Are you looking for a crowd-pleasing recipe to serve on Super Bowl Sunday? If so, try my Lightened Up Spinach Artichoke Dip. This dish is the perfect appetizer that everyone will love to dig into. And it's packed with nutritious ingredients. Classic Spinach Artichoke Dip has a good amount of mayonnaise, cream cheese, parmesan and shredded cheese, which all add up to a high calorie count. To make my lightened up version, I swap in nonfat Greek yogurt for the mayonnaise. This cuts a large amount of saturated fat. Greek yogurt is naturally thick and creamy and adds a nice tangy flavor. Plus, it's packed with protein and calcium and it's low in carbohydrates.
Instead of traditional cream cheese, I use Neufchatel cheese. It has less calories and ⅓ less fat than regular cream cheese but still has great flavor and a nice creamy texture. It melts very well and is a good healthy option for dishes such as hot dips and creamy pasta sauces.
My dish also uses less cheese than traditional recipes. A lot of recipes use large amounts of mozzarella and parmesan cheese. I use just enough reduced fat mozzarella cheese in the dip to give it a gooey texture. And I sprinkle a small amount of parmesan cheese on top to add a nice salty bite.
My Lightened Up Spinach Artichoke Dip is also full of nutritious vegetables. Spinach and artichokes are packed with several vitamins (like Vitamins A, C, K and folate), minerals, fiber and protein. And the good news is that they're both available year round in the grocery store. Frozen spinach is inexpensive and convenient to use- simply defrost, drain any excess water and stir it into the dip. Fresh artichokes are in season in the spring and typically take a good amount of time to prep. Fortunately, you can save yourself lots of time by buying artichoke hearts. You can find them frozen or canned.
This dip is perfect for a party and it's really quick and easy to put together. By using dried spices like garlic powder, onion powder and cayenne pepper, you can simply stir everything together and pop it in the oven- no stovetop cooking involved. Serve it piping hot with pita chips or vegetable sticks.
Lightened Up Spinach Artichoke Dip
- 1 package (8 ounces) Neufchatel cheese, softened
- 1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Salt and pepper
- 10 ounces frozen spinach, drained and squeezed dry
- 1 can (14 ounces) artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- 4 ounces (about 1 cup) shredded reduced fat mozzarella cheese
- 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Mix the softened cheese, yogurt, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper together in a large bowl until smooth.
- Stir in the spinach, artichokes and mozzarella until well distributed throughout the mixture.
- Transfer the dip to a baking dish and sprinkle the parmesan evenly over the top.
- Bake 15-20 minutes until bubbly and golden on top.
- Serve with chips, toasted pita or vegetables.