The perfect Mardi Gras appetizer, this warm baked muffuletta dip is a twist on the classic New Orleans muffuletta sandwich made with olive salad, zesty giardiniera, genoa salami, mortadella, and provolone. Serve it up with crispy, toasted baguette slices for your next party.
This dip packs all the zesty flavors of the classic Muffuletta into a warm, cheesy dip that will be the star of your Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday party – but don’t stop there! Serve this one up for the Super Bowl, game nights, or any time you want to bring home that New Orleans flavor!
Recipe Inspiration: The Muffuletta Sandwich
The Muffuletta is a sandwich that first originated among Italian immigrants in New Orleans, Louisiana and said to have first been created around 1906 by a Sicilian immigrant and owner of Central Grocery Co. The traditional muffuletta sandwich is made with muffuletta bread (Sicilian sesame bread), sliced open, and filled with marinated Italian olive salad, provolone and Italian meats like salami and mortadella.
Muffuletta Dip: Ingredients
Don’t be alarmed by the ingredient list, they’re all easily found at a regular grocery store. While you might not commonly find yourself grabbing giardiniera (an Italian relish), for example, fear not, it’s found right by the pickles and jarred peppers!
- cream cheese
- genoa salami
- mortadella (an Italian cold cut made of sausage, but you can swap in ham if you like)
- giardiniera (hot or mild, found by the pickles)
- roasted red peppers (also found by the pickles)
- green olives with pimentos – you can sub in Kalamata olives or black olives if that’s what you have on hand!
- provolone cheese
- minced garlic (or substitute garlic powder)
- green onion
- parmesan cheese (grated) – you can sub in shredded mozzarella cheese
- fresh parsley
How to Make Baked Muffuletta Dip
Here’s a quick overview of how to make this easy dip, but you’ll find the full, printable recipe card below.
- Prep all your ingredients. I use a food processor to quickly dice the peppers, olives and giardiniera.
- Stir together all the ingredients (except for the parmesan and parsley) in a large bowl until combined.
- Spread mixture into an oven safe baking dish. Top with grated parmesan cheese. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling, YUM!
- Remove from oven and garnish with fresh chopped parsley. This is completely optional but that extra touch of green really livens up the dish for serving. I use this herb chopper, it’s one of my kitchen faves!
What to Serve with Muffuletta Dip
Since the dip is briny, cheesy and full of flavor, I like to serve it with simple toast rounds, pita chips, pita wedges, crispy bread rounds (slice french bread or any baguette, drizzle with olive oil and toast) or veggies like celery sticks, sliced bell peppers, etc.
More Serving Suggestions:
You know what else I LOVE about this New Orleans-inspired recipe? It’s not just for dipping. Here are a few other tasty ideas…
- Spread the muffuletta dip on hoagie rolls, sandwiches, wraps or slider buns.
- Fill phyllo cups, wonton cups or mini puff pastry shells with extra dip and bake for little one-bite muffuletta bites!
- Toss it with your favorite pasta and bake for a Southern muffuletta lunch or dinner dish!
- Use it as a stuffing or filling in celery slices or peppers.
Recipe Tips and FAQ:
Can you make this in advance?
Absolutely! You can make this delicious dip ahead of time and store, covered, in the refrigerator to bake whenever you’re ready! Since it will chill and thicken in the refrigerator, you’ll want to set it out a bit before baking or add around 5 to 10 minutes to the bake time.
How do I make this dip healthier?
Use low fat cream cheese and light mayonnaise to reduce fat and calories. Also, be sure to fully drain and rinse your olives, roasted red peppers and giardiniera to reduce the sodium content.
I don’t have mayonnaise, what else can I use?
No problem! You can substitute in sour cream in place of the mayonnaise. You can leave it out altogether, but the dip will be extra thick.
How do I save leftovers?
Store leftover dip in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. That’s assuming you have leftovers, of course. 😉
I hope you’ll try this warm, cheesy muffuletta dip for a Mardi Gras party and beyond! It’s all the best flavors from the Big Easy right in your own home!
More Party Appetizers to Try:
- 8 ounces cream cheese (softened)
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1 clove garlic minced (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
- 1 cup salami diced
- 1/3 cup mortadella diced (or ham)
- 1/2 cup giardiniera drained, rinsed and chopped
- 1/2 cup roasted red peppers drained, rinsed and chopped
- 1/2 cup green olives with pimentos drained, rinsed and chopped
- 4 ounces provolone cheese cubed
- 1 green onion thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese grated
- 1 tbsp parsley chopped (for garnish)
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Place softened cream cheese, mayonnaise, minced garlic, salami, mortadella, chopped giardiniera, chopped roasted red peppers, chopped olives, and cubed provolone in a large mixing bowl.
- Stir well to combine and spread into an oven safe baking dish.
- Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese and sliced green onion.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and dip is bubbling.
- Remove from oven, garnish with chopped parsley and serve with toasted baguette slices, pita chips, bread rounds, or crudités.