I’ll never forget my first encounter with spinach.
It was at TGIFridays. The item was Spinach & Artichoke Dip. It was love at first bite and the appetizer changed my entire view on the dark, leafy, green vegetable.
This recipe is my own take on the beloved dip and is a recipe I’ve spent over a decade developing and refining. It is easy to prepare (though time consuming! ahem, slow cooker), crowd-pleasing, and enjoyable as an appetizer or side dish!
If you’re looking to “up” your appetizer game, standout at a tailgate or watch party, or bring a creamy contribution to your next social gathering, then consider my Spinach & Artichoke Dip!
Spinach & Artichoke Dip
Serves: 10+ as an appetizer
Prep Time: <10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes (hands-on cooking) + 2-3 hours on HIGH heat or 4-5 hours on LOW heat in the slow cooker (stirring and monitoring throughout the cook time)
- 2 medium yellow* or white onions, diced
- 6-8 fat cloves of garlic, minced
- 16oz bag of frozen chopped spinach
- 12oz bag of frozen artichoke hearts (slightly thawed and roughly chopped)
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- (2) 8oz blocks of cream cheese (preferably at room temperature)
- 12oz bag of shredded gruyere cheese** (I use Trader Joe’s swiss & gruyere shredded cheese blend)
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- Salt and pepper
- Tiny sprinkle of nutmeg (option)
Let’s do this!
- Peel, wash and dice the onions. Peel the garlic cloves and set aside.
- Heat a medium-size pan or skillet over medium heat. Add a swirl of EVOO to the skillet and cook the onions, about 10-15 minutes or until the onions become golden in color. Stir occasionally during this time and add more EVOO to the skillet, if needed. Once the onions are golden and translucent, season with salt and pepper and stir. Turn off the heat. Add the minced or pressed garlic, stirring to combine.
- In a large crockpot coated with non-stick cooking spray or lined with a slow-cooker liner, add the onions, the frozen spinach, thawed and chopped artichokes, mayo, and cream cheese. Allow these items to heat for about an hour (if using HIGH heat) or a few hours (if using LOW heat) until the cream cheese begins to melt.
- Once the cream cheese has begun to melt, stir these ingredients to combine. Add in the gruyere cheese blend, grated parmesan, and salt and pepper (I start by using 1 TBSP of salt and 1 tsp of pepper and then taste test as the dip develops). Optional: a tiny sprinkle of nutmeg.
- Allow the flavors to incorporate, about 30-60 minutes (if using HIGH heat) or 1+ hours (if using LOW heat).
- Once the cheeses have melted and the mixture takes the appearance of a dip, taste test. Add additional salt and/or pepper if needed, stirring to combine. If the dip is seasoned to your liking, it’s show time! If you’re not ready to serve it, you can keep this dip in the crockpot on the “LOW” or “KEEP WARM” setting and eat to your dining or entertaining preference.
*Yellow onion is sweeter/milder/smoother flavor)
**If you can’t find this cheese blend or don’t have a Trader Joe’s nearby, you can shred a block of gruyere and a block of swiss and create your own blend. You can also choose to not blend the two cheeses and instead use only gruyere or only swiss. Note: 12oz of pre-shredded cheese roughly equals about 1 ½ cups.