The lowest common denominator at pretty much every chain restaurant in America? Spinach and artichoke dip served with triangles of buttery pita bread. While it’s incredibly delicious, it is also sort of overloaded with cheese, cream, butter, canned vs. fresh artichokes and god knows what else. Somehow a conversation took me back to my memories of this classic favorite and I decided to do what I always do – I made this warm spinach dip healthier but still just as delicious!
My spin on the classic spinach and artichoke dip uses just a few ingredients – spinach, cauliflower, milk (dairy or plant-based, whatever your preference is), garlic and that’s about it. I love artichokes but we very, very rarely get fresh ones here in India so I skipped the artichokes in this one and decided to skip the unnecessary fats as well. The combination of cauliflower cooked in milk makes this warm spinach dip creamy yet vegan, without the use of cheese, butter or cream. It goes well with pita bread, pita chips, lavash crackers or fresh veggie sticks like carrot, cucumber or red and yellow peppers. To make a larger tapas-style spread, you can pair it with hummus or a roasted red pepper dip (if you need more appetizer inspiration, I put all my favorite healthy appetizer ideas in one place).
Now that “winter” or pleasant weather is finally approaching, this warm spinach dip is the thing to make for gatherings or just part of a delicious weeknight meal. I didn’t want to add any cheese in this recipe – I wanted to keep it healthy enough for everyday enjoyment and offer a vegan option that works just as well with plant-based milk. But I understand if you’re having friends over or want to make it a little more substantial: you can top it with cheese and bake it for 5 minutes at 200C for a browned but melty layer of cheese. Alternatively, you can also mix in some mozzarella cheese in the last step of cooking. And now to the best part – this dip makes the perfect leftover meal! I used it the next morning on toast topped with a poached egg. Orange juice (or a mimosa) is the ideal complement for this one. I’d love to hear what you think of this warm spinach dip – leave me a note below or tag me in your creations on Instagram @theindiaedition.
- 120g spinach, finely chopped
- 180g cauliflower, cleaned thoroughly
- 500ml or 2 cups milk (dairy or plant-based)
- 4 cloves of garlic, grated or crushed
- ½ tsp salt (or to taste)
- ¼ tsp pepper (or to taste)
- ¼ tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
- In a saucepan, combine the cauliflower, milk, garlic, salt and pepper. Allow to cook on medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure the milk doesn't burn, until the cauliflower is completely cooked and soft.
- When it is cool enough to handle, blend this mix using an immersion blender or regular blender/food processor.
- In a pan, add the cauliflower mix and spinach. Cook on medium-low heat till the spinach is cooked.
- Serve immediately with pita bread, lavash crackers, fresh veggie sticks.