Baked Artichoke Dip

By Ann Fulton

Loaded with artichokes and elevated with a trifecta of cheeses, party-perfect Baked Artichoke Dip is creamy, crusty, salty, and tangy–and it can be prepared in advance!
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Loaded with artichokes and elevated with a trifecta of cheeses, party-perfect Baked Artichoke Dip is creamy, crusty, salty, and tangy–and it can be prepared in advance!

 

Two Christmas Eves ago, when holiday celebrations of all kinds were canceled because of the pandemic, my sister-in-law, Melissa, prepared this dip for family and friends. She baked multiple batches in festive, Christmas tree-shaped foil tins and then delivered them, hot, before dinner with her favorite cocktail in Mason jar “glasses.” 

It’s worth noting that Melissa is a nurse practitioner who works as a hospitalist, and pulled off this lovely gesture between crazy long shifts at a local hospital. It was above and beyond given her schedule at the time, and so appreciated…and utterly delicious.

I had enjoyed this dip on other occasions, and it was suddenly clear that I could toss my other artichoke dip recipes in favor of this crowd-pleaser. 

The dip is perfectly balanced–not too thick with cream cheese or overly tangy from the sour cream. It’s cheesy in all the best ways and loaded with chunks of artichokes.

A mix of three cheeses allows the baked dip to truly shine. Gruyere provides a hint of nuttiness while complementing the mild, good-melting cheese that is mozzarella. Pecorino Romano is a touch sharper and saltier than Parmesan, and I love it in this dip. I think it elevates the dip, but if you don’t have it, freshly grated Parmesan will produce an excellent dip as well.

Because Melissa subscribes to the eyeball-it approach, I made her loose recipe several times to cement the measurements. In the process, I added a few tweaks of my own, and the result is a party-perfect dip that has delighted family and friends many times since that Christmas Eve gone by. 

This classic dip is truly perfect for holiday entertaining, game day get-togethers, backyard potlucks, and crowd-pleasing appetizers all year long.

As with many of my recipes, there are options. So, whether you enjoy the addition of spinach, a hint of heat, or prefer Greek yogurt over sour cream, you may choose based on what you enjoy and have on hand. 

Leftovers reheat very well and can even be frozen. When there’s just a little left, I like to toast a piece of bread and then spread with the dip and broil until lightly golden. We’ve enjoyed this savory toast both as a quick breakfast and a meal-bolstering addition to a cup of soup.

Crackers and crudité serve as worthy dippers. My personal favorite is celery, although several friends say carrots are the best. My family also enjoys scooping up the dip with tortilla chips and crostini, and I’ve included a crostini recipe below the dip. (The crostini are great for general snacking as well!)

Artichokes!

Artichoke dip should be loaded with artichokes! To that end, this recipe uses one can of water-packed artichokes plus one jar of marinated artichokes. Both should be drained well. For best texture and scoop-able chunks, I quarter the artichokes and then cut the quarters in halves or thirds. Like spinach in your dip? The instructions include that option.

Loaded with artichokes and elevated with a trifecta of cheeses, party-perfect Baked Artichoke Dip is creamy, crusty, salty, and tangy–and it can be prepared in advance!

Lemon zest provides bright flavor without the tang of the juice – the cream cheese and sour cream cover that base. While you could skip this ingredient, it does elevate the dip.

Loaded with artichokes and elevated with a trifecta of cheeses, party-perfect Baked Artichoke Dip is creamy, crusty, salty, and tangy–and it can be prepared in advance!

I bake the artichoke dip in an 8-inch square, 9-inch round, or other 1½-quart baking dish.

Loaded with artichokes and elevated with a trifecta of cheeses, party-perfect Baked Artichoke Dip is creamy, crusty, salty, and tangy–and it can be prepared in advance!

The artichoke dip may be prepared up to one day in advance, covered, and refrigerated until ready to bake. Allow it to sit on the counter for about 30 minutes to come to room temperature prior to baking. You can also use a slightly smaller baking dish and reserve some of the uncooked dip for the chicken entree mentioned in the recipe header. 

Loaded with artichokes and elevated with a trifecta of cheeses, party-perfect Baked Artichoke Dip is creamy, crusty, salty, and tangy–and it can be prepared in advance!

I love to scoop the dip with celery and other veggies dippers. Homemade or store-bought crostini is also delicious, as are tortilla, pita, and bagel chips, and/or crackers of choice. 

Entertaining for a crowd? For a crowd-pleasing, make-ahead entrée option, spread the dip over boneless, skinless chicken breasts and bake until the chicken is cooked through and the topping is lightly golden. Depending on the size and thickness of the chicken, this usually takes 17-25 minutes at 400℉ in my oven.

Leftovers? This dip reheats beautifully, but for an option that rounds out a meal of soup, stew, or salad beautifully, lightly toast a piece of bread, spread the dip on top, and then continue toasting or broil to warm the topping.

Loaded with artichokes and elevated with a trifecta of cheeses, party-perfect Baked Artichoke Dip is creamy, crusty, salty, and tangy–and it can be prepared in advance!

A certified crowd pleaser, this baked dip is cheesy, loaded with artichokes, and creamy on the inside with deliciously crusty edges.

Baked Artichoke Dip
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 8-12 servings
A make-ahead appetizer than always garners recipe requests, this cheesy dip is chockfull of artichokes and is perfect for holidays, game days, potlucks, and more. For an entrée option, spread the dip over boneless, skinless chicken breasts and bake until the chicken is cooked through and the topping is lightly golden.
  • 8 ounces block cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • ½ cup (120g) sour cream*
  • ½ cup (104g) mayonnaise
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (~ 2 teaspoons) or ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ⅔ cup (76g) finely shredded Pecorino Romano (could sub Parmesan cheese)
  • ½ cup (56g) finely shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup (56g) shredded Gruyere cheese
  • Zest of one lemon
  • ¼ teaspoon each kosher salt and fresh black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1 (14-ounce) can quartered artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
  • 1 (6-ounce) jar marinated artichokes, drained and roughly chopped
  • Optional: In place of the smaller jar of artichokes, may add 6 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed to drain excess liquid. Or roughly chop fresh spinach, and then steam it, and squeeze to remove moisture.
  • For servingtortilla chips, crackers, crostini (separate printable recipe follows), bagel or pita chips, celery, carrots, or other dippers of choice

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350℉ and lightly grease or spray a small baking dish (like an 8-inch square, 9-inch round, or other 1½-quart dish) with non-stick spray.

In a mixing bowl, stir together the cream cheese, sour cream, and mayonnaise. Then add the garlic, Romano, mozzarella, Gruyere, lemon zest, salt, pepper, and optional red pepper flakes. Stir in the drained artichokes and optional spinach.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and spread into an even layer. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly and lightly golden on top. If desired, for more browning, you may broil for 2-3 minutes at the end, watching very carefully so as not to burn.

Serve warm with dippers of choice.

Leftovers may be covered and refrigerated for up to one week and reheat well.

Notes

*May substitute plain Greek yogurt in place of the sour cream. Full fat will yield a creamier dip but 2% will also work well.

Tip: For best texture (and because I love to scoop up big pieces), I don’t chop the artichokes too finely.

To make ahead: The artichoke dip may be prepared up to 1 day in advance. Store it, unbaked and covered, in the refrigerator until ready to bake. Then allow it to sit on the counter for 20-30 minutes prior to baking.

To freeze: The dip may be frozen for up to 3 months before or after baking. If baked, allow it to cool completely before wrapping in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. Thaw completely before baking or reheating.

Helpful hint: If not using a kitchen scale to measure freshly grated cheese, for proper measurements, lightly pack it into the measuring cups. Pre-grated cheese tends to be more compact and freshly grated is far fluffier.

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Homemade Crostini
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 24 slices from a 12” baguette; 40 slices from a 20” baguette
Golden, toasted crostini are easy to make with this simple technique. A crisp base for party appetizers, crostini are also perfect for scooping into dips like hummus and artichoke dip or serving alongside soups and salads. With their tasty hint of salt and olive oil, they're great for snacking too!
Ingredients
  • 1 long, narrow baguette (crusty French bread)*
  • 1½ – 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Flaky sea salt or kosher salt
  • Optional: 1 garlic clove
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400℉, and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean-up, if desired. (If not using parchment, you need not grease the sheet.)
  2. Slice your baguette on the diagonal or straight, depending on preferred size. Slice them no wider than ½-inch. A serrated or bread knife works well if you have one. Then arrange in a single layer on the baking sheet.
  3. If using garlic, cut off a thin slice from the peeled clove, and rub the cut side over all the bread slices. (I generally rub just one side of the sliced bread.)
  4. Brush both sides of each bread slice with olive oil, and then lightly sprinkle the top side with salt, if using.
  5. Bake on the middle rack for 8-12 minutes, or until the bread is crisp and lightly golden on top. Precise time will depend on how fresh the bread is and how golden you’d like the crostini to be.
  6. Storage: Allow the crostini to cool completely and then store in an airtight container at room temperature for 5-7 days or freeze for up to 2 months.
Notes

* Good quality bread will produce the best crostini. Day-old bread is fine, but if it is older than that, make sure it’s not too dry or the toasts may be harder than you’d like. To preserve a freshly baked baguette for this purpose, I wrap it well in plastic and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month. For helpful gluten-free details, see notes in the main recipe post.

If the bread is not sliced consistently, it won’t cook evenly. Some pieces may burn while others won’t fully crisp. When slicing the baguette, cut crosswise using a serrated knife, aiming for even slices that are ½-inch thick.

For smaller slices, slice straight across the baguette. For larger slices, slice the bread on the diagonal.

Mix up the seasonings: When enjoying plain, as a snack, I like to top with salt and freshly ground pepper. Depending on how you plan to use the crostini, you could sprinkle with dried Italian seasoning, garlic powder (or use the fresh garlic clove trick mentioned above), or an herb of choice. Or make cinnamon sugar crostini for a sweet treat!

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A fun nutrition fact from our dietitian Emily:
Artichokes are considered a vegetable and contain quite a bit of fiber. It’s difficult to assess exactly how much fiber we end up eating when making making whole fresh artichokes because the edible portion is subjective, and the cooking processes vary. But it is soluble fiber which is similar to fiber found in oatmeal for example.

When choosing canned artichokes, each can or jar will have the fiber amounts listed on the nutrition label based on serving size. On average, about three hearts delivers about 1 gram of fiber. Thrown in a salad, pasta, or added to this baked dip along with spinach, the fiber from artichokes is a tasty way to increase overall fiber content for the day!

For those who are curious…
The reason we don’t list nutritional breakdowns next to each recipe is because the numbers can change significantly depending on brands people buy and how exact the measuring is. In saying that, if you email me separately, I can provide you with my best estimations on the nutrients you would like to know more about in this recipe. I’m happy to help! 

 

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