We had some friends over yesterday for a casual afternoon of football (of course!) and food. I was in charge of the main course and my friend, Jamie, was in charge of the appetizer. We decided it would be more fun to cook together, so she brought over the ingredients and we assembled the dip before the games started. The secret ingredient in this dip is part skim ricotta cheese, making it healthier and lighter than your typical hot spinach artichoke dip, but without sacrificing flavor. Here is the dip before baking...
It looked so good that I almost considered not baking it and diving right in. I'm happy that I waited though because it was fantastic with lots of melted cheese and hot spinach and artichokes. It was perfectly spicy and creamy, and had just the right amount of crunch from the water chestnuts. And the extra bonus was that I didn't have to feel as guilty about eating it!
Also, I seriously doubt you will have any leftovers, but Jamie said they are great tossed with pasta and I have always loved spinach dip as a bagel spread. I think this dip will be making an appearance at all of our holiday parties coming up!
Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip
1 - 16 oz. part skim ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2-1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 - 10 oz. box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and thoroughly drained
1 - 14 oz. can artichoke hearts in water, drained and chopped
1 - 8 oz. can sliced water chestnuts, drained and diced
2 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese, divided
2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese, divided
Baked pita wedges or tortilla chips for dipping
Preheat the oven to 375°. In a large bowl, mix the ricotta, egg, salt, and peppers together. Mix in the spinach, artichoke hearts, and water chestnuts. Add the parmesan, 1 cup pepper jack, and 1 cup cheddar, and stir until well combined.
Transfer the mixture into an ungreased 2 1/2 quart baking dish. Top with the remaining cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned. Let cool at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Source: Much Kneaded's friend Jamie