Cheesy Lasagna Dip with Sausage: If you love, this lasagna inspired appetizer will become a new favorite! Gooey and flavorful, this lasagna dip is perfect for game day or to start off an Italian meal!!

Cheesy Lasagna Dip with Sausage on a toast with a sprig of basil

Cheesy Lasagna Dip with Sausage

Gooey cheese, tomato sauce, tender pasta…there were no complaints when my mom served up lasagna for dinner. Granted, she used cottage cheese instead of ricotta or bechamel, but her Midwest version truly satisfied. So when I started to see scads of recipes for Lasagna Dip from my food blogger friends and more, I knew it would be a dish I’d test out on my book club. 

Lasagna Dip on toast on a square white plate


Lasagna Inspired Appetizer

My first try was a cheesy lasagna dip with a ricotta base and a sauce using diced tomatoes, which was quite tasty…served with thin baguette toasts. But my sauce and/or the ricotta created a bit of a watery puddle in the bottom of the serving dish…which was easily remedied by pouring the excess off while holding the dip in place with a spoon. OK when making for family, but not exactly ideal when a crowd will be at the door at any minute!

Next up in the test kitchen was a cream cheese version utilizing a sauce with Tuttorosso’s Crushed Tomatoes with Basil in lieu of those diced tomatoes. Much better. And this creamier, cheesy lasagna dip with sausage was much more satisfying.  The family inhaled this before dinner after attending Easter Vigil Mass. Whew; a success.

FYI: The top photo is the dip with ricotta cheese and the bottom two are of the version using cream cheese.

Check out more Italian Recipes:


Cheesy Lasagna Dip with Sausage

Cheesy Lasagna Dip with Sausage

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Yield 8 servings

An appetizer inspired by the classic lasagna recipe!!


For dip:

  • 1/2 pound mild Italian sausage, cooked, crumbled and drained
  • 1 cup marinara sauce (store bought or homemade )
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature (may substitute ricotta, if desired. Drain well.)
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella

For Marinara:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (more or less to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes with basil (I use Tuttorosso brand Crushed Tomatoes with Basil)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons red wine


To make marinara:

  1. Saute onion in olive oil till softened. Add garlic and cook for just a minute or two.
  2. Add the salt, pepper, tomatoes, bay leaf and oregano. Bring to a simmer and add red wine. Cook for about 30 minutes, taste and add more seasoning as needed.
  3. Remove bay leaf before using.

To make dip:

  1. Preheat oven to 350º. Spread cream cheese in the bottom of a pie plate or small casserole dish.
  2. Mix sausage and marinara sauce and layer over cream cheese. Top with mozzarella. Bake or 15 minutes or till cheese is melted, starting to bubble and lightly browned. Serve warm with baguette toasts.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 231Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 769mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 3gSugar: 7gProtein: 11g


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Disclosure: Tuttorosso supplied me with a sampling of canned tomato products. I was not compensated for writing this post and the opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Tuttorosso.