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meatless monday: spinach artichoke dip

January 3, 2011

Here’s a fun exercise:  try to find a recipe for a spinach artichoke dip without mayonnaise.  Okay, it’s not that hard.  But many of the recipes do, in fact call for it and I can’t say I’m a huge fan.  So, when a found a recipe with a surprise ingredient taking the place of mayonnaise, I could resist. This ingredient was such a surprise that while I was making this, my sister walked into the kitchen and goes “Uh oh, those aren’t artichokes.” thinking that I had absent-mindedly chosen some random can from the cupboard to use (not an unfair assumption).  But I actually knew what I was doing for once and I meant to grab that can of … white beans.

That’s right.  White beans thicken up this dip and really adds to this dip without being obvious.  While I was reluctant to make this at first, I can say with confidence that I would make it again.  Just don’t expect it to stick around long, this guy disappears like nothing else!

kc adjustment: I used frozen spinach instead of fresh and it worked fine. Just add it to the boiling water about 5 minutes before adding the fresh basil leaves.

spinach artichoke dip
from Food Network


  • kosher salt
  • 1 10-ounce bag baby spinach
  • 1 cup packed fresh basil
  • 3/4 cup canned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 6 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained, squeezed dry and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 2 or 3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • cooking spray
  • blue tortilla chips for serving


  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  2. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and prepare a bowl of ice water.
  3. Stir the spinach and basil into the boiling water and cook until bright green, about 30 seconds.
  4. Remove with a slotted spoon and immediately plunge in the ice water. Drain and squeeze dry, then roughly chop.
  5. Puree the beans, cream cheese, garlic and vegetable broth in a food processor until smooth, scraping the sides as needed.
  6. Transfer to a medium bowl and fold in the spinach, basil, artichokes, parmesan and 1/2 cup mozzarella.
  7. Add the cayenne, Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and black pepper to taste.
  8. Mist a deep 1-quart casserole dish with cooking spray.
  9. Spread the dip mixture in the dish and top with the remaining 1/4 cup mozzarella.
  10. Bake until golden and bubbly, 20 to 25 minutes.
  11. Serve immediately.
6 Comments leave one →
  1. January 18, 2011 11:06 am

    wow this looks fantastic! my husband hates vegetables, but perhaps if i disguise them this way, i may just get them past him!

    • January 18, 2011 12:52 pm

      This is definitely one way to sneak them in! Even the most passionate of veggie haters couldn’t/wouldn’t pass up a good spinach-artichoke dip. As an added bonus you’re even throwing in white beans! He won’t know what hit him. 🙂

  2. January 25, 2011 1:33 am

    So I don’t know how the heck I found your blog – but I love it. Seriously. Like read 53 pages of good stuff back to September 2009.

    Oh, to live the expat life. I would in a heart-beat (but with the option of coming back home, for sure). But until we can get a transfer to the Royal Navy, we’re stateside.

    But I can dream, can’t I?

    I don’t know if I can get enough of your blog though. Keep it coming!

    • January 26, 2011 2:18 pm

      Thanks so much for your comment. Glad you like the blog. Sadly, the expat life is but a distant memory now that we’ve been brought back stateside (note to self: update “about me” page), but it was fabulous and highly recommended. A transfer to the royal navy can’t be that hard, can it? 🙂

  3. March 12, 2011 10:24 pm

    Beans and vegetable broth. This is like health food. Seriously, will have to try this one.

    • March 13, 2011 4:51 pm

      Ha! My sister seemed to think the same thing as she used this recipe as a main course. I was shocked myself at which went into it, but it was a huge crowd pleaser. Let me know what you think!

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