Vegan Artichoke and Spinach Dip

by Gena on February 5, 2011

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Great response to the nori cigars! I thought of you guys as I snacked upon a few of them on my bus ride to D.C. yesterday, along with an apple, veggies, and dip. One reader asked me how the leftover gingery sunflower pate can be used: great question! I love nut pates precisely for their versatility, and the answer is that you can do almost anything you’d like with the leftovers: stuff it into collard wraps, top a salad with it, use it as a dip or spread, or put it on your favorite sandwich in place of mayo. These are only a few of your options! I encourage you to get creative.

So far in my Super Bowl recipe round up, we’ve had a three layer, semi-raw dip, a raw soup, raw nacho “chips” (made with kale) and my vegan artichoke pesto pizza. Yum! Today, I’m sharing the most decadent recipe so far: hot and cheesy vegan artichoke and spinach dip.

I’m pretty proud of this one. It’s not particularly healthy, and it’s not the sort of thing I’d make if I were sitting around at home and wondering what to snack on. But cooking isn’t always just about us, and our priorities as eaters. It’s a shared experience, food, and part of learning to enjoy it means understanding that sometimes, a wonderful meal is a meal that you shape around the tastes of the people you dine with. Anyone who’s suffered from an eating disorder can tell you that social isolation is one of the uglier consequences; you spend so much time avoiding food that you also avoid a lot of social occasions, and when you do cook, you’re so imprisoned by rules and hang-ups that you can’t make anything that doesn’t fall within your own narrow little range of “safe” options.

One of the nicer things about learning how to cook, for me, was learning to surrender a lot of my vestigial rules—to throw a nice big hunk of Earth Balance into a fry pan, or agave into a muffin recipe, or a glug of olive or coconut oil into a roasting pan. I’m in earnest when I say that my palate hews to the healthy side of the food spectrum, and that simple tastes and textures are always my preference. But I also know how to prepare something decadent when the occasion calls for it, and to enjoy it. Eating shouldn’t be a monochromatic experience: it should cover a wide range, from simple to special, from light to luscious, and from routine to rich.

Consider this one a special recipe. Hot, cheesy, and oozing with cashew cream and melted Daiya, it’s the perfect treat for a superbowl party—or for any comfort meal. And even though we’re all about range today, keep in mind that it’s made with only the best ingredients: raw cashews, almond milk, nutritional yeast, and a vegan “cheese” that happens to have a short ingredient list and and be allergen free. More importantly, it’s 100% without animal cruelty.

When decadence tastes like this, it’s easy to be indulgent.

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Vegan Artichoke and Spinach Dip (Vegan, can be gluten-free with gluten free bread)

(serves 6-8)

For the dip base:

2 9 oz. packages frozen artichoke hearts, or the equivalent in canned artichoke hearts
2 9 oz. packages frozen spinach
1 1/2 heaping up daiya mozzerella style cheese

1) Defrost all the veggies.

2) Chop artichokes into small pieces.

3) Drain spinach very well by placing it into a round strainer and pressing down on it with a bowl that fits into the strainer till it’s nice and dry.

For the cashew cream sauce:

1/2 cup cashews (generous 1/2 cup), soaked 1 hr or more
1 cup almond milk
1 small clove garlic
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp mellow white miso
2 tbsp tahini
1/2 paprika
Sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste

Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender till very smooth. I always blend before adding salt and pepper, then season to taste.

For the breadcrumbs:

2 large slices whole grain bread of choice, torn into pieces (use GF bread if you’re gluten free)
1 tbsp Earth Balance

Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse till broken into crumbs.


1) Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

2) Place the artichokes and veggies in a bowl and mix them with 1 1/4 cup cashew cream sauce. Mixture should be nice and wet; if you need to, add more sauce.

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3) Mix in 1 cup daiya cheese.

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4) Turn vegetable mixture into a small casserole. Top with another 1/2 cup daiya (add more than that if you like)

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…and the bread crumbs.

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5) Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until crumbs are brown and cheese is bubbly.

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6) Serve. Watch your guests melt in joy.

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Hope this one goes on your game day menus!

Before I go, I wanted to mention that Casey and Marlena–two health-minded counselor friends of mine, are leading an emotional eating program that commences on Monday. Freedom From Emotional Eating Program is a 10 week program designed to show you how to love your food, love your body and satisfy your emotions so that you are happier, healthier and more fulfilled. The program gives you the guidance, education, support, compassion and real life strategies to heal. Focus on what you really want out of your life! Learn more about what they’re up to at

With that, a cozy day commences in a rainy D.C.. Happy weekend, all.


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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

VeggieGirl February 5, 2011 at 12:36 pm

Fun twist on a classic dip! My mom’s specialty :)


Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn February 5, 2011 at 12:48 pm

I’m most likely not super bowl partying, but this looks so good I might have to make it no matter what! I eat artichoke hearts like it is my J-O-B, aka I eat a can a day:)


To Kiss the Cook February 5, 2011 at 1:05 pm

What is it about cashews that they just make everything better? This looks divine and I’m more than happy to try it out as my offering to a very un-vegan Super Bowl party.


Amanda February 5, 2011 at 1:16 pm

I was just about to google vegan artichoke and spinach dip recipes! So glad I saw this pop up on google reader first. Thanks for the recipe!


chelsey @ clean eating chelsey February 5, 2011 at 1:24 pm

You and Angela were on the same wavelength today!!


christyn @ All Ways Nutritious February 5, 2011 at 1:42 pm

YUM! this looks delicious. i have heard a lot of good things about Daiya and can’t wait to try it. Go Packers!


Maryea @ Happy Healthy Mama February 5, 2011 at 1:53 pm

This is the third vegan spinach artichoke dip recipe I’ve seen on blogs in the last two days and they’ve all been very different. I love the idea of using a cashew cream sauce–yum.


Gina February 5, 2011 at 2:07 pm

Perfect game day food! Love that it can be gluten-free too :)


SaRAW February 5, 2011 at 2:18 pm

Leftover sauces and dips can be spread on a teflex sheet and dehydrated too! My sister and I love doing this. She recently made a tomato, sunflower seed dip and because she made too much she dehydrated it and it literally tastes like pizza!


Jennifer February 5, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Yum! This looks amazing, Gena! :)


Jen February 5, 2011 at 2:27 pm

I needed this recipe a few hours ago! I just went to the store to buy ingredients to make stuff for a Super Bowl party. I’m still considering going back to get the few ingredients I don’t already have and make this as well. Couldn’t hurt to have another vegan dish at the party. ;)


Teresa February 5, 2011 at 3:08 pm

Gena, this. Is. Amazing! I’ll be working tomorrow, so not super bowl party for me. But you beter believe that I’m making this for the next event I attend. Yes it’s not a kale salad, but it’s the healthiest version of this dip I’ve ever come across.

Also wanted to say that the remarks you’ve included about eating disorders are so very true. Thank you for that. :)


Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) February 5, 2011 at 3:12 pm

Gena this looks great!

I love love love spinach and artichoke dip. And have never made a vegan version at home. Have made some with cream cheese and cheese, so am loving your version!

This struck me “to throw a nice big hunk of Earth Balance into a fry pan, or agave into a muffin recipe, or a glug of olive or coconut oil into a roasting pan.”–
YES sometimes in order to have really stellar results, that is needed. Not like you’d do it every day, and who eats spinach and artichoke dip every day anyway.

And even if I did throw a big blob of coconut oil in a pan to roast some veggies, I still consider that a healthy fat and it provides taste, fat, and just that extra ooomph to take things from ok to stellar.

I love this recipe and am all over it!

Enjoy the game :)


Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day February 5, 2011 at 3:19 pm

That looks so good! I totally agree with your philosophy on food. It’s so refreshing.

I have yet to try daiya cheese..


Hannah February 5, 2011 at 3:20 pm

That’s so true, Gena, about eating disorders and strict mindsets. With my ED, I didn’t want to go out because there would be tons of food and everything I made had to be super healthy all of the time. I’ve come to learn, mostly in college, that living that way is not only boring, but dangerous mentally and physically! (If there aren’t healthy options available with the highest nutrient density).

Enjoy the super bowl!!!


Mandy (theamazonprincess) February 5, 2011 at 3:53 pm

This is so genius! I love spinach and artichoke dip but I never want to eat it because the dairy makes me sick. :( I have to make this. Thanks Gena. :D


Brittany February 5, 2011 at 4:31 pm

This is the third vegan spinach and artichoke dip I have seen! I am wanting to make one of the recipes so bad.

I have really been wanting to try Daiya so maybe I’ll go buy some and get started!!


Marlena Torres February 5, 2011 at 5:02 pm

Thank you so much for the mention of “Freedom From Emotional Eating”, Gena. That recipe looks scrumptious!


Deby February 5, 2011 at 5:47 pm

Gena! Amazing!! I didn’t think of the cashew sauce!!! I looove spinach and artichoke dip but in efforts of making it vegan I was also using daiya cheese but too much of it and I wasn’t getting the creamy texture!!
It’s so funny because I do make cashew sauce for other recipes but didn’t think of these two together!! Genius!!!!

Have a great weekend!!


Christine (The Raw Project) February 5, 2011 at 6:44 pm

This looks wonderful, thanks! I’m such a fan of artichoke and spinach dip and have been dying to try a vegan version. Even though I’m not a huge Superbowl celebrator, I might just have to make this for dinner. :-)


Laura C February 5, 2011 at 6:52 pm

I’m curious why you don’t consider this particularly healthy- the Daiya? Or the proportion of cashews and Daiya relative to veggies? I’m guessing a bit of both, and I’m also guessing that sliding a bit more towards veggies would make it a more appropriate dish to eat frequently. I’m looking forward to tweaking it in various ways, because I LOVE mainstream artichoke dip, and when I make something like this I need to be able to eat a lot of it. I sometimes make an artichoke-spinach-cashew-almond milk blended soup that is probably similar, just lacking the Daiya and bread.


Christin@purplebirdblog February 5, 2011 at 6:55 pm

NIIIIIIIICE! Spinach and artichoke dip used to be me and my boyfriend’s “thing,” trying it where ever we could. But now that I’ve gone dairy-free, I really appreciate innovative recipes like this so I can enjoy new twists on old favorites!


Alex @ Healing Beauty February 5, 2011 at 8:01 pm

I love artichoke and spinach dip! Thank you for a vegan recipe!!!!!! So excited to try it! By the way, I’d love to see a Choosing Raw cookbook :)


Hannah February 5, 2011 at 9:08 pm

How wonderful! I adore artichokes, and once made a definitively not-vegan version a few years back, but have never had anything like this! I’ll have to think of an occassion to make it for, as I’m Australian (in Australia) and there ain’t no Superbowl festivities going on at my place!


teresa February 5, 2011 at 9:54 pm

Just stumbled across your Raw Ranch dressing, and WOW! it’s amazing. I was skeptical at first, I admit. It seemed like to odd an assortment of ingredients, but I was pleasantly surprised. The dill is what makes it so fantastic. I’m thinking it will be even more delish tomorrow, once the flavors have mingled a bit more. I’ll be bringing it to our neighbors’ Superbowl party (the green in there is perfect), along with your sweet potato hummus (can’t wait to try it) with green and yellow peppers, cucumbers and broccoli, and a-not-quite-as-healthy green and yellow decorated chocolate zucchini football cake. Can’t wait! Thanks for sharing!


Casey February 5, 2011 at 11:18 pm

Oh wow, what a decadent looking dip! Nice one Gena :).

Thanks for the support of Freedom From Emotional Eating xo


Wendy (Healthy Girl's Kitchen) February 6, 2011 at 7:16 am

This looks amazing! Now I think I have to run to Whole Foods and add this to my Plant-Strong Super Bowl party for tonight. I think my guests will be thanking YOU Gena!!!!!


H February 6, 2011 at 8:44 am

Yum! A classic dip made simple and vegan! Perfect for today’s game.


Heather @ Get Healthy With Heather February 6, 2011 at 8:45 am

I love spinach and artichoke dip but hate how dairy filled it is. Great alternative to the normal dip!


Angela (Oh She Glows) February 6, 2011 at 9:28 am

I posted a spinach/artichoke dip yesterday too…great minds think alike! :) Yours sounds wonderful and I love the cashew cheese sauce.


ashley@quasichick February 6, 2011 at 9:42 am

This looks heavenly :)


Marcia @Frugal Healthy Simple February 6, 2011 at 10:18 am

Wow. That looks really good. I love spinach and artichoke dip. Finally one that won’t clog your arteries!

I used to eat the stuff whenever I went to a restaurant that had it. (That and those deep fried onions.) Unfortunately, my mom took on my spinach dip habit and it kills me to see her eating that.


FoodFeud February 6, 2011 at 11:25 am

This certainly looks and sounds a lot better than my attempt at it, years ago. I don’t even think Daiya was on the scene then. So many snacks to attempt!


Mauimandy@The Grains of Paradise February 6, 2011 at 12:52 pm

This looks absolutely wonderful and a great twist on a delicious comfort food!


Wendy (Healthy Girl's Kitchen) February 6, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Okay, I did change my party menu to add your dip and now it’s ready for baking right before the guests come over! I can tell already it is going to be delicious. The sauce is wonderful!


elise February 6, 2011 at 1:22 pm

this looks stellar. i wish daiya werent so expensive. its the only thing that prevents me from buying it around the clock because i love it so much i eat it far faster than i should (monetarily speaking) and next thing i know, my grocery budget is ridic. i could probably just omit it and hope the richness of the cashew sauce could do the trick. hmm…


bitt February 6, 2011 at 7:43 pm

This is one of those things I was too scared to eat when not vegan so I have no craving or desire for it vegan. Yes I had a fear of cheese for awhile as a kid. I am sure it is good though. I never knew about the superbowl/spinach dip connection. Actually I know very little about anything football.


Stephanie February 6, 2011 at 8:38 pm

Looks delicious! Daily Garnish just posted on vegan spinach artichoke dip I have two to try! Cant say I am complaining :)


Aj February 7, 2011 at 12:11 am

We just had some spinach artichoke dip at Native Foods in LA for our vegan-aversary celebration (4 years and going strong and stronger!) and we loved it! Thank you for sharing this…now we can make it at home for the next special occasion, even better!


Elizabeth February 11, 2011 at 10:38 am

Genius, pure genius. I use Daiya for the rest of the family as they are GF/GF.
I will have to figure out a raw spinach dip for me.
Peace & Raw Health,


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