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Minimalist Baker: Spinach Artichoke Dip

"The vegan restaurant of my dreams serves this Spinach Artichoke Dip piping hot with chips and crisp vegetables. Until I find that restaurant, I will make my own. Soaked cashews and vegan cream cheese give this dish an extra-creamy base, while nutritional yeast and vegan parmesan cheese add plenty of rich, cheesy flavor. My favorite way to enjoy this dip is with tortilla chips. However, toasted baguette and vegetables are delightful as well." -Reprinted from Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking by arrangement with Avery Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © 2016, Dana Shultz
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine Gluten-free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 to 6
Author Dana Schultz of Minimalist Baker

Ingredients

FOR THE DIP

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil or grape seed oil 45ml
  • 5 cloves garlic minced, 2. Tbsp or 15g
  • 3/4 cup raw cashews soaked and drained*, 90g
  • 8 ounces vegan cream cheese* 227g
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened plain almond milk or DIY Almond Milk 120ml, page 6
  • 4 Tbsp –6 nutritional yeast 12–18g
  • 1/2 tsp each sea salt and black pepper plus more to taste
  • 1 14- ounce can artichoke hearts well drained and chopped, 400g
  • 1 pound frozen chopped spinach thawed and squeezed dry in a thin towel, 454g
  • 1/4 cup Vegan Parmesan for topping 20g, page 7

FOR SERVING

  • Vegetables
  • Tortilla chips
  • Crackers
  • Toasted baguette

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (176 degrees C). Heat a large oven-safe cast iron or metal skillet over medium heat.
  2. Once the skillet is hot, add 1 Tbsp (15ml) olive oil and the garlic. Sauté for 1–2 minutes or until just golden brown. Set aside to cool.
  3. To the bowl of a blender, add the cashews, garlic, vegan cream cheese, remaining 2 Tbsp (30ml) olive oil, and almond milk. Puree to a cream.
  4. Add 4 Tbsp (12g) nutritional yeast to start, plus the salt and pepper. Blend once more.
  5. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. The dip should be cheesy in flavor and well salted,
  6. so consider adding the remaining 2 Tbsp (6g) nutritional yeast and another 1/4–1/2 tsp salt. Set aside.
  7. Add the artichokes and spinach to the skillet used earlier. Pour all of the cheesy sauce over
  8. the artichokes and spinach. The mixture will look sauce–heavy, but that’s the idea. Stir to combine.
  9. Sprinkle the top with Vegan Parmesan for additional texture/flavor. Bake for 8–12 minutes, or until warmed through.
  10. Serve warm with assorted vegetables, tortilla chips, crackers, or toasted baguette, tortilla chips being my personal favorite.
  11. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for 3–4 days, though best when fresh. Reheat in an oven-safe dish at 350 degree F until warmed through (or in the microwave), adding more almond milk if the dip dries out.

Recipe Notes

*Soak the cashews for 6–8 hours in cool water, or pour boiling water them and let rest uncovered at room temperature for 1 hour. Drain well and use as instructed. *If you don’t have vegan cream cheese, omit and add another ⅔ cup (90g) cashews (soaked). However, the dip will not be as creamy.