I was surprised to read that this dip is a retro dish that became popular in the 50s when eating in front of the TV was a thing. See, that was exactly how I intended to enjoy it while streaming whatever’s new on Netflix.
Spinach and artichoke dip may be smooth or chunky. Ours is somethere in-between. We like to get discernible bits of spinach and artichoke with each scoop.
But it’s more than a dip in my menu. I personally like to use it as a sandwich spread too. Can you imagine it on the bottom half of a baguette and topping it with a fat sausage and covering everything with the top half of the bread?
How exactly is spinach and artichoke dip prepared? Just mix everything together and serve? No. It’s not a no-cook dish. It’s baked actually for half an hour or so until the cheeses melt and turn bubbly. You may even bake it a few minutes longer until the top is lightly browned.
But there’s nothing difficult with the preparation. Just chop, grate and mix. All very basic kitchen skills. Once you’ve mixed all the ingredients together, you have the option of baking the mixture in one large dish or in single-serve bowls. We opted for the latter. We’re four in the family and each one got a ramekin of cheesy spinach artichoke dip for solo enjoyment.
Start by chopping the spinach and artichokes. I used to blanch and squeeze the spinach when making this dip but my daughter, Alex, showed me how unnecessary that was. Don’t worry about the water content of fresh spinach. It will actually make your dip lighter and easier to scoop.
Next, place the chopped spinach and artichokes in a mixing bowl and add the cream cheese, dried onion, garlic and ground pepper. Make sure your cream cheese has been softened to room temperature. You’re going to mix all that together and cold cream cheese is much too firm to mix into a creamy consistency.
So, take your cream cheese out of the fridge for half an hour before you start prepping the vegetables. In fact, it is even a better idea to cut the cream cheese into smaller pieces once you take it out of the fridge. That should soften it faster.
Once the cream cheese has been blended with the spinach and artichokes, grated cheddar and mayo are added and everything is mixed together.
Now, the seasonings. Add lime juice, sour cream, lemon pepper seasoning and chipotle. All that will give your dip multi-dimensional flavor. Without them, you’re just relying on the saltiness of the cream cheese and cheddar, and saltiness just isn’t enough to make a great dip.
Once you’ve mixed the seasonings into the vegetables and cheeses, you’re ready to bake your dip. Fill four remakins with the mixture (or use just one baking bowl if you want to serve the dip party-style) and bake. Once the dip is bubbly and the top is lightly browned, it is ready to serve.
- 2 cups chopped fresh spinach
- 1 cup chopped marinated artichoke hearts (in jar or can)
- 1 cup cream cheese (250 grams) at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon dried onion
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 125 grams sharp cheddar grated
- ¼ cup mayo Japanese mayo is highly recommended
- 1 teaspoon lime juice or lemon juice
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
- ½ teaspoon ground chipotle
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Place the chopped spinach and artichokes in a mixing bowl, and add the cream cheese, dried onion, garlic and ground pepper.
- Mix to break up the cream cheese.
- Add the cheddar and mayo, and mix again.
- Pour in the lime juice and sour cream.
- Finally, sprinkle in the lemon pepper seasoning and chipotle, and give the mixture a few more stirs until everything is well distributed.
- Spoon the mixture into a baking dish or dishes.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until bubbly and the top is lightly browned.
- Serve your spinach and artichoke dip with toast or tortilla chips.