Cheesy Italian Grinder Dip

Sweet Italian sausage + gooey melt-y cheese = the best game day any day dip, ever!

Cheesy Italian Grinder Dip

I absolutely LOVE my cast iron skillet. When it isn’t grilling season, searing thick-cut pork chops or beef ribeyes on the stove top and putting them into the oven to “carry over” or finish cooking (with a generous pat of butter, a couple smashed cloves of garlic and a sprig apiece of rosemary and thyme) is a big part of my wintertime cooking agenda.

I can tell you that I’d never made a dip in my favorite cast skillet until I tested out this recipe idea. The best part about using cast iron as a vessel for this dip is that it retains its heat for quite a while once you remove it from the oven. Make sure you use a 10″ skillet for this recipe. I’ve used a 12″ skillet too, but always add an extra 1/2 pound of sausage for the larger skillet size.

This dip is seriously amazing if you want to serve it in a traditional “dip” fashion, with all kinds of sturdy crackers, crostini, etc. HOWEVER, I’ve served soft dinner rolls alongside the dip with some basil pesto and or marinara to garnish to create a tremendous sandwich!

Thanks to Iowa Pork and Kelsey Byrnes for working with me to create this recipe. As always, opinions and expressions you see here are all mine! :)

For more pork recipe and Iowa pig farmer info, check out

Here’s the video they created for the recipe! Watch that cheese pull!

Cheesy Italian Grinder Dip

Makes one 10” skillet appetizer
Author: Cristen


  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage
  • ½ cup diced bell pepper
  • 1 ½ cups sour cream
  • 4 cups pizza blend shredded cheese
  • 1 cup Parmesan/Romano cheese blend
  • ½ tbsp Italian seasoning
  • ¾ tsp garlic salt
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp minced parsley divided


  • Preheat oven to 450 F.
  • In a 10” cast iron skillet add sausage and bell pepper. Cook over medium heat until sausage is browned and peppers are tender. Drain if necessary. Reserve ½ cup sausage and pepper mixture for garnish, keep warm.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine sour cream, cheeses, Italian seasoning, garlic salt, crushed red pepper flakes and 1 tbsp parsley. Stir until well mixed.
  • Pour cheese mixture on top of sausage and pepper mixture in cast iron skillet. Spread evenly.
  • Bake at 450 F for 16-20 minutes until golden brown. Garnish with ½ cup reserved sausage and pepper mixture and reserved parsley. Serve warm with sturdy crackers, pita chips and or toasted crostini pieces. Small bowls of basil pesto and marinara can also be offered on the side as well.


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