Baked Artichoke and Spinach Dip

5 stars based on 3 votes

artichoke-spinach-dip-13

I love spinach and artichoke dip, especially served warm right out of the oven, but a good one is hard to come by. The problem is that most recipes call for canned or marinated artichokes — which are tinny and sour tasting — as well as sour cream (yet more tang) and an ungodly amount of mayonnaise. My version is updated with a French twist. Instead of sour cream and mayonnaise, I use a Mornay sauce to thicken the dip.  This is simply a Béchamel, or white sauce, with the addition of grated cheese. I also use frozen artichokes, which are the closest thing to fresh. It bakes up creamy, cheesy and wonderfully rich, with chunks of artichoke hearts and bright green spinach within.  

Begin by melting the butter in a medium saucepan to make the Mornay sauce.

Next, add the flour and continue cooking over medium-low heat.

Stirring all the while.

When the mixture turns a golden-sandy color, whisk in the milk.

Bring the sauce up to a boil, then simmer until thick enough to coat a spoon.

Off the heat, stir in the cheese until melted.

As you can see, it will be quite thick. Set aside while you prepare the vegetables.

Next, cook the onions in a large pan until soft and translucent, then add the chopped artichokes, spinach (be sure it’s squeezed dry) and garlic.

Cook for 5 minutes, then transfer the vegetables to a large bowl. Add the cheese sauce and fold together.

Transfer the dip to a pretty baking dish and top with more Parmesan cheese.

Bake until hot throughout and serve with a sliced baguette.

Baked Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Servings: 8
Total Time: 1 Hour

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • Salt
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 10-ounce box frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed very dry
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 9-ounce boxes frozen artichoke hearts (not thawed), chopped coarse
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

Instructions

  1. Set an oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the flour and stir constantly for about 5 minutes or until the mixture is a golden sandy color. Whisk in the milk and bring the liquid to a boil. Simmer, stirring constantly, for a few minutes, or until the liquid is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheeses, ½ teaspoon salt and cayenne pepper. It will be quite thick. Set aside.
  3. In a large sauté pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach, garlic, chopped artichokes, thyme, and ½ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes more. Transfer the vegetables to a large mixing bowl.
  4. Add the cheese sauce to the vegetables and fold together until well combined. Transfer the mixture to an oven-safe serving dish and bake for 20 minutes, or until hot throughout and very lightly golden on top. Serve with sliced baguette.

Reviews & Comments

  • Have you ever tried cheddar? I do not have monterey jack cheese.

    - Michele on December 14, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Michele, Cheddar would be delicious.

      - Jenn on December 14, 2014 Reply
  • I have not tried this recipe although I will soon. Do you think pumpernickel bread would work?

    - Dale on December 4, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Dale, Yes I think it would — this dip is delicious on anything :)

      - Jenn on December 7, 2014 Reply
  • If like to bake this into a bread bowl if possible. Do you think it would be ok to heat it in the oven for 10 minutes then transfer it to a bread bowl or would that not be ideal? Thanks!

    - Victoria on October 30, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Victoria, I think that would work well. Please let me know how it turns out.

      - Jenn on October 30, 2014 Reply
  • How far in advance (before baking) can this be prepared?

    - Edi on October 20, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Edi, It would be fine to make this a few days in advance before baking.

      - Jenn on October 21, 2014 Reply
      • 5 stars

        It’s officially “the best spinach dip I have ever had” according to my book club, and fiance (and me!). I prepped this the day before and took it out of the fridge 30 minutes before baking. Covered it for 15 minutes, topped it with the remaining cheese and baked, uncovered for about 10 minutes more.

        - Edi on October 23, 2014 Reply
  • Could I substitute almond milk for whole milk?

    - Jessica on September 1, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Jessica, Yes, I think that unsweetened almond milk would work.

      - Jenn on September 2, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    A perfect appetizer for a get together!

    - Cathy on July 2, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Made this last night for my daughter & her friends- a big hit! Love your recipes:)

    - Jill on June 30, 2014 Reply
  • Just made a double batch for the super bowl. Coming from someone who has tried/made dozens of different versions, I had to try this non-mayo recipe and not only is it similar to my all time favorite restaurant version, but I dare say this is the best spinach artichoke dip I have ever had. Proud to bring this to the party!! Great recipe!

    - Brittany on February 2, 2014 Reply
  • Spinach artichoke is wonderful. This is a lovely recipe and the roux is the perfect vehicle for cheese delivery. I modified it a little to use the fresh spinach that I had in the freezer. This worked out fine but the dip was a little more green than the picture. Still tasted great.

    - Rachel on October 22, 2013 Reply
  • A plus! I loved this method! So much richer than others I’ve tried. Is is OK to eat it as a meal?

    - Bridget on March 10, 2013 Reply
  • I made this dish for a dinner party and I had a guest tell me that they stay away from dips because of they mayo. Once I told him there is no mayo in it he dug right in and loved it! He asked for the recipe immediately! This is now my go to dish when I’m invited to parties! I like to add extra cheese and breadcrumbs on top so it has a crunch. If breadcrumbs aren’t available, I crumble Ritz Crackers on top.

    - Ashley N on March 9, 2013 Reply
  • This was great. The next time I may try adding some green chilis.

    - Kathy on March 9, 2013 Reply
  • Definitely a crowd pleaser. I topped with a bit more Parmesan but I have a bit of an obsession with cheese.

    - Kelly G on March 9, 2013 Reply
  • This sounds delicious. Could you make it & put it in a crock pot so it will stay warm?

    - Jenny Morgan on January 9, 2013 Reply
    • Hi Jenny, I think that’d be fine. Hope you enjoy!

      - Jenn on January 10, 2013 Reply
  • What size baking dish should I use? I’ve wanted to buy a versatile sized gratin dish.

    - Joanna on October 30, 2012 Reply
    • Hi Joanna, For this recipe, I used a 9-inch oval by Le Creuset.

      - Jenn on October 31, 2012 Reply
  • Hi Jenn, your recipes are fabulous. I made this dip with lobster meat and turn out amazing.

    Thanks Jenn

    - Liz on October 2, 2012 Reply
  • Has anyone tried adding crabmeat to this dip? I would use jumbo lump crabmeat. The question is how much?

    - Debi K. on August 10, 2012 Reply
  • Difficult to convert to gluten free, but I managed. The seasoning was perfect.

    - Karen Pugh on June 26, 2012 Reply
  • This looks so good and fresh!

    - susan on June 20, 2012 Reply
  • My favorite recipe to start the dinner with. I swear this is why they keep coming over for drinks.

    - Gayle Snyder on May 18, 2012 Reply
  • This looks wonderful and so much fresher than the typical spinach-artichoke dip recipes!

    - Delene on May 15, 2012 Reply
  • I was searching for a recipe for a shower i’m hosting… this will be perfect!

    - Ada Howe on May 15, 2012 Reply
  • I tried this recipe and loved it! I eyeballed everything and it still came out great. I found all of the items at the market. I used less flour, butter and milk still using the same process. I cooked my vegetables for a few minutes with garlic powder, a little bit of oldbay seasoning and the flavor just added to the dip. Then I baked whole wheat tortilla wraps but cutting them in triangles and spraying a baking sheet placing them in the oven for a few minutes. I also used reduced fat cheeses since that’s what I had available, 1% milk and the I can’t believe its not butter spread to make the cheese sauce. My boyfriend is in love with this recipe Jennifer. This was my first time and it was a success!

    Thank you :-)

    - Tamiera Harris on March 12, 2012 Reply
  • I have always made the other kind (mayo and sour cream) so wanted to give your version a try. Even though it was more work than my old version, it is worth the extra time to make it! And using frozen artichokes were cheaper and healthier than the canned/jarred version. thanks

    - Cathy on March 4, 2012 Reply
  • I’m definitely trying this one for my next party. I’ve been searching and searching for a great recipe and haven’t found it yet…hopefully this will be “the one”!

    - Sarah on March 2, 2012 Reply
  • Just what I was looking for! a simple and easy recipe for a great arttichoke and spinach my family will enjoy!

    - Miora on March 2, 2012 Reply
  • made this for “girls night” and it was a hit!

    - kelly almasy on March 2, 2012 Reply
  • Yum, Yum, Yum, Yummy!!! I loved this Artichoke spinach dip, I can eat this everyday… Thank you for putting out the most wonderful recipes…

    - EJB on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • I made this for our Super bowl Party, It was gone before the game started !

    - Mrs Macaulay on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • I can’t wait to try this. I love your recipes!

    - Joanne on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • YUMMY

    - Amy on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • Looks good! Love the pictures (helps dummies like me to get it right the first time)! I am going to share this recipe with my Mom….she’s always looking for different recipes for Spinach-Artichoke Dip. However, I think I will add a pinch of Nutmeg, it goes so well with spinach and the bachamel.

    - Holli on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • Fun to make and delicious coming right out of the oven – lots of oohs and ahhs from my guests.

    I would have liked to be able to chop the artichokes into smaller pieces, but the recipe says to put them in frozen – any suggestions?

    Also, although the taste was good, we all thought it could use more spice to bring out the flavors.

    - Betty on March 1, 2012 Reply
    • Betty, Definitely chop them while they are still frozen.

      - Jenn on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • This was amazing. I too was looking for something without all the crap like mayo and sour cream. I felt really good about making this from scratch. I was dissapointed with that I could not find frozen artichokes so I had to use canned but it still turned out great. Next time I make it, I think I’ll add crab meat.

    - Ashley on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • this is one of my favorites

    - Rosalinda on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • I Pinned this for my next party! Love your blog!

    - Alisa on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • Very easy to make and Delicious. I’m planning to make this for a party that I’m catering.

    - Liz on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • Since you are not using mayo or sour cream do you think you could freeze this? I would love to make this ahead, parcel out in small portions and freeze. What do you think? I am so happy to have found your website! The kale and radicchio was a perfect Sunday dinner winter salad. Picked the kale from the garden!

    - ND Woodruff on February 14, 2012 Reply
    • Not sure about freezing it with all the dairy but you can definitely make it ahead and reheat it. So glad you’re enjoying the recipes!

      - Jenn on February 14, 2012 Reply
  • I made this for the Superbowl and it was absolutely fantastic. Thank you! I could not find frozen artichokes so I used 2 cans of artichoke hearts and just rinsed them well, then drained and chopped and squeezed out as much liquid as possible. It was perfect.

    - Lori on February 7, 2012 Reply
  • Can I sub fresh spinach and how much? I like to use the cleaned and bagged kind. Thanks!

    - kim on February 7, 2012 Reply
    • Hi Kim, Sure, it’s fine to sub fresh spinach…just use same amount, 10 ounces.

      - Jenn on February 7, 2012 Reply
  • Just made this…yum!

    - Robyn on February 5, 2012 Reply
  • This is my favorite appetizer! Sadly, a friend already claimed this dish for the Superbowl party tonight, but I’ll be making this ‘just because’ soon!

    - Cynthia on February 5, 2012 Reply
  • gotta love this classic!

    - leslie on February 4, 2012 Reply
  • Adding water chestnuts adds a bit of crunch too. Also recommend pumpernickel bread, which pairs nicely. Either toasted slices, or use it as a bread bowl with the dip inside.

    - Mary on February 4, 2012 Reply
  • I have totally avoided all the so called spinach/artichoke dips at the deli. This I am making – I just hope I can find frozen artichokes here in Canada.

    Thanks for all the great recipes!

    - marjory on February 3, 2012 Reply
  • What quantity do you use for the milk, the flour, and the cheese?

    - Annette on February 3, 2012 Reply
    • Hi Annette, If you scroll down to the bottom of the post, you’ll see the recipe with quantities.

      - Jenn on February 3, 2012 Reply
  • I am so making this over the weekend. This will be right for my hot comfort foods craving.

    - Andee on February 3, 2012 Reply
  • You are so right about a good artichoke and spinach dip recipe being hard to find. I’ve been on the hunt for one and each I come across just doesn’t quite hit the mark. Can’t wait to give your recipe a try!

    - Laura on February 3, 2012 Reply
  • Jennifer you are such a talented chef. I look forward to your recipes every week. Finding simple and healthy ways to feed my family and friends, is my passion. Thank you so much!

    - Alexxa on February 3, 2012 Reply
    • You are very welcome, Alexxa! Thanks for leaving a comment. I appreciate it!

      - Jenn on February 3, 2012 Reply
  • This looks delicious. Can you make this ahead of time and refrigerate until baking?

    - Amy on February 3, 2012 Reply
    • Amy, That would be fine. You can also bake it ahead of time and just reheat it. Either way, it should come out great.

      - Jenn on February 3, 2012 Reply
      • could this be frozen before baking?

        - Patti on January 18, 2014 Reply
        • Hi Patti, Probably best not to freeze this one…I worry that the Mornay sauce would separate and the texture would be off. Sorry!

          - Jenn on January 19, 2014 Reply
  • I am SOOOOO making this for my movie marathon this weekend!

    - Jessica B on February 3, 2012 Reply
  • This looks so easy and delicious. Can’t wait to try it!

    - Jules on February 3, 2012 Reply
  • I love hot spinach artichoke dip!

    - Sherri on February 2, 2012 Reply

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