Healthy, Gooey Spinach & Artichoke Dip (Vegan; Only 8 Ingredients!)

Vegan spinach & artichoke, broiled and ready to go to a book club :)

Vegan spinach & artichoke, broiled and ready to go to a book club :)

I stopped eating animal-based cheese because I was disturbed by how animals are treated on modern dairy farms, not because I don't love creamy, gooey, decadent food—I'm still human! Growing up, if there was a spinach and artichoke dip on the menu, I wanted to order it (let's be honest. I still do).

These old-school dips tend to rely on ingredients like melted cheese, cream cheese, and mayonnaise—sure, we vegans can easily replicate spinach dip using plant-based versions of these dairy ingredients, and there are some seriously good ones on the market these days. But while I'm all for a splurge once in a while, I feel better eating and feeding my loved ones healthier versions most of the time. And I swear, this healthy spinach & artichoke dip sacrifices nothing in flavour or texture!

A good spinach & artichoke dip is two things: creamy and gooey. For creaminess in recipes, I pretty much always turn to cashew cream—cashews soaked in a little water and blended up into a cream sauce. Tapioca flour (or starch) miraculously creates gooey, plant-based cheesiness, and is used in many commercial non-dairy cheeses and non-dairy cheese recipes.

Combining these two ingredients/techniques makes the perfect cheesy base for spinach and artichoke hearts, with the addition of just a few more spices and seasonings. I'll definitely be making this again and again for parties and holidays! I hope you love it as much as we do.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup cashews added to blender with 1.5 cups hot water and left to soak for 30 minutes
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp tapioca flour (or starch)
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper (if you don't have it, no problem—just use black or cayenne pepper to taste)
  • 3/4 cup marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 2 cups finely chopped spinach (or about 5 oz frozen spinach, thawed)

Process:

  1. Blend cashews, water, nutritional yeast, tapioca flour, onion powder, salt, and pepper until smooth. Pour into medium saucepan.
  2. Heat sauce over medium heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula. The sauce will start to thicken and form curdles; keep stirring until it becomes smooth, thick, and glossy. Turn off the heat and stir in the chopped artichoke hearts. (Note: At this point, if the dip is too thick for your taste, you can whisk in additional water to thin.)
  3. Meanwhile, heat the spinach in a pan over medium heat for a few minutes until it wilts. Scrape the spinach along with any juices into the other ingredients.
  4. Now you can eat the dip as is, broil it to get a brown crust, or store it for later (just heat at 350 for about 20 minutes or until heated through). Enjoy!
After blending the sauce will be pourable

After blending the sauce will be pourable

After heating and stirring for a few minutes, it will start to form curdles

After heating and stirring for a few minutes, it will start to form curdles

It's done when it's smooth and thick

It's done when it's smooth and thick

Chopped marinated artichoke hearts

Chopped marinated artichoke hearts

Wilted chopped spinach

Wilted chopped spinach

You can eat it right away, I won't judge :)

You can eat it right away, I won't judge :)

Healthy gooey-ness

Healthy gooey-ness

... or broil it in an oven-safe container

... or broil it in an oven-safe container