Holiday Appetizers 101: Fresh Spinach and Artichoke Dip with Bacon.

Here we have another excellent appetizer to cause you to unbuckle that belt one meal too early! It is the holiday season, right? Unbuckling pants mid-meal is inevitable.

Just wear a cute, long top like I do. Because it’s spinach artichoke dip!

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I love a thick, creamy spinach dip. Love it even more with bacon. I love it even more with smoked cheese. This is a treat every will love. Even veggie-haters like myself.

Along with cream cheese, I use mayonnaise and sour cream and my base.

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Just as with the buffalo chicken dip, if you are making this for a crowd, I suggest using full-fat ingredients. It makes it so decadent!

Fresh sautéed spinach, garlic and shallots are some of the other deliciousness in this dish.

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Make sure you use an entire bag of spinach so you are left with enough for the dip by the time it cooks down. I love using fresh spinach, and must admit I’ve never even tried frozen spinach.

So then I fold everything together with a spatula – cheese, artichokes, spinach and bacon.

And I use marinated artichokes because I think they add a delicious flavor to the dip. The best!

Spread it into a baking dish – and voila!

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It is simple, quick, and so much tastier than other spinach dips. It is very creamy and thick, with lots of ooey-gooey cheese. Who can say no to that??

Not me, my thighs or my hips. They don’t lie.

I like to serve it with bread and crackers – and my vice – blue corn chips.

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Did you know blue corn chips are fantastic for breakfast?? They really are. I promise. Try them.

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Fresh Spinach and Artichoke Dip with Bacon

Ingredients:

  • 2-8 oz blocks of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonaise
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup shredded smoked mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-6 oz bag of fresh spinach
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 shallot, chopped
  • 8 slices of bacon, fried and crumbled
  • 1-12 oz can of marinated artichokes, drained

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Heat a skillet on medium heat, and add olive oil. Add spinach, garlic and shallots, stirring until spinach is wilted and cooked down. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, and sour cream. Beat with an electric hand mixer until smooth. Fold in 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, spinach, artichokes, and crumbled bacon. Pour into a baking dish and top with remaining cheese.

Bake at 400 for 20 minutes. Serve with bread, chips, and crackers.

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Four words. Get. in. my. belly.

[photos by sarah fennel]