Please any kind of crowd with this Healthy Cheesy Spinach Dip!
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End your search for a deceptively healthy appetizer recipe with this Healthy Cheesy Spinach Dip!
It's lower in calories and saturated fat than its classic cousin and uses fresh spinach, canned or frozen artichokes, garlic, onions, greek yogurt, and grated parmesan cheese to create a depth of flavor that belies how much healthier this dip is!
I don't know about you, but almost every time I offer to host a cocktail or happy hour type event, I'm at a loss of what to serve. Especially when people request healthier or gluten-free dishes.
Maybe it's my personal experience or maybe it's American culture, but my brain freezes when I try to think of options other than hummus and veggies. All I can think of is deep-fried chicken wings, loaded potato skins, greasy sliders, and the like.
Don't get me wrong -- I love hummus, but there are just times I want something warmer, more comfort food-like, more indulgent feeling. The loaded potato skin experience without the following food coma.
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And so, when we offered to host our networking group this last weekend, I started to strategize how I could possibly put together a healthier comfort food recipe for the menu.
Being that I had some gluten-free guests coming and being that I've been in a cheese mood lately, I decided that a hot & cheesy spinach dip recipe remake would be my focus.
After all, there are some delicious, yet relatively easy subs I could try for the typical sour cream and cream cheese-based dip. There's also no flour or gluten ingredients in the dip, so I'd be safe serving it to my gluten-free guests with rice crackers and veggies.
So, I grabbed some fresh spinach, Greek yogurt, light cream cheese, part-skim mozzarella and freshly grated parmesan cheese and came up with this quickly disappearing Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip.
And finally, hummus has a new companion to serve alongside it. 🙂
This Healthy Cheesy Spinach Artichoke Dip Is...
- Full of spinach and artichokes
- Lower in fat
- A classic appetizer
- Simple to make
- Perfect for a crowd
- Easy to make ahead
Life is too short to have a boring happy hour spread. Make this savory and delicious hot spinach appetizer today!
What ingredients are in this healthy cheesy spinach dip?
Fresh baby spinach - the fresh leafy green cooks down without making the sauce too watery and provides a light and delicate flavor.
Onion - diced onion adds a great depth of flavor to this hot dip!
Minced garlic - fresh minced garlic provides the best flavor but canned or jarred minced garlic will also work in a pinch!
Artichoke hearts - these artichoke hearts are optional, but encouraged. They add more texture and heartiness to the cheesy hot dip!
Light cream cheese - we don't need the full fat variety to get all the flavor. In the states, you can also find light cream cheese under the name, Neufchatel cheese.
Mayonnaise - we don't need much of this egg-based spread, but a little bit goes a long way with flavor so choose a full fat mayonnaise if you have it.
Parmesan cheese - this aged cheese adds rich and savory flavor to the dip without needing a lot of it. Go for the fresh grated cheese in the deli or cheese aisle of your grocery store. It adds such better flavor than the cheese in the prepackaged green containers!
Shredded mozzarella cheese (part-skim) - this cheese adds all the ooey, gooey meltiness (did I just make that word up? If so, totally worth it!) of the dip that I just love!
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How do you make spinach artichoke dip from scratch?
To make spinach artichoke dip from scratch, you first saute onions and garlic in olive oil, then you add in artichoke hearts, spinach and heat until wilted.
Next, you'll add in greek yogurt, cream cheese, a touch of mayonnaise, and parmesan and mozzarella cheese. Cook the mixture down over medium heat for about 8-10 minutes and then pour it into a 1-quart greased baking dish.
Top the dish with additional parmesan and mozzarella cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 22-24 minutes, or until the cheese is browned in the center and the dip is bubbly around the edges.
What substitutions or alterations can I make in this recipe?
Spinach - frozen spinach can also be used in this dip in a pinch! Just follow my directions below on how.
Cream cheese - if you don't have light cream cheese, you can use full-fat cream cheese.
Parmesan cheese - a mixture of hard grated cheeses also works well in this hot dip! I like a mixture of Asiago, Romano, and Parmesan.
Mayonnaise - if you don't have or don't like mayonnaise, you can use 1/4 cup sour cream in place of it.
Can you also use frozen spinach in this cheesy spinach dip?
Yes, you can use frozen spinach in this cheesy dip. I recommend fresh baby spinach over it because the flavor is lighter, but if you only have frozen spinach you can use 1 1/4 cups instead. Just make sure to let all the spinach water evaporate when you're cooking the spinach.
What do you serve with this cheesy hot dip recipe?
I like so many dippers with this dip! Here are a few of my favorites:
- Whole wheat crackers
- Pita chips
- Water crackers
- Sliced baguette
- Pita bread
- Naan bread
- Veggies -- Carrots, baby sweet peppers, and cucumbers, broccoli, and baby tomatoes
Have fun experimenting and see what combinations are your family's favorite!
How do you make a spinach or spinach artichoke dip healthier?
Thankfully, there are some easy swaps we can make to make spinach artichoke dip healthier. Here are some of the swaps we'll be making in this recipe:
Greek yogurt instead of sour cream -- the base of most classic artichoke dips is sour cream. Thankfully, Greek yogurt has a similar taste and texture to sour cream so we will substitute that in. Additionally, we'll use more Greek yogurt than we would sour cream so we don't need as much cream cheese.
Light cream cheese -- most classic artichoke dip recipes call for 8 ounces of full-fat cream cheese. We will be using just 4 ounces of light cream cheese, reducing the fat and calories while still keeping enough of that lightly sweet, creamy flavor.
Reduced amount of mayonnaise -- now, not all other artichoke dip recipes call for mayonnaise. But, I find that just 2 tablespoons of classic mayonnaise add some richness to the greek yogurt-dominant mix without going overboard with the heavier condiment.
Just enough part-skim mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese -- I'm always striving to find just the right amount of a "more indulgent" ingredient to get the flavor we want. In this situation, mixing in just 3/4 cup part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese contributes that rich, cheesy texture without delivering up a grease bomb dip.
Can you freeze this cheesy spinach dip?
Yes, you can freeze this cheesy dip before you make it if you want to prepare your appetizers way in advance. Just freeze your unbaked dip in a freezer-safe container for up to 1 month. Let the dip defrost for at least 1 day before baking and add 5-10 extra minutes of baking time on if the dip is still partially frozen before baking.
Can you make this hot dip ahead of time?
Yes! You can make this hot dip ahead of time. Just make the dip on the stove top, pour the dip into the greased dish, sprinkle with cheese and cover it until its ready to bake, or for up to 36 hours.
How long does this spinach appetizer last?
This spinach dip last for 4-5 days covered in the refrigerator.
What can you mix into this hot spinach dip?
Change this cheesy spinach dip up for any occasion! Here are some ingredients I like to mix into this dip.
- 1 1/2 cups artichoke hearts (like I did)
- 1/2 lb cooked & crumbled Italian sausage
- 1 bunch roasted asparagus pieces
- 3/4 cups cooked & crumbled bacon
Other appetizer recipes to check out:
- Spiced Sweet Potato Fritters
- Air Fryer Potato Skins
- Easy Turkey Meatballs
- Air Fryer Kale Chips
- Sweet Potato Harissa Hummus
- Air Fryer Smashed Potatoes
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Make an easy and healthy appetizer tonight with this Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip. It's just as creamy and cheesy as the original, but without as much added fat!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup white onion, diced into 1/8" pieces
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 oz. fresh baby spinach
- 1 1/2 cup frozen artichoke hearts, defrosted and cut into 1/2" chunks* (optional)
- 10 oz. 2% greek yogurt
- 4 oz. light cream cheese
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
- 1 1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 1-quart dish with non-stick spray.
- Heat a large non-stick saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and heat it up until it sputters when flicked with water.
- Add the onions and saute, stirring frequently, for 4-5 minutes or until translucent.
- Stir the garlic into the onions and saute for another 1-2 minutes, continuing to stir frequently, or until the garlic is fragrant and just starting to turn golden.
- Stir the spinach and artichokes into the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes, continuing to stir, until the spinach wilts.
- Reduce the heat to medium, add in the greek yogurt, cream cheese, mayonnaise, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, and salt. Stir and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until the cream cheese is completely melted in and the mixture starts to thicken.
- Pour the dip into the greased pan and sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese. Bake for 23-25 minutes, or until the cheese on the top starts to brown.
- Remove from the oven and serve with crackers, veggies, tortilla chips, or any of your other favorite dippers.
You can also use canned artichoke hearts as well. Just use one 14 oz. can of drained and chopped artichoke hearts.
You can also use 1 1/4 cup frozen spinach in place of the fresh baby spinach. Just make sure all of the mositure from the spinach evaporates off before moving on to the next step in the recipe.
Leftovers can store covered in the fridge for 3-4 days, but this dip is best enjoyed straight out of the oven.
Amount Per Serving Calories 128Total Fat 7gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 16mgSodium 413mgCarbohydrates 8gFiber 2gSugar 3gProtein 10g
This nutrition breakdown is just an estimate of the nutritional value of this recipe and cannot be taken as facts. The owners of Mae's Menu are not nutritionists or dieticians and therefore cannot be held accountable for this nutrition estimate. Please contact your nutritionist or medical professional for a nutritional breakdown of this food. Furthermore, this food is not intended to prevent, diagnose, cure, or treat any disease.