Smoky Baked Mushroom Cheese Dip

It’s the season for hobnobbing and partying. The days and nights are filled with feasts, treats and little nibbles. While you cook up a storm, we thought we’d help you put together the perfect party starter. We got in touch with Deeba Rajpal, and she created this sinfully yum cheese dip with smoky baked mushrooms.

Over to her.

Smoky Baked Mushroom Cheese Dip is a definite crowd pleaser, and a great addition to the holiday table. Smoky Gouda, wine simmered mushrooms, garlic and fresh thyme make one of the best cheesy dips ever. Baked briefly under a hot grill until the cheese melts into gooey goodness. Serve immediately with simple crusty artisan bread to soak up the wine juices and deliciously flavoured cheese.

Think of cooking with wine and the mind often wanders into the sweet tooth territory. As much as I love working with wine in bakes and desserts, my taste buds are definitely savoury. Begin to explore savoury options with wine and suddenly new avenues open up. The list seems endless. Here’s one super quick, simple and absolutely delicious recipe to stir up with wine. I used a really nice crisp Sauvignon Blanc from Big Banyan Wines, and baked a rustic garlic and thyme bread to serve with it. You can pretty much use a store bought crusty artisan bread. They are great to mop up the juices with!

The mushrooms and bell pepper browned in clarified butter, with a dash of Worcestershire sauce simmered in wine add earthy rustic flavour to the dish. With generous smoky cheese added to it, you can expect magic to happen. Make sure you use quality ingredients including a good quality wine. That is the secret of any good recipe!

To begin with, the Sauvignon Blanc itself is really nice, one of the better Indian white wines I have to say. Crisp, delicately flavoured and very fresh! The whiff of green bell pepper undertones complimented the Smoky Baked Mushroom Cheese Dip really nicely. The dip is like a fondue; quite popular during winter. Try and bake it in a cast iron pan since the pan retains heat for longer, keeping the cheese nice and gooey. The other good thing about cast iron pans is that they can be popped back into the oven to reheat if the dip gets cold.

In the unlikely event that you have some Smoky Baked Mushroom Cheese Dip leftovers, make a grilled Panini sandwich with it, layering it with fillings you enjoy. Then sit back and enjoy the deep moorish flavours that tease the palate. It’s really that addictive, like a pizza in a sandwich!

The wine would work well in a creamy pasta sauce, also as a marinade for chicken. Another great option is to make a Queso Fundido using wine instead of vodka. Then a step further a Queso Flameado, a dish of hot melted cheese and spicy chorizo that is often served flambé. Often compared to cheese fondue, this is a party dish and a popular appetizer.

What is your favourite way to cook with wine?


1 tbsp clarified butter/ghee

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic chopped

1 tsp fresh thyme leaves {or dried}

100 g button mushrooms sliced

1/2 red bell pepper finely chopped

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

2 sprigs of fresh thyme {plus extra for garnish}

1/2 cup Big Banyan Sauvignon Blanc

250 g smoked Gouda cheese

100 g mozzarella

Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

Crusty bread


  • Preheat the oven, top element only to 180°C.
  • In a heavy bottomed pan, melt the clarified butter with olive oil. Add the chopped garlic and thyme. Sauté until fragrant. Add the mushrooms and finely chopped bell peppers. Sauté until the mushrooms are brown and add a splash of Worcestershire sauce.
  • Add the wine and sprigs of fresh thyme. Increase the heat and allow the wine to reduce by half. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Now add the grated cheese and stir to allow it to melt slightly, allowing the wine and cheese to somewhat combine.
  • Once done, transfer into a cast iron pan and place in oven. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese has melted and is nice and bubbly.
  • Gently remove from oven, and serve immediately with crusty bread and Sauvignon Blanc from Big Banyan Wines.

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