This is the creamy hot artichoke dip that I fell in love with years ago. It's super cheesy, served hot, and packed full of spinach and artichokes, ... and of course cheese! ... and it all feels a little nostalgic, like two thousand and five ago.
If you like this recipe, you might also like my Jalapeno Popper dip! Another recipe for lovers or cheesy, hot, baked dips!
The first time I made this dip, probably 20 years ago now, i made it as an appetizer for a small dinner party (just my husband and I and two friends) and we didn't get around to eating dinner.
We ate every last drop of this dip and called it dinner. And that was that.
And it was awesome. Honestly, at the time I had never tasted anything like it before. It was the cheesiest and most satisfying thing I had ever dipped a hunk of bread into ever in my life. Hot baked artichoke dip. Who knew!
This recipe originally came from Cooking Light. Since that day, make it on the regular for get-togethers as it comes together relatively easily. Its one of those recipes everyone wants! So here it is.... 😀😀😀
As far as spinach and artichoke dips go, this version is on the healthy side. Consider this a healthy spinach and artichoke dip - full of artichokes and spinach and we use reduced-fat -- which provides a better flavour and texture, as well as reduced calories.
why this hot artichoke dip recipe works
First, this recipe is served hot. When I hear artichoke dip, I think of a hot dip. Please don't give me a cold or room temperature artichoke dip! I want ooey and gooey cheese. A melting and cheesy dip, served hot so you can appreciate the cheese.
This recipe has got exactly the right ratio between cheese, cream cheese and spinach and artichokes.
Some hot dips are too cheesy, others add mayo and sour cream and just get too creamy. This dip is exactly right.
It is served hot, with all the glorious gooey cheese. It is not too garlicky or rich. You can just keep eating it!
Light and fat-free cream cheese. I'm not one to use fat-free cheese products -- full disclosure. Normally, I just want to use the real thing. But in this recipe, using a package of light cream cheese and a package of fat-free cream cheese is the secret to success in this recipe.
Obviously light cream cheese and fat-free cream cheese reduce both calories and fat content in this recipe. But also they contributed to a lighter texture. Light cream cheese is softer than regular - it is more spreadable, ensuring a creamy and soft texture. But using reduce fat (⅓ fat cream cheese) AND fat-free, means you get real cream cheese texture and flavour.
What I am saying -- don't just use fat-free cream cheese here. It will not have enough body and the flavour will be off.
Parmesan cheese. Using a strongly flavoured cheese means you can punch up the cheesy factor without as much cheese.
Sour cream. Not mayo. Sour cream adds a little tang, but not sweetness. I've never been a fan of mayo-based dips and dressings. Sour cream helps pull together all the cream cheese and stand up to a hot oven baking. This is a no mayo spinach dip recipe.
Artichokes. I use canned artichoke hearts in the recipe. They have a slightly briny taste to them. Not to be confused with jarred and marinated artichokes. I find the jarred and marinated artichokes are heavy, oily, and have too much going on in terms of garlic and herbs. I want a bright, not complicated dip, and canned artichokes do just that.
Lots of spinach. Like lots. I doubled the amount of spinach from the original recipe. It adds texture and body. And makes me think I'm eating something a bit healthy. Like a healthy spinach and artichoke dip. This dip is heavy on the spinach. I use frozen spinach simply because it is inexpensive and easy. It is already cleaned and chopped. Just be sure to drain it well of any moisture once it thaws. Thaw completely before adding to the cheese, giving it a really good squeeze before adding to the cheese.
how to make the best spinach and artichoke dip
Drain and chop artichokes.
Peel garlic cloves
Thaw, drain and squeeze the spinach.
Mix all ingredients together, save a little bit of the cheese for the topping.
Sprinkle that extra cheese on top
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
This recipe is big, it will serve 8-10 people easily (unless of course there are just 4 of you, in which case, it can totally serve 4 as dinner with lots of bread or chips for dipping😇).
My favourite way to serve this dip is fresh out of the oven, straight out of the casserole dish. The top of the cheese gets bubbly and a little bit browned on top with the insides staying molten.
Serve with thinly sliced french breadstick, tortilla chips or homemade baked pita chips. Any choice of cracker, even gluten-free if needed, will work. These Mary's seed crackers are one of my favourites.
I've even dipped fresh cup celery and carrot sticks into this dip. Personally, I just want something crunchy.
Leftovers will keep for a few days refrigerated and can be easily reheated in the microwave for a few minutes. I like to stir a few times while I am reheating in the microwave to avoid creating hot spots and to ensure the dip reheats evenly. You will lose the crusty and bubbly top when doing this.
Baked Artichoke Dip
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese part-skim is good, divided
- ½ cup sour cream reduced fat
- ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese divided
- freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cloves garlic crushed
- 14 oz artichoke hearts choose canned artichoke hears, drainned and chopped
- 8 oz reduced fat cream cheese softened
- 8 oz fat-free cream cheese softened
- 10 oz package of frozen spinach thawed, drained and squeezed dry
- Preheat oven to 350
- Combine 1-½ cups of the mozzarella, sour cream, about half of the parmesan, black pepper, artichoke hearts, cream cheeses and spinach in a large bowl. Mix until well blended and evenly distributed. Transfer to an oven-safe baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. Bake for about30 minutes or until golden brown on top.
- Serve with chips or crusty bread to dip.
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