Game season is here and while I’m not much of a football fan, I AM all about the food — especially the snacks. But let’s be real, most of the fare offered at a game day gathering is far from healthy. There are the wings, of course. And the bacon-wrapped-everything. Oh and don’t forget the deep-fried-food-on-a-stick.
As for me? My weakness is chips and dip — especially dip that is piping hot, oozing with lots of melted cheese. Like that Applebee’s favorite, the Spinach Artichoke Dip. Seriously if it is on the menu, or on the table, I am helpless to resist. And then filled with remorse for days to follow.
But the good — no, GREAT! — news is that this dip is easily transformed into a lighter version, with zero sacrifice to flavor. And while no one would consider it health food, it is a far better alternative to the traditional recipe.
To start, I’ve eliminated the 10 ounces of jarred Alfredo sauce found in most copycat versions of this dip, in addition to the full-fat cream cheese. Creaminess is in generous supply though, thanks to your choice of reduced or non-fat cream cheese and a healthy does of fat-free super healthy Greek yogurt.
I swapped oil-drenched marinated artichokes for the canned variety (which are packed in water) and used a bit less cheese too. But don’t worry, it’s still plenty cheesy!
And if you want to step up your app game even more, why not make your own pita chips to accompany this delicious dip? Homemade pita chips are ridiculously easy to prepare and you can control both the seasonings AND the amount of oil you use.
These are the perfect accompaniment to your dip, and your guests will never know that they’re eating a slimmed-down version!
Healthier Spinach Artichoke Dip
Makes: 4-6 cups
- 16-ounce bag frozen spinach, thawed and drained
- 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained
- 1 cup (about 8 ounces) reduced-fat or fat-free cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/2 cups non-fat Greek yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic flakes
- 3/4 cup part-skim shredded mozzarella
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Lightly grease a 1 1/2 quart baking dish.
- Coarsely chop the spinach and artichokes — place in a bowl and set aside.
- In a medium bowl stir the cream cheese, yogurt, and garlic until well combined. Add the spinach, artichokes, and half the mozzarella and parmesan. Stir again to combine; season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture to your prepared baking dish and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake until top is golden brown and bubbly, 45-60 minutes. Serve hot, accompanied by pita chips.
- Pita bread
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Line one or two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Slice the pitas through to create two circles. Lightly brush the inner sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Cut into 4-8 triangles and place on your prepared baking sheets.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool.