This delicious Pesto Chicken Dip can be served as an appetizer, a side dish, or even as the main course! You can have this simple 6-ingredient dinner on the table in just 40 minutes.
I have mentioned it before, but every Sunday night of my childhood we had junk food for dinner. Of course, I didn’t really realize it was junk food at the time. But now, looking back at all of the popcorn, cheese, and crackers, chips, and dip and coke floats we ate I sort of can’t believe my parents did that.
Not that it was bad. Actually, I think we ate pretty well growing up. My mom cooked all of the time; I don’t have many memories of going out to eat until I was a lot older.
I think Sunday night was kind of Mom’s night off. One night where she didn’t have to beg kids to finish dinner or cook all evening, then clean up–It was just a free night.
As an adult, I find myself needing those free nights sometimes. Meals that are delicious, easy, and that always, always get eaten. This was how I felt last week. I was tired of mopping up paw prints, I was tired of laundry, and recipes, I was just tired!
So, I opted for a free night. I made this Pesto Chicken Dip and toasted some delicious gluten-free bread and we ate dip for dinner and binge watched Big Bang Theory.
As it turns out, sometimes free nights are good for the soul. Feel free to take the night off and treat the family to a almost-junk-food-but-not-really night!
Pesto Chicken Dip Ingredients:
Here’s a quick overview of the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe. As always, you can keep scrolling down to the recipe card for the exact measurements.
- Reduced fat cream cheese (softened) — Full fat cream cheese will also work, but it will change the nutritional information.
- Sharp white cheddar cheese (shredded)
- Ricotta cheese
- Basil pesto
- Cooked chicken (shredded)
- Red bell pepper (seeded and chopped)
How do I make Chicken Pesto Dip?
This recipe is easy to make and easy to meal-prep! First you’ll combine the cream cheese, ricotta, one cup of the the shredded cheddar, and the basil in a mixing bowl. Stir it until it’s well combined, then add the shredded chicken and chopped bell pepper.
Spread the dip into a greased baking dish and top with the remaining cheddar. Bake until golden and bubbly, then serve with toasted gluten-free bread or veggies!
Substitutions & Suggestions
While I’m already in love with this dish, I also couldn’t help thinking up ways to potentially make it even better. Don’t be afraid to mix and match some different ingredients to make this the ultimate dip for you! Here are a few changes I think could be equally awesome:
- Try different types of pesto! I was blown away when I found out you can make pesto out of tons of things. Instead of basil, you could use sundried tomatoes, parsley, arugula, or other favorite greens!
Instead of using the traditional pine nuts, your pesto may use walnuts or pistachios. Additionally, you could swap out the Romano with Parmesan, Gorgonzola, or even Nutritional Yeast if you’d like to reduce the dairy!
- Consider different types of cheeses. I love a good sharp cheddar, especially when paired with the herby goodness of basil. However, I think this recipe would also be amazing with a combination of cheeses! I think next time I might try 1/2 cup each of cheddar, smoked gouda, and asiago for even more depth of flavor.
- Try different meats. This dip really works with any cooked meat, so feel free to try it with what you have on hand! Leftover turkey, ham, chorizo, or even roast beef would be an interesting, tasty twist.
What can I dip in Pesto Chicken Dip?
My favorite thing about dip is having a variety of things to use as dippers! This recipe works great with many different…
- Chips – Try tortilla, corn, or pita chips! As long as the chip is pretty sturdy, it’ll likely pair well. You could toast up some cut low-carb tortilla for homemade low-carb chips!
- Breads – Gluten-free breads and toasts work as wonderful vehicles to get this dip to you!
- Vegetables – We love cucumbers, bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, and even green bean fries!
More Pesto Recipes:
Pesto is perfect for summer–It adds a brightness to a dish that I can’t resist! Here are a few of my favorite recipes that also use pesto.
- Keto Chicken Pesto Stuffed Sweet Peppers
- Grilled Pesto Chicken Pizza
- Crispy Smashed Potatoes with Pesto
- Easy Pesto Chicken (keto, low-carb)
- Italian Veggie Sliders with Whipped Pesto + Feta Spread
- Keto Pesto Chicken Ravioli
- 1 (8 ounce) package reduced fat cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup ricotta
- 1/3 cup basil pesto
- 2 cups cooked shredded chicken
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- Heat an oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x8 or oval baking dish and set aside.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, ricotta, ONE cup of the shredded cheddar, and the basil until very well combined.
- Stir in the shredded chicken and chopped bell pepper.
- Pour dip into baking dish and spread evenly. Top with remaining 1/2 cup shredded cheddar.
- Bake 30 minutes until gold and bubbly. Serve with toasted gluten-free bread or veggies.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 407Total Fat: 29.7gCholesterol: 108mgSodium: 593mgCarbohydrates: 7.1gNet Carbohydrates: 6.7gFiber: 0.4gSugar: 3.5gProtein: 27.8g