Although the big football game is over it doesn’t mean you can’t still cook up delicious snacks on the weekends, for family gatherings or just for the heck of it. Let’s be honest, everyone loves a chips and dip or pizza dipper now and again. I come from the dairy state which means that I’m totally obsessed with anything that includes cheese. And the more cheese the better! Which was the inspiration behind my Cheesy Monkey Bread.
I’ve never made the classic, sweet monkey bread before and this was my first try at the cheesy bread. I love how quick and easy this appetizer comes together. I used my cast iron skillet for baking the bread. The biggest benefit is that it will stay warm longer and keep your cheese nice and melty. Make sure to put a towel or something around the handle so that nobody burns themselves, and warn your guests that it’s hot!
I used mozzarella and parmesan cheese for my bread. You can also mix in provolone or Romano. Whatever you have in your house will work perfect for this but just make sure that it’s a high quality cheese that will melt well. I placed the dough balls around the outer edge of the pan and left a large enough hole in the middle for the sauce dish. Place an oven safe dish such as a ramekin in the middle of the dough balls when you prepare the pan so that the dough will rise around the dish. All the dough to rise for the full amount of time so that your bites are nice and fluffy! If you want to spice it up a bit, add more red pepper flakes. Enjoy!
- ½ pound mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1 ounce Parmesan, grated
- ¼ cup (½ stick) cold unsalted butter
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- ¼ cup finely chopped parsley
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Kosher salt; freshly ground pepper
- 1 pound cold pizza dough, cut into 1-inch pieces
- Nonstick vegetable oil spray
- Marinara sauce for serving
- Coarsely shred butter on the large holes of box grater. Toss cheeses, butter, garlic, parsley, and red pepper in a medium bowl; season generously with salt and pepper.
- Transfer one-third of cheese mixture to a small bowl; set aside. Add dough pieces, a few at a time, to remaining cheese mixture in original bowl and toss gently to coat.
- Lightly coat a medium skillet with nonstick spray. Arrange dough in skillet in an even layer; pour any leftover cheese mixture in bowl over. Let sit in a warm place until beginning to puff slightly, 30–40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375°. Bake bread until top is lightly browned and cheese is melted, 18–22 minutes. Top bread with reserved cheese mixture. Continue to bake until edges of bread are golden brown and firm and cheese is melted and oozing, 10–15 minutes more. Serve hot with marinara sauce.