Hot Pizza Dip

IMG_0819I really love the waves that come on food blogs. You probably wouldn’t notice unless you follow multiple, (or like 1200 if you’re me) but they’re all so predictable. Pumpkin and apple recipes starting October 1st, thousands of cookie recipes in December, everyone pledging to be healthy in 2013 with salads in January, then a few weeks later conveniently forgetting about that in time for Super Bowl appetizers, the more cheese and carbs the better. I’m not complaining, really. I’m one of them. It’s just a nice feeling having 1200 dips to choose from this week.

IMG_0796So here’s my carby-cheesy appetizer for you guys. It really is sooooooo good, but were you that doubtful after you heard carby-cheesy? I first had this dip a few New-Years-Eve’s ago at my brother Eric’s house. He and his wife Sandi decided to make all the top-rated appetizers on Allrecipes.com, and this was one of them. It blew everything else away, in my opinion, even though it was competing against the likes of these and these and these.

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Sometimes you just need some straight-up pepperoni in your life.

The recipe has 450 reviews on Allrecipes.com, which means that it’s got to be pretty reliable. And now you have my Pizza-Dip-Testimony too. Oh, and did I mention this is cooked in the microwave? Yeah dude. Have fun watching the commercials the Super Bowl!!

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Hot Pizza Dip


Source: adapted from Allrecipes.com

Serves 6-8

Note: You don’t have to microwave your pepperoni before placing it on the dip. I like that step because not only do you get to throw some of the grease away, but the pepperoni turns out crispier. Yes please. Oh, and obviously you can put whatever pizza toppings you want on this dip. One more thing: many of the reviews on the original recipe say that this isn’t worth eating unless you make it at least 24 hours ahead of time. That’s fine and all, do that if you want. But I’m pretty sure I ate like half of that pan after taking these pictures, and I had just made it so…obviously I think it’s good right away.

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened (I used 1/3 less fat)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
dash crushed red pepper, optional
dash paprika, optional
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 cup pizza sauce
2 tablespoons chopped green bell pepper
2 ounces pepperoni, chopped
2 tablespoons sliced black olives
1 loaf french bread/baguette, sliced (or tortilla chips if you are gluten free)

Place a paper towel on a large plate. Place a single layer of pepperoni slices on top (You can chop them before or after this step. I do recommend chopping them at least in half, it makes for easier eating.)

IMG_0735Microwave the pepperoni for about one minute, or until it is just barely starting to get crispy. Set aside.

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It really does make you feel pretty good about yourself to throw this paper towel away.

In a bowl or mixer, beat together the cream cheese, oregano, parsley, basil, garlic powder, red pepper, and paprika. You could do this with a spoon if your cream cheese is soft enough.

Spread mixture in the bottom of a 9 inch pie plate, or a shallow microwave-safe dish. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese on top of the cream cheese mixture. Spread the pizza sauce over the cheese. Sprinkle with remaining cheese, then top with green pepper, pepperoni and olive slices, or whatever pizza toppings you want. Cover and microwave for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut your bread into thin slices. Place in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet. Broil for 1-2 minutes. Keep an eye on it. I rotated my pan once. If you want them toasty on both sides, flip them halfway through.

Serve the dip while it’s hot, using a spoon to get the dip onto your bread. You could also serve this with tortilla chips to make it gluten free.

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