All the flavors of pizza and equally delicious, this Pizza Dip will become a mainstay in your home!
Let’s get this out of the way, I love Pizza. And really who doesn’t? This recipe takes all the amazing flavors of a pizza and brings them together to make one great dish that’s perfect for an appetizer or a self-indulgent meal.
One of the wonderful aspects of this sauce is its versatility. I sometimes want it spicy and add in crushed red pepper, add in some cooked ground beef to make it heartier. Some like it sweet, for that I add either some finely diced carrots or sweet peppers. But really pizza isn’t supposed to be sweet so don’t mistake the main ingredient here, this dip uses ricotta cheese, not cream cheese, as cream cheese has its place it’s not in this ricotta cheese dip, it would overpower the flavor of pizza.
And with my homemade tomato sauce, the flavors of basil really come through in a delightful way, adding a sweet spice to the dip that you won’t be able to resist.
This ricotta cheese appetizer is just so flavorful and I’m sure it’ll win over even your pickiest eaters, it sure has around here. When my kids were young I made it often when they wanted pizza but I just didn’t have the time or energy to make pizza dough.
Sauces really add so much to a dish which is why I committed a whole eBook to sauces, you’ll love it… and the dishes that they favor.
Back to this Pizza Dip, it is perfect for last-minute get-togethers or for the upcoming Superbowl or any game day or gathering. I never need a reason for making it as it’s convenient and I almost always have the ingredients on hand.
For bread, you can use a variety for your dipping pleasure. I like crusty Italian bread, ciabatta bread-like in the photos they are the cutest little ciabatta bread, firm bread work great and hold up to the dip but french bread works great as well! Pita chips are another fun option.
And you’ll want to be sure the bread is toasted for the best texture and flavor, the secret to getting your bread evenly crispy on the outside but still soft on the inside is to use a pizza screen, or simply use a baking sheet and turn the bread over halfway through cooking.
This cheesy baked ricotta appetizer recipe…
can be baked or broiled according to your preference. It does take a little longer to bake them, I seem to always try speeding things up and broil it, but baking at a little lower temperature works just as well. I do like the top browned for some great flavor, so be sure to broil it the last minute or two if you bake it.
Let me show you how quick and easy this recipe is!
Preheat your oven to 400°, or broil on high depending on your preference.
In a medium bowl mix ricotta cheese with egg, oregano, garlic salt and mix well.
Next, add 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese (reserving the remaining 1/2 for the top) and stir to combine.
Place the mixture into 1- 6 oven-safe dishes. Spread the cheese mixture inside them.
Place a couple of tablespoons of sauce on top and spread smooth, finally top with additional mozzarella cheese.
Place the dishes in the middle of the oven for 5-10 minutes or until the mixture is hot, then place under the broiler closer to brown the cheese for a minute or two. If you choose to broil them, keep an eye, it goes very fast!
You can toast the sliced bread on the oven rack or pizza screen so it’s all toasted on all sides. If desired, you can toss the bread with some oil before toasting.
Finally, serve warm, dip the bread into the hot cheese dip and enjoy.
A Note on serving:
This will make small 6 appetizer size dishes. These dishes are similar to the ones I used. If you’d like to, you may place the entire amount of dip into a larger sized dish. It’s best to use a wider, shallow dish to be sure the mixture will heat quickly. About an 8-9″ round should be good, another option is to put it in a cast-iron skillet as it’ll stay nice and warm while serving.
Could I use other cheeses for this?
If desired you could replace the mozzarella with another cheese, such as provolone, but it will change the flavor and texture. The ricotta can not be replaced and if you ask me, using the ingredients that are in pizza, like mozzarella are key to me, but everyone has their preferences.
What temperature should I toast my bread at?
You can do this at your preferred setting, I use a 400° degree oven while my dip is cooling.
What other toppings could I add to this?
You can add any topping you’d like on a pizza, pepperoni, olives, cooked onions or peppers, or any vegetable you like on regular pizza, cooked sausage, sautéed mushrooms or raw they’ll cook quickly, or pineapple and ham if that’s your thing! Kick up the spice with some crushed red pepper.
Can I leave out the sauce?
Yes, you can. You can add more garlic to the ricotta cheese mixture, add some chopped spinach, cut up some small tomatoes if you prefer.
Can I make this pizza dip in the crockpot?
I haven’t made it in a slow cooker, but I don’t see why not. I’ve used the mini crockpot for many hot cheesy dips and they come out great. So go ahead and give it a try and let me know how it goes. Prepare the dip in the slow cooker just as directed and cook on low for 2-3 hours.
Be sure to check out these other Italian inspired appetizers:
- Eggplant Caprese
- Chicken Parmesan Meatballs
- Caprese Crostini
- Caprese Balsamic Aioli
- 5 Minute French Bread Pizza
- Tomato Galette
- Low Carb Pizza
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup tomato sauce (marinara sauce or pizza sauce of your preference)
- 1/4 teaspoon oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
- 8 oz (2 cups) shredded cheddar mozzarella cheese
- baguette or bread of choice, sliced then toasted
- You can bake this or broil it. It'll take a little longer to bake it at a lower temperature.
- Ina. medium bowl mix ricotta cheese with egg, oregano, garlic salt and mix well.
- Add 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese (reserving the remaining 1/2 for the top) and stir to combine.
- Place the minute into 1- 6 dishes oven-safe dishes. This will make 6 appetizer size dishes, or place it in what size you prefer or 1 dish but if only using one dish make sure the mixture will not be too deep, you'll want it to heat quickly, evenly about 8" round will be good.
- Spread the cheese mixture in the dishes. Place a couple of tablespoons of sauce on top and spread smooth, then top with additional mozzarella cheese.
- Preheat oven to 400° or high broil.
- Place the dishes in the middle of the oven for 5-10 minutes or until the mixture is hot, then place under the broiler closer to brown the cheese for a minute or two.
- Toast the sliced bread on the oven rack or pizza screen so it's all toasted on both sides. You can toss the bread with some oil if desired before toasting.
- Serve warm, dip the bread into the hot cheese dip and enjoy.