Naturally Gluten-Free Pizza Dip (with Dairy-Free Option)

Pizza Dip (Side View) Gluten Free Easily

Pizza Dip … Such a Yummy Meal or Appetizer!

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!

Pizza Dip Finished Gluten Free Easily

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”!

Pizza Dip Gluten Free Easily

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.

Pizza Dip Before Baking Gluten Free Easily

Bake about 10 minutes longer.

Serve with gluten-free tortilla chips (or other chips), crackers, bread stickspretzels, cut veggies, etc. Leftovers may be reheated in the oven or microwave.

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.

Pizza Dip Partly Eaten Gluten Free Easily

This post is linked to Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Allergen-Friendly Friday, and Foodie Friday.

Not just gf, but gfe!

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54 Responses to “Naturally Gluten-Free Pizza Dip (with Dairy-Free Option)”

  1. Nancy @SensitivePantry on October 11th, 2011 7:12 am

    This truly is a perfect–and EASY– way to satisfy the need for pizza. Which now, thanks to that picture, I am seriously craving!

    • Shirley on October 12th, 2011 10:25 am

      Hi Nancy–Thanks! :-) We only need even the tiniest suggestion of pizza and we want it, right? ;-) The photo of this dip is a BIG suggestion! As you know, I’ve been enjoying lots of pizza of late. :-)


  2. Sarah @ Celiac in the City on October 11th, 2011 8:00 am

    so true, Shirley — just go for the recipes you love and convert them over. or in this case, just enjoy it as is! as I mentioned on FB, we had this over the summer at my party and it was a hit! ladies were loitering around the food table, not inching too far from this dip until it was gone! good stuff. great post. :)

    • Shirley on October 12th, 2011 10:28 am

      Hi Sarah–Great to see you again! Thanks for sharing your pizza dip experience both on FB and here. :-) It is really hard to step away from the pizza dip, isn’t it? LOL, but true!

      Thanks, too, for all the kind words and concurrence on going for favorite recipes instead of just “gluten-free” recipes!

  3. Diane-thewholegang on October 11th, 2011 9:17 am

    I’m hopeless and don’t get out to the party circuits. I’ve never heard of pizza dip but I love how it sounds and looks. So if I’m no dairy and no soy I’m wondering how I can do this because it just sounds too good to pass up. Hmmm, would cashew cheese work?

    • Shirley on October 12th, 2011 10:30 am

      Hey Diane–As soon as I made this again, I knew I would be in search of a gf/df/soy-free option. So far, cashew cream, Ali’s Macadamia Nut Cheese, and Lexie’s Raw Nacho Cheese Sauce come to mind as possible ways to make that happen. I’ve also been on the lookout for making my flourless pizza dairy free and soy free as well, so progress in either area is bound to help the other. We must accomplish this somehow! ;-)


      • Diane-thewholegang on October 12th, 2011 10:35 am

        Sounds like something we should work on the next time we get together! Taste testing will be half the fun.

        • Shirley on October 12th, 2011 11:03 am

          Oh, yeah, definitely a great idea! We’ll have some great dairy-free cheese makers with us, too. ;-)

  4. Ina Gawne on October 11th, 2011 10:06 am

    How incredibly delicious! I have never heard of pizza dip before – I must try. I can not do the soft cheeses, but will often use dripped yogurt in place of cream cheese. This sounds so good – thanks for sharing Shirley!

    • Shirley on October 12th, 2011 10:37 am

      Hi Ina–I’m not familiar with the term dripped yogurt (does that mean all the liquid has been drained off?), but yogurt is certainly a good replacement option. I hope you try it. It’s really tasty and fulfills the pizza need!


  5. InTolerantChef on October 11th, 2011 5:31 pm

    I’ve never heard of this dip before, but it sounds fantastic! A bit of tweaking to be lactose free, but so easy- how has this not made it to this side of world?
    I checked the link for Brazilian pizza crust, and was so excited, I’ve blogged about Pao de Quejo before and this is the perfect evolution of the dish, yumm…

    • Shirley on October 12th, 2011 10:39 am

      InTolerant Chef–Well, it sounds like you are about to introduce it to your side of the world, plus make it lactose free. People will love you for it! :-)

      The Pao de Quejo pizza crust is the best pizza crust I’ve had, bar none.

      Will await your reports on both! ;-)

  6. Kay Guest on October 11th, 2011 6:28 pm

    You’ve done it again! This sounds so easy and delicious. This sounds like a perfect party dish. Oh, and Shirley, I am so excited to say that Meike in Germany put her Mom’s sauerkraut recipe on her blog and it looks like it is gluten free! Meike’s blog is
    Let me know if you see it! She put the Miracle/peanut butter cookies on her blog before!
    Cheers for this recipe…I’ll have to have a party now!

    • Shirley on October 12th, 2011 10:42 am

      Hey Kay–Everybody needs a dose of Kay each day! Thank you for mine! :-) I do believe you’ll love this dip, dear.

      Sauerkraut should always be naturally gluten free. I have to confess that personally, I’m not a fan, but I know many are and will appreciate your link–thanks!

      Party on, Kay, party on!

  7. Gluten Free Steve on October 11th, 2011 9:37 pm

    Yep, this one is definitely going in the recipe file. Thanks, Shirley.

    • Shirley on October 12th, 2011 10:43 am

      Hey Steve–I can see you and The Artist making this for one of your wonderful parties! :-)


  8. Linda on October 11th, 2011 9:46 pm

    I actually don’t think I have ever made this. I’m sure my guys would enjoy it. I’ll have to make it for them some time. I wish there was a good soy and dairy free cream cheese.

    You’re right about searching for the general recipe. I always do that unless it’s a baking recipe.

    • Shirley on October 12th, 2011 10:47 am

      Hi Linda–I think your guys would love it. And yes, I’m with you on the need for a good soy-free and dairy-free “ready made” cheese option. They seem to add so many chemicals to these products though that I really want to give homemade nut cheese a try. As I mentioned to Diane, so many use cashew cream and cashew nut cheese (like Lexie’s raw nacho cheese), and Ali has macadamia nut cheese. Both might be good options for this recipe.

      I love seeing all the options available first, before I hone in on gluten-free recipes. ;-) Thanks!


  9. Ricki on October 11th, 2011 9:48 pm

    I’ve had this type of dip in the past–a real classic! And I couldn’t agree more: there’s a certain combination of tastes and textures that we’re aiming for with something like pizza, and this dip would hit the spot for sure. Looks great, Shirley. :)

    • Shirley on October 12th, 2011 10:49 am

      Hi Ricki–Thank you! :-) Can’t wait to see if I can eventually come up with a good gf/df/soy-free option. I keep mulling ideas and trying some. I’ve been sharing your grain-free pizza crust with others and look forward to making it myself once I’m home for a good long period with no travels. ;-) Not that it’s that complicated, but I’d like to enjoy it over a few days. :-)


  10. atfanning on October 11th, 2011 9:51 pm

    I am so excited to see this recipe! This is such a great idea! My daughter is a Type 1diabetic with celiac and this will be such a great meal to send with her for sleepovers when everyone else is having pizza! Easy to transport and reheat when it is time to eat/snack. Do you have any suggestions for a pizza sauce? I am still new at making pizzas now that I cook GF and I haven’t found a recipe or GF jar/canned sauce that is really good. What we use is fine but I would like to find something better. Thank you!

    • Shirley on October 12th, 2011 10:56 am

      Hi atfanning!–Welcome to gfe! :-) I’m so happy to give you a good option for your daughter. The others may end up being envious of her pizza dip. Dips are more fun, right? ;-)

      I use the Ragu Traditional Pizza Sauce most often. That does contain sugar though, so it might not be the best option for your daughter. I found this homemade sauce recipe that looks terrific though! In the reviews, folks talk about adding a tiny bit of sweetener, so you could add some that works best for your daughter’s diet iF you think it’s needed. Then just measure out 3/4 cup of the homemade pizza sauce and use it in the dip. Let me know if you try that option and it works. :-)


      • atfanning on October 12th, 2011 9:25 pm

        Thanks for the pizza sauce suggestions. I will try them both. :-) I also think that the others may be a bit envious of the dip which I LOVE! I try really hard to make food experiences for my daughter to be enhanced NOT diminished by her GF requirements. Sometimes I’m more successful, sometimes not so much but we keep trying. haha!

        I just joined twitter to find more resources for gluten free and type 1 diabetic info. I use Jules’ GF flour quite a bit and found you and several other interesting folks when I started following her. Thanks for the info you provide for those of us trying to find our way. :-)

        • Shirley on October 13th, 2011 4:28 pm

          Hi again atfanning–I LOVE your approach! That’s absolutely the way it should be for everyone with food restrictions. Different should never mean diminished. What a great mom and advocate for your daughter, you are! :-) The successes we repeat, the others go by the wayside, right? ;-)

          How neat that you found me via my dear friend, Jules! I’m truly happy to help any way I can. You’ll find great info and help on Twitter. :-) Incidentally, have you done any baking with almond flour yet? It’s really great for diabetics since it’s low glycemic. Even starting out replacing a little of the all-purpose flour mix with almond flour in a recipe can make a big difference to the nutritional and glycemic profile. Using all almond flour requires a little more savvy and practice. Elana’s Pantry is a great blog with many, many recipes using almond flour.

          Thanks so much for taking the time to comment again!

  11. Theophanie on October 12th, 2011 10:15 am

    I love your tip on precooking pepperoni! I was always the one trying to blot the grease slick from the top of my pizza…

    • Shirley on October 12th, 2011 11:02 am

      Hi Theophanie–Thanks! I’ve been told to use turkey pepperoni instead, but I don’t like the flavor as much and I certainly don’t like the extra sodium added to make up for the lack of flavor. I actually got this idea years ago from one of my favorite pizza places. We and many others adored their pizzas and we found out that one of their tricks was to pre-cook their meat toppings some to avoid the greasy, uggy pizza. I’ve been doing that ever since. Quick and easy step that ensures deliciousness every time! ;-)


  12. Cheryl on October 12th, 2011 4:10 pm

    I have never seen anything like this before, so I’m intrigued! And I was certainly a pepperoni and pizza blotter way back in the day.

    • Shirley on October 12th, 2011 8:46 pm

      Hi Cheryl–I’m so surprised at how many folks have never been exposed to pizza dip! Sheesh … what’s this world coming, too? ;-) Haha on being a blotter. Good pizza should not have to be blotted. :-(


  13. Jeanette on October 13th, 2011 7:54 am

    My kids would do backflips for this dip! Thanks for including the dairy-free options for this recipe.

    • Shirley on October 13th, 2011 4:29 pm

      Hi Jeanette–And sometimes we want to see them do those backflips for our food, don’t we? This is great treat food for sure. Next, we have to find a good soy-free option for the dairy-free version. ;-)


  14. Ina Gawne on October 13th, 2011 9:09 am

    Yes Shirley, I add two coffee filters to a large sieve, over a bowl. Add the yogurt, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2-3 days. All the whey has then dripped out, and you are left with a thick cream cheese yogurt – yummy!:)

    • Shirley on October 13th, 2011 4:32 pm

      Hi Ina–Since I’m not a coffee drinker, that seems like the very best use of coffee filters to me. ;-) I really appreciate the instructions. I suspect my refrigerator alone would zap out most of the moisture, even with the plastic wrap in place. This is a great idea for those who want to eat dairy free, too. Non-dairy yogurt could be used. I will definitely try this in the near future–thanks!


  15. Peter Bronski on October 13th, 2011 11:13 am

    Hi Shirley… I’m with you on the turkey pepperoni. I used to use it fairly regularly when I was making a pepperoni pizza, but I much prefer the taste of “real” pepperoni. I’ve gone back to using the real thing for those few times when I make a pepperoni pizza. I might as well enjoy it to the fullest! =)

    Cheers, Pete

    • Shirley on October 13th, 2011 4:35 pm

      Hey Pete–Thanks so much for the validation! I admit that sometimes I wince at the mention of certain “healthy” substitutions and turkey pepperoni is one of them. Saw a rave review on that stunning grilled pizza of yours … still thinking about it. ;-)


  16. Kim (Cook IT Allergy Free) on October 13th, 2011 5:54 pm

    I started making a similar “Pizza Party” Dip years ago when we always started hosting SuperBowl parties at our house. I even put a version of it in my app. I have not made this in about 2 years now, actually because I forgot about it. But…I think that this will be a perfect recipe to make as we are getting full swing into football in our house here. Thanks for reminding me. I love your version of it!

    • Shirley on October 14th, 2011 3:57 pm

      Ah, yes, Kim, you are the Super Bowl party “hostess with the mostest”! ;-) Lucky guests! Must check out your allergen-free version. I’m sure I’d love it! :-) There are so many great recipes and always new ones to try that we do forget about some recipes. I think you’ll make the football viewers happy with anything that has “pizza” and “dip” in the title!


  17. Marilyn on October 15th, 2011 12:42 am

    Hi Shirley – Thanks for posting this recipe. I made this for dinner tonite & even my gluten-capable. pizza-craving husband loved it! I think this will become a regular.

    Ditto on turkey anything, except turkey burgers!

    • Shirley on October 15th, 2011 5:48 pm

      Hi Marilyn–What great news! Pizza that work sfor you and hubby and no delivery guy or gluten in sight, huh? ;-) Thanks so much for the feedback! And while I do love turkey, I just don’t like it in processed forms. Turkey burgers? Yeah, for sure!


      • Marilyn on October 16th, 2011 1:03 am

        Shirley – I have to tell you about tonite’s dinner – you might get a chuckle out of this. We had grilled hamburgers & DH warmed the leftover pizza dip & used that on his burger instead of any other condiments. He’s in LOVE with this stuff!

        • Shirley on October 17th, 2011 6:07 am

          Marilyn–I think your DH is brilliant! I’ve seen pizza burgers on restaurant menus before and I bet they weren’t as good as his creation. I’m pretty sure if you order one out, they just add the pizza sauce and use mozzarella instead of other cheese. His creation adds the “complete” ooey gooey pizza topping to the burger, which is definitely a delish combo. :-) Please pass my kudos on to him!


          p.s. I hope we haven’t created a pizza dip monster. ;-)

  18. tom @ tall clover farm on October 15th, 2011 8:53 am

    Who knew eating to your better health could look so good and decadent. Pass the dip!

    • Shirley on October 15th, 2011 5:49 pm

      Oh, Tom, this is not a healthy recipe, but you’re right, it certainly is a delicious one! ;-)


  19. Carol, Simply...Gluten-free on October 16th, 2011 10:57 am

    I have 3 words – yum, yum and yum!

    • Shirley on October 17th, 2011 6:09 am

      Carol–Yes, yes, yes. I’m wondering if you’ll reinvent this recipe as an upscale party dip like you reinvented my flourless pizza? I think it would be fun … and pretty easy to do. ;-)


  20. Lisa S Anderson on October 17th, 2011 11:41 am

    Looks great-I will be trying this on an upcoming cool fall weekend day!

    • Shirley on October 17th, 2011 8:45 pm

      Hey Lisa–I think you all will enjoy this recipe! Thanks. :-)


  21. Kristin W. on December 29th, 2011 1:59 pm

    This was very good and easy. I had many requests for the recipe! Your blog has become my go to blog for good easy recipe’s. This is my third one I have tried and all 3 have been keepers. Keep up the great work.

    • Shirley on December 29th, 2011 2:04 pm

      Thanks so much, Kristin! Your comments always make my day! I like satisfied gfe customers … oops, I mean readers. ;-) Will share your comment on my gfe Facebook page to remind folks about this dip. :-)

      Happy New Year!

  22. Cindy on August 6th, 2013 11:53 pm

    I wonder if I could cook this in my “dip” crockpot and then also keep is warm for party food, whatcha think?


    • Shirley on August 7th, 2013 12:01 am

      Hi Cindy–That should work just fine if you allow enough time for it to heat up properly before serving. Just a note however … I find that dip crockpots can really vary with their temps. I have one that only has one setting and tends to get the contents way too hot, so I’ll have it on for a while and then have to turn it off for a while (and keep doing that the whole time I’m using it). Then I have another one that has low and high settings and maintains a very even temperature. Good luck! This one is definitely a crowd pleaser, so it’s great for a party. :-) Btw, welcome to gfe! Happy to have you here and to be introduced to your gluten-free blog! :-)


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