Fresh Spinach, Feta and Artichoke Dip

Fresh Spinach, Artichoke and Feta Dip | A Sweet SpoonfulAnd somehow, in the blink of an eye, it’s the week before Christmas and we’re racing around trying to fill cookie tins, pick up a few last minute gifts, make plans for our upcoming Bay Area visit (Oliver’s first time to San Francisco!), string popcorn garland, and see as many friends as possible. While I tried to avoid it this year, the hustle and bustle is upon us and it looks like we’re kind of succumbing to it — everywhere, that is, except the kitchen: we’re hosting Christmas dinner this weekend, and I’ve been really determined to keep things festive yet low key, special yet simple. So today I bring you one of my favorite appetizers of all time, lightened up a bit, made with a very doable ingredient list and tackled in under an hour. Oliver and Sam eat it by the spoonful and sneak bites of leftovers for breakfast. It’s that good. Fresh Spinach, Artichoke and Feta Dip | A Sweet Spoonful

Generally, spinach artichoke dip is made with frozen spinach and lots and lots of mayonnaise. Don’t get me wrong: it’s crazy delicious, but a few months ago I started to work on a recipe using fresh spinach instead and lightening it up with plain cottage cheese, a bit of lemon zest, and a generous handful of feta and Parmesan. For this recipe, I use Muuna cottage cheese which I love because it’s super thick and low in sugar and high in protein (the plain has 4g sugar and 19g protein!). While it comes in a few different sizes (single and multi-serve containers) and six different flavors, we really like the plain best — to eat on its own and I’ve also been experimenting with it in recipes (my go-to is usually Greek yogurt, but we’ve burned out on it at the moment, so it’s been really nice mixing it up).

Fresh Spinach, Artichoke and Feta Dip | A Sweet Spoonful

I made this dip a few times, each time adding more cottage cheese and less mayonnaise until I felt like the consistency and flavor were right where I wanted them. Sometimes spinach dip can feel really heavy, but this one has some brightness thanks to the lemon zest, lots of color from the fresh spinach, and a dressiness thanks to the feta and Parmesan.

If you’re celebrating this weekend, I truly hope that you all have a wonderful holiday. Regardless of how grand or simple, hopefully you’re spending it with friends or family that make you happy. We’ll be over here trying to keep Oliver from knocking down the tree, eating gingerbread men and leftover spinach dip for breakfast, and hoping for a Christmas miracle of sleeping past 5:30 a.m.

If you’re curious to learn more about Muuna, you can check out their Facebook,Twitter or Instagram.

 

Fresh Spinach, Feta and Artichoke Dip

Fresh Spinach, Feta and Artichoke Dip

  • Yield: Serves: 8
  • Prep time: 15 mins
  • Cook time: 35 mins
  • Inactive time: 10 mins
  • Total time: 1 hr

A flavor-packed fresh spinach dip with a generous handful of feta and Parmesan, this appetizer is best served warm with pita chips or crackers. When you’re prepping your ingredients, I realize upon first glance it seems like a lot of spinach here, but trust that it all cooks down quickly. And like many good things in life, I find this dip is even better the second day, so it’s a great one to make in advance.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the baking pan
1 large shallot, minced (about ½ cup / 55g)
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
12 cups packed baby spinach, (about 15 ounces), washed and dried
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, rinsed and coarsely chopped
1 cup plain Muuna cottage cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 cup (80g) freshly-grated Parmesan, divided
Zest from 1 lemon (about 1 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
3/4 cup (105g) crumbled feta cheese

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Rub a little olive oil on the inside of a 2-quart baking dish.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook for about 2 minutes or until golden and fragrant. Add the garlic and spinach and continue cooking until spinach has wilted, about 2 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, scoop the spinach mixture into a medium bowl (I press down a bit with my hands or the back of a spoon to remove any excess moisture). Add the artichoke hearts, cottage cheese, mayonnaise, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper.

Scrape the mixture into the prepared baking dish, and spread the top so it’s nice and even. Sprinkle feta cheese and remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan on top. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes, or until the dip is bubbling around the edges and the top is golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving (it’ll set / firm up a bit during this time). Serve hot with pita chips or crackers. Leftover dip will keep, covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

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