Everyone loves a good cheesy Spinach Artichoke Dip. A classic party snack that’s perfect for tailgating snacks month, and always gets rave reviews from family and friends. This delicious recipe comes with crock pot (slow cooker) instructions as well as oven baking instructions.
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Crock pot and oven instructions
I originally made this dip for the crock pot, which is super easy. But then I figured some people may prefer to bake it in the oven, so I tested it on the oven too, and it works both ways.
Slow cooker instructions: Make the cheesy spinach artichoke mixture as directed in the recipe card, and pour the mixture into the crock pot. Cover, and cook on high 1 & ½ to 2 hours or until warm through. You’ll get some nice browned edges on the sides of the crock pot too.
For the oven: Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a baking dish. Make the mixture as directed in the recipe card. Then, transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Top with additional cheese if desired. Bake in the preheated oven 25 minutes, until bubbly and lightly browned.
How to soften cream cheese
This recipe calls for softened cream cheese. Yes, you can do it the old school way by placing it on the counter and waiting for it to soften.
But, if you live in a cold place, or if you’re concerned about food safety handing and making sure the cream cheese doesn’t go bad, here’s the quick way to soften the cream cheese.
Place the completely unwrapped package of cream cheese, or whatever portion of the package you want to use, in a microwaveable bowl. Microwave on HIGH for 10 seconds or just until softened.
Remember microwave power can vary greatly. I have a 1300 watt microwave, so I always error on the side of under softening, and having to pop it back in for another 5 seconds or until it’s softened to my liking.
Make sure you use cream cheese that’s softened to room temperature (see tips above). Then, be sure to mix the cream cheese and the half & half thoroughly for a couple minutes. You want a nice and creamy mixture.
How to defrost spinach
Remove the frozen block of spinach from the paper box and place it on a microwave safe plate.
Microwave the spinach on high power for 3-7 minutes (microwave times will vary based on different power levels). Stir after every couple of minutes to try to break up any icy chunks. The spinach is done when there are no more icy spots.
Alternatively to microwaving it, you can thaw it under warm running tap water. Remove the frozen block of spinach from the paper box, and place the block in a mesh strainer and run it under very warm water. Feel around for icy chucks, and break them apart with your fingers.
How to drain the liquid off the spinach
For this appetizer dip you want the spinach to be pretty dry, so in order to get that, you’ll need to squeeze as much liquid out of thawed spinach as possible. There are a couple of ways the liquid can be drained off.
- Place the thawed spinach in a fine mesh sieve, and allow the liquid to drain. Then take a wooden spoon and press down on the spinach to press all the liquid out.
- You can also grab a handful of spinach and squeeze the water out of the spinach. Your hands will get a little messy, but that’s fine.
- (And this is my favorite method) Place the thawed spinach in a clean dry cotton cloth towel. Wrap the towel around the spinach and squeeze the water out of the spinach.
Can I use fresh spinach instead of frozen?
Yes you can. About 20 ounces fresh spinach should cook down to about equal to 10 ounces of frozen spinach. To use fresh spinach, remove the stems and clean the leaves well. In a large skillet, add a couple teaspoons of olive oil and cook the spinach leaves until wilted, you may have to do this in batches. Chop the cooked spinach, and squeeze out any remaining moisture.
Can I make this ahead?
This dip can be assembled up to 8 hours before you plan to serve it. Keep it covered in the fridge until you’re ready to oven bake or cook it in the slow cooker.
If you love this dip, you might also like these other dip recipes:
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Spinach & Artichoke Dip Recipe
Spinach Artichoke Dip
- 2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese softened
- ¾ cup half and half
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
- 1 clove garlic minced
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 10 ounces frozen cut spinach thawed and well drained
- 13 ounces quartered artichoke hearts rinsed, drained, and chopped
- 2/3 cup Monterey Jack cheese shredded
- Combine the cream cheese and half & half in a bowl until well blended. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well.
- Crock Pot instructions:
- Pour the mixture into the bowl of a 2 to 4 quart Crock Pot. Cover, and cook on high for 1 & ½ to 2 hours or until warm.
- Oven instructions:
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a baking dish. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Top with additional cheese if desired. Bake in the preheated oven 25 minutes, until bubbly and lightly browned.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations, and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary based on brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes, and more.