I came up with this recipe on a whim after hearing that my sister was making a spinach artichoke dip for a Thanksgiving recipe! The warm, creaminess sounded good to be, but I knew that it would be full of dairy cream and cheese, which was far from appealing. So I wrote up a plant-based recipe starting with my Basic Cashew Cream Cheese as the base, which I made the night before knowing I would use it for something.
It wasn’t long before this mouth-watering dip came out of the oven and it was an instant hit! It was very exciting to see my plant-based dish be demolished long before the dairy-loaded dip. Seriously. Plant flavor all the way!!!!
Recipe by Katie Mae
Makes 9-inch pie | Ready in 45 minutes | Stores 4 days in fridge
1½ cups Cultured Cashew Cream Cheese
1 yellow onion, diced
1½ tablespoons minced garlic
½ cup unsweetened, non-dairy milk
1 tablespoon rice or apple cider vinegar
½ cup nutritional yeast, plus more to garnish
½ tablespoon no-salt seasoning (i.e. Benson’s Table Tasty)
½ teaspoon black pepper, or more to taste
14-oz can artichoke hearts, well drained and diced
1 lb fresh spinach or de-stemmed kale, chopped (about 1-inch pieces)
Raw or roasted veggies to dip
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Prepare the Cultured Cashew Cream Cheese and set aside, follow instructions in the chef’s note below. Get out a 9-inch pie dish to bake the dip in.
- Add onion to a sauté pan over medium-high heat and cover. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add the garlic and sauté for a couple more minutes until the garlic is golden brown.
- In a blender, add the basic cashew cream, non-dairy milk, only ½ of the onion and garlic, and the vinegar. Puree to a cream.
- Add the remaining onion and garlic, ½ cup of nutritional yeast, no-salt seasoning, and black pepper. Pulse a couple of times to mix, but stop before the onions are completely pureed.
- Transfer the cream to a mixing bowl. Stir in the finely diced artichoke and spinach.
- Taste and adjust the seasonings and consistency as needed. The dip should have a cheesy and savory flavor. The consistency should be creamy and thick—thicker than yogurt and thinner than cream cheese.
- Pour the dip into a pie pan and spread it out evenly. Sprinkle the top with extra nutritional yeast and no-salt seasoning for additional flavor and color.
- Bake for 25 minutes. The top should look slightly toasted, and it should be warm all the way through. Let it cook for an extra 10 to 15 minutes for a darker, crispier top. Serve warm with raw or roasted vegetables.
If you don’t have time to make the Basic Cashew Cream Cheese, then in its place you can substitute 2 cups of cashews, 1 cup of liquid (water, non-dairy milk, or vegetable broth), and ½ tablespoon light miso. Note that miso is high in salt, but it can be left out if you prefer. The benefit to using the fermented cashew cream is that it has a sharp, tangy flavor similar to that in dairy cheese. Although the dip will still be delicious, the flavor will be a little milder if you don’t ferment the cashews first.
To reduce the sodium in the canned artichoke hearts, first drain and rinse them. Then soak them in water overnight. Strain them again before using.
It’s best when it’s fresh out of the oven, but leftovers can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. Reheat in an oven-safe dish at 350°F or in the microwave until warm. If the dip is thicker than you prefer, stir in more non-dairy milk.