Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Updated: Sep 24, 2020
This dip is filled to the brim with tender chunks of artichoke hearts, vitamin-rich spinach, impossibly creamy cashew 'cheese', all topped with crunchy, savory Panko Parm.
It's the perfect dish to bring when gathering with friends, or simply enjoying at home!
Guys, I could eat this every week. No joke. Classic spinach and artichoke dip has always been my favorite, especially when cradled in a large boule of sourdough or pumpernickel bread...
Ugh, I am drooling right now. This is so similar to the real thing, you'll be second guessing whether it's truly dairy-free or not. Seriously! Plus, if you bring this Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Dip to a social gathering (after Covid-19, y'all), I promise your friends will be none-the-wiser that it really doesn't have cheese ;)
There were many vegan recipes for Spinach and Artichoke dip that I tried before finding my own take on it. Some were good but desperately lacked flavor, and others either didn't truly taste anything close to the real thing, or didn't stay creamy after it had been sitting at room temperature for 30 minutes or so. What a bummer! So, naturally, I had to try my own take on it, using some of what did work from those recipes, and none of what didn't.
This dip is:
great to share
packed with veggies
& easy peasy to make!
Now, let's make Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Dip!
To make this incredibly creamy and not runny, we're using cashews as our main ingredient. Now, I know a lot of people don't like cashew-based recipes because they're concerned with the calories of cashews... before you turn to another recipe without cashews, let me explain why you shouldn't care.
1. You're not eating this dip every day. If you are, you rock, but you're probably not.
2. Even if you were to make this whole dish and eat it by yourself, you will not gain weight from that meal. I PROMISE.
3. Yes, the calories from nuts, especially cashews, can be higher than regular cheese. This is true. But the health benefits of not consuming cheese far outweigh any risks associated with eating too many cashews. Example: coronary heart disease from cholesterol. Cashews have never caused anyone to undergo open-heart surgery, and heart disease is not something that you can exercise your way out of! It comes from inside.
So, now that we've established that cashews are better than any kind of dairy you're consuming, let's move on...
...and discuss the type of cashews to use. They can be raw, or roasted and unsalted. How do I know? Because everyone insists on raw cashews and I never have them on-hand. Like, ever, because my husband does most of the grocery shopping and he enjoys snacking on them every now and then. Therefore, we only have roasted unsalted cashews, and they work beautifully. So don't skip a cashew recipe if you don't have raw cashews, or break the bank searching for them, because it truly doesn't matter. Trust me.
Step 1. The first step is to either soak or boil your cashews. If you have the time, soak them in plenty of water for at least two hours (overnight is best), and drain before using. If you forgot to soak them, or don't have time, boiling them for between 10-12 minutes will do the trick and give you a nice, smooth cashew cream, which is basically what we make before adding in any other goodies.
Step 2. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a decent size baking dish. Chop shallot, garlic, and artichoke hearts. Have your fresh or thawed spinach ready. Heat a large frying pan with high sides over medium-low heat, adding olive oil (or water, if you're not using oil), chopped shallot and minced garlic. Sauté for 2-3 minutes or until shallot is somewhat translucent.
Step 3. In a food processor or high-speed blender such as a Vitamix (I use this one)*, toss in your soaked and drained cashews, along with the sautéed garlic and shallot, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and water. Blend until smooth, then add to your large frying pan over low heat, in addition to the spinach, artichoke hearts, nut milk, garlic powder, cayenne, salt and pepper. Stir until well incorporated.
Step 4. Pour contents into greased baking dish, top with cashew parm and Panko breadcrumb mixture (aka Panko Parm, trademarked by me), and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, or until top is slightly golden brown and sides are bubbling. Serve hot with sourdough toast points, pita chips, or in a pumpernickel bread bowl (my fave)!
This Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Dip is the ultimate in comfort food appetizers. Great for groups, game day, or part of a relaxing Sunday brunch at home. Make it today!
Recipe for Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Time: 35 minutes (not including cashew soaking, if applicable)
1 cup cashews, raw or roasted unsalted soaked or boiled
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, chopped
1/2 Tbsp olive oil or water if oil-free
1/4 cup water
3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
2 Tbsp lemon juice about one large lemon
Spinach and Artichoke Dip
1 1/2 cups artichoke hearts, chopped
1 1/2 cups spinach, fresh or thawed if frozen
3/4 cup unsweetened nut milk I used almond milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp cayenne
Panko Parm Topping
1 Tbsp cashew parm
1 Tbsp Panko breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and grease a large baking dish. In a large, deep frying pan over medium-low heat, add oil, shallot and garlic. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until shallot is translucent. Turn heat to its lowest setting - you'll be using this pan again.
In a high-speed blender or food processor, add cashews, sautéed garlic and shallot, water, lemon juice, and nutritional yeast. Blend until smooth and creamy. To your frying pan on low heat, add cashew cream, fresh or thawed spinach, chopped artichoke hearts, and unsweetened nut milk. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder and cayenne. Stir until well incorporated.
Pour mixture into greased baking dish and top with Panko parm. Bake for 20 minutes, or until crumb topping is golden brown and sides are bubbling. Serve hot with pita chips, toast points, or in a bread bowl.
Did you make this recipe? Tag @earthlyedible so I can see it!
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