Nutrition: 161 Calories | 2.8g Net Carbs | 17.8g Protein | 8.5g Total Fat
Looking for a fun and healthy spin on pizza night? Try this Cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Dip with chicken and spinach; it’s high protein and low carb!
My family loves it when they see an appetizer dinner on my meal plan. Another favorite is pizza night. And this recipe is the perfect fusion of the two. I turned everybody’s favorite cheesy pepperoni pizza into a fun appetizer that’s healthy too. This warm appetizer is filled with canned chicken, fresh spinach and pepperoni. It’s combined in a perfectly seasoned cream cheese mixture with plain greek yogurt for extra protein. And the dish is covered with pizza sauce, shredded mozzarella and more pepperoni that bakes into a cheesy, melty delicious pizza topping. Serve your cheesy pepperoni pizza dip with crackers and seasoned pita chips or keep it completely low carb with a variety of fresh vegetable dippers. This is a fun recipe to bring to a party, and, with fall right around the corner, it’s a great game day dish too.
Chop Up a Package of Pepperoni Slices
Making this fun appetizer is really easy. Start by chopping up a 5 ounce package of pepperoni slices. I use the turkey pepperoni because you get all the flavor without the added grease. Once you’ve chopped up the pepperoni into small pieces, set aside a quarter cup to use as the topping.
Chop Fresh Spinach Leaves
The next ingredient in the tasty filling is fresh spinach. It adds a bit to the flavor and a lot of color, plus all the health benefits that come with leafy greens. I’m always looking for ways to add in more vegetables. For this appetizer, all you need to do is roughly chop the spinach leaves the same as you did the pepperoni.
Mix Up the Cream Cheese Base
After your mix-ins are chopped up, it’s time to make the base of this warm appetizer. In a large bowl, mix together one package of low fat cream cheese and one cup of non-fat plain greek yogurt. It’s easiest to mix if the cream cheese is at room temperature. The greek yogurt adds extra protein to the dish, but you could use sour cream instead, if that’s what you have on hand.
Once the cream cheese and yogurt are fully mixed together, add garlic powder and Italian seasoning to the bowl and mix again.
Add Chicken, Spinach, and Pepperoni
Now that you have a deliciously seasoned cream cheese mixture, it’s time to add some chicken. You’ll need two large cans of canned chicken. Drain the chicken first, then add it to the bowl with the seasoned creamed cheese. Break up any large chunks of chicken with a fork. Then, stir it in.
The chicken really amps up this dish to something more than a snack. It adds a lot of protein, making this cheesy pepperoni dish a great meal option, especially when you serve it with some great dippers.
If you have leftover chicken in the refrigerator, you can use it in this recipe instead of the canned chicken. Just chop it up nice and small or shred it so it mixes evenly in the dish. You could also use rotisserie chicken for even more flavor. You’ll need about 2 cups of chicken.
Here’s a quick video showing you how easy it is to cut up a rotisserie chicken for your recipes.
After mixing in the chicken, add the chopped spinach and pepperoni to the bowl. Make sure to set aside a quarter cup of pepperoni for the topping. Mix in the spinach and pepperoni, and give it a taste. Add salt and pepper as needed. Give the mixture one last good stir, and the base of your appetizer is finished.
After finishing up the pepperoni and cream cheese mixture, transfer it to a baking dish. Use a spoon to smooth it out evenly in the dish. You can use any oven safe dish you like, even a pie plate.
Add the Toppings
Once you’ve filled you baking dish, it’s time to layer on some tasty pizza toppings. Start with a jar of pizza sauce. Smooth out the sauce on top of the cream cheese mixture with a spoon. Next, sprinkle the shredded mozzarella over the pizza sauce, covering the dish evenly. Lastly, scatter the reserved pepperoni pieces on top. Your prep work is done. You can bake your cheesy pepperoni pizza dip immediately, or put it in the refrigerator to bake later.
A note on pizza sauce. In the recipe below, I specify sugar free pizza sauce. This isn’t usually advertised on the front of the jar. I always check the ingredients label for sugar. Some have it and some don’t. I always buy the kind without sugar. Tomatoes are already sweet enough on their own; no need for unnecessary sugar.
Bake the Cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Dip
Once you’ve layered the pizza dip in the baking dish, it’s ready to bake. You can bake it now, or put it in the refrigerator to bake later. If you’re baking it right away, put the dish in the oven at 350° for about 15 – 20 minutes. The dip is ready when the mozzarella cheese is melted and the dip is bubbling around the edges of the dish.
Prepping ahead and baking later? This is a great option for meal prep and party prep. Keep in mind that your appetizer will take longer to bake straight out of the refrigerator. You can either set it out to let it warm up to room temperature before baking, or plan for some extra baking time. You’ll know it’s done when the cheese is melted and the dip is bubbling around the edges. If there’s any leftovers, they reheat well in the oven too.
Easy Cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Dip – High Protein & Low Carb
This quick and easy recipe for Cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Dip is fun and healthy!! This high protein, low carb twist on everybody’s favorite is perfect for the game, the potluck, or family movie night!!
Total Time: 35 min
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 20 min
- 2 Cans (12.5oz each) Canned Chicken, drained
- 5 oz Sliced Turkey Pepperoni, divided
- 1 Cup Fresh Spinach
- 8 oz Low Fat Cream Cheese, softened
- 1 Cup Shredded Mozzarella
- 1 Cup Plain Non-Fat Greek Yogurt
- 14 oz Jar Sugar Free Pizza Sauce
- 2 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
- 1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Chop the fresh spinach and pepperoni slices. Reserve 1/4 cup of chopped pepperoni.
- In a large bowl, mix together the cream cheese, greek yogurt, Italian seasoning and garlic powder until smooth.
- Add the drained canned chicken, chopped spinach and pepperoni to cream cheese mixture. Mix to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste and mix again.
- Put the chicken mixture in a baking dish and spread out evenly. Top the mixture with pizza sauce and spread evenly. Next sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on top and finally the reserved chopped pepperoni.
- Bake 350° for 15 – 20 minutes until bubbly around the edges. Note: if you refrigerate the dip before cooking, it will take longer to bake.
Yield: 6 Cups, Serving Size: 1/2 Cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 161, Total Fat: 8.5g, Saturated Fat: 4.3g, Cholesterol: 64.7mg, Sodium: 605.9mg, Carbohydrates: 3.4g, Fiber 0.6g, Sugars: 2.1g, Protein 17.8g