Baked until hot and bubbly, spinach artichoke dip is the perfect shareable appetizer to serve with crunchy chips, crisp vegetables, or toasted bread slices.
You’ll often find spinach artichoke dip on restaurant menus as a popular starter, but it’s pretty easy to make at home and arguably even better. Be prepared that when a hot bowl of this dip hits the table during game day or your next party, it’ll have people lining up with chips and veggies in hand. This vegetable dip will disappear fast!
For this recipe, using tender marinated artichoke hearts elevates the flavor by adding a hint of sweet and tangy notes, compared to the bland canned versions. The chopped spinach and artichokes suspend in a rich and creamy mixture then get topped with cheese and baked until golden brown.
How to make hot spinach and artichoke dip
- Preheat oven to 400ºF (204ºC).
- Combine defrosted spinach with artichokes, cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, cheeses, and spices.
- Evenly spread spinach and artichoke mixture in a greased baking dish.
- Top with mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese.
- Bake until dip is hot, cheese is bubbly and lightly browned on the edges.
Using frozen spinach
Frozen chopped spinach is the most convenient ingredient to use. Defrost the leaves in the microwave until melted, but not hot, you do not want to overcook them. Make sure to squeeze out most of the residual moisture before using it.
I find that instead of the compressed boxes of frozen spinach that become mushy, most large grocery stores sell them in bags, similar to corn or peas. The spinach can also be defrosted in the refrigerator overnight.
Using fresh spinach
Fresh cooked spinach can also be used in this recipe. Use about 8 ounces or about 6 packed cups of baby spinach, yielding 1 cup of the cooked product. Chop the spinach once cool to the touch and add it into the dip mixture.
Elevating the artichoke flavor
Using convenience products like canned, jarred, or refrigerated artichoke hearts that’s already been cleaned and cooked makes this appetizer easy to prepare. However, choose artichokes that have been marinated in vinegar, sweetener, and spices to add brightness and depth to the super creamy base.
I recommended jarred or refrigerated artichokes that have been quartered. The cut pieces have more exposure to the marinade making it even more flavorful and easier to chop later. Cooking fresh artichokes also works, just remove the hearts before adding into the dip. Chop and combine with a splash of apple cider vinegar, honey, a pinch of red pepper flakes, and Italian seasonings.
I use a combination of high moisture mozzarella cheese and aged Parmesan cheese. The mozzarella provides a smooth melty texture to the dip and that sought out cheese-pull. The Parmesan adds salty, sharp and nutty bursts of flavor. Gouda, Monterey Jack, and pecorino romano are optional substitutions.
Making ahead and reheating
All of the ingredients can be mixed together and topped with cheese then stored unbaked and covered, for up to 3 days in advance. When ready to serve, bake the dip according to the directions, it may take a few minutes longer to heat straight from the refrigerator.
Leftover spinach artichoke dip can be cooled to room temperature, covered and refrigerated for up to two days. Reheat at 325ºF (163ºC) until warmed through, about 20 minutes.
What to serve with this
- Fresh sliced French baguettes, sourdough bread or other crusty bread.
- Toasted bread for extra crunch.
- Tortilla chips, potato chips, or homemade crackers.
- Fresh vegetables like celery, cucumber, or carrots.
More Appetizer recipes
Fats are key to a creamy dip
For a luscious creamy base mix cream cheese, mayonnaise, and sour cream. The combination of different types of fats from eggs, dairy, and oil in these ingredients adds richness without risk of curdling like milk or cream when baked. Since mayonnaise is an emulsion of eggs and oil, it adds an extra buffer to prevent separation. The sour cream also provides a nice burst of acidity.
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Spinach Artichoke Dip
- 10 ounces frozen chopped spinach
- 2 cups marinated artichoke hearts, drained, roughly chopped
- 1 cup cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- ⅔ cup mayonnaise
- ⅓ cup sour cream
- 1 ½ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded whole milk
- ¾ cups parmesan cheese, finely shredded
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- Set an oven rack to the middle position. Preheat to 400ºF (204ºC).
- Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray or olive oil.
- Place frozen spinach in a bowl and defrost at medium power for about 4 minutes, stirring halfway through. The leaves should be thawed but not hot.
- Use hands to squeeze the excess water from the defrosted spinach.
- In a medium bowl, use a spatula to mix together the drained spinach, chopped artichokes, cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, 1 cup of mozzarella, ½ cup parmesan cheese, garlic, salt, and pepper until well combined.
- Transfer spinach and artichoke mixture to greased baking dish. Spread the mixture evenly in the pan. Sprinkle ½ cup mozzarella cheese and ¼ cup parmesan cheese evenly on top.
- Bake until cheese is lightly browned and bubbling around the edges, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Garnish spinach artichoke dip with some parsley. Serve with chips, sliced baguettes, or crackers.
- Mixing Bowl
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