Slow Cooker Pizza Dip
That title lured you in, didn’t it? I knew it would. There’s no resisting a title of that caliber. Garlic bread. Pizza. Dip. Slow-cooker. All scrolled on one line. It’s enticing.
Pizza is great on its own, but turn it into a dip made with spicy sausage, green peppers, and a generous helping of parmesan and mozzarella cheese and you, my friend, have yourself a party.
The Superbowl is just hours away. Squirrel and I are especially excited–Squirrel more than me–because our team is playing in the Super Bowl. This isn’t just any Super Bowl; this is THE Super Bowl, or, as everyone is calling it, The Harbowl. Two brothers facing off for the championship–now that’s exciting! I kind of feel bad for the parents. I mean, who are they supposed to cheer for? Go teams? I suppose it’s a win-win for them; either way, one of their sons is going to win the Super Bowl.
This game is particularly special and profound for the Raven’s and the fans because we’re saying good-bye to a dear friend, and amazing linebacker. The Super Bowl marks the last game Ray Lewis will ever play; after a 17-year career, Ray is retiring from the game. He was the heart and soul of the Ravens and will be missed dearly.
I like football, don’t get me wrong, but I really like food. My husband is a huge football fan, and an even bigger Raven’s fan. I’m sure you remember the post with the purple tree and decked-out man cave. Yeah, HUGE fan. A bit obsessive, even. The man eats, breathes, and sleeps football.
Squirrel is nothing but consistent when it comes to food. Every Saturday during football season he comes to me with his game day requests, “So, whatcha makin’ me for the game?” Apparently, he thinks I’m his personal game-day chef. And, since I love cooking, I throw the man a bone, “I don’t know, Squirrel, what would you like me to make you?” I caught the man looking through cooking magazines the other day. When I caught him, he said, “I’m trying to find something good for you to make me for the game.” This garlicky bread bowl pizza dip is what he found. Me being the queen of adaptation, I made this slow cooker pizza dip with toasted garlic bread dippers my own.
I’ve already made this dip twice. The first time I made it, I baked it in a garlicky bread bowl. Sounds delicious, right? Well, it was; only it was hard to eat. Definitely not crowd-friendly food. Trying to tear the bread apart was a chore, and the bread soaked up most of the sauce, creating a dry dip. Dry dip is not good dip, so I decided to go down a different path.
I browned the spicy sausage with some red pepper flakes and threw it in the slow-cooker with pizza sauce, onions, green peppers, garlic, and parmesan cheese. I toasted up garlic and butter soaked French bread to use as the dippers. The result was delicious; tastes just like pizza without the crust.
The toasted bread makes for easy dipping without the mess and headache of a bread bowl. Your Super Bowl guests will love it!
Go Ravens! Enjoy!
Slow Cooker Pizza Dip
Pizza in the form of a dip. Loaded with sausage, peppers, and cheese, this dip is sure to please a crowd. Dunk with toasted garlic garlic, pita, or tortilla chips.
Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
1 pound hot sausage, casings removed (I use Jimmy Dean)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup green pepper, diced
1 cup onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28 ounce) can pizza sauce (Don Pepino is my fav)
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
Salt & Pepper to taste
Garlic Bread Dippers:
1 French baguette, sliced into 1/2-inch slices
1 stick unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4-1/3 cup parmesan cheese
In the insert of your slow-cooker, add green peppers, onions, garlic, pizza sauce, and parmesan cheese.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and red pepper flakes. Brown the sausage until it's cooked through, breaking it up with your spatula or wooden spoon as you go.
Add the cooked sausage to the slow-cooker with the rest of the ingredients.
Cook on low for 4 hours. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in mozzarella cheese right before serving.
Garlic Bread Dippers:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Line a sheet pan with the French baguette slices.
In a small sauce pan over low heat, add the butter and garlic cloves. Cook until the butter is melted, stirring occasionally. Once the butter is melted, add the salt and Italian seasoning. Cook on low for two minutes, stirring occasionally.
Using a pastry brush, coat the slices with the butter mixture. Top with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.
Bake for 5-7 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown.