When I was out for a friend’s birthday recently, we ordered some spinach artichoke dip for the table. The dip was warm and creamy—and a great accompaniment for the crispy tortilla chips that came with it. It was devoured within minutes.
Though it certainly satisfied me and my friends after a couple rounds of drinks, I found myself wanting a more classic, homemade—and dare I say better?—version of this beloved dip.
I went back to my kitchen and got to work making what I personally crave when I think of spinach artichoke dip.
The restaurant’s dip was a little soupy, as if it were held together only by a thin cheese sauce, so I knew I’d need to tinker with that part. I ended up using cream cheese for the rich creaminess it adds to any dip (but especially this one!), along with an Italian cheese blend, which included mozzarella, Parmesan, Asiago, Provolone, and Romano cheeses.
This mixture melts nicely and gives you that picture-perfect cheesy pull with every scoop.
I also wanted to add something a little extra, something to make it stand out from all the other dips and appetizers crowding the buffet table at a party. The first thing to come to my mind? Bacon. It truly does make everything better.
In addition to pieces of crunchy bacon mixed right into the dip, I add some extra smokiness and bacon flavor by cooking the artichoke hearts and spinach in the rendered bacon fat. So good.
I like serving this dip with pita chips, but tortilla chips, crackers, or celery sticks could also work well.
This spinach artichoke dip with bacon makes a great appetizer for a game day party or movie night. However, be warned: depending on your friends and how hungry you are, this dip will disappear fast! My roommate ate half of it once I was finished taking photos, and it took everything I had not to finish the other half myself. For a larger party, I’d recommend doubling this recipe.
6 slices bacon (about 1/3 pound), chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 10-ounce package frozen spinach, thawed, drained, and chopped, or 1 12-ounce bunch fresh spinach, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or slightly less table salt)
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature