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Recipes // Spreads // Hot Spinach-Artichoke Dip

Hot Spinach-Artichoke Dip

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What's a party without a spinach dip?  Well, that's no party at all!  (And it's a good excuse to get a servin' of veggies.)  Jazz up some crackers or warm pita triangles with this dip.  Using a base of fat-free ricotta cheese and light mayonnaise helps this recipe be a little gentler on this girl's hips, too!  I know it's going to have you comin' back for seconds.

Adapted from Paula Deen’s original Hot Spinach-Artichoke Dip recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat Pepper Jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup imported Parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans artichoke hearts packed in water, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup fat-free ricotta cheese
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • Vegetable dippers such as strips of bell pepper, carrot sticks, celery sticks, endive spears, or whole-wheat bagel or pita chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Spray a 1-quart baking dish with nonstick spray.  
  2. Microwave the spinach according to package directions.  Drain, let cool, then squeeze dry. Transfer spinach to a large bowl.
  3. Meanwhile, to make the topping, combine Pepper Jack cheese and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese in a small bowl until blended.
  4. Pulse the artichoke hearts in a food processor until smooth.  Transfer artichokes to the bowl with the spinach.  Stir in remaining Parmesan cheese, mayonnaise, ricotta, lemon juice, and ground red pepper until well mixed.  Scrape into the prepared dish.  Sprinkle evenly with the topping.
  5. Bake, uncovered, until the filling is hot and the cheese is melted, about 30 minutes.  Serve with the vegetable dippers.

Making it lighter

·       Swapped out fatty mayonnaise with creamy (but fat-free) ricotta cheese.

·       Used less Parmesan cheese to cut saturated fat.

·       Chose Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese to get the most cheese power from a smaller amount.

What’s the difference? 

Hot Spinach-Artichoke Dip in a new light cuts out 50 calories, 4 g fat, and 70 mg sodium from the original.

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