This is my favorite way to make spinach artichoke dip - hot, cheesy and baked right into a crispy bread bowl! Perfect for holiday parties, as a game day snack for football or anytime you need an easy but impressive appetizer.My kids LOVE the toasted bread I make from the bread I remove from the loaf for the bowl, and I always serve it with celery and cucumber slices, too. A great finger food!
1(10-oz) package frozen spinachthawed, chopped and excess liquid squeezed
2(14-oz) cansartichoke heartsdrained & chopped
2(8-oz) packagescream cheese
½cupshredded mozzarellaplus more for topping
½cupgrated Parmesan cheese
Prepare bread bowl: Heat oven to 350°F. Hollow out bread, slice removed bread into chunks. Toss with olive oil and seasoning. Oil and season inside of bread bowl. Bake in hot oven for 20 minutes.
Prepare dip: Melt butter in a large skillet. Stir in spinach, artichokes and seasoning and sauté until excess moisture is gone. Stir in cheeses until melted, then take off the heat and stir in sour cream.
Bake: Transfer dip to toasted bread bowl. Top with extra cheese and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until bubbly. Serve immediately with toasted bread and veggie sticks.
Bread: Something like a country loaf or round French bread is perfect. You can also make my no knead bread for this!Spinach: You can also use a 12-oz bag of fresh spinach. Sauté the fresh spinach on its own until wilted, then chop and proceed as you would with frozen.Cheese: If you'd rather use a different cheese mix than me, feel free to substitute your favorites. I do, however, recommend using one kind that's very melty (mozzarella for me) and one kind to add flavor (Parmesan is what I usually use).Sour cream: Feel free to skip, I use it to add some extra flavor, and to make a creamier dip. Without the sour cream, the mozzarella is very melty/stringy. If you prefer it stringy with lots of cheese pulls, don't add the sour cream.
Don't skip seasoning/toasting the bread before adding the dip. It helps to keep the bowl from getting soggy too fast. Also, that seasoned and toasted bread is SO good!Make sure you chop the spinach and artichoke hearts well, but don't mince them. You want the dip to be scoop-able as an appetizer without huge chunks in it, but you don't want everything to disintegrate either. About ¼ inch pieces or just a bit smaller for the artichoke hearts is what I do.
Baking Dish and Crockpot Instructions:
To bake in a baking dish: If you want to make the dip in a baking dish instead of a bread bowl, just skip the instructions for the bread. Spread the dip in a 7x11 inch casserole dish, sprinkle with cheese and bake as directed.To make in the crockpot: Combine all ingredients for the dip in a small (around 3 quart) crockpot and heat on high setting until bubbly around the edges, around 1.5 hours. Stir well, then top with shredded cheese and cook on low setting for 15 minutes. Serve straight from the crock, or transfer to a bread bowl before sprinkling with cheese and bake as directed in the recipe above.