As you all know, I can’t skip a good appetizer or dip. This past week my husband was out of town for his 20th high school reunion and so I wanted to make something for dinner that I knew I would love – but would not necessarily make on a “normal” night. I mean, if normal means appetizers every night, that I might be living the dream. However, my kids tend to need more of a balanced meal. And let’s be honest, so do I. Nonetheless, having the kids to myself for four straight days meant things were a bit chaotic. I thought I deserved one night of “abnormal” dinner ideas.
Am I right?
I’ve made pizza dips before, but on this very night there was no pizza sauce to be found in my house. The fact that I had everything else I wanted to make this pizza dip appetizer, meant that I wasn’t going to let something like the sauce keep me from my dinner. I had some Bertolli Riserva Marinara on hand, and decided to go for it. It’s made with tomatoes, too. Right?
Besides a few additional seasonings, this was all I needed to make my pizza dip. I will let you in on a little fact about this dinner – I may never go back to using pizza sauce in my pizza dinners. This Marinara was so goooooood. It has a hearty taste with a real tomato sweetness. And this may sound weird, but I knew it was going to be a great sauce from the beginning because of the way the sauce contents had separated. It reminded me of my own canned tomatoes.
To make this pizza dip you will need:
1 Cup of Bertolli Reserva Marinara
8 oz cream cheese
1 tsp italian seasoning
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 cups mozzarella shredded cheese
1 cup mild cheddar shredded cheese
1/4 cup of green bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup of red bell pepper, chopped
Do you know how to pick a good pepper? I was inspired to put peppers on this dip because I learned something new about picking peppers from this tip. (Tip #41) Did you know that about the stem?
Spray a round cake pan with cooking spray. In a bowl, mix the cream cheese, garlic powder and italian seasoning. (I find that the generic cream cheese brands are softer and easier to use in recipes like this.) Once the cream cheese is thoroughly mixed with the seasonings, add it to the cake pan and flatten it using a spatula or your hands. I used my hands! No dishes to wash. 🙂
Add half of the cheese to the top of the cream cheese mixture. Add the Bertolli Pasta sauce. Then top with the remaining cheese and peppers.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. It’s that easy! I’m already planning to make this again next week when we have company. This is one recipe you can make ahead and cook when your guests arrive.
Enjoy with tortilla chips! You can find more Tuscan inspiration here.
For each photo shared via social media using #MyTuscanTable throughout October, Bertolli® will make a $1 donation to help end childhood hunger in America through a partnership with No Kid Hungry. With each dollar, No Kid Hungry will provide 10 healthy meals to kids in need, up to a half a million meals. No Kid Hungry is ending childhood hunger in America by ensuring kids have the healthy food they need, every day. The Bertolli® brand is proud to lend its passion for uniting people over food to help connect kids struggling with hunger to the nutritious meals they need to grow and thrive.
- 1 Cup of Bertolli Reserva Marinara
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1 tsp italian seasoning
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- 2 cups mozzarella shredded cheese
- 1 cup mild cheddar shredded cheese
- ¼ cup of green bell pepper, chopped
- ¼ cup of red bell pepper, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- Spray round cake pan with cooking spray.
- In a bowl, mix cream cheese with garlic powder and italian seasoning. Mix thoroughly.
- Flatten cream cheese into cake pan until it's a consistent layer.
- Top with half of the cheese.
- Add the pasta sauce to the top of the cheese.
- Top with the remaining cheese and then the peppers.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until the cheese is nice and bubbly.