Party food season is upon us! Now through the ‘Big Game’ is the time to break out all those yummy appetizer recipes and enjoy time with family and friends. Traditionally, Christmas Eve and New Years Eve are appetizer nights in my household typically spend with friends, and this Christmas Eve was no exception. This year, however, I was not hosting so only made one appetizer–Spinach Artichoke Dip–my go-to appetizer when eating out.
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This recipe is one of those all-purpose appetizers which can be presented in a more upscale or relaxed manner to meet the tone of the party you are attending. (It’s also easy to keep the ingredients on hand for those last-minute parties that come up!) To make it more upscale by adding some toasted garlic crostini bread rounds to make it more fancy, or for the relaxed crowd serve with tortilla chips. Also, the container you bake it in can make this dip feel more upscale or relaxed. A white ceramic baking dish is always a good touch for any occasion, or just your everyday 8×8 glass baking pan. Either way this recipe is one that will fit in anywhere you go–it can even be considered vegetarian and gluten free!
As with everything, I have to put my own spin on things, and this Spinach Artichoke Dip recipe was no exception. I chose to use three different cheeses–Mozzarella, Shredded Parmesan, and a small amount of Gruyere that I had hanging out in the refrigerator after making French Onion Soup a few weeks ago. Together this trio made for a delicious and cheesy dip with a great cheese pull when serving!
The key to making a Spinach Artichoke Dip that doesn’t ooze everywhere is to make sure that the liquid content of the spinach and the artichokes is at the very minimum possible. To accomplish this, thaw out a package of frozen spinach, drain the water off in a strainer, then wrap the desired amount of spinach for the recipe in several paper towels. Next, squeeze as much of the liquid out of the spinach as you are able. Then add to the mixing bowl. Second, for the artichoke, drain the marinated artichoke jars and add the artichokes to a skillet on medium heat. Then allow the liquid from the artichokes to cook off until you see little or no liquid in the pan. You will need to stay with the pan and stir regularly so you do not brown the artichokes. Once that is complete, you can chop (if needed) and add to the recipe. By following both these tips, your dip will be a great consistency for your chosen dip delivery method!
Finally, if you are trying to work ahead on an event, you can also mix this dip up 24-48 hours ahead of time and then stick in a cold oven to bake the day you want to use it (just add 10ish minutes to the bake time to account for the oven warming up). You will know it’s done when it’s bubbly and lightly golden brown.
Spinach Artichoke Dip
8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
2/3 C. Sour Cream
1/3 C Mayonnaise
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1 1/2 C Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (divided)
2/3 C Shredded Parmesan Cheese
2/3 C Shredded Gruyere Cheese
12 oz Frozen Chopped Spinach (thawed and squeezed dry)
2- 12oz Jars Marinated Artichokes, (drained and cooked dry–see above)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Mix cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise and garlic with a mixer until well combined and the mixture begins fluff up (about a minute).
- Add 1 Cup of the mozzarella cheese, all the Parmesan and Gruyere cheese and mix until just combined.
- Placed drained artichokes in a skillet and cook on medium heat until all or most of the liquid is cooked off. Be sure to stir frequently and do not brown the artichokes.
- Placed artichokes and spinach in the cheese mixture and fold in until well combined.
- Spray an 8 x 8 baking pan with cooking spray, then spread mixture into the pan.
- Top with the remaining 1/2 C Mozzarella Cheese
- Bake for 30 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and lightly browned.
Serve with tortilla chips or Toasted Crostini rounds.
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