One of my favorite appetizers in Italy is a caprese salad. It is a delicious combination of mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, salt and olive oil, typically arranged on a serving plate for everyone to take their individual portion. It is best prepared when tomatoes are at their freshest and it easily can be the main dish.
As we’ve done before, we really wanted to make this fresh dish into a dip that could be made any time of year for any appetizer spread. We kept the heart of the dish intact by incorporating tomatoes, mozzarella and basil leaves, but added additional cheeses for creaminess as well as some mustard powder and garlic for a kick of flavor. Caprese Dip may have been our most popular dip to-date, as the team devoured it and there wasn’t a crumb left to be found.
Prepping the Ingredients
This is one of the easiest appetizers to prepare as there is so little preparation work to be done. Start by cutting the grape tomatoes in half with the Santoku-Style Cheese Knife.
Spread the slices of bread onto a baking pan and lightly coat with olive oil. Toast in the oven at 350 F until crispy.
Making the Dip
In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese (making sure it’s room temperature), sour cream, mustard powder, garlic powder, Italian seasoning and black pepper. Stir until everything is thoroughly combined then add the shredded mozzarella and Gouda cheeses as well as the chopped basil leaves, continuing to mix the ingredients together.
Spread the cheese mixture into a 9″ round baking dish, coated with cooking spray, and place the halved grape tomatoes on top. In a 350 F oven, bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and the tomatoes have started to split. Remove from the oven, top with additional basil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Serve the dip with the toasted bread slices.
Delicious doesn’t do this recipe justice as you’ll keep going back for more. When dipping the crispy bread into the warm dip you get all the flavors of the original salad.
Caprese Dip is not only easy to make, it is full flavor in every bite!
- 4 ounces full-fat cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese (1 cup)
- 4 ounces shredded Gouda cheese (1 cup)
- 3/4 cup chopped basil leaves
- 1 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- Extra basil leaves
- 2 baguettes, sliced
- Olive oil
- Heat oven to 350 F.
- Spray a baking dish (9″ round pan by 2″ deep) with nonstick cooking spray.
- Mix cream cheese, sour cream, mustard powder, garlic powder, Italian seasoning and black pepper in a large bowl until combined. Add shredded cheese and chopped basil.
- Spread mixture into a baking dish and place halved grape tomatoes on top.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until heated through. The cheese should be bubbling with the tomatoes starting to split. Remove from the oven and top with basil leaves.
- Let the dip rest for 10 minutes before serving.
- While the dip is resting, place the sliced bread onto a baking sheet and drizzle the slices with olive oil. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes until the bread is toasted.
- Serve the dip with toasted bread.