First of all, I hope you all had a Merry Christmas if you celebrate it, and a great day even if you don’t! I had a wonderful time with my family and ate a ridiculous amount of food, seeing as we always overdo our Christmas Eve appetizer spread. In fact, we probably make more food for Christmas Eve than we do Thanksgiving. I’m going on my third day now of living off of leftover Chinese dumplings and chocolate chip cookies, and I’m not complaining.
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), these Fried Spinach Dip Bites didn’t last long enough to become leftovers. Oozing cream cheese and cheddar cheese, loaded with spinach, bacon, and water chestnuts, and crispy fried to a golden brown crunch, there’s nothing not to like about them. You can’t blame me for wishing I’d made more, right?
You can eat these bite-sized balls on their own, dipped in marinara, or on a cracker or chip. I personally just popped them in my mouth and ate them as they were. I used my go-to spinach dip recipe, but spinach and artichoke dip would have been great too! (Just make sure it’s cream cheese based, not sour cream based.)
Fried Spinach Dip Bites would be perfect as a New Year’s Eve party appetizer, and they’re really pretty simple to put together. You can even make them ahead of time and fry them right before you’re ready to serve! Give them a go if you’re hosting a NYE bash this year, or save the recipe for your next party. Either way, your guests will love them!
- 3 packages cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 10 oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 10 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1 8 oz can water chestnuts, finely chopped
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Black pepper to taste
- Canola oil, for frying
- 1 egg, beaten
- ½ cup flour
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
- Mix cream cheese and mayonnaise in a large mixing bowl. It is best to use a hand mixer here. Add spinach, cheese, bacon, green onions, water chestnuts, garlic, and black pepper, and mix.
- Chill the dip in the refrigerator until firm. Roll the dip into bite-sized balls-- you don't want them to be too big or the ratio of spinach dip filling to crunchy outside will be off. Set the balls on a baking sheet.
- Heat oil in a heavy pot or wok over medium-high.
- Beat the egg in a shallow bowl. Place the flour in another shallow bowl, and the panko breadcrumbs in a third.
- Coat the balls in flour, then egg, and then panko. If it seems like they have empty spaces, double-coat them.
- Fry 4-5 at a time until golden brown, flipping half-way through. Using a slotted spoon, remove the Spinach Dip Bites from the oil and let drain on a paper towel lined plate.
- Serve the bites warm.