A few weeks ago my husband and I were away with our daughter for hockey (of course) and for some reason we got into a strange eating patten where we'd have breakfast at the hotel, do some work or work out, watch her play (some days), go see a movie (it rained A LOT the while we were there) and not eat lunch till 3:00, at which point we were starving, naturally. One of those days, desperate to eat anything, we went to a Chili's and ordered a big basket of taco chips and some hot spinach dip. Neither of us had been to one in years and food snobs that we are, expected to be completely underwhelmed, but instead, we sort of fell in love with that hot cheesy spinach dip! Even went back a second time, so I thought I'd recreate it at home to bring back those fun days, just a little bit healthier!!
To lighten things up, I used low-fat cheese, light mayo and fat-free half-and -half but in no way did this taste "light". It's creamy, rich and full of spinach and cheese flavor. I served it with taco chips but it would be great with crackers or pita chips. And the whole thing takes just minutes to prepare and about 20 minutes in the oven.
My husband proclaimed it "better than Chili's!" and my son, who didn't get to come on the trip and taste it as well as my daughter who was playing her little hockey heart out and didn't get the restaurant version of this either, loved it too, so now we're a family of hot cheesy spinach dip lovers!
Eating this once-in-a-while treat is just pure fun. Make it for your next party and watch it disappear!
Hot Cheesy Spinach Dip-Lightened Up
Makes a 9x9 baking dish worth--plenty for at least 8-10 people as an appetizer
Prep Time: 10 minutes: Bake Time: 20 minutes
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 bag baby spinach, rinsed and dried
- 1/2 cup white wine
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Hot sauce to taste
- 3 scallions, chopped
- 3 cups low-fat shredded mozzarella
- 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup fat-free half-and-half
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the garlic, spinach and wine. Cook, stirring often, for about 3 minutes, until the spinach is completely wilted. Add in salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste. Remove from the heat and place into a medium heat-proof bowl. Stir in the scallions, mozzarella cheese, mayonnaise and half and half. Pour the mixture into a 9x9 inch baking dish. Smooth the top and bake for 20 minutes or until dip is bubbling and golden brown.
3. Serve immediately with taco chips, crackers, or pita crackers.
4. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days and reheated in the oven or microwave.
Note: Recipe adapted from http://allrecipes.com/recipe/hot-cheesy-spinach-dip/. I doubled the amount of spinach and used light cheese, mayo and half-and-half.