Friday, April 26, 2013

Spinach & Artichoke Dip

My daughter and I went to TGI Friday's in February. It had been a couple years since our last visit. 

I have always loved the inventive and interesting foods they serve. We got an appetizer sampler and a few other items from the appetizer menu. It was all good, but, for some reason, it doesn't appeal to me like it once did. Has the quality changed, or has my taste changed? I’ve noticed that a lot of restaurant food just doesn’t appeal to me anymore. I actually prefer to make my own. Has anyone else had the same experience?

One of my favorite "appetizers out" is Spinach and Artichoke Dip. The serving we got at TGI Fridays was good, but it had a canned soup flavor to it. Still, I like it enough to try making my own, since Friday's isn't usually in the budget.

Anyway, I turned to the Internet for ideas. There are several pages devoted to S&A dip, many claiming to be just like Friday's.

Let me now state that mine is not like Friday’s. Yes, there are spinach, artichokes, and cheese, but it all comes out very differently. Mine has more veggies and less sauce.

All the recipes call for thawing, draining, and squeezing the spinach before adding to the mixture. My experience is that the dip is very dry, so removing moisture is self-defeating. I also found large amounts of spinach can overwhelm the other ingredients. Using half of a 1 lb. bag seems to achieve the right balance. The other advantage of bagged versus a 10-oz block is that you don’t need to thaw it.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip


    • 1 cup milk or half & half
    • ½ cup mayonnaise
    • 1 to 2 teaspoons minced garlic (I use the jarred kind) Powdered, a scant teaspoon maybe.
    • 1 T prepared horseradish
    • 1 –2 teaspoons Italian Herbs
    • 2 cups (8 oz.) Italian blend cheese
    • ½-(16 oz.) bag frozen spinach (thaw in the microwave for a shorter cook time)
    • 1 (14 ounce) can/jar artichoke quarters, drained & chopped
 Combine all ingredients. Place in shallow casserole dish. You can bake the dip for about 15-20 minutes at 325°F, if you thawed the spinach. It can also be heated in the microwave for a few minutes.

The last batch I made, I just mixed everything in the casserole, with the spinach still frozen, and stuck it in the fridge until later. I baked it for 45 minutes at about 350° F.

We use whatever is on hand to dip it: crackers, toast, tortilla chips, or rye crisps. Use what you like.

I have spread the dip on flour tortillas to make spinach & artichoke quesadillas. Yum! Added some roast turkey deli slices. Double yum!

Enjoy. Let me know what works for you.

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