This Hot Caprese Dip Recipe with pesto, melty cheese, and fresh tomatoes is winning appetizer. It’s perfect for all your parties and entertaining. This is an easy dip recipe you can make in less than 20 minutes!
Happy Tailgating Snacks Month! I bring you a great cream cheese basil pesto dip that can be made on the grill or in the oven. It’s also great to make at home and take to a potluck party to heat up there!
I first shared this recipe in 2015. It’s been a favorite of mine for many years. I’ve updated it for you with new pictures and information. I know you’ll love this dip as much as I do. It’s so easy! No mixing, very little measuring, and you can take it to any party!
And, thanks to the aluminum foil packet, clean-up is a breeze.
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How to make this hot cheesy dip
With just four ingredients, a few minutes to throw everything together, and 20 minutes in the oven or 8 minutes on the grill, you’ll absolutely love this “knock-your-socks-off” ooey gooey Warm Basil-Pesto Dip!
Be sure to scroll down to the printable recipe card for full ingredient amounts and instructions.
Caprese dip with pesto always gets rave reviews and people asking for the recipe.
It’s so easy it’s almost hard to believe!
You can you can make this quick and easy appetizer on the grill or in the oven. So, if you’re at a tailgate or at home watching the game on the couch it comes out just as melty and yummy!
Start by gathering and prepping the ingredients
Cream cheese: You can use your choice of either full fat or reduced fat cream cheese in this recipe. Lower fat cream cheese is a little softer, so you won’t need to cook it as long.
Pesto: Use homemade pesto or store-bought pesto. There are some pretty good pre-made pestos that I’ve found in the refrigerated pasta section of the grocery store.
Plum tomatoes: Plum tomatoes are pretty good year-round, which makes this a great dip to serve any time of year! To get all the seeds and liquid out of the tomatoes, cut the top off of the tomato, slice the tomato in half, and stick your finger in the hole, scraping out the seeds and juice. Now just chop them up nice and fine.
If you have someone who doesn’t like fresh tomatoes, you can easily swap out fresh for sun-dried tomatoes in this dip.
Fresh mozzarella: I’m a big fan of fresh mozzarella. Find it in my Red Pepper Fresh Mozzarella Lasagna and Marinated Mozzarella recipes. You’ll find fresh mozzarella in the deli section of most grocery stores.
Layer it up!
You’re going to layer the ingredients on a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Cream cheese > pesto > chopped tomatoes > fresh mozzarella.
No heavy-duty foil on hand? Just use a double layer of regular foil instead.
Close up the foil packet.
Cook it up
If you’re at home and you want to cook this in a small baking dish, it’ll still work. Make sure to cover it tightly with a lid or foil so the cheese gets nice and melty inside the dish.
Place the foil packet on a preheated grill and grill for about 8 to 10 minutes or until everything is nice and hot.
Or, prepare this recipe year-round by baking it in a 375º F oven for 15 minutes, then popping it under the broiler for a couple minutes.
Transfer the packet to a serving dish. Garnish with fresh basil if desired.
Fresh basil for garnish: This is a great way to use all that summer basil from the garden. How to Chiffonade Basil: stack several basil leaves together, roll it tightly, and, using a sharp knife, cut thin slivers of basil.
Let the Hot basil pesto dip cool down for a few minutes prior to digging in or you risk burning your mouth.
This caprese dip is great with any crackers. Or serve it toasted slices of French bread or sourdough for super easy crostini or caprese bruschetta.
Or try it with pita chips, tortilla chips, woven wheat crackers, well, you get the idea!
If you love caprese, you may want to try Shrimp Caprese Skewers, Guacamole Caprese Bites, and Plank grilled blue cheese caprese.
Tailgating snacks month
I can’t let you go without some celebration of the tastiness that is Tailgating Snacks Month here on Life Currents. 2022 is the 9th annual celebration.
Whether you watch sports or not, this is always a tasty month. And, whether you go to the game or just couch-gate, these are fun ways to snack.
And this Tomato Mozzarella Caprese Dip is the ultimate EASY party dip for any occasion, but especially tailgating and Super Bowl parties. It might just be the best cheese dip recipe ever!
I’ve taken this dip to a few parties, and, yes, it can be made ahead and travels really well.
Pre-make the foil packet with all the goodies inside, fold up the foil edges really well, and tuck it in a cooler.
Then, when you’re at the party or tailgate, pop the packet on the grill, and in no time at all, you’ll have an awesome cheesy dip. Just remember to bring along some crackers or chips to serve with the dip.
Storage & Reheating Tips
This cream cheese pesto layered dip is best served immediately, all hot and bubbly from the grill.
But, it’s also dang good leftover. Store it in the fridge for up to 3 days in a tightly covered container.
It can be reheated in the microwave or in an oven until it’s warmed through again.
It’s also great leftover cold from the fridge.
You could also take any leftovers and top grilled chicken breasts with the cheesy tomato dip for a fun and easy caprese chicken.
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Caprese Dip Recipe
Hot Caprese Dip Recipe
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- ¼ cup pesto
- 2 plum tomatoes seeded and finely chopped
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella cut into strips
- fresh basil for garnish if desired
- Place cream cheese on sheet of heavy-duty foil; top with pesto, chopped tomatoes, and slices of mozzarella. Fold foil closed over the top of the cheese.
- Preheat grill to medium heat.
- Place foil packet on grill grates, and cover with grill lid. Grill 8 to 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and pesto is bubbling (you’ll be able to hear the bubbling going on inside the packet). Carefully open the packet, and check for doneness. I usually leave the packet open, cover the grill again, and cook for an additional 3 minutes to get a little more meltiness into the cheese.
- Preheat oven to 375° F.
- Place foil packet on a baking sheet, and bake 15 minutes at 375° F, or until cheese is melted and pesto is bubbling. Carefully open the packet, and check for doneness. Leave the packet open, and broil 3 minutes.
- If you’re at home and you want to cook this in a small baking dish, it will still work. Make sure to cover it tightly with a lid or foil so the cheese gets nice and melty inside the dish. Follow the times and temperatures as they are.
- Transfer packet to a serving platter. Garnish with fresh chopped basil if desired.
- Serve with crackers or tortilla chips.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations, and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary based on brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes, and more.