Made this appetizer for our neighborhood game night with delicious success. The recipe is from a local food blogger who is coincidentally a friend of a friend. A small world for sure.
1 lb ground Italian sausage (mild or spicy)
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cups baby spinach
1-1/2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
8 oz cream cheese, reduced fat
1/2 cup sour cream, reduced fat
1/4 cup mayonnaise, reduced fat
1/3 cup banana peppers, chopped
Dash of salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 350˚F.
- Start by browning the Italian sausage in a pan over high heat-about 8 min (I didn’t need any oil because the meat let off its own juices). Sprinkle with salt and pepper. After the meat starts to brown, add in the chopped up onion and red pepper and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- In a bowl of a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, combine the cream cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise (it helps if they’re at room temperature, but a few lumps are ok). Mix until all are well combined and creamy.
- Then add the 1 cup of the Parmesan Cheese, chopped banana peppers, spinach, and sausage, peppers and onion mixture (drain any excess liquid from cooking before adding it). Mix until everything is combined.
- Make a bread boat or bowl by cutting the top off the loaf or round of bread and hollow out the loaf (saving the innards and cutting them into pieces for serving). You want to leave the bottom on the bread, but you can hollow out the sides.
- Next transfer the mixture into the bread boat (or a baking dish) and add sprinkle remaining Parmesan cheese over the dip. If baking in a bread boat, wrap the sides of the bread in aluminum foil leaving the top (dip) exposed. Bake for 30 minutes until cheese is golden brown around the edges. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
The dip can be made ahead and baked the day of the party. Can be made 1-2 days in advance.