Spinach Artichoke Dip is a classic appetizer that everyone loves! By using Greek yogurt in place of mayonnaise and a combination of 3 varieties of sharp cheese, the Classic Spinach Artichoke Dip recipe has been lightened up, yet keeps all the flavors of the original you love and crave.
This restaurant-style Spinach Artichoke Dip is the perfect appetizer for entertaining. Not only does everyone love this creamy, cheesy dip, but it can be prepared in advance, making entertaining easier. Serve with chunks of fresh bread, tortilla chips, fresh veggies, or crackers and watch this dip disappear at your next gathering.
Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip
There is nothing better than an ooey, gooey, cheesy dip! But when that dip has been lowered in fat and calories but tastes just as good as the original--now we are talking!
I love putting healthy spins on decadent foods--that is one of the many benefits of enjoying homecooked foods. Instead of deep-fried egg rolls, I make crispy, flavorful Baked Egg Rolls. Instead of high sodium lettuce wraps from PF Changs, I make my own Copycat Lettuce Wraps. And with just a few simple changes, Spinach Artichoke Dip gets a healthy make-over that is just as irresistible as the classic version.
- Greek yogurt: Instead of mayonnaise found in most spinach dips, this recipe calls for nonfat Greek yogurt. The Greek yogurt will give the dip the same creaminess that the mayonnaise provides, just minus the additional fat and cholesterol.
- Sour Cream: I do like to use a bit of sour cream to add some tanginess to the Spinach Dip. Use full-fat or reduced-fat sour cream or omit and use additional Greek yogurt in place of the sour cream, for any even lighter recipe. Do NOT use fat-free sour cream.
- Neufchatel Cream Cheese: The difference in flavor between full-fat cream cheese and the ⅓ less fat version of cream cheese in this recipe. So save the fat and calories and use the light cream cheese. Just do NOT use fat-free cream cheese, as the flavor and texture will not be the same.
- Cheese: To pack in flavor I use a combination of Parmesan, feta, and mozzarella cheese. Feta may not be traditional in most Spinach Artichoke dips, but just like Parmesan cheese, Feta packs a huge flavor punch and therefore we can cut back the amount of mozzarella cheese with success.
- Lemon: A little bit of fresh lemon juice enhances and brightens the flavors in this dish.
- Garlic and Red Pepper Flakes: When cutting back on calories a the nd fat in dishes, a great trick is to use a lot of herbs and spices to enhance a dish with few calories and no added fat.
- Spinach and Artichokes: These are not swapped out, but both are essential for this dip and are loaded with nutrients and antioxidants.
How to make Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Prepare the Spinach
Before mixing together the ingredients for this dip, it is essential to remove the excess moisture from spinach, whether using fresh or frozen spinach. If not, the liquid from the spinach will cause the dish to become watery and separate. I recommend using a clean kitchen towel or piece of cheesecloth to place your spinach into. Then squeeze out the excess liquid over the sink or a bowl to discard.
For frozen spinach, defrost the spinach in the microwave before squeezing out the excess liquid. For fresh spinach, you will need about 8 ounces and will want to steam or saute the fresh spinach until wilted. Be sure to still remove excess liquid from the cooked fresh spinach.
Prepare the Dip
- Combine the cream cheese, sour cream, and yogurt together until smooth. Pro-Tip: Be sure your cream cheese is at room temperature so that the ingredients will combine better and the Spinach Dip will not be lumpy.
- Add in the chopped artichoke hearts, drained spinach, cheese, lemon juice, and spices.
- Mix until all the ingredients are evenly combined.
- Spread the spinach artichoke mixture into a baking dish. Pro-tip: Use a dish that you want to present this dip in so that it can go straight from the oven to the table.
- Bake until warmed through and slightly browned on the top.
- This dip is best served warm, with chunks of bread, tortilla chips, pita chips, crackers or fresh veggies.
Preparing in Advance
Spinach Artichoke Dip is great for parties and entertaining not only because everyone loves it, but also because it can be mixed together up to 48 hours in advance. Simply cover well with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days. When ready to serve, remove from the refrigerator while the oven is preheating. Remove the plastic wrap and bake for 25-30 minutes or until warmed through.
Leftover spinach dip can keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat before serving. It does not freeze well, as it will separate when defrosted.
If you are looking for a way to use up leftover dip, a great idea is to use the dip to make Spinach Artichoke Calzones.
Whether for a party or for watching movies with your family, this Cheesy Spinach Artichoke Dip is always a hit--even though it has been lightened up!
Spinach Artichoke Dip
- 8 ounces reduced fat cream cheese room temperature
- ½ cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
- ½ cup sour cream full-fat or reduced-fat
- 10 ounces frozen spinach defrosted and drained
- ½ cup jarred artichokes drained and chopped
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- ⅓ cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese
- ⅓ cup Feta cheese crumbled
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes optional
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 1-quart baking dish.
- Defrost frozen spinach in microwave or overnight in the refrigerator. Place defrosted spinach in cheesecloth or clean kitchen towel and squeeze out excess moisture over the sink.
- Drain a 10-ounce jar of artichoke hearts and chop well, measure out ½ cup of artichokes to use for the dip.
- In a large mixing bowl cream the cream cheese, sour cream, and yogurt together until creamy and smooth.
- Add the spinach, artichokes, cheese, salt, lemon juice, garlic cloves, and red pepper flakes to the cream cheese mixture and mix together until all the ingredients are well incorporated.
- Transfer the mixture to the greased baking dish.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until warmed through and slightly browned on the top.
- Serve with veggies, tortilla chips or pita chips.
- Spinach Artichoke Dip will last for 3-4 days in the fridge.
- Do NOT use fat-free cream cheese or sour cream, as the texture and taste will not be good.
- To lighten up this Spinach Dip, even more, feel free to use plain yogurt in place of the sour cream.
- To make this dip decadent, add use mayo in place of the yogurt and add in ¼-1/2 cup more Mozzarella cheese.
- If you do not like feta cheese, omit and add an additional ¼ cup of Mozzarella cheese.
- Do not use jarred lemon juice as the flavor will not be the same.
- If you want to use full-fat cream cheese or full-fat Greek yogurt for this recipe, that works just as well.
- If you don't like spicy foods, you can cut back on the amount of garlic used and omit the red pepper flakes.
- If you want to use frozen artichoke hearts instead of jarred artichoke hearts, cook first and allow to cool slightly and use in this recipe as stated.
- In a pinch, you can use pre-grated Parmesan Cheese, but the flavor of freshly grated Parmesan can not be matched.
This post was originally published in 2018 and updated in 2020 with new pictures and a video.