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This layered almond pesto dip is an easy yet impressive appetizer that comes together in minutes with the help of a food processor.
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When I’m entertaining I try and plan a menu where the majority of the food can be made in advance. It’s no fun to be stuck in the kitchen preparing food last minute while everyone else is enjoying the party. This fun and festive almond pesto dip can be made up to 3 days in advance and only takes minutes to prepare with the help of a food processor.
The first step in the process is to make the basil almond pesto. Fresh basil leaves, Blue Diamond Lightly Salted Almonds, garlic, olive oil and parmesan cheese get blended together, then mixed with cream cheese. This first layer of the dip gets spread into a mold lined with plastic wrap. You can use any 3 cup capacity bowl for the mold. The middle layer of the dip is a parmesan cream cheese, and the final layer of the dip is a sun dried tomato and almond pesto mixed with cream cheese.
It’s important to chill the dip in between each layer so that it has time to firm up before the next layer gets spread over the top. If the layers are too soft, you won’t end up with the defined stripes of color and flavor.
This almond pesto dip is perfect with crackers, vegetables or your favorite chips. It’s an unexpected appetizer that will be welcomed at any celebration!
Almond Pesto Dip
- For the green layer:
- 1/4 cup Blue Diamond Lightly Salted Almonds
- 1 clove of garlic
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan
- 1 1/2 packed cups fresh basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 ounces softened cream cheese
- For the white layer:
- 4 ounces softened cream cheese
- 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- For the red layer:
- 1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes packed in oil
- 2 tablespoons Blue Diamond Lightly Salted Almonds
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 3 ounces softened cream cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- chopped almonds and basil leaves for garnish optional
- Line a 3 cup bowl or mold with plastic wrap.
- In a food processor, grind 1/4 cup almonds with the garlic, parmesan and basil leaves until everything is finely chopped.
- Pour in the olive oil and blend until paste forms. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add the cream cheese and process until the pesto mixture and cream cheese is thoroughly combined.
- Spread the pesto mixture into the bottom of the mold. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- In a food processor, blend together 4 ounces of cream cheese and 1/3 cup parmesan cheese to make the white layer. Spread the white layer on top of the green layer and chill for at least 30 minutes.
- To make the red layer, grind together the sun dried tomatoes and 2 tablespoons of almonds in the food processor. Add the cream cheese and tomato paste and process until the mixture is thoroughly combined. Add salt and pepper to taste if desired.
- Spread the red layer on top of the white layer in the mold.
- Cover the mold with plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour, or up to 3 days.
- To serve, invert the mold onto a plate and remove the plastic wrap. Garnish with chopped almonds and basil leaves if desired. Serve with vegetables, crackers and chips.