Caprese Dip with Pesto


This isn’t a recipe that I’m sharing because I’m proud of a fancy ingredient or a revolutionary cooking technique. Nope. I’m sharing the recipe because it is one that I fall back on time and time again when I’m cooking for friends. This dip is a real-life, everyday recipe that takes under five minutes of prep time. Low maintenance comfort food is sometimes just perfect.

When there’s just one cook in the kitchen, and when that cook also works until after five, said cook has to prioritize. I try to have one no-risk, no-time dish ready to serve my guests so that I can focus my limited time on something special. 

This caprese dip is my crowd-pleasing appetizer that buys me time to whip up the rest of a meal. We eat this fairly regularly at home, too, when I can’t find the energy to cook an appetizer (or when I need to sabotage a diet reward myself for eating healthy foods all day). 

A bonus: combine equal portions leftover dip with marinara sauce and you’ve got a great pasta sauce. 


Caprese Dip with Pesto
Serves 4 to 6

You will need:
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature (half of a block)
  • 1/2 cup grated mozzarella
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup pesto
  • 8 to 12 cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. Italian spice blend (or a dash each of rosemary, thyme, oregano, sea salt, and black pepper)
  • 4-6 fresh basil leaves (optional).

Method:
  • Preheat oven to 350. 
  • Carefully quarter cherry tomatoes. Toss with pesto. 
  • Place cheeses in a small oven-safe dish. Pour pesto and tomatoes over cheese and add spices. Stir gently. 
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until cheese is bubbling. 
  • Stir well before serving to thoroughly mix in flavors. Stir in fresh basil, if desired. 

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