Baked Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip is made dairy-free with a cashew cream base. An easy appetizer dip recipe for a crowd. Gluten-free.
Spinach and artichoke dip is one of those I-can’t-stop-eating-this-until-it’s-gone foods. Maybe this is just me, but I suspect I am not alone.
In working through some reemerging health issues this year and having to eliminate this and eliminate that for periods of time, I’ve had to reinvent some of my favorite foods to accommodate.
Dairy has gone to the wayside for me for the time being, and things like creamy, cheesy, artichoke dip with spinach have felt very unattainable.
That is to say, until I stopped bemoaning the fact that this was my diet’s current status and started playing with dairy alternatives.
For me, especially when a recipe is imitating a classic with alternative ingredients, those ingredients need to remain accessible and simple. Otherwise, I won’t be making it.
The cheesy creaminess in traditional spinach and artichoke dip recipes is often made from a combination of mayo, cream cheese, and sour cream. In this recipe, those heavier ingredients and flavors are replaced with cashew cream and nutritional yeast for that cheesy tang.
A couple of notes for this recipe:
- Make sure your frozen spinach is thawed and the extra liquid is squeezed out before you start cooking. I like to use organic frozen spinach when possible, as spinach makes the dirty dozen produce list for the highest concentration of pesticides.
- This recipe can be made the day ahead. Assemble the dip, cover, and refrigerate. When ready to bake, add about 10 minutes to baking time.
So while this recipe is dairy-free and doesn’t fit the traditional artichoke dip mold, the outcome is still delicious. Whether you are trying to add more plant-based foods into your diet or need more friendly paleo recipes, this dip hits them all.
Baked Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- couple pinches cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice about half a lemon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups raw cashews
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch can sub with cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-10 ounce package organic frozen spinach thawed and squeezed of liquid
- 1-14 ounce can artichokes, drained, halved and quartered
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 1-quart baking dish with cooking spray.
- Warm 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add onions and cook, stirring often, until tender and translucent.
- Add garlic powder, nutritional yeast, cayenne pepper, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and salt. Stir to combine. Add vegetable broth followed by cashews. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes to allow cashews to soften.
- While cashews are simmering, add arrowroot starch and water to a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Stir to combine to make a slurry. Set aside.
- Carefully, transfer the cashews and vegetable broth mixture to a high speed blender. Add arrowroot slurry. Blend until completely smooth, stopping periodically if needed to wipe down sides. Set aside.
- Add remaining olive oil to saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and allow to cook about 1 minute until fragrant. Add spinach and cook until heated through. Add artichokes. Remove from heat.
- Transfer cashew mixture back into saucepan. Stir until ingredients are evenly incorporated. Salt and pepper as desired.
- Transfer dip into prepared baking dish and bake for about 20 minutes. If you want a slightly browned top, turn the broiler on high at the end of baking and broil for 1-2 minutes.
- Remove from oven and serve immediately with chips or crackers.