Introduction: Easy & Impressive! Goat Cheese Tomato Basil Dip W/ Trader Joe Ingredients

About: Hi, I'm Shari! I'm a busy wife and mom with two tween/teen daughters, and I work full-time. You'll find that the recipes and products in my blog have become huge time-savers for my family.

If you've been following my blog, you have witnessed my latest obsession... Trader Joe's sun-dried tomato and basil pesto coming together in a blender to make three awesome recipes! It's been a long time since I've created a recipe that is so versatile! My Sun-Dried Tomato and Pesto Pasta is where it all started and is also the base sauce for this recipe and also my Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Soup. You literally just thin out the pasta sauce with broth or water and end up with an amazingly hearty and rich tomato basil soup. Serve with an adultified grilled cheese sandwich (try tomato, basil, bacon and brie on focaccia bread) and you're in business. Yum!

The best part of this recipe is that the base sauce is made almost entirely in a blender AND it freezes so well that you can make it ahead of time. Just pull it out when you're ready for a quick dinner, or in this case, an incredibly quick appetizer or snack that tastes like you worked all day on it! Bring this to your next family get-together and you will be pegged as a gourmet cook, no doubt. Just bake the dip at home and warm it up in the microwave at your party to create an instant crowd-pleaser!

Step 1: Ingredients for Dip

- Goat cheese

- Sun-dried tomato and pesto sauce

- Fresh basil, but into ribbons for serving (I use these amazing 5-shear herb scissors to cut the basil)

I am a huge Trader Joe's fan, so hopefully you have one in your area. If you don't, it's not too hard to find ingredients like sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil and basil pesto to substitute. I am all about making awesome food that tastes like you cooked it all day. Don't worry, if you enjoy my recipes, your semi-homemade secret is safe with me! I also love that you can use this sauce to make DIY Lean Cuisine freezer meals. Keep this sauce on-hand at work for a ravioli lunch or for a quick tomato basil soup!

Sauce Ingredients:

One can (14.5 oz) Hunt's Petite Diced Tomatoes

1 Tablespoon olive oil

One medium onion, diced

*One jar (8.5 oz) Trader Joe's Julienne Sliced Sun-Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil (oil drained)

*One can (15 oz) Trader Joe's Organic Tomato Sauce *3.5 oz Trader Giotto Genova Pesto (half of a 7 oz container; oil drained if desired)

*1 packet Trader Joe's Savory Broth Concentrate, chicken flavor

½ cup Swanson's Chicken Broth

**2 cloves Gourmet Garden garlic puree ¼ to ½ tsp salt (salt to taste) ¾ cup low fat half and half Fresh basil for serving

¼ to ½ tsp salt (salt to taste)

¾ cup low fat half and half

*You can substitute other store-bought brands for sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, tomato sauce and pesto

**Find this in the produce section at your grocery store. It's a huge time-saver with great garlic flavor without the prep-work!

Step 2: Ingredients for Parmesan Garlic Bread

- garlic olive oil (I use a pastry brush like this one to brush the oil onto the bread )

- take-and-bake garlic ciabatta bread

- freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (here is my favorite cheese grater)

Step 3: Prepare Dip for Cooking

Pour sauce into baking dish, add goat cheese

Step 4: Prepare Garlic Bread

Brush bread slices with olive oil on one side, then press that side down into freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Step 5: Bake and Serve!

Bake the dip and bread at 350F for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and garnish dip with ribbons of basil.

Click here for the full recipe and instructions

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