There are countless permutations of this party favorite. You can find it on the menus of lots of bad chain restaurants (I’m talking about you, TGI Friday’s and Applebee’s!). But this recipe is the best ever, and not just because it’s my version. I dare you to try it and disagree. It’s even made with low(er) fat ingredients and more veggies than more traditional recipes spinach artichoke dip recipes, so its marginally healthier.
First off: just say ‘no’ to mayo. It’s gross. This recipe rocks because it’s made with nonfat plain Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise. At 100 calories and 18 grams of protein per 60z container, not to mention creamy yumminess, I cannot fathom why someone would switch back to mayo after trying this substitution. I also use part-skim mozzarella, lowfat sour cream, and neufchâtel cheese to lighten the calories and fat a bit while still loading it up with dairy goodness. And you can’t forget the Parmesan.
I also prefer fresh steamed spinach to the frozen variety. Yes, this makes it more expensive, but you don’t get that watery, mushy, stringy texture that frozen spinach tends to have. I bought this bamboo steamer from Crate & Barrel and can’t rave enough about how easy it is to use. It’s much loved and we are probably due for a new one soon. At$16.95 for 5 years of heavy use, it’s a bargain.
It’s important to not overcook the spinach here. You’re going to put it in the oven and bake it, so there’s no need to get it too mushy. After a few minutes of cooking (with the lid on) transfer the spinach (little tongs work best) to a colander with paper towels in the bottom. You want to squeeze out as much of the moisture as possible.
Chop up the spinach and add it to a bowl. Dice up your artichokes and thrown them in. And because I think it’s fun and festive to add a bit more color to the dip, I also add one shredded carrot and half a diced bell pepper. This makes me feel like I can count it as a vegetable dish, despite all that cheese.
Now I just throw in all the cheese and dairy, stir it up, then pack it into a baking dish and sprinkle a little extra cheese on top. After you bake it at 350F for 20 minutes, then turn on the broiler for a few minutes to get the cheese nice and brown on top, this is what comes out of the oven!
Talk about yum. This is always a hit at parties. I served it with cut up veggies, pita chips, and tortilla chips. But any dip conveyance device will do just fine. Don’t expect any leftovers of this one!
Best Ever Spinach Artichoke Dip
- 5 oz fresh spinach, steamed and chopped
- 1 jar marinated artichoke hearts (mine was 3 oz) drained and chopped
- 1 carrot, shredded
- 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
- 6 oz nonfat Greek yogurt
- 4 oz lowfat sour cream
- 1 cup part-skim shredded mozzarella
- 8 oz 33% less fat (neufchatel) cream cheese (or you could even use nonfat)
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
- dash onion powder and garlic powder
Mix it all up, bake at 350F for 20 minutes, then broil for a couple more. Serve with sliced veggies, tortilla chips, pita chips, or crackers.