Some people say that sunshine makes them happy. Some people say that spending time with their families makes them happy. Some people feel happy when their favorite song comes on the radio. That’s all nice I suppose, but to me, happiness is a warm dip. Might as well just forget about all of that other stuff and focus on getting some queso in your face-o.
Because realistically, sunshine will burn you, family will drive you up a wall, and someone will undoubtedly strike up a conversation with you during your favorite verse of your favorite song, but dip… dip will never let you down.
I’m joking… kind of? Sort of? Maybe? I’m actually hoping to combine all four of those things on Cinco de Mayo this year. It’s supposed to be warm (finally) and I’ve got the perfect recipe to get everyone feeling festive– Cheesy Fiesta Black Bean Spinach Dip.
Is this an authentic Mexican dip? Nope. But Cinco de Mayo is also more celebrated in the US than it is in Mexico, so I feel like we can take some liberties here. Very cheesy liberties. (If you want a more authentic Mexican recipe, though, you should check back in the next few days for my Pambazo recipe. Salsa-dunked Mexican sandwiches? Oh yes.)
This dip is so simple to make, and consists mostly of deliciously flavorful black beans, shredded spinach, and 3 types of cheese. Chipotle peppers in adobo provide an extra kick of flavor that’s backed up by a bit of salsa and some ground cumin, and all together you get one addictive dip. Trust me when I say that it’s addictive. I was lucky enough to have 5 taste-testers for this dip, and everyone said at some point that they could not physically stop themselves from eating more and more of it. It’s just so good that your hand will find its way to another chip and into the dip no matter how many times you tell yourself that “this is the last one!” You’ve been warned.
Make it for your next get-together and watch it quickly become one of your most-requested party appetizers. While you’re at it, make sure you take a photo and tag #hostthetoast on Instagram or Twitter to show off your cheesy creation!
Adapted from Fine Cooking
- 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
- 12 oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained well
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 (15.5 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed, divided
- 3 chipotles in adobo, from the can, minced, plus 2 tablespoons adobo sauce
- 1/4 cup salsa
- 8 oz light cream cheese
- 6 oz Monterey Jack cheese, grated
- 6 oz cheddar cheese, grated
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Cherry tomatoes, chopped, to garnish (optional)
- Cilantro, chopped, to garnish (optional)
- Tortilla chips, for dipping
- Heat the oven to 425ºF. Spray an 8 x 8″ baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Briefly saute the spinach until cooked through and set aside.
- Add the remaining oil to the skillet. Once hot, reduce the heat to medium and add in the onion. Saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Mix in the garlic and ground cumin and saute, stirring, for an additional minute. Add in half of the black beans, the chipotles and adobo sauce, and 3/4 cup water. Bring to a boil.
- Cook the bean mixture, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has almost entirely absorbed and evaporated, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for 2-3 minutes.
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine the bean mixture, salsa, and cream cheese and process until only a few small chunks of bean remain. Add in the cooked spinach, half of the remaining black beans, and half of the cheeses. Pulse until evenly combined, but not smooth. Fold in the remaining black beans and season with salt and pepper.
- Transfer the dip to the prepared baking dish and top with the remaining shredded cheese. Bake until the cheese bubbles and begins to brown, about 15-20 minutes. Garnish with chopped cherry tomatoes and fresh cilantro. Serve warm with tortilla chips, for dipping.
If you’re sensitive to spice, reduce the amount of chipotle peppers. You can always add more to taste.
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