Recipe: The Best Spinach & Artichoke Dip

My mom has been best friends with her best friend for over 30 years. The two met when my mom moved into the neighborhood in second grade and they've been through everything with each other ever since. My "aunt" has been as much (or more!) a part of my life as some blood relatives, but as we all grow up and get busier, it's harder to make time to enjoy each other's company.

Over the past few years, we've made it a mission — my aunt and her two daughters who are my age — to get together a few times a year for a classic girls night: wine, snacks, catching up, and belly laughs.

We gathered at my mom's this past Friday for the latest installment. For the occasion, I pulled together my favorite, go-to bring-to-a-party dish: spinach and artichoke dip.

I found a recipe for this ages ago, copied it down, manipulated it a bit, and have been hassled for the recipe countless times. This stuff is good. Not even remotely kidding: I went to a party once and set out the spindip on the snack table. I stepped outside for about five minutes, then figured I'd go in and grab some snacks. THE ENTIRE PAN OF SPINDIP WAS EMPTY! Next time I brought two trays.

I've emailed out this recipe to various friends of friends since I started bringing it and this weekend my "cousin" said she wanted a recipe too. I figured I'd share it here for any of you hosting holiday parties or attending a Friendsgiving or Friendsmas who need something easy to whip up that will make any crowd happy.

Disclaimer: I don't know where I got the original recipe, but I've worked it a bit differently over the years. If this looks like your original, please let me know so I can credit you!
One of my favorite things about this recipe is that it's easy to make modifications without satisfying flavor, and easy to cut calories (though there's really not planet on which this is "figure friendly") using lower-fat ingredients.

What I Use:
1 can artichoke hearts
1 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 8oz. package "lite" cream cheese, softened — you can buy full-fat, non-fat, store brand, or the good stuff: it makes no difference in the flavor
~ 1/4 cup (I just eye-ball a few tablespoons) mayonnaise — You can use Miracle Whip if that's your preference or, if you're like my cousin's husband and despise even the mention of mayonnaise, skip this part altogether
~ 1/2 cup grated cheese — I just use whatever I have on hand. Sometimes it's Parmesan, sometimes it's Romano, sometimes it's a blend. It makes no difference
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Garlic powder
Salt
Pepper

What I Do:
1. Preheat oven to 350 and find a pan. I usually use a round Pyrex dish, but you can use any small-medium glass pan or pie plate
2. Rinse and chop artichoke hearts and add to a mixing bowl
3. Add cream cheese, mayo, and grated cheese to artichokes and mix together gently
4. Dry (by wrapping in a paper towel and squeezing out the excess water) spinach and add it to bowl
5. Gently mix in the spinach and add garlic, salt, and pepper to taste. If you want to get crazy you can add in onion powder as well
6. Spread the mixture into your baking pan and smooth over top. Add a sprinkle of shredded mozzarella over the top
7. Put pan into oven, uncovered for 15 minutes. Take out, and use a fork to turn mixture around and redistribute cheese. Put back in oven for 15 minutes — add another layer of cheese over the top if you like it really cheesy and want a browned top — and then take out ready to serve!
Now if you're preparing this at home to be served right out of the oven, you can "cook" it all through right here. If you're bringing it somewhere else, I suggest doing the second 15-minute heat-through at your destination, if possible. This dip is best when warm and melty.

Serve it up with pita chips, pumpernickel bread or pretzels, or any other sturdy crackers. Enjoy!

Comments

  1. mmm I LOVE spinach and artichoke dip - this is basically the recipe I use, which I also found on the internet one day and have since manipulated. You are so right, you can chuck this or that, change things and it doesn't change the flavour. It is so popular, every time I make it people just gobble it up. And yeah, definitely not healthy! lol. KC hates mayo, and doesn't like a lot of cheese - if I leave him alone with this he'll devour the whole thing (i just don't tell him what's in it!)

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  2. Spin dip is one of my very favorite snacks, and this looks like a tasty rendition of the classic snack!

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  3. Yum!!! I love spinach and artichoke dip. Sometimes I go to restaurants where spinach and artichoke dip is the only thing on the menu I can eat...and I don't get sad about it. Make this for me when I come visit?!

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  4. Ahhhh looks so yummy! I have to save this. It could have come in so handy this past weekend!!!

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  5. And now I'm drooling!!! This looks so good girl!!

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  6. Mmmmm that looks delicious!!!!!!!!!!! My mom has been best friends with her best fried for over 30 years too! Love to see that!

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  7. Yum yum yum yum yum yum yum! Love S&A dip! Did I say yum??

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  8. Definitely pinning this! I'm obsessed with spinach and artichoke dips, or really anything with artichokes. Can't wait to try this out!

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  9. Looks delish.. thanks for the recipe!

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