Creamy Artichoke Spinach Dip (without the junk)

If you have LTEV, you’re probably well aware of my love for all things saucy and dippy! I have a whole chapter devoted to them in that book. Indeed, I often say I’m saucy. Just don’t call me dippy. ;)

And, I do believe I have made some form of artichoke dip or spread in each of my books. Wait – correction, missed one in Vive le Vegan! GASP! Ok, I made up for it with two artichoke dips in ed&bv.

And yet I develop another. Why? (Because I’m half-mad, that’s why! But that’s just between you and me.) Madness aside, I wanted to create something creamy, full-bodied, and sumptuous, but using only whole foods and no added substitutes (such as vegan mayonnaise) and also no oil.

I like to challenge myself – and this one developed a little easier than I anticipated!  When I first posted this idea on facebook it received a LOT of comments. See, I had this idea of doing a dip like the bread bowl dips you find at potlucks and summer parties, but without (of course) the wallop of dairy products.

So, it started as that spinach bread bowl dip… until artichokes called to me from the freezer “we’re here, we’re here, have you forgotten about us?” (half-mad, remember)

How could I forget about artichokes! They are one of my very favorite plant-powered ingredients. I especially love the frozen artichokes from Trader Joe’s. They taste FAR fresher than canned, and you can bypass the steps of draining/rinsing that comes along with the jarred/marinated artichokes.

For me, artichoke dip tastes best warm. So, I do enjoy baking this dip briefly. Not too long, or the spinach turns off-color. Just long enough to warm it through.  You might say it’s um, half-baked. ;)

Creamy Artichoke Spinach Dip gluten-free, soy-free, oil-free

This dip is exceptionally creamy with a full-bodied taste and texture, and yet has no commercial dairy substitute and also no added oil.  It will be a hit at any party, bbq, or potluck!

3/4 cup raw cashews (unsoaked)

3/4 cup plain unsweetened non-dairy milk (I like almond or soy, but your choice)

2 1/2 – 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1-2 medium-large cloves garlic (I typically use 1 to make it family-friendly; use less/more to taste)

3/4 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp dry (ground) mustard

freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 cups frozen artichoke hearts, partially thawed (helps for pulsing in blender)

2 cups (loosely packed) spinach leaves

Preheat oven to 425.  In a blender, first add cashews, milk, lemon juice (I like the full 3 tbsp for tanginess), garlic, salt, dry mustard, and pepper.  Blend until very smooth.  (If using Blendtec (purrrrr, meow!) or other high-powered blender, this will only take a minute or so.   If using a standard blender, keep blending until very smooth.   Add artichokes and spinach and just PULSE through.  Do not fully blend, keep some chunky texture!  Transfer to an oven-proof baking dish, and bake for 17-20 minutes.  Remove and say ‘ahhhh’.

Go to RECIpage link to print/share this recipe.  And, thanks to Ricki Heller for featuring this recipe in her Wellness Weekend! :)

Do you love artichoke dip?  What artichoke dishes do you like to make?

92 Responses to Creamy Artichoke Spinach Dip (without the junk)

  1. Mahriah says:

    This is one of my all-time favorite recipes! I like to use the baby kale “mix” that is found commonly in grocery stores. (It has baby kale, spinach, and some other greens.) I have made it for parties, but honestly make it for myself all the time.

  2. KiKi says:

    Delicious, Fast & Easy! Add lemon zest and Tabasco for some zing.

  3. lucyfalls says:

    Just made this with added chili flakes and extra garlic and lemon. Fantastic!! Will be making it again to bring to an Oscar party! Thanks for the great recipe.

  4. Lyla says:

    Could you use some other kind of nut (or even seeds) for this? Macadamia nuts? Something else?

    (Sorry if this is a repeat question – my browser got weird and I couldn’t tell if the comment got submitted).

  5. Lyla says:

    This looks amazing! I used to love this kind of dip before I was a vegan (still do, but I don’t eat it)!

    I was wondering if you could use a different nut for it, though. Like macadamia nuts. I live in a small town with one or two sources of cashews, and they always taste like plastic (which transfers to food – yuck). The macadamias are good, though.

    So, would macadamias work in place of cashews? Or some other kind of nut?

    Thanks so much!

    • Dreena says:

      Lyla, I’d do a sub with almonds before macadamias, they are a much sweeter nut (imo), so try almonds or a combo of almonds/macadamias. Cashews really work brilliantly here, it’s a tricky one to sub! Good luck.

  6. Jessica says:

    Hi,
    I have been making this all winter long for various events and everyone loves it. I have even substituted shredded zucchini for the artichoke and it is wonderful.
    Today, I made the cashew base but substituted 1c cashew and 3/4 cup water. Instead of art/spin, I then poured the mixture over a head of cauliflower cut into small florets and garnished with ground fresh pepper baked at 425 for 45 min and it came out like a heavenly au gratin. Very delicious.
    Thank you for this versatile recipe!

  7. Raeleen says:

    As a fairly new vegan I was looking for a dip to wow my friends with for a girls’ night I am hosting soon; being that I avoid serving a new dish for the first time for other people, I made this tonight as a trial and used it as a lasagna “ricotta” (as other readers suggested). Wow! Just wow! I couldn’t believe a vegan lasagna could taste so amazing! Especially as most vegan lasagnas use tofu (which I do like, but didn’t have any on hand). Thank you SO much for posting this – I want to make it for every event ever! :)

  8. cj says:

    So delicious! This was a hit with the non-vegans and non-vegetarians – all gone in minutes! I’ll be making this again and again…

  9. Laura says:

    This recipe is absolutely fabulous! I made it today for my holistic nutrition class Christmas party and it was a big hit, everyone asked for the recipe. I have been trying for awhile to make a tasty spinach dip (I still cannot resist the full fat cheese ones even after following a plant-based diet for a year) and this one is the best of the bunch! Your recipes have never disappointed me, thank you!
    -Laura

  10. Sharon says:

    Can this be made without baking?

    • Dreena says:

      That’s a good Q, Sharon! I’ve always baked it, just b/c I like it warmed through. But, there isn’t any reason it couldn’t be eaten raw. Nothing in there needs to be cooked per se. You might want to use a little less milk so that it’s thicker without cooking (the baking thickens it). Hope that helps!

  11. Diane Turner says:

    You mentioned that you used the Blendtec. I am about to buy a high powered blender. Do you recommend it over the Vitamix?

    • Dreena says:

      Hi Diane, yes, I love the Blendtec. I’ve tried the Vitamix, and while it’s a powerful blender I find the Blendtec has some advantages: the design of the jug with a wider base so no tamper tool needed, easier to clean (b/c of same wide base), and the twister jar is awesome for small batch purees and things like salad dressings. The digital controls are also very nice. Hope that helps!

  12. Ellen says:

    I made this for a Christmas party for my husband’s work. I’d forgotten that they have a “Cook Out”, a contest to see which dishes are the favorites. Well, this dip came in second in the Appetizer category!! I was so pleased! and then as we were leaving the party, someone came up to me to ask me more about how it was vegan “how do you get the creamy part?”!

    • Dreena says:

      What a treat to read this! Love it, and also knowing people were curious about it – thanks for sharing the vegan food love, Ellen!

  13. Suzanne says:

    This looks great! We have been looking for a GF DF artichoke dip for the holidays.

  14. Mar says:

    I do not miss dairy at all. But I do miss this wonderful manicotti dish my best friend used to make when we were teenagers. Either manicotti or cannelloni, not sure I know the difference.

    I had been wondering about your other artichoke dip, if it could be used as the filling, and now you have this wonderful new recipe.

    I wonder if it would need to be “firmer” to use as a filling, maybe by adding other chopped up veggies (mushrooms or broccoli?). Any ideas how to make it work as a filling?

    Thanks for everything you do, you are such an inspiration!
    Mar recently posted..The good, the bad, and the uglyMy Profile

  15. Mar says:

    This uses fresh spinach, right, not frozen?

    I read your comment not to use kale but maybe baby kale would work better. Took a while but I was so happy when I found the 100% baby kale by Organic Girl. I can eat more kale now!
    Mar recently posted..The good, the bad, and the uglyMy Profile

  16. lani says:

    I am unable to pin this as it says the picture is too small. Is there a way to rectify this?

  17. lani strom says:

    Can’t pin the recipe as they say the pic is too small. Can that be rectified?

    • Dreena says:

      Hi Lani, did you try another image? I’ll remove the small one. That might be the issue. I’ve pinned these already, so please let me know. Thanks!

      • lani says:

        Interesting..it worked if i hovered over the picture and clicked the pin sign. if you hover over the other sites (fb, tumbler etc) the Pinterest sign comes up, clicking on that it would not work..Thank you

  18. Melinda says:

    Sounds GREAT! I recently bought “Just Cashew Meal” at Trader Joe’s. Would that work in this recipe? What about frozen chopped spinach? Any advice appreciated. We’re having a neighborhood party later this month and I enjoy fooling the non-vegans. :-) Thanks!

  19. Amber says:

    Do you think i could prepare this the night before then keep it on low in a crockpot for a few hours to be warmed?

    • Dreena says:

      Yes, Amber, this can be prepared the night before. You wouldn’t need to keep it warm if you don’t need to, you could simply bake the next day. For sure you could keep it warmed at a low temp after that, I just wouldn’t go too long so it doesn’t dry out.

  20. stephanie says:

    how much does this feed approx.? I want to make it for a company potluck and need to have enough for 8-10 people. while i am making it, i want to make extra for my roommates! i am not good at portioning. :)

    • Dreena says:

      Stephanie, I might double it for that many, plus if you want extra. You can refrigerate it for a few days for sure, if you have extras. Enjoy!

  21. Debbie says:

    Awesome site and recipes- so glad I found you!
    2 questions about this recipe–
    1- how do you think it would be making it ahead of time and waiting to bake it 24 hours?
    2- what do you think about adding a can of white beans to up the protein & fiber & creaminess factors?
    Many thanks!!

    • Dreena says:

      Thanks Debbie! :D For sure you can make it ahead, a day would be fine. You can try adding some beans, but you’ll really need to check the seasonings – the lemon juice, salt, garlic, etc – b/c the beans will dilute the flavor. It will have a diff creamy texture too, as beans can become creamy, but not lusciously creamy as with nuts. So, just to keep in mind, maybe add 1/2 – 1 cup and test to see taste, texture, etc. Good luck!

  22. Mrs G says:

    Great recipe!
    We have just had it for dinner with zucchini pasta and some leftover chicken (we aren’t vegan). The taste was AMAZING!
    Thank you so much!

  23. Jill C says:

    If I wanted to use this as a pizza sauce, would I just not cook it bc its going to be cooked with the pizza?? OR would or would you suggest cooking it anyway? I dont like to cook the heck out of veggies, seems they lose their nutrition the more they are cooked. Thanks, Jill

  24. Erin says:

    Made this tonight – it was FANTASTIC!! Everyone loved it! It will be made for every gathering just because I love it so much!! Thank you!!

  25. Jennifer says:

    Wow! Just came across your website today as I was looking for a vegan Artichoke Spinach recipe. This sounds fabulous! I am going to make it tonight and use it as the sauce for a gluten free pizza (using a Polenta crust). Not sure what toppings to use??? Maybe roasted red peppers, onions and corn. I’ll let you know how it goes.

  26. Jessica says:

    I just made this recipe for an Oktoberfest party and it was a hit! Love it!!! Made a double batch using garlic and onion powder and only 1T of lemon juice. Had to use 2 drained cans of artichokes as I could not find the frozen variety. Perfect! Thank you!

  27. Laureen says:

    I made this dip for a party that was attended by some very non-vegan people, and everyone devoured the dip and raved about how tasty it was–they couldn’t believe it didn’t have any dairy in it! I added some extra garlic and a couple of dashes of hot sauce to give it a spicy kick. A big crowd pleaser–I will definitely be making this again! Thanks for the awesome recipe.

  28. Katie Hake says:

    I am trying this out for a baby shower tomorrow!! But I will be using some jalapeños rather than spinach. I’m not good with tweaking recipes…any suggestions of anything I should change?

    • Dreena says:

      Hi Katie, well, if you are adding jalapenos, I’d use just a small amount at first – don’t sub all the spinach for jalapenos, will be overpowering. I’d just start with maybe a few tbsps, then taste it unbaked to judge the flavors/heat. Hope it works out well – enjoy!

  29. Kathy says:

    I just ran across your website today. I am so anxious to try this because every time I have tried making spinach artichoke dip in the past, it just didn’t taste creamy and yummy like my daughter-in-law’s always do. I am buying the ingredients today to make for tonight, I will let you know! Thanks so much for sharing your recipe! :)

  30. Barbara says:

    What could I use instead of cashews? Almonds?

    • Dreena says:

      Barbara, you could try it, But the almonds will not become quite as creamy and smooth as the cashews. You may want to soak them prior to blending, although I do not soak the cashews because they help absorb the extra moisture through baking when they aren’t soaked. However, The almonds are very hard, so they won’t purée as silky as the cashews. Do you have a cashew allergy?

  31. Brittany says:

    Thanks for the delicious recipe, Dreena! The first time I made it, I added 1/2 an onion that I had chopped for dinner and some crushed red pepper for a little kick. My omni hubby, who’s usually VERY skeptical any time I try out a veganized version of a classic, devoured it and proclaimed it a “definite make-again!” I whipped up another batch today, but this time I’m trying it out in a vegan lasagna as a substitute for ricotta. I’m really excited to see how it turns out!

  32. carrie says:

    thanks for the recipe! i made this tonight using 2 cloves garlic and extra lemon juice but it was really bland? and suggestions? must be something i’m missing because everyone on here loves it:)

    • Dreena says:

      Hi Carrie, I’d suggest trying a touch more salt/fresh ground pepper, and another clove of garlic if you like (sometimes garlic can be a little stale and not so ‘punchy’). Also, you can try adding a touch more of the dried mustard (another 1/4 – 1/2 tsp) – that will give it extra kick!

  33. Just made this for Xmas Eve Dinner Party. Baked in PYREX for 17 min, wrapped up, jumped in a cab and kept it in a warm oven (15 min) until ready for apps. ABSOLUTELY DE-LISH! A HUGE hit and will be featured at the next ElephantBelly Pot Luck in NYC! Thank You!
    ALicia Leeds Meyers recently posted..6 Great Gift Ideas for Vegans from Big City VeganMy Profile

    • Dreena says:

      YEAH! Stoked to hear it worked so well for you Alicia – thanks a bunch, I plan on making it soon for a holiday get-together too, and will do the same, wrapping it in a tea towel to tote! :D

  34. MAde this dip for a Xmas Eve Dinner Party – served with Stacey’s Pita Chips and Mary’s Gone Crackers. It was a huge hit!! Baked for 17 minutes in a PYREX dish, wrapped in a tea towel, jumped in a cab and kept it in a warm oven until time for apps. Fantastic!

  35. Jenny says:

    I made this and it is awesome. Thank you!

  36. sofia says:

    This was SOO good!! I didn’t think a vegan version would compare to the bad-for-you one that I love, but I could not stop eating this. I added extra garlic, but I guess that depends on your taste buds. It will be a staple snack dip for me now. Thanks Dreena! I can’t wait to try more of your recipes.

  37. Jenny says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this amazing dip! I went DF two years ago and GF this summer. I needed some ideas for a book club I was hosting tonight and thought of spinach and artichoke dip. I can’t eat the normal version of course but far too many recipes have ingredients I’m not going to find at a normal grocery store and unfortunately they decided to build the first Trader Joes in this area 45 minutes away. I had to use canned artichoke hearts, but everything else I already had in my pantry/fridge and it turned out perfect. My friends all liked it and I will definitely be using it for our annual Christmas Party next weekend. I am so excited to incorporate one of my favorite party foods back into my diet and not feel guilty about all of the extra fat! Also, since I am GF and didn’t eat this with bread, I have to say, this was amazing with blue and white corn tortilla chips.

  38. Rebecca Stucki says:

    Another fantastic recipe, Dreena! Honestly, is there anything cashews can’t do? I’m going to a party Saturday and already decided to make lasagna, but next party, I’m buying a big round loaf of bread from Whole Foods and filling it with this dip. Just wonderful!

  39. Heather says:

    Call me naughty! I get the marinates artichokes from Costco. I do not rinse or drain them. I just spoon them out and try to avoid some of the marinade.

    • Dreena says:

      haha, you rebel, Heather. ;) That was what I used for a long time too, and I would drain/rinse them to try and neutralize the flavor some. Now I’m able to get the frozen artichokes from Trader Joe’s, and those are like gold!!!

  40. Sharon Boon says:

    just found your website while looking for a vegan artichoke dip. I tried yours. Its fabulous. Also quite interesting as i used fresh artichoke (first time i’ve cooked one!). I need it a little creamier for me (i only made a 1/2 batch so that could be a little bit of the issue; and spinach doesn’t always cooperate in being measured…). Keep the yummy & healthy recipes coming!

  41. I made your dip and it was delicious! I ate it straight out of the bowl with a fork! :)

  42. Kendrah says:

    I LOVE spin/artichoke dip and haven’t had any since last year when I found I was allergic to dairy, spinach, among other things. I am going to try this for a party I’m hosting. Any recommendations for subbing the mustard and spinach? I was going to just eliminate them – would it completely change the taste? I’ve heard of wasabi as a mustard substitute and kale for spinach but not sure how that would fit with this recipe…any thoughts?

    • Dreena says:

      Kendrah, you don’t actually taste the mustard, it adds a background flavor but you don’t eat it and think “oh, mustard in here”… just so you know, but you can omit it if you like. I wouldn’t opt for kale in this dip – it’s a little too chewy and I think the cruciferous flavor would be too prominent. And, I definitely wouldn’t add in wasabi as it’s too hot. Are you not able to eat spinach? You could omit it altogether and just go with the artichokes, and adding a little fresh parsley and/or basil would be nice too, maybe 1/3 cup.

  43. nathalie says:

    Hi there, i just ate your spinach-cashew-mixture with boiled potatoes and cauliflower, and it was delicious!!

    i made some adjustments: i just the can-water from the artichoke instead of veg-milk, and i also add yeast for flavor and nutrition. i also ate it cold. sure i will make it again.

    thanks for sharing!

    something similar i often make, as bread-spread, dip or with a hot meal: rucola-lettuce instead of spinach, walnuts instead of cashew, oil instead of veg-milk, no artichoke, eat cold

  44. AJ says:

    Looks great! I’m excited to make it. What do you dip in it? I’m new to being vegan and I’m still having a hard time always finding bread and crackers.

    • Dreena says:

      Hi AJ, sorry so late to reply. Anything you like, really. Veggies, whole-grain breads/pita breads, tortilla chips… and you can also use it as a spread in sandwiches, based on pizza, layer in pasta dishes (ex: lasagana)!

  45. michelle says:

    Sounds yummy! Can I do this with a fresh artichoke instead of frozen or canned?

    • Dreena says:

      For sure, Michelle… I don’t use fresh b/c they just take that much more time (that I don’t have right now)! ;) But, go for it, after cooking/trimming the fresh – just measure out same!

  46. Anne says:

    Any substitute for the cashews? My husband is allergic to cashews and macadamia nuts. Thank you.

    • Dreena says:

      Hi Anne, in this recipe the cashews really give the body and creaminess to the dip. I do have a couple of other artichoke dips that do not use nuts. In eat, drink & be vegan I have an artichoke dip that uses a combination of cooked yellow potatoes with non-dairy milk. It’s a really delicious dip, also with some olives added in! In that book I also have a very simple roasted artichoke spread, the artichokes are roasted with some olive oil, seasonings and garlic. So both those would be good alternatives to this nut-based dip. Sorry I don’t have them posted, but maybe (?) you have ed&bv so you can check them out. :)

  47. Janna says:

    Just made this and it turned out great. I used canned artichokes and just pulsed everything in my blendtec and baked. Thanks for sharing!

  48. Lori says:

    Made this over the weekend- YUM, YUM, YUM. I used canned artichokes (rinsed) and it was delicious. Hit of the party. Thank you!!!

    • Dreena says:

      You’re welcome Lori! So happy it was a hit – and also that the canned artichokes worked out well too! Thanks for the note. :)

  49. Erin Mullaney says:

    Just made your dip without baking it (yet). It’s sitting in the fridge, and coming with me to a bachelorette party (to kick off our weekend) tonight. I’ll heat it up there, and I’m not telling anyone it’s vegan! We’ll see how it goes – it looks delicious. I’m also bringing some other vegan treats, but not telling anyone, so shhh… :)

    • Dreena says:

      Wonderful, Erin! Yes, keep it hush, hush… then after they’ve devoured it, you can tell them that yummy dip was healthy and made with compassion! :) Have a fab time at your party!!

  50. This sounds fantastic! I love the use of the cashews. :)

  51. Jared says:

    Hi Dreena! I just made your dip and it is incredible! I love that it has no soy or cheese and is made with fresh spinach — not many vegan recipes I’ve seen have done that, and yours yielded fantastic results. The dip is full of flavor from the lemon and garlic. Thank you so much for another great recipe!

    • Dreena says:

      Fantastic Jared!! I’m so pleased to hear that – always good to get the reports after posting. :) And, yeah, I rarely keep frozen spinach on hand, so wanted to create a dip that used the fresh leaves. I like how it stays more vibrant in color. Thanks much for the note!

  52. Stay says:

    Should be getting some fresh spinach tonight from my CSA, putting this on my “make soon” list!

  53. Lacia says:

    I love spinach artichoke dip. This looks delicious, but sadly must avoid (like many other vegan creams and sauces) due to the nuts.

    • Dreena says:

      That’s too bad Lacia. If you have ed&bv, I have another artichoke dip in that book – it’s creamy and delicious, and doesn’t use nuts as the base but rather potatoes. Worth checking into if you’re a fan of these kinds of dips!! Thanks for the note.

  54. Ricki says:

    I love, love arties, and love, love LOVE the look of this dip! Thank you for a non-soy version (not that I have anything against soy, in moderation. . . just like to take a break sometimes). I can’t wait to make this, asap! Okay, I will stop ranting now or you may just call ME “dippy”! (You are so funny!!) :D

    • Dreena says:

      haha, thanks Rick!! And, I feel the same about soy – have no issue with it, just like to have the option (and offer the option for folks with allergies as well). Always nice to hear from you. :)

    • Dreena says:

      p.s. – love the nickname arties. Yep, might have to borrow that one!

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