Easy (and Healthier) Spinach Artichoke Dip

I love spinach artichoke dip. I love ordering it when I go out, but I don’t go out too often. Plus, I always have to ask what ingredients they use since I am vegetarian. I don’t want any chicken stock or bacon fat in it! Also, it’s so high in fat. Isn’t there a better way to make this delicious appetizer from heaven??

Since I don’t go out too often and always try to replicate recipes and foods I try in a healthier way (and cheaper way as well often times!), I’ve prepared my rendition of spinach artichoke dip. Although it’s still a bit high in fat and sodium and not something you’d want to eat on a daily basis, it’s so delicious and easy that it’s perfect for parties and other special occasions, or a treat for yourself every now and then. There are no exotic ingredients, and it’s simple to throw it all together. I add a bit more vegetables, less of the cheese, and some extra fiber to this dish. It’s full of both flavor as well as antioxidants and vitamins.

This recipe takes only about a half hour from start to finish, including preparation and cook time.

Ingredients for Healthier vegan  Spinach Artichoke Dip

1 box frozen spinach, thawed and patted almost dry

1 1/2 cups frozen chopped broccoli

1 medium red onion, finely chopped

1 block Neufchatel cheese (or low fat cream cheese or vegan version)

1 can artichoke hearts, quartered or chopped to your preference

about 1/4 cup fresh parsley

2 large cloves garlic, minced

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (or vegan version)

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

1/4 cup veganaise

about a teaspoon sesame seeds

about 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper

dash olive oil

Directions to make Spinach Artichoke Dip

Thaw spinach and pat to almost dry.

Saute the onions in olive oil for about 5 minutes, then add in frozen broccoli and spinach. Cook over low heat for about ten minutes. Add the Neufchatel cream cheese and mix until soft, about five minutes.

Add the remaining ingredients and stir very well until everything is evenly incorporated. Remove from heat. Add additional garlic, salt, or pepper to taste. Serve warm; serves about 5-6.

Optional: saute the onions in about 1/2 cup wine for extra flavor. It adds a savory sweet flavor to this dip.

What to Dip in Spinach Artichoke Dip

The healthiest idea to use for a dipper is raw carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and other veggies. Other healthy ideas include using any whole grain chips, pita, or bread. Regular potato chips, tortilla chips, crackers, or whatever you prefer can also be used as dippers.

Spinach artichoke dip is beautiful served in a hollowed out bread bowl. Spread on bagels or muffins for a rich topping. Tear pieces of french bread or baguette to use for dipping.

Serve as an appetizer with an elegant dinner or use as a main course for a light meal with a salad or healthy soup.

Additional Notes

Of course, fresh vegetables, especially when grown from your garden, are always best. Try experimenting with even more vegetables in your dip, such as red and yellow peppers for extra color, or chunks of tomato to garnish the dip. Use your imagination for a healthy and delicious treat!

I love larger chunks of artichoke in this dip, but smaller pieces of broccoli. It’s not that I don’t like broccoli, but I like it plain or steamed rather than chunky broccoli in my spinach artichoke dip, but make it however you prefer. I mainly use the broccoli to stretch the dip just a little further and to add a few more nutrients. That’s the beauty of cooking — you can make things however you want them!


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