It’s a dip! It’s a sandwich spread! It’s a pasta sauce!
It’s easy, fast, healthy, vegan, and gluten-free!
“It” is my take on white bean-spinach-artichoke dip. I realize there were a number of white bean-spinach-artichoke dip recipes floating around the internet a few years ago, and while I can’t claim mine is superior to all the other very good ones – I CAN show how you how amazingly versatile this simple, healthy, delicious dip can be.
It can be used as a dip, a sandwich spread, or even a pasta sauce! The first time I experimented with making this dip, my partner was out of town for business. A batch of spinach artichoke dip proved to be much more dip than one person needed! Not wanting to waste the dip, I reasoned it was bean-based like hummus, and, therefore, I should be able to use it as a spread for sandwiches and wraps. This proved to be an excellent idea. But I still had a little left, so one night when I had a carb craving I thinned the remainder and used it as a sauce for rotini pasta. It was amazing.
The base recipe is extremely adaptable and can be altered easily by simply substituting different herbs and spices. Nutmeg is of course the most “traditional” spice. But with the garlic, you can also easily take it in an Italian direction with a little basil or Italian seasoning blend. For something a little different, try a pinch of garam masala – nutmeg is actually a component of garam masala, so this pairing actually works rather well!
Fat content can be altered to suit your needs/intent. Doing low/no fat and interested in just a super-healthy sandwich spread? Minimize or eliminate the oil (realize it won’t be as smooth and creamy). Making the dip for a party? In that case, add some oil so the dip has all the decadence you’d expect of a spinach-artichoke dip. Using it as a pasta sauce? Add a little water and the full amount of oil. Relax in knowing it’s still much healthier and lower-fat than the typical mayo-and-cheese laden artichoke dip.
It’s a versatile Holiday dish. I recently made this for St. Patrick’s Day (not very Irish, but certainly very green). Being green, it would also work for a Christmas party … or a Halloween party. Think of a big batch of glorious green goo in a black bowl, or green pasta on a black plate!
So now that I’ve gotten you to think creatively about this simple dish … here is my recipe template! Have fun and enjoy!
Ingredients for Glorious Green Goo:
1 14-oz. Can White Beans, rinsed and drained (Cannellini or Great Northern; navy beans might also work)
1 14-oz Can Artichoke Hearts or Quarters, rinsed and well drained
Roughly 10-12 Oz. Frozen Spinach (frozen spinach is hard to measure, so I aim for a little more than 1/2 a 1 lb. bag). Thaw it in the microwave and drain off the excess liquid.
3-6 Garlic Cloves, roughly chopped
1/4 Cup Nutritional Yeast
Squeeze of Fresh Lemon Juice (1 TBL)
1 Tsp Sea Salt, or to taste
High Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 0-2 TBL
Your Choice of SPICE – choose ONE option: 1/4 Tsp Nutmeg; or 1 Tsp dried Basil or Italian Seasoning; or 1/2 Tsp Garam Masala
Your choice of PEPPER – choose ONE option: A good grind of fresh black pepper; a pinch (1/8 – 1/4 TSP) of crushed red pepper flakes; 1 green Thai chili pepper; or NONE
Directions for Glorious Green Goo:
Add rinsed and drained white beans to a food processor. Add garlic, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, sea salt, pepper (if using), and your choice of spice.
Add the olive oil. For the creamiest green goo, you’ll want to add the full 2 tablespoons. Pulse until blended. Don’t be afraid if it looks a little dry at this point.
Add the thawed, drained spinach. Pulse again to blend. With the water from the spinach, this should look creamy now. If not, add a little water – no more than a tablespoon at a time.
Rinse and drain the artichokes. Chop the artichokes into smaller pieces and blot excess liquid with a kitchen towel.
Add artichokes and pulse only a few times. You don’t want to “blend” the artichokes – you want the dip to still be a little chunky, as you can see in the close-up below.
Flavors will blend and intensify as it sits, so this is a good one to make ahead of time. Warm slightly before serving. If using as a pasta sauce, transfer dip to a pot and slowly add very small amounts of water or soy milk until it is more like a thick sauce than a spread. This may only require a couple of tablespoons.
The final step – Eat, and enjoy!