This cream cheese pesto dip is so easy and quick to make. It’s the perfect appetizer for the holidays, game days or general entertaining.

You need just three ingredients for this simple recipe that’s perfect for a crowd. Full of flavor, you can serve this as a hot dip or make it ahead of time.

An easy appetizer dip; a white bowl of pesto dip with tomatoes and bread.
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This festive cream cheese pesto dip recipe was introduced to me years ago by a friend. If you even remotely like pesto you will love this festive cheese dip!

It takes just five minutes hands-on time to prepare and is so incredibly delicious, and pretty to serve, too!

I love pesto so much- that basil flavor is so fragrant and delicious at any time of year. I’ve brought you an incredible homemade basil pesto recipe, pesto aioli, and even pesto pasta!

I love how full of flavor this dip is with so little effort! It’s fresh and bright whilst being creamy and indulgent all at the same time!

The cream cheese provides a perfect balance for the pesto and it’s topped off with those juicy tomatoes. It’s another one of my favorite five minute make-ahead appetizers! One bite and it will be yours too!

A white bowl of pesto dip with tomatoes and bread, the perfect easy appetizer dip for any occasion.

Cream Cheese Pesto Dip

So often during the holidays we’re looking for a last minute appetizer to bring. Something simple like a dip that’s easy to make, looks beautiful and is gone within minutes (success!).

Why You’ll Love this Recipe

  • So Easy – Just three ingredients to make this crowd pleasing dip!
  • Customizable – You can make your own fresh pesto for this recipe, and we’ll show you how, plus a dozen pesto variations!
  • Always Disappears at Parties – This festive pesto dip is the perfect recipe for holiday get-togethers. It’s always a crowd pleaser.
A piece of bread with an egg on it and a pesto cheese dip.

When you’re entertaining, you don’t want to spend more time in the kitchen than with your guests, so this dip is a great option to add to your menu. This recipe makes enough for 12 servings and it’s easily doubled if you are hosting more people.

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Cream Cheese – I always prefer full fat cream cheese but you do you!
  • Pesto – Store bought or fresh – use your favorite brand or see our recipe variations below.
  • Grape Tomatoes – Fresh and preferably organic.

Variations

A white bowl of pesto dip with tomatoes and crackers.

How to Make

This hot dip appetizer is so quick to put together!

  1. Preheat oven.
  2. Spread softened cream cheese in base of small casserole dish.
    Easy appetizer dip in a white bowl on a marble countertop.
  3. Top with a thin layer of pesto. Easy appetizer dip in a white bowl on a marble countertop.
  4. Halve tomatoes and place on top.
  5. Bake as directed. Serve and enjoy!
A white bowl filled with pesto and tomatoes, creating an easy appetizer dip.

Tips

  • You can use a low fat cream cheese if you wish, to lower fat and calories content.
  • Use a good quality pesto that has a great flavor, or make your own!
  • If you plan on serving it straight away, let it cool for five minutes before serving.
  • If you are making it ahead of time, let it cool to room temperature and then cover and store in the fridge.

An easy appetizer dip filled with pesto and tomatoes.

Serving Suggestions

Serve this dip with all of your usual accouterments:

  • Sliced baguette
  • Pita Chips
  • Crudite
  • Croutons
  • Toasted Bread
  • Tortilla chips
An easy appetizer dip with a pesto cheese spread on a piece of bread with a tomato on top.

Give me all the pesto everything! Have you ever made my pesto chicken? You have to try it- such an easy weeknight dinner option! And don’t forget my pesto aioli, the ultimate sauce for dipping!

An easy appetizer dip with pesto cheese in a white bowl.

Make Ahead

  • I like this pesto cheese dip served warm, a few minutes out of the oven, but it can also be made as a bake and take.
  • You can also prep the dish earlier in the day and cover it in the fridge to pop into the oven just before serving. Just combine ingredients and bake when you’re ready to serve. It will keep for 3+ days covered and refrigerated.
  • If you serve this dip cold, let it warm to room temperature so that it’s easily spreadable.
A white bowl of pesto dip with cherry tomatoes and croutons, an easy appetizer dip.

How to Store

  • Room Temperature – This dip can sit out safely while serving for up to two hours maximum.
  • Refrigerate – Store this cream cheese pesto dip, tightly covered for up to five days. To reheat, simply warm through in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes.
  • Freezer – Cream cheese dips don’t generally freeze well, as the consistency will change with defrosting.

Curious about freezing your cream cheese recipes? Read more in Can you Freeze Cream Cheese to learn all about what works and what doesn’t!

An easy appetizer dip with a white dish filled with pesto and tomatoes.

More Pesto Inspiration

A white dish with pesto and cherry tomatoes, perfect as a refreshing and easy appetizer dip.
5 from 10 votes

Cream Cheese Pesto Dip

This cream cheese pesto dip is easy + quick to make. It's the perfect appetizer for the holidays or game days. Only three ingredients, too!
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 12
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Ingredients  

  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1 cup store bought pesto (most jars are 6-8 ounces)
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350℉.
  • Spread softened cream cheese in base of small casserole dish.
  • Top with a thin layer of pesto.
  • Halve tomatoes and place on top.
  • Bake 20 minutes. Serve with pita chips, crostini or sliced baguette.

Julie’s Tips

  • You can use a low fat cream cheese if you wish, to lower fat and calories content.
  • Use a good quality pesto that has a great flavor, or make your own!
  • If you plan on serving it straight away, let it cool for 5 minutes before serving.
  • If you are making it ahead of time, let it cool to room temperature and then cover and store in the fridge.
Calories: 64kcal | Protein: 1g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 61mg | Potassium: 26mg | Vitamin A: 255IU | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 0.1mg

Estimated nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is not guaranteed.

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