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Fresh Spinach Artichoke Dip

So fresh and so green.

This fresh spinach artichoke dip bakes up warm, bubbly, and topped with melted cheese as a bonus. Stir, bake, done. 

best spinach artichoke dip recipe

Meet this best fresh spinach artichoke dip recipe

If there was a dip Olympics (and please, can I judge it?), spinach artichoke dip would get my vote for gold medal. (This edamame dip would also be in the running.) The classic appetizer’s combination of warm creaminess, cheese, vegetables, and a little bit of tang hits all the right flavor notes.

Most spinach artichoke dip recipes use a bag of frozen, chopped spinach. But sometimes frozen spinach can be annoying to defrost, and I never really know what I’m getting. Will it be stemmy? Will I have to pick out a few unsightly brown leaves, shriveled into little frozen blobs?

So I like the idea of using fresh organic baby spinach leaves. They’re widely available, and cook in about a minute — much faster than it takes to defrost a bag of frozen spinach. You’ll want to use canned artichokes, though. Canned artichoke hearts have a mild tang and acidity that’s integral to the overall flavor. 

Bake this classic party appetizer dish up in the oven in just two steps, and serve it with tortilla chips, pita chips, crackers, or crunchy vegetables.

ingredients fresh spinach artichoke dip

How to substitute fresh and frozen spinach

One pound of fresh baby spinach leaves equals about 10 ounces of frozen spinach.

You can use fresh and frozen interchangeably for this recipe, but either way, be sure to make sure that the spinach is cooked and very well drained. You don’t want excess moisture in the recipe.

Why fresh spinach is better than frozen in this fresh spinach artichoke dip recipe

I believe strongly that one should never mess with a good thing. The classic spinach artichoke dip we all know and love is already pretty much perfect. But truth be told, those recipes almost universally call for frozen spinach.

Luckily, using fresh baby spinach to make spinach artichoke dip is

  • Even more simple
  • Has a slightly better texture, and
  • Cooks more quickly than the time to defrost frozen spinach

The nutritional content of fresh and frozen spinach is about the same. You can always substitute 10 to 12 ounces of fresh frozen spinach, but this recipe shows how to make it the fresh way.

You can use fresh spinach, but should not fresh artichokes. Here’s why.

And as a note: I do not recommend using fresh artichoke hearts for this dip recipe. Used canned artichoke hearts. Fresh are expensive, harder to work with, and will not give the dip that signature hint of tang that’s such an essential balance to the rich, salty flavors.

spinach artichoke dip ingredients in mixing bowl
Stir together all the ingredients before pouring the mixture into the baking dish.

How long does spinach artichoke dip last in the refrigerator?

Once you bake this recipe, it will probably go pretty quickly. But if you do have leftovers or want to make it in advance, this fresh spinach artichoke dip will keep in the refrigerator, covered with aluminum foil or plastic wrap, for about two days.

How to reheat this dip

To reheat this dip, place the casserole in the oven, covered with aluminum foil, in a 350 degree F oven until warmed through, about 20 to 25 minutes. You can test the temperature easily: Stick a regular butter knife in the center, then remove the knife test the side of the blade with your finger. It should feel hot. (Be careful not to burn yourself!)

unbaked fresh artichoke spinach dip
Sprinkle the top of the unbaked dip with the remaining mozzarella cheese.

What is fresh spinach dip made of? Here are the ingredients.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for the recipe:

  • 1 pound fresh baby spinach leaves, or 10 to 12 ounce bag of frozen chopped spinach (preferably organic)
  • One 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 8 ounces room-temperature cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (I prefer Hellmann’s)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or full-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 12 turns fresh-cracked black pepper
  • A generous pinch of salt, or to taste
  • 4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • Olive oil to grease the casserole
  • Crackers, baguette slices, pita chips, tortilla chips, or crudité, to serve
best baked fresh spinach artichoke dip
Serve warm for best results, but room temperature will do.

The directions: how to make this recipe (and serve it)

This is a very simple recipe for fresh spinach artichoke dip. It requires little more than putting all the ingredients together in a bowl and giving it a good stir before baking.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease an 8 x 8″ casserole pan or similar sized baking dish.
  2. If using fresh spinach, heat a large skillet over medium heat with enough water to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the spinach in two additions or more, and and keep fully covered with a lid. Steam until wilted, about two minutes, stirring once or twice. Drain well to eliminate excess liquid, and roughly chop. If using frozen spinach, thaw and drain according to the package directions.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the spinach, chopped artichoke hearts, cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic, parmesan cheese, pepper, a generous pinch of salt, and half the mozzarella cheese.
  4. Pour the mixture into the casserole pan. Sprinkle the top with the remaining mozzarella cheese.
  5. Bake on the center rack of the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until bubbly. Change the oven to the broiler setting, and transfer the spinach artichoke dip to the top rack under the broiler and cook for about one minute — keep an eye on it, though, it may go faster! — until golden brown on top.
  6. Serve warm (though room temperature will still be ok) with something like tortilla chips, pita slices, crackers, or sturdy crudité like carrot or celery sticks.

Notes on how to store this dip or prepare it in advance

To prepare this fresh spinach artichoke dip in advance:

  1. Follow the recipe steps all the way through to pouring the mixture into the casserole or baking dish.
  2. Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
  3. Bake uncovered right from the fridge. It may take an extra 5 or 10 minutes to bake through from the colder temperature.

To store the leftover dip:

Spoon the leftovers into an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to two days. Reheat in the microwave or an oven-safe dish, covered to ensure the dip does not dry out.

fresh spinach artichoke dip recipe

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fresh spinach artichoke dip recipe

Fresh Spinach Artichoke Dip

This is a very simple recipe for baked fresh spinach artichoke dip, requiring little more than putting all the ingredients together in a bowl and giving it a good stir before baking. Fresh spinach (it's easier than frozen!), canned artichokes, and creamy, cheesy goodness make this the best appetizer dish ever. Serve this dip warm with tortilla chips, pita chips, crackers, or crunchy crudité.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keywords:: appetizer, artichoke casserole, dip, football food, spinach artichoke, vegetarian
Servings: 8 to 10 people
Calories: 374kcal
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Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh baby spinach leaves (see notes section below to substitute frozen)
  • 14 ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 8 ounces room-temperature cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or full-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or good-quality parmesan cheese
  • 1 generous pinch Kosher salt (I use Diamond Crystal)
  • 12 turns fresh-cracked black pepper
  • 4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • Olive oil to grease baking dish
  • Tortilla chips, pita chips, crackers, baguette slices, or crunchy crudité, to serve

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease an 8 x 8" casserole pan or similar sized baking dish.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat with enough water to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the spinach in two additions or more, and and keep fully covered with a lid. Steam until wilted, about two minutes, stirring once or twice. Drain well in a colander, pressing gently with a spoon, to eliminate excess liquid. When cool enough to handle, roughly chop.
  • In a large mixing bowl, stir together the chopped spinach, chopped artichoke hearts, cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic, parmesan cheese, a generous pinch of salt, pepper, and half the mozzarella cheese.
  • Pour the mixture into the casserole pan. Sprinkle the top with the remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake on the center rack of the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until bubbly.
  • Change the oven to the broiler setting, and transfer the spinach artichoke dip to the top rack under the broiler and cook for about one minute -- keep an eye on it, though, it may go faster! -- until golden brown on top. Serve warm (though room temperature will still be ok) with tortilla chips, pita slices, crackers, or sturdy crudité like carrot or celery sticks.

Notes

To substitute frozen, chopped spinach in this recipe: Thaw and drain a 10- to 12-ounce bag of spinach according to the package directions. Drain well. (Ten ounces is the more accurate equivalent to one pound of fresh spinach.)
How to prepare it in advance: To prepare this fresh spinach artichoke dip in advance, follow the recipe steps all the way through to pouring the mixture into the casserole or baking dish. Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Bake, uncovered, right from the fridge. It may take an extra 5 or 10 minutes to bake through from the colder temperature.
How to store and reheat leftover spinach artichoke dip: Spoon the leftovers into an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to two days. Reheat in the microwave or an oven-safe dish, covered to ensure the dip does not dry out.

Nutrition

Calories: 374kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 669mg | Potassium: 406mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 6469IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 265mg | Iron: 2mg

Disclaimer: Nutrition information is provided for courtesy purposes only, and is an estimate not verified by medical or nutrition experts. Read the full nutrition disclaimer.

2 comments

  • 5 stars
    Making this again for the Super Bowl this weekend-can’t wait. Very good recipe and easy to make.

  • 5 stars
    First time making with fresh spinach and it was so easy. The cost may be a little higher with fresh spinach, but I thought it was faster than defrosting a chunk of frozen and the color was brighter. Tastes great. Will make again!

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