This post is linked to Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Allergen-Friendly Friday, and Foodie Friday.
I like to remind folks to look beyond the gluten-free label when it comes to recipes. This Pizza Dip is a perfect example. It’s a recipe that’s been around “forever” on the party/celebration circuit. If you do an online search, you’ll find many variations. (I’m not sure the original source can be determined.) Yes, this pizza dip is gluten free, but of the thousands of times that it’s shared online on various recipes sites and blogs, with subtle variations, only a very, very few times is it labeled “gluten free.” So if you’re looking for a particular recipe, don’t just look it for it with a “gluten free” label. Search for the recipe in general—e.g., pizza dip–and then review the ingredients to ensure they are safe or that any gluten-full ones can be replaced with a gluten-free ingredient. Other than a suggestion to serve pizza dip with bread sticks, personally I’ve never seen a gluten factor in the many variations of this particular recipe. Even then, naturally gluten-free recipes are the way to go whenever possible in my opinion. They are the main premise of the gluten free easily (gfe) approach. The benefits of naturally gluten-free recipes are that you experience the same flavors, textures, and costs as the gluten-full person eating the recipe. And of course, you don’t have to go to a special store or even a special section of the store to find the ingredients.
With pizza, we are mostly going for that amazing combination of cheese and tomato … and texture … that ooey, gooey mouth feel of the cheeses with the tomato. Plus what the other ingredients add to the mix … pepperoni, green onions, and the like. Everyone is surprised when they find that the Flourless Pizza recipe here on gfe tastes like real pizza. Yes, without the crust. Much like all the flourless cookies and flourless pies here on gfe don’t disappoint. The focus is on the primary ingredients, not the “flour-y outer shell” so to speak. While I do thoroughly enjoy crusted pizzas, like my Popover Pizza; Kate’s Brazilian Cheese Crust; Debbie’s Grain-Free, Nut-Free Pizza Crust; and even my Pizza Muffins, this Pizza Dip also easily satisfies one’s need for a pizza “fix”. It’s very good. Mr. GFE’s assessment is “delicious.” That description may get used too often, but I certainly never get tired of hearing it. And, hey, dips are festive. Dips are fun. Finger food. No need for dishes. Parties and celebrations are the obvious settings for serving dips. But make this Pizza Dip for dinner—or perhaps to enjoy during the weekly sports event viewed from the comfort of your home—and you’ll put the whole family in a mood to cheer!
The dairy-free option … this recipe is the original that I’d noted on a recipe card long ago. It contains dairy in a big way—cream cheese and sour cream and mozzarella cheese. For a dairy-free version, if you can eat soy, you can substitute Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese for the cream cheese and Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream Sour Supreme for the sour cream. You can of course use Daiya Mozzarella Style Shreds (or another brand of choice) instead of dairy mozzarella. (See notes for additional information on adjustments to baking time for the dairy-free version.) Finally, one of the reasons that I don’t always like cooking with commercial dairy-free products is their inherent softness, their lack of “structure” so to speak. But in this dip, the soft nature of these ingredients really has little effect on the recipe. After all, it’s a dip … softness ensures “dippability”!
Naturally Gluten-Free Pizza Dip
(Click here for a printable version of this recipe.)
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
½ cup sour cream
1 tsp pizza seasoning (or 1 tsp in total of a combination of your favorites seasonings for pizza; e.g., dried oregano, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, ground red pepper, red pepper flakes)
¾ cup pizza sauce (see notes)
About ½ cup chopped pepperoni (I used 30 pepperoni slices; see notes for additional information)
Additional ingredients of choice—about ½ to 1 cup total of chopped green onion; chopped mushrooms; chopped or sliced olives; chopped tomatoes, chopped and fully drained artichoke hearts, chopped and fully drained spinach—whatever you enjoy on your pizza
1 cup of shredded mozzarella
Gluten-free tortilla chips (or other chips), crackers, pretzels, bread sticks, cut veggies, etc. for dipping
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9-inch pie pan.
Add cream cheese, sour cream, and seasonings to a large bowl. Mix well with hand mixer.
Spread mixture into the bottom of the pie pan. Bake for 10 minutes.
Spoon pizza sauce over baked mixture.
Add most of the pepperoni pieces plus most of the other additional ingredients. Reserve a few of the ingredients to garnish the dip later.
Sprinkle mozzarella over surface of the dip. Top with reserved ingredients.
Bake about 10 minutes longer.
Shirley’s Notes: I don’t care for turkey pepperoni as many do, so I precook my pepperoni in the microwave on paper towels about 45 seconds to help remove a lot of the fat and make it crispy before I add it to the recipe. If you use dairy-free ingredients, bake cream cheese/sour cream/seasonings mixture for about 13 minutes. Top as directed per instructions and bake about 7 minutes longer. You want to ensure that the mozzarella-type shreds just melt slightly.
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