Healthier Spinach & Artichoke Dip
I have to tell on our recipe joke for today. While spending the weekend with my family in the mountains a few weeks ago, we were throwing out ideas for an Easter recipe, all of which were completely looney tunes of course, but the winner by far was a blog post recipe for, um… Roasted Easter Bunny! Totally being facetious here and obviously we didn’t carry out that plan, but we still get a good laugh out of it! Crazy goons 🙂 Anyway, what I did finally decide to go with was a simple dip recipe that’s good “finger food” for a large gathering, or even just good “quality-time, fun food” for a couple.
I substituted some of the traditional, unhealthy dip ingredients like mayonnaise and full-fat cream cheese for some lighter fare with the greek yogurt and Neufchatel cheese. It lightens the dip up a bit without any noticeable difference in flavor. The main thing to remember with this dip is to make sure and drain the spinach and artichokes well. If you make the dip while the veggies are still holding a lot of water, your dip will be mushy and watery. No bueno. I just let the frozen spinach sit out a while to thaw and then use a colander over a bowl and mush (or “mash,” for those preferring the correct terminology 😉 ) the water out with the back of a spoon. Feel free to use your own creativity here. 😀
Blue corn tortilla chips are my favorite side for dipping, but feel free to use whatever you like. I’m thinking some Wasa crisp bread might be really good with it too. Just be careful, this stuff can be addicting! 🙂
- 1 8 oz package Neufchatel cheese (light cream cheese)
- About 1 cup frozen, chopped spinach (1 8-10 oz package should be just fine)
- 1 14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained well and coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt (you can also use cottage cheese but will have to blend it – an immersion blender is perfect for this)
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Pinch of garlic salt
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Allow Neufchatel cheese and frozen spinach to come to room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly spray a pie dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Once spinach is thawed, make sure and drain well. You can put it in a colander over a bowl and mash out the water with the back of a spoon.
- Combine Neufchatel cheese, greek yogurt (or blended cottage cheese), chopped artichokes, drained spinach, parmesan cheese, garlic, basil, garlic salt and sprinkle of salt and pepper in a large bowl. Stir until well combined.
- Spread mixture evenly into prepared pie dish and top with mozzarella cheese.
- Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until cheese is nicely browned on top.
- Serve with tortilla chips, crisp bread or even veggies. Enjoy!