Pesto, Cream Cheese and Sundried Tomato Spread (Recipe)

by Emily on December 16, 2010 · 2 comments

in Recipes

Italian Week on MOTB is a great time to focus on recipes and hospitality. This is a delicious and convenient appetizer to whip up for a get-together when you are pressed for time, money or both. It takes less than 15 min. active time (total time is 30-45 min.), and it's appealing to even picky eaters. With pesto, tomato and mozzarella showing up to the party, it tastes a little bit like pizza. But then you add that cream cheese and the crowd goes nuts. There is nothing authentically Italian about this dish, but it does celebrate the flavor profiles L'Italia is known for, so just go with it, ok? One note to my cooks: Please be careful trying to transport this dish after you've baked it. The olive oil from the pesto tends to separate a little, ruining almost ruining your friend's white slip-covered chair when you set it down in its bag for a minute. I recommend heating it up wherever you plan to serve it, and checking on it frequently while it bakes. [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Red, White and Green Spread on French Bread"]Red, White and Green Spread on French Bread[/caption]


Pesto, Cream cheese and Sundried Tomato Spread (AKA Red, White and Green Spread)
  • Serves: Serves about 20 single slice servings, and it's rich so plan on one per person.
  • Optional Special equipment: Clear glass baking dish. (It looks pretty to see the layers.)
  • 2 blocks (16 oz) Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 1 small jar basil pesto (Homemade would be awesome, but the small jars of Classico pestos work well here.)
  • 1 small jar sundried tomato pesto (Same as above - in this case I actually subbed in roasted red pepper spread. Use whatever works for you.)
  • 1 8-oz. package of shredded mozzarella
  • 1 loaf of Italian bread, halved lengthwise and sliced into 1/2 in. thick slices
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a bowl, mix the basil pesto with one block of cream cheese until thoroughly combined.
  3. In a glass baking dish, spread the other block of cream cheese on the bottom of the dish (if it is difficult to spread, pop it in the microwave for 15 seconds).
  4. Next, layer the basil pesto/cream cheese mixture.
  5. Finally, spread the sundried tomato pesto on top of the green pesto mixture.
  6. Top with the shredded mozzarella until the sundried tomato layer is completely covered
  7. If you're traveling to a party, wrap the top with tinfoil and bake at the party location. The recipe can also be made ahead to this step and refrigerated for up to 3 days beforehand.
  8. Bake, covered, for 15-30 minutes until the mozzarella is completely melted.
  9. NOTE: If you are like me, you will almost burn a friend's house down when the dish gets too melty and oil from the pesto bubbles over into the oven. Don't do this. After the 15 minute mark, if the cheese is not melted, do check on it every 5 minutes so it doesn't get all sloppy.
  10. Remove from oven and remove cover. You now have a lovely red, white and green dip to serve with French bread to your guests. Serve with a knife or even a spoon for spreading along with a plate of the sliced bread.


I love sharing details about upcoming tasty trips and adventures, so you won't want to miss a bite. As always, please feel free to chat with me on Twitter, join our group on Facebook and keep up with new posts here by subscribing.


Want step-by-step photos? Check out my bad iPhone pics by clicking the photo below. (Apologies in advance for the poor quality. My real camera's battery died and I wanted you to have the recipe for parties this weekend.) [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="375" caption="Click here for step-by-step photos"]Click here for step-by-step photos[/caption]


Final note: This post is not sponsored, though I did have a great time working with Philly Cream Cheese earlier this year.
  • LittleRedM

    Yes! I have a party to go to on Saturday and needed a new recipe to top last year’s spicy salsa/cream cheese dip. This will be a huge hit. Thank you!

    • emilyspearl

      Just try to bake it at the party spot, and check on it after 15
      minutes. It is so delicious! Everyone will LOVE it. Send me a pic of
      your finished dish, or post it here as a comment!

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