I have small obsession with combining recipes.
I firmly believe that combining the best tasting or easiest aspects of a recipe will create an even better dish in the end.
Normally, this drives my husband crazy because I’ll pick and choose aspects of 2 or 3 recipes I’ve never made before.
Sometimes its a home run, sometimes its a disaster!
Even though I have tons of faith in my recipe-mashing abilities, I could tell Aaron was concerned when I mentioned making a dish I’d never tried before for his family’s Thanksgiving.
Aaron’s family always plays board games and eats tailgate type food on Thanksgiving evening so traditional side dishes aren’t an option.
I decided I’d learn to make one of their favorite restaurant appetizers: spinach and artichoke dip.
I searched the internet and my cookbooks for recipes that looked both tasty and easy.
I eventually narrowed it down to two very different versions: one was all about rich flavor and the other focused on a creamy texture.
After making a batch of both dips and recruiting Aaron and my sister-in-law, Audrey, to taste test, we realized there was no clear winner.
At the end of the day, even Aaron admitted that the best idea was to combine our favorite aspects of the two into a dip that’s both creamy and flavorful. (Is this where I get to say “told you so?”)
This is a hearty, flavorful dip that I’m sure I’ll be making for family functions, football and basketball games for years to come!
I’m going to apologize in advance for not having step by step photos of this one but its so easy you really don’t need them.
The Farm Wife’s Spinach and Artichoke Dip
1 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups Alfredo sauce (I used a generic brand to save a little money. You’re trying to get creaminess from the sauce, not flavor so generic is fine).
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese (I was very skeptical about paying $9 for a wedge of this but it adds so much flavor its definitely worth it!)
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1 14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
2 9 oz packages of frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a small casserole dish (I used an 8×8).
2. In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, alfredo sauce, mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, Romano cheese, garlic, basil, and garlic salt. The important part is making sure the cream cheese mixes in smooth. You won’t want chunks of cream cheese in your finished dip!
3. Gently fold in the artichoke hearts and spinach. Getting the spinach to mix evenly into the dip is kind of tricky because it wants to stick together so add it a little at a time.
4. Pour the entire mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Top with mozzarella cheese.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until the dip is bubbly and the mozzarella cheese is lightly browned.
1. After removing the dish from the oven, I immediately stir it all up. The mozzarella topping is hard to eat and serve through so I mix it into the dip while everything is still hot and it can melt in easily.
You’re probably wondering why I didn’t just mix in the mozzarella to begin with? There’s actually a good reason! The layer of mozzarella on top forms a cap on the dish and seals in the creaminess while its baking. You don’t want to let any of that creamy goodness escape before serving!
2. I served the dip with tortilla chips because they’re easy to come by and this is a pretty hearty dip so you don’t want anything too flimsy. My sister-in-law is convinced that it would be good with pita chips too but I didn’t feel like driving 30 minutes to get them! Maybe next time.
I’ve seen people serve pieces of fresh bread with dips like this but I wouldn’t recommend it. Trust me, this is the kind of dip you’ll want to scoop, not just dab with bread.