Yield: Approximately 4 to 5 cups of dip
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 (8-ounce) blocks of cream cheese, softened
- 2 tablespoons of Italian seasoning, separated
- 1 (14- or 16-ounce) jar of pizza sauce or homemade marinara sauce
- 8 ounces of shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup of Kalamata or black olives (optional)
- 1 teaspoon of parsley
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Spread the olive oil on the bottom and sides of a round baking dish.
- Beat the cream cheese with 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning.
- Spread the cream cheese mixture in the baking dish.
- Pour pizza sauce or marinara sauce over the top.
- Sprinkle the cheese and olives over the top.
- Add the other tablespoon of Italian seasoning and the teaspoon of parsley over the top of the sauce and cheese.
- Place in the oven until cheese is melted and bubbly, approximately 5 to 8 minutes. Keep a close eye on the dip, because you don't want the cheese to burn.
- Allow the dip to rest for a few minutes before dipping into it.
Optional Variations and Additions
This is a versatile dip, so feel free to switch things up. Variations to consider include:
- Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of cooked, crumbled sausage or mini pepperonis to the top of the dip before baking
- Swap the Italian seasoning in the cream cheese layer for a mix of 1/2 teaspoon oregano, 1/4 teaspoon onion powder, and 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Sauté 2 tablespoons of chopped onions with 1/4 cup of sliced mushrooms and add to the dip before baking (mix in the cheese or layer on top)
- Use equal parts mozzarella, provolone, and parmesan cheeses (instead of only mozzarella)
While breadsticks might be your first choice for dipping, they are not the only option. You can also use:
- Garlic bread slices
- Baguette slices (toasted or fresh)
- Baked pepperoni chips or salami crisps
- Sliced red or green peppers
- Parmesan crackers
Try dipping your other favorite chips, crackers, veggies, and breads into this delicious dip for a quick and tasty pizza-flavored appetizer or snack!