We don’t know about you, but it has been COLD here in Vermont, and everything about “Hot Italian Cheddar Dip” sounds good right now! As we all know there is a big game right around the corner and this cheddar cheese dip is the perfect accompaniment to chips, crackers, veggies, and sliced baguette… in other words, a crowd pleaser. Extra points for using Cabot Alpine Cheddar, the sharp and nutty flavor really puts this dip over the top, we also recommend our Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar, but really, feel free to use your favorite Cabot Cheddar, it will be a wonderful bowl of cheesy goodness any way you dip it!  Read on for the how-to and see how easy it is to make, we guarantee you’ll have this recipe on repeat all year through.

Step 1:  Prep your Ingredients

Preheat your oven to 400° and spray your ovenproof 2 1/2 cup-sized dip holder lightly with cooking spray. This dip comes together so quickly that we like to get all of the ingredients prepped and ready to go while the oven is preheating.

Remove the crust from your bread and pulse in a food processor to make fresh bread crumbs.  Grate your cheese & remember to divide it, set aside 1/4 cup for later.  Alright – lets get our dip on… crackers are ready and half-time is approaching…

Step 2:  Make the Filling

Beat the Cabot Cream Cheese with a mixer until light and fluffy, we find this works best if the cream cheese is at room temperature. Either take the cream cheese out of the refrigerator a couple hours before you plan to make the dip, or if you’ve forgotten – just pop the sealed aluminum package of cream cheese into a bowl of hot water, it will be perfectly room temperature in about 5 minutes:

Add the chopped basil, salt and pepper and stir to combine:

Add the bread crumbs and the cup of grated Cabot Alpine Cheddar or your favorite Cabot Cheddar and stir it all up:

Put it in the prepared ovenproof container and top with the remaining grated cheese.

Pop it in the preheated oven! (which reminds us, this dip can be made ahead through to the point adding the 1/4 cup of cheese to the top, just refrigerate until ready to bake, pull the dip out of the refrigerator while your oven preheats and it will be good to go in when your oven is.)

Step 3:  Prep The Toppings

This part is easy, chop your basil, tomatoes and red onion. You can either combine all three in one bowl, or feel free to keep them in their separate piles and top one by one, your choice.

Step 4:  The Dip

Bake the dip for 15 minutes, but keep an eye on it – you want it melty but not bubbly.

Remove from the oven when done, cool for ten minutes and then top with the tomatoes, red onion and basil.

Adorn with crackers, sliced baguette and/or veggies and devour!

This dip is super easy to make and even easier to share! Thanks for reading this handy tutorial on how to make cheese dip for your game day gathering.

Click here to view the recipe in standard format: Hot Italian Cheddar Dip

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