Healthy Diet

Baked artichoke dip

The basics of the classic artichoke dip are essentially: a can of artichokes (drained & chopped), a cup of mayonnaise, and about a cup of freshly grated parmesan. The ratio can vary slightly depending on the chef, but many artichoke dip recipes are based on adding garlic and other condiments from there. My souvenir? That’s a lot of mayo. Some recipes use an even higher ratio. The version I’m doing hits all of the crowd-pleasing notes of the classic version, but it cuts the mayo bomb aspect far back. Guess what? Nobody can tell the difference.

I still use a bit of mayo but use some silken tofu and Greek yogurt. I also increased the ratio of artichokes to creamy ingredients. You still get the forgiving goodness of the original, but this version brings the artichokes back to the fore, delivers some protein with tofu and yogurt, and still retains that party-dip spirit that few of us can resist. So let’s get to the specifics.
Artichoke dip ingredients in a blender

Smooth versus Chunky Artichoke Dip?

There is some debate about which is better – chunky or smooth artichoke dip? I prefer smooth. A quick pulse in a blender, food processor or hand blender brings everything to a base that bakes extra creamy. I’ve also found that kids like the smooth version best. Probably because nothing can be seen in it as offensive. Laugh cry. But if you like a little more texture, just use chopped artichokes and skip the blending phase or just go super easy with it.Mixed artichokes

Canned food versus frozen artichokes?

Frozen artichokes are getting easier to find and in general I like their taste more than the canned water-filled artichokes. It’s something like the difference between canned corn and frozen corn. There is no competition, frozen corn will be the winner every time, right? That said, both canned and frozen artichokes are great for this recipe. I used artichoke jars for the photos here and it was delicious as always. The main thing is to aim for around a pound of artichokes – each jar or can will usually make about 1/2 pound of artichokes when drained.
Part-baked dip sprinkled with grated cheese

Artichoke dip goes well with …

The key here is crunch. Artichoke dip is creamy magic that is best scooped up on your favorites crispy snacks. For example:

Roasted homemade pita chips Roasted baguette slices with garlic rubbed crackers with seeds Crudités’ tortilla chips or fresh tortillas

Baked artichoke dip on a countertop with crackers

Put it on everything!

I always regret not having made the artichoke dip while I’m at it. At least a double batch. There are just so many fantastic ways to use it. When you do more, you have a great component to coat everything. Stop thinking of it as a dip and formulate it as a spread or a filling. Especially this version. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Smeared over good pizza dough before baking. I especially love this for a spring-summer pizza with ingredients like fava beans, asparagus, and artichoke hearts. Brush with some great pesto or citrus paste just before serving. Use leftovers as dumpling or ravioli filling. Dabbed on hot baked potatoes or baked sweet potatoes. To finish off, something particularly crispy like fried shallots, sesame seeds or roasted almonds. Seems obvious but worth saying it makes an incredible panini or sandwich spread. Even better on your veggie burger. Taco night! Slathering a homemade tortilla just before adding your other fillings is a nice touch. It is an excellent substitute for ricotta in filled bowls. Or you could go halfway and half. Throw in some citrus peel while you’re at it. Open up your devilish egg game! Stir any leftover dip into your devil egg filling, it’s an unexpected twist on classic devil eggs. Use it as a slather on bruschetta. Top with lots of chives and pine nuts.

Close up of baked artichoke dip

Artichoke dip variations

There are so many ways to tweak this recipe. Here are just a few ideas.

Spinach and artichoke dip – Add a cup of well-chopped spinach (or frozen spinach) to your artichoke dip. You can add it to the mixer ingredients or stir in later with the parmesan cheese. The latter leaves the spinach stains visible for a classic spinach and artichoke dip result.
Spicy artichoke dip – I am already calling for 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne powder in this recipe and that provides a bit of bite. That means you can swap out other spicy flavor profiles if you want. Start swapping in a tablespoon or so of one of the following and from there adjust with more to your liking: green curry paste, green harissa, or zhoug.
Artichoke dip with Indian tempering spices – It’s absolutely delicious. When you toast Add a handful of curry leaves in a few tablespoons of olive oil and then add mustard seeds, some cumin, chopped garlic and some extra crumbled dried chilli for an amazing finishing oil. Just before serving, pour hot from the pan over the golden-baked artichoke dip.
Artichoke dip with garlic breadcrumbs topping – I usually finish this dip with a simple dusting of grated cheese. But when I’m a little more ambitious, I stack a generous amount of breadcrumbs from the previous day that I tossed with lots of olive oil, minced garlic, and the grated cheese. It makes the perfect crunch top to counteract the dippy smooth and creamy.

Baked artichoke dip in ceramic bowl

One last thing – this is actually a great do-ahead recipe. You can bake it in any shape you want and the scent of the baked artichokes and roasted cheese provides a wonderfully fragrant backdrop for every meeting. Put the artichoke dip in the oven about half an hour before friends come over, just in time to welcome everyone!

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