can be a unique and delicious choice, especially if you want a bit of Indian flair.

Crudités: In addition to vegetable sticks, you can include other fresh vegetables like cherry tomatoes, broccoli florets, and cauliflower florets for a colorful and healthy dipper platter.

Mini Meatballs: Serve small, homemade meatballs on toothpicks as a protein-packed dipping option. They can add an extra layer of flavor to the cheesy dip.

Bread Cubes: Cube crusty bread, toast it, and use it as dippers. It’s similar to croutons and offers a delightful texture contrast.

Mini Grilled Cheese Sandwiches: Create mini grilled cheese sandwiches and cut them into bite-sized pieces for a playful and cheesy combination.

Garlic Bread: Slices of garlic bread, toasted or baked, can complement the pizza-inspired flavors of the dip.

Roasted Potatoes: Small roasted or baked potato wedges or slices can be a hearty and satisfying accompaniment.

Zucchini or Eggplant Chips: If you’re looking for a healthier option, consider zucchini or eggplant chips for dipping.

Cauliflower Bites: Roasted or fried cauliflower florets can be an excellent alternative for a low-carb option.

Pizza cheese dip in pan picture

Cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Dip Recipe

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Cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Dip.

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Cheesy spoon dipping into pepperoni dip.
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Cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Dip

Ooey, gooey cheesy pepperoni pizza dip is full of pepperoni pizza flavor with fresh ingredients for a delicious, addictive appetizer in no time!
Course Dips
Cuisine American
Keyword dips, mozzarella, pepperoni, pizza
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 220kcal
Author Courtney O’Dell

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 white onion diced
  • 5 cloves garlic diced
  • 8 oz mozzarella cheese
  • 6 oz cream cheese
  • 8 oz canned diced tomatoes with basil
  • ½ cup diced basil
  • 15 slices pepperoni or 1/2 a large stick cut into small bites.

Instructions

  • In a cast iron skillet, heat oil until shimmery.
  • Add onion and let brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Add garlic when onion is slightly browned.
  • Stir and let brown and soften another 5 minutes.
  • Add cheese and diced tomatoes.
  • Let cheese melt, stirring often to prevent from sticking.
  • Add pepperoni and freshly diced basil when cheese is melted.
  • Serve with breadsticks, chips, or pieces of bread!

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 220kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 332mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g

About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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5 Comments

  1. Shumaila says:

    I had a pretty filling dinner but had you put this in front of me right now I would have had bite after bite of this. Definitely trying this (minus the pepperoni since the husband doesnt eat it BOO!)
    Love the video too!

  2. Megan @ MegUnprocessed says:

    Love the video you did for this!

  3. Hafsa says:

    yum yum very delicious ! I like your pizza recipe and I will try this soon. 🙂 thanks for sharing

  4. Meaghan Mountford says:

    This WILL be made at my next party. This WILL be made.