Thanksgiving 2012 Holiday Recipes: Spinach Dip

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Holiday Recipes – November 22: Spinach Dip

Appetizers are either ultra popular or a bad idea for the holidays, depending on your level of indulgence. Many holiday parties are focused on just little nibbles, which is where recipes like this spinach dip will shine. However, if you’re planning a big feast, you may not want to offer pre-meal nibblies – they may fill up on those and leave you with a buffet of leftovers!

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This is a super versatile spinach dip recipe, which can be prepared a day or two in advance and brought out for multiple occasions. It’s perfect if your home has high holiday traffic but not all at once, and also adapts very well to specific food tastes.

The Basic Recipe

  • 1/3 c. sour cream
  • 1/3 c. whipped cream cheese
  • 1/3 c. mayonnaise
  • ½ c. grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ packet instant vegetable soup mix
  • 1 tsp. cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 16 oz. chopped, frozen spinach

Thaw the spinach and squeeze out excess water (cheesecloth works very well). Mix together all ingredients except the soup mix. Using a small strainer, separate the powdered soup mix from the dehydrated vegetables, add powdered mix to bowl and discard vegetables. Stir until well combined.

Add-ins

If you’re looking to bulk up your dip with more flavors, a jar of quartered, marinated artichoke hearts is a delicious addition. Just make sure they’re drained out of the oil. You may want to add a little bit of the oil to loosen up the dip, or increase the mayo to ½ cup if the dip is too thick.

Chopped olives, especially a medley of Greek-style olives, is a wonderful addition. Look for a jar of olive tapenade to cut down on the prep-work and still enjoy a bit more salty flavor. Capers will do the same thing, just drain them before adding.

If you’re feeling crabby, some imitation crab meat flakes can turn this into a seafood spinach dip! Just be careful to keep it either well chilled or warm, and discard any uneaten portion if it’s been sitting out.

Hot or Cold?

This dip is excellent cold, especially when chilled overnight and served right out of the fridge or room temperature. It can also be spread into a casserole dish and baked at 350° for 15-20 minutes. If you’re serving hot spinach dip, topping with shredded cheese and hitting it under the broiler before serving not only adds to the flavor, but also looks amazing!

What to Dip

We ate our dip with crunchy plain flavored pita chips and it was fantastic. You can also try pretzel thins, tortilla chips, or even just plain kettle chips. If you’re feeling fancy, take a skinny loaf of French or Italian bread and slice into ¼” thick slices to toast into crostini. Of course, you can always use this as a veggie dip too, with sticks of carrots and bell peppers, celery stalks, and broccoli or cauliflower flourettes.