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Pizza Dip

*1 lb. lean ground beef, plain or seasoned with oregano or
*1 pkg. taco seasoning (optional, for a little extra kick)
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 jar (small-16 oz.) your favorite pizza sauce (Pastorelli's, Ragu…)
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 small can chopped or sliced ripe olives (optional)
1/2 cup chopped onion, (optional) cook with gr. beef or sprinkle on before baking.

*Replace taco seasoning and burger with an 8 oz. package of Hormel sliced pepperoni or make a veggie version!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Brown and drain ground beef.
Add taco seasoning according to package directions. Set aside.
Spread soft cream cheese over a round pizza pan or oven proof platter (divide between 2 pie plates for one now and one later).
Cover cream cheese layer evenly with pizza sauce.
Top with ground beef, sprinkle with cheese, onion and olives.
Bake at 350 degrees until the cheese has melted and it’s bubbly hot.
Serve with whole grain tortilla chips, pita chips,...or spread on thin slices of a french baguette. Or chop and slice fresh vegetables – zucchini and celery work well.

Can be made ahead and popped into a hot oven just before half-time.

Alternative method for the crock pot!

Mix together pizza sauce, onion, olives.
Place cubed cream cheese on the bottom of a crock pot.
Top with pizza sauce mixture and meat.
Top with mozzarella cheese; cook on low for 2 hours or until the cheese on top melts. Serve with tortilla chips, pita chips...or spread on thin slices of a French baguette.

This is an "edited" version (January 14, 2011). The name brands were removed and a little flexibility was added.

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