When it comes to appetizers and dips, the cheesier, creamier, and more indulgent, the better. At least that’s my opinion. Fun foods are the best and that’s why I love appetizers. Among all my favorites I would say that spinach artichoke dip is one of my top five. I’ve never been a huge fan of artichokes, but they are perfect in this dip. This spinach artichoke dip recipe is one of my most requested dips.
When devising recipes I focus on what has to go into the recipe to make it what it is. I found the recipe for this dip a few years ago. I can’t remember exactly where I found it, but it was before I was on Pinterest. I was hesitant about a dip with spinach and artichokes. It was surprisingly easy and called for cream cheese, so I had to try it. I used the original recipe as a guideline.
WHY MAKE HOMEMADE SPINACH ARTICHOKE DIP?
So you can make a lot! I don’t like buying dips from a store unless I am in a pinch. The main reason is there is NEVER enough to go around…seriously. The last thing you want is hungry people digging out of a tiny jar.
A lot of the jarred spinach artichoke dips have mayonnaise in them…not my favorite. A lot of recipes have mozzarella cheese which I leave out. In my experience, mozzarella is too stringy and doesn’t scoop well in a dip. To me, when it comes to dips, the scoop factor is big. I’m clumsy and don’t need an excuse to drop any more than I already do. Besides, no one likes a chip stuck in the dip.
CAN YOU USE FROZEN SPINACH?
Yes, the original recipe called for frozen spinach. Frozen spinach works well and may be easier if you don’t have fresh spinach leaves on hand.
For this dip preparing a fresh artichoke may not be practical since it can be complicated. I simply use jarred artichoke hearts. I try to keep most of the rest of the ingredients fresh with a grated parmesan block, garlic cloves, and chopped spinach leaves. Then of course there is the indulgent portion of sour cream and a whole block of cream cheese.
CAN YOU MAKE SPINACH ARTICHOKE DIP AHEAD OF TIME?
Yes, this is also one of those recipes that can be made in a slow cooker and stay perfect while warm. You can make it any way you like and refrigerate it until you are ready to serve. It reheats just as good, if not better.
There are a few ways you can make it. I prefer to make it on the stove-top and when it’s done I place it in a slow cooker and keep it on warm. You can simply put all the ingredients in a slow cooker ahead of time beginning on a high setting until all the ingredients are melted well together and leave it on a low or warm setting while serving.
Spinach: You can use frozen or fresh spinach leaves and throw them in whole or chop them up. I like to chop it up small, mainly for ease of dipping.
Garlic: You can use a garlic press, fine grater, or simply dice the garlic with a knife.
Grated Cheese: Any parmesan cheese will work. I have had better success grating a parmesan block. If you like you can buy it pre-shredded.
Artichoke Hearts: Jarred or canned artichoke hearts come ready to chop and use. Some are jarred in flavors such as garlic which can add even more flavor to the dip.
Cream cheese & Sour Cream: You can use any kind of cream cheese or sour cream that you like. I recommend using full-fat good quality cream cheese and sour cream. If you want to lighten up the recipe use light or reduced-fat sour cream. I have not had any success using reduced-fat cream cheese in any recipes.
How you prepare the ingredients is a personal preference. Sometimes I throw the garlic, spinach leaves, and jarred artichoke hearts into my ninja blender and give it a quick blend.
WHAT CAN YOU SERVE WITH THIS DIP?
You can serve almost anything with this recipe. I love scooping it up with bread that has been sliced and toasted. Tortilla chips, pita bread, or hard crackers also work perfectly and are super easy. I’ve also stuffed this dip in pork tenderloin, it was pretty amazing.
Spinach Artichoke Dip
- 2 cups fresh chopped spinach or 12 oz frozen spinach
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 jar artichoke hearts chopped.
- 1/2 cup or 1 stick unsalted butter
- 8 oz good cream cheese
- 16 oz sour cream
- 1 block of parmesan shredded
- salt to taste
- In a medium saucepan or pot melt butter on low heat and add garlic and simmer for a few minutes. Add cream cheese and sour cream and mix well. Add chopped spinach, chopped artichokes and shredded parmesan. Mix all ingredients and heat until cooked through and blended well. Add salt to taste.
- Remove from heat and place in heat proof serving container and serve immediately. Or place in a slow cooker on warm setting.
- Top with additional shredded parmesan if desired.