Now that the cookbook project is behind me, I’m busy filling all the recipe holes on the blog. Like, spinach artichoke dip. I’ve always adored for spinach artichoke dip, but I’d never tried making myself. What good is a vegetarian recipe blog without a proper spinach artichoke dip, baked until golden and bubbly? Not very good. Also, I’m making myself hungry.
The standard ingredients for spinach artichoke dip are pretty basic—beyond spinach and artichoke, you’ll find some creamy and cheesy components. My favorite spinach artichoke dip in Kansas City is absolutely loaded with spinach and artichoke, so I didn’t add as much of the creamy stuff as some other recipes do.
I experimented by trying sour cream, cream cheese and mayonnaise in various quantities, but I couldn’t detect a significant difference in the outcomes. So, I decided on sour cream (Greek yogurt should work, too) because it’s the lightest option of the bunch. No mayo here!
For the cheesy component, I opted for mostly mozzarella, which turns magnificently golden in the oven. I also added some feta cheese, which adds another layer of flavor to the dip and lends a Mediterranean vibe. To further amp up the flavor and lighten up the dip, I sautéed onion and red bell pepper before stirring in the remaining ingredients.
I also tried using fresh spinach instead of frozen, but was happily surprised to find that frozen spinach produced a more intensely flavored dip. Frozen also saves you a few bucks at the store, and saves you a step since it’s pre-chopped. Buy organic frozen spinach, if it’s available, since leafy greens (spinach especially) are often high in pesticide residues.
In summary, this cheesy baked spinach artichoke dip recipe is lighter, and dare I say more healthy than most. That is, if you’re determined to eat spinach artichoke up in the first place. (You have my full support.) I’m working on more delicious dip recipes for game days this fall, coming soon!
Baked Spinach & Artichoke Dip
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings
- Category: Appetizer
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
The best cheesy baked spinach artichoke dip recipe, lightened up with extra veggies and no mayonnaise! Everyone will love this delicious appetizer recipe; it’s great served hot or even at room temperature. Recipe yields 8 appetizer servings.
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- Pinch of salt
- 10 ounces frozen chopped spinach (preferably organic), thawed*
- 1 jar (12 ounces) marinated artichokes or 1 can (15 ounces) canned artichokes in water, drained and chopped
- 8 ounces sour cream or Greek yogurt
- 2 ounces crumbled feta or goat cheese (about ½ cup)
- 6 ounces freshly grated part-skim mozzarella (about 1 ½ cups), divided
- 3 dashes of your favorite hot sauce (I recommend Cholula)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- For serving: Tortilla chips, pita wedges, small slices of toasted bread, crackers, or crisp, firm veggies
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion and bell pepper are nice and tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Meanwhile, squeeze as much moisture out of the thawed spinach as possible.
- Add the spinach and artichoke to the pan and cook for 1 minute, using your spatula to break up any hunks of spinach.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and add the sour cream, feta and two-thirds of the mozzarella (about 1 cup). Stir until the ingredients are all mixed together. Season to taste with additional salt, some black pepper, and a few dashes of hot sauce (more if you want more of a kick).
- Transfer the mixture to a small casserole dish (about 1-quart capacity) and spread it evenly into the pan. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella over the contents. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 18 to 25 minutes.
- Let the dip cool for a few minutes (it’s crazy hot) and serve with your dipping vehicle of choice. This dip keeps well for up to 4 days in the refrigerator, covered.
Recipe roughly adapted from Cooking Light.
How to thaw frozen spinach: This is easiest in the microwave. Place the frozen spinach in a microwave-safe bowl and cook until it has defrosted, stirring occasionally, about 3 to 5 minutes. You could probably also let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
Dairy free/vegan note: This is not a great candidate to be made dairy free. I recommend that you make the creamy avocado spinach dip in my cookbook instead!