This creamy pesto dip is a blend of mayonnaise, sour cream, basil pesto and seasonings that are combined to create a rich and creamy dip in just minutes. The easiest last minute appetizer option that pairs well with bread, veggies or can even be used on a sandwich or as a salad dressing.

When I need a quick snack for entertaining, I turn to favorites such as fresh corn salsa, delicious eggplant baba ganoush, and this zesty and creamy pesto dip.

A bowl of pesto dipped topped with tomatoes and served with breads and vegetables.

It’s happened to all of us. Friends stop by without much warning and you need an appetizer, and quickly. This pesto dip is my go-to when I need a snack option that looks like I put in a lot of effort. Rich, creamy and full of flavor, this dip is sure to be a hit with both family and friends.

When I make this dip for a party, I like to set it next to a veggie tray for easy dipping. I also like to serve this dip with some fun Italian style finger foods like fried ravioli or easy mini pizzas! There are so many snacks that go great with this dip!

Pesto Dip Ingredients

Bowls of mayonnaise, sour cream, pesto and seasonings.

The great thing about this dip is that it only contains 7 ingredients. Mayonnaise and sour cream form the base of this dip. Pesto adds a bright and vibrant flavor. The remaining ingredients of salt, pepper, lemon juice and garlic accentuate the flavors of the pesto. If you’d like to get fancy, feel free to add a garnish of tomatoes, basil and pine nuts.

How do you make pesto dip?

Place all of the dip ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir until everything is well blended. Serve the dip right away, or cover it and store in the refrigerator for later use. An optional step is to add an extra drizzle of pesto to the top of the dip before serving, along with diced tomatoes and toasted pine nuts.

Step by step photos showing how to make a creamy dip.

Tips for the perfect appetizer

  • This recipe will work with both homemade or store bought pesto. I typically use the pesto found in tubs in the refrigerator section of the grocery store. I find that the fresh pesto tastes better than shelf stable pesto.
  • Pesto dip will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in an airtight container. I do not recommend freezing this dip, as the sour cream may separate when thawed.
  • I like to serve this dip with sliced baguette or toasted crostini. Other great options include breadsticks, pretzels, carrots and celery.
  • If you have leftover dip, you can use it as a sandwich spread, or add a little milk to thin it out to make a salad dressing.
  • You can use low fat versions of mayonnaise and sour cream if you’re looking for a healthier option.
Pesto, mayonnaise and sour cream mixed together in a bowl.

Recipe FAQs

How do you make pesto?

To make your own pesto for this recipe, place 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts in a food processor along with 1 teaspoon minced garlic and 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese. Pulse the ingredients until finely ground. Next, add 3 cups of fresh basil leaves to the food processor along with salt and pepper to taste. Turn the food processor on and slowly pour in 1/2 cup olive oil. Blend until a smooth sauce forms. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.

Is pesto sauce healthy?

Pesto contains many ingredients with nutritional value including basil, pine nuts, garlic and olive oil. That being said, pesto is high in fat from the olive oil and nuts, so its best to consume it in smaller quantities.

Is pesto served hot or cold?

In this dip, pesto is served cold. It is fine to serve pesto hot or cold depending on how you plan to use it.

Flavor Variations

This dip is perfect as-is, but you can absolutely add other ingredients to customize the dip to your tastes.

  • Cheese: Feel free to stir in up to 1/4 cup of finely grated Italian cheese such as mozzarella, parmesan, asiago or romano.
  • Protein: Add some flavor and a hearty texture with cooked crumbled bacon or finely diced chicken breast.
  • Flavorings: Amp up the flavor with chopped olives, sun dried tomatoes or marinated artichoke hearts.
A hand using bread to scoop up pesto dip.

Once you see how good this dip is, you’ll find yourself making it on a regular basis!

More great dips to try

5 from 10 votes

Pesto Dip

AuthorSara Welch
A bowl of pesto dipped topped with tomatoes and served with breads and vegetables.
This pesto dip is a blend of mayonnaise, sour cream, basil pesto and seasonings that are combined to create a rich and creamy dip in just minutes. The easiest last minute appetizer option that pairs well with bread, veggies or can even be used on a sandwich or as a salad dressing.
Time
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time1 minute
Total Time11 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Italian
Serves 8

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup basil pesto plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic minced
  • diced tomatoes, fresh basil leaves, toasted pine nuts optional garnishes
  • bread, vegetables and crackers for serving

Instructions 

  • Place the mayonnaise, sour cream, pesto, salt, pepper, lemon juice and garlic in a medium bowl.
  • Stir until well combined.
  • Use immediately, or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  • Before serving, garnish if desired with a swirl of pesto, diced tomatoes, basil leaves and pine nuts.
  • Serve with assorted breads, crackers and vegetables as desired.

Notes

  1. This recipe will work with both homemade or store bought pesto. I typically use the pesto found in tubs in the refrigerator section of the grocery store. I find that the fresh pesto tastes better than shelf stable pesto.
  2. You can use low fat versions of mayonnaise and sour cream if you’re looking for a healthier option.

Nutrition

Calories: 210kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 13g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 545mg | Potassium: 26mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 577IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 1mg

Hello! I’m Sara!

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Comments

  1. Okay, Iā€™m confused. Is the green pesto ALSO used with the white and red layers? Is the cream cheese used in all three layers to firm up the rest of the ingredients? I love the look of the dip but need some guidance before making it. Thank you.

    1. The green pesto is only in the green layer. This is an old recipe and it looks like it didn’t translate well when moved from one program to the next so I just updated it so hopefully it’ll be more clear!

  2. 5 stars
    This dip was a huge hit at my party. I put it out with some crackers and cheeses. People couldn’t stop talking about it.

  3. This is absolutely stunning! What a beautiful dip to serve at any time of the year, and I love the flavors that you chose.

  4. I loooooove this!! The three layers are simply fabulous – great colors, flavors and visually gorgeous!

  5. I am BLOWN AWAY by this easy yet impressive almond dip! So innovative! I can think of so many occasions that I want to make this for. Thanks for a great recipe to add to my must-have menus!

  6. I love this healthy and fresh option for an appetizer. This just might be making it on my Super Bowl Menu!

  7. This is the perfect appetizer for any party. Love all the ingredients too especially the almonds! Happy New Year!