Layered Pizza Dip

My colleague Lisa makes the best pizza dip ever. On days she brought her pizza dip to work, I was more than happy to forego leaving for my lunch break. This recipe from Betty Crocker (original here) looks similar to hers. Layered Pizza Dip is the twenty-third of my 25 Appetizers of Christmas.


  • 1 (8-oz.) container soft cream cheese with chives and onions (Or plain, if desired)
  • ½ cup pizza sauce
  • ½ cup chopped green bell pepper (optional)
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped pepperoni
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • Chunks of French bread


  1. Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Spread the cream chesse to cover the bottom of an ungreased 9-inch pie pan or 1 to 1½-quart baking dish.
  3. Layer remaining ingredients (except bread) in order listed.
  4. Bake at 350°F. for 10 to 15 minutes or until dip is hot and cheese is melted.
  5. Serve with bread.


  • Layer the ingredients, cover with plastic wrap, and store in the refrigerator up to 24 hours. Let sit at room temp just a few minutes before baking.
  • You can add other pizza toppings as desired, like mushrooms or sliced black olives. Just be sure to increase the cooking time if necessary to ensure that the dip is hot and melty.

Sausage, Spinach, and Provolone Pizza

From the October 2009 Real Simple (original online), this tasty pizza is a rustic alternative to the normal delivery pizzas we have. Once I saw the photo of the pizza in the magazine, I knew it was a must-have.

IngredientsPizza photo from magazine

  • cornmeal for the pan
  • 1 pound pizza dough, thawed if frozen
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 links Italian sausage, casings removed (about 3/4 pound)
  • 1 small bunch spinach, thick stems removed (about 3 cups)
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/3 pound thinly sliced provolone


  1. Heat oven to 425º F.
  2. Sprinkle a rimmed baking sheet with the cornmeal.
  3. Shape the dough into a 14-inch circle, and place on the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Brush the dough with 1 tablespoon of the oil and bake until puffed and golden, 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  6. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until no longer pink, 4 to 5 minutes.
  7. Add the spinach and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook, tossing, for 1 minute.
  8. Top the partially cooked dough with the sausage mixture and cheese.
  9. Bake until the crust is crisp and the cheese has melted, 12 to 15 minutes.