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Spinach artichoke dip sounds healthy, but does it live up to the name? Not so much. Sure, spinach and artichokes are on the ingredient list, but the dip is really more about the creamy, gooey cheese than veggies. My philosophy is that if you're going to indulge, why not get some extra nutrition? I've taken this fat-laden favorite and made spinach the star player, with plenty of cheesy deliciousness to spare.

(Scroll to the bottom of the post for a printable PDF version of the recipe!)

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Spinach Artichoke Dip


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach, partially thawed
  • 14 ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 2 (16 ounce) containers sour cream
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Garlic salt to taste
Changes Made:

  • 1/4 cup butter: Replaced butter and sour cream with 1/2 cup fat-free half-and-half for richness and creaminess with significantly less fat and calories
  • 10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach, partially thawed: Increased spinach to 16 ounces
  • 14 ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened: Used reduced-fat cream cheese/neufchatel
  • 2 (16 ounce) containers sour cream
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese: Decreased to 1/2 cup Parmesan and substituted remaining 1/2 cup with pepper jack cheese for better melting and spice
  • Garlic salt to taste: Used garlic powder and table salt (table salt can be adjusted if desired)
  • Added minced onion and garlic for more flavor
  • Black pepper and cayenne for spice

Nutrition Facts Face-Off!

1/4 cup (4 tablespoons, about the size of an egg) - does not include chips, bread, or other "dippables"

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Super Spinach Artichoke Dip (Printable PDF Version)

Makes about 5 cups


Ingredients

  • 2 (8 oz) packages reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup fat-free half-and-half
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ small or medium onion, minced
  • 14 ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 16 ounce package chopped frozen spinach, thawed
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • Dash of cayenne pepper

Directions

  1. Combine cream cheese, half-and-half, parmesan, shredded cheese, garlic, and onion in a saucepan over medium-low heat.
  2. When cream cheese has softened slightly, stir in artichokes, spinach, and rest of ingredients. Keep stirring over low heat until all cheeses are melted and ingredients are incorporated.
  3. Serve immediately or keep warm in crock pot.

Serve with vegetable sticks and whole grain pita chips (here's how to make them at home!)

 

Nutrition Facts (1/4 cup or 4 tablespoons): Calories 100, Total Fat 6g (Saturated 4g), Cholesterol 20mg, Sodium 300mg, Total Carbohydrate 5g, Dietary Fiber 2g, Protein 5g, Vitamin A 60% DV, Vitamin C 10% DV, Calcium 10% DV, Iron 4% DV

 

Today's post was written by Leia Kedem. Leia Kedem, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian and Nutrition & Wellness Educator covering Champaign, Ford, Iroquois, and Vermilion Counties. She appears weekly on WCIA-3/WCIX-49 and is a biweekly contributor to the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette. She also maintains Facebook and Twitter accounts where she regularly posts health tips and answers nutrition questions for free.