Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Spinach Artichoke Dip Throwdown

Spinach Artichoke Dip

My Friend Kel casually mentioned that she makes really great spinach artichoke dip. I sort of snorted and said something like "no, no, no, let me just tell you, I make the BEST spinach artichoke dip around." I guess I'm a pompous bitch sometimes. It didn't seem like it at the time but now that I write it, man, who do I think I am anyway? Anywho, she continued to tell me that hers really was fabulous and that it had lots of stuff going on in it. Mine is pretty basic but has been a family standby for years. I remember my Aunt Kellie making it often for family events to rave reviews. The same recipe is the one I use today except I add spinach (hers was strictly artichoke dip). It's the best I've ever tasted. It's the best anyone I know has ever tasted. A new, local wine bar at the base of the mountain called "The Vintage" is going to feature my recipe for this dip on their menu. Let's just say, I'm confident. I can be graceful and humble another time when somebody claims to make the best such and such (usually, in my experience, when people make that claim, they are right. ) but not this time. Not when spinach artichoke dip is on the line. The thing was...Kel seemed pretty confident too. She named a few ingredients she uses that I don't, so I thought it would be different. I quickly shut her down and told her not to tell me what was in it because I shouldn't know since I was going to challenge her to a throw down. Ha, ha. She was all for it. It would be fun.

Spinach Artichoke Dip

After she accepted, I said "maybe we shouldn't have a throw down because then someone will have to lose and that would be sad." She didn't seem to care. Neither did I. The worst that could happen is her dip would win and I would know a superior way of making it. I'm not really competitive by nature and I can admit defeat. I just talk a big talk.

The contenders:

The judge, Danielle:


This is my recipe:

Baked Spinach Artichoke Dip
serves 8

1 14-ounce can of quartered artichokes (not marinated)
2 cups sour cream
2 cups grated parmesan cheese (the kind in the green cylinder can is OK for this)
4 cloves garlic, minced
fresh squeezed lemon juice (a couple tablespoons)
1 10-ounce package of frozen spinach, defrosted
paprika for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees

Chop the quartered artichoke hearts up a bit more to make smaller pieces. Toss all the ingredients together and thoroughly mix. Spoon dip into a 8x8 inch glass baking dish and smooth the surface. Sprinkle the top with paprika and bake until heated through, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately with fresh bread for dipping.

To make artichoke dip, use two cans of artichoke hearts and omit the spinach altogether.

I am writing this portion of the post after the "big throw down", which was made up of me, Kel and Danielle as we were getting ready to watch The Bachelor. I don't want to hear about this. Yes, I watch The Bachelor. I refused to watch it for years but the first episode caught me off guard and I got sucked in.

Danielle tied her scarf around her head and Kel had her taste one of the dips picked at random, which was mine. Danielle said it was "fluffy". Next she tried Kel's dip. She said it had a stronger spinach flavor. We decided it had to have just been the bite since she had as much spinach in hers as I did.

When we got down to it, we used most of the same ingredients, except she uses mayonnaise and cream cheese for her base and I used sour cream. I was going to post Kel's recipe too but she uses the Kraft recipe subbing garlic powder for real garlic and adding 4 oz cream cheese, so you can easily look it up online. In the end, Danielle declared a tie and we all laughed because the dips tasted almost the same. No wonder we both thought we made the best dip...we do!


  1. That is so very cute...love the gangster hand gestures. I thought only I did that :)
    And don't be ashamed of your Bachelor watching. I am convinced it has subliminal messages because all of my circle is hooked, too. YUM!

  2. My husband and I love spinach artichoke dip! We will definitely have to try this one!

  3. Very cute post! And.... fantastic dips girls!!!!!

  4. i love, love, love artichoke dip. i've never made it with spinach.... it looks so much yummier than mine!