Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Easy Spinach Artichoke Dip

My husband and I love a really good Spinach Artichoke Dip, however, many of the ones out there use either jarred Alfredo or mayonnaise in the preparation. While there is nothing wrong with using these ingredients, I prefer a more humble dish, not to mention one lighter on calories than its' counterparts. This recipe is also great for mini-slow cookers as you can set it on low and keep it hot all throughout the party; you would just need to expect about a hour to heat it through before serving. 

Preheat Oven Temperature: 375 degrees

14 ounces Canned Artichoke Heart Halves, drained and coarsely chopped
1 Box Frozen Spinach, thawed and squeezed of liquid
8 ounces Neufchatel Cheese, softened and cubed (You can substitute Cream Cheese.)
2 Cups Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
3/4 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1 teaspoon Dried Onion Flakes
1 Tablespoon Chopped Garlic

1. Combine all ingredients, minus 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, in a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine. You do not need to completely break apart all of the Neufchatel cheese as it will melt into the other ingredients as long as you have cubed it small enough.
2. Pour the mixture into a 9x9 baking dish. You don't want the dip to deep or you will have to increase the baking time and you will not have as much of the top crust for enjoying.
3. Sprinkle the reserved 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese over the top of the dip.
4. Place in the preheated 375 degree oven and bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly and golden on top. If after 30 minutes the top is not as brown as you would like, simply place it under the broiler for 1-2 minutes, but watch it closely!
5. Serve hot with pita crisps, bread points, or tortilla chips.

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