A healthy vegan spinach artichoke dip so creamy you won’t believe the dairy is gone! Perfect with bread, crackers, chips and veggies of all kinds!
Taking the dairy out of traditional dairy filled foods can be tricky, but when you take the powerhouse combo of potato and cashews, combined with white beans to cut some fat but add in protein, then add a touch of tang with white vinegar, you reach a creaminess even the biggest dairy eater can’t argue with.
It’s amazing what plants can do. If you haven’t realized it already by browsing this site, and many awesome others, you really can fool people into thinking things have dairy, when in fact they don’t. I have served my Buffalo Cauliflower Dip at so many parties, and never once advertised anything about it being vegan (other than to my few friends that can’t eat dairy). Every single time I am met with open mouths when I break the news.
So I took the success of that dip, and created this vegan spinach artichoke dip. I put my own twist on it with the green onions (something my mom uses when making her spanakopita, yes I will have a vegan version up some time soon!), because I love the flavor they add when combined with spinach.
I also added the option of topping with my Grateable Parmesan. If you all have not seen this recipe yet, I highly recommend it! It really adds an extra layer of flavor to this dip. Make it ahead of time and keep it in the fridge for ALL THE THINGS. Trust me on this one.
Making this perfectly creamy spinach artichoke dip with success
Okay, so I have some tips, tricks and must do’s to get this right. I can’t have you ending up with an unsuccessful attempt because it is just too good.
- DO defrost your frozen spinach and squeeze out the water from it and from the artichoke hearts before using. If you don’t do this, you will get way too much watery liquid and your dip will end up yuck.
- DO use artichoke hearts in water. Not the ones in oil, you’ll just end up with a slippery mess when you go to squeeze them out, and the dip will be all wrong.
- DO saute the spinach, artichoke and onions until just browning. This gives a slight caramelized flavor to it and makes it extra yummy.
- DO soak your cashews or grind them in a coffee grinder (best method) if you do not have a Vitamix. You don’t want nut chunks in your dip, plus the creaminess won’t all be released so you won’t get that extra creamy result.
- If you must use apple cider vinegar instead of white distilled, be aware the tang won’t be the same. I have created and tested LOADS of sauces, both for my book and this site, and the two vinegars are good for different things. The white gives a much more sour tanginess to things, which is needed here. Apple cider has an underlying sweetness that pairs well with other flavors, but in this dip it isn’t enough sour tang. But it works if you must. But don’t.
Let’s do this, step by step healthy spinach artichoke dip
Okay, so here we go. I shot a few photos so you know what you are looking for. Yours may differ a bit, especially if you don’t have a Vitamix, but you get the idea. Like if your base is purple, you’ve taken a wrong turn, perhaps you used a purple potato by mistake 😉
- Squeezing the water out of the spinach and artichokes is easily done by hand and with a colander.
- You want those green onions to start turning brown as you sauté. The spinach and artichokes won’t be as brown, but once the onions start browning, they begin to caramelize adding that extra sparkle to the flavor. And who doesn’t like sparkle?
- Look at how smooth and creamy my base looks? Do not skip the grinding or soaking of those cashews if you don’t have a high speed blender like a Vitamix! I prefer the grinding but if you don’t have a coffee or spice grinder then soaking is second best.
- Pulse in the cooked veggies, but don’t over puree or you will get more of a hummus type dip versus a chunky dip with pieces of spinach and artichoke. But it really is your food, so do what you want! Give it a few pulses to keep it chunky or blend for a bit to smooth it out.
- If you use the bread bowl (live a little, some white carbs won’t kill you and they are SO good), fill it to max without over filling. You will have a little dip left over, so just eat that with a spoon (because why not?) or put it in a little ramekin to bake on the side. If you aren’t using the bread, because you chose the sad and dreary carb free plan, then you will fill a square baking dish. You can also use a skillet if you’re fancy like that.
- Bake and enjoy that creamy perfection!
A healthy vegan spinach artichoke dip so creamy you won't believe the dairy is gone! Perfect with bread, crackers, chips and veggies of all kinds!
- 10 ounces frozen or fresh spinach , defrosted (about 8 packed cups fresh spinach)
- 14 ounces artichoke hearts , 1 can (make sure they are in water and not oil)
- ½ cup sliced green onion
- Oil, broth or water to sauté
- ¾ cup cooked potato , about 1 medium potato (see note)
- ¾ cup raw cashews (see note)
- ¾ cup cooked white beans , drained and rinsed
- ¾ cup cashew milk (another creamy non-dairy milk will work too)
- 3 cloves garlic
- ¼ cup distilled white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ - 1 cup Grateable Parmesan to top , optional (see recipe)
- crushed red pepper for garnish , optional
- Preheat oven to 350 F/ 175 C
Squeeze out the water from the defrosted frozen spinach if using frozen, use your hands and squeeze until most of the water is removed. You will get one cup spinach after removing the water.
- Then, squeeze out the water from the artichoke hearts in the same way. You will get one cup artichoke hearts after removing the water.
Sauté the spinach (if using fresh just put it right into the pan), artichoke hearts and green onion with a drizzle of oil, broth or water over medium heat until they are hot and just begin to brown. Add more oil, broth or water as needed so they don’t stick. But also be careful to sauté until all the liquid is gone. Takes about 5 or so minutes. Set aside.
Place potato, cashews, white beans, milk, garlic, vinegar and salt into a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
- Add sautéed veggies and pulse to incorporate. Pulse only a few times if you want the dip chunky, and more if you prefer it with smaller pieces.
If using a bread bowl, then cut the top off and scoop out the soft bread inside (you can use your hands), leaving about a ½ inch border of bread.
Pour mixture into the bread bowl (you may have a little left over depending on how big your bread bowl is) or a square baking dish (I used 8 x 8). You can also use a skillet if you prefer. If using a bread bowl, put it on a baking sheet.
- Sprinkle Parmesan over the top if using.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until the top is beginning to brown and the dip is heated through. Everything is cooked already so no need to worry about the veggies cooking, but you want it nice and heated all the way through.
- Once done, you can take out the dip and add the bread top and bread pieces to the cookie sheet. Bake for 5 minutes to get a slight crisp. This is totally optional.
Enjoy nice and warm with the bread pieces, your favorite tortilla chips, veggies and crackers!
- I used red potatoes but any starchy potato will work, just don’t use sweet. You can easily cook the potato in the microwave, or you can do it in the oven. You can also boil it but that will add more liquid to the recipe so you will need to reduce the milk by about ¼ to ½ cup. Start with using ¼ cup milk and keep adding until you get a thick, but scoopable consistency.
- If you are not using a high speed blender you can either soak the cashews overnight, boil them for 30 minutes or grind them into a fine powder using a coffee grinder.
- The Parmesan is an optional topping but it adds such good flavor. Make it and keep the rest in your fridge to top anything and everything.
Tips to prep ahead: Make Parmesan if using. Soak cashews if not using a high speed blender.