If you were reading last week, you already know about my tendency to eat appetizers for dinner, which is exactly what inspired me to make this meal. Spinach and Artichoke Dip is up there on the all-time-appetizer-favorites list for pretty much everyone I know, including James, who claims to hate artichokes. Side note: I say “claims”, but he really doesn’t like them, except for in Spinach and Artichoke Dip because he says he “usually can’t taste them”. It’s quite sad. I like to pretend he will one day realize his sincere love for them so I can stop trying (and about 50% of the time, failing) to sneak them into dishes without him noticing.
But anyway, back to the dip. I have eaten it as an appetizer, I have eaten it as a meal, I have eaten it for dinner, lunch, and even breakfast– don’t tell me you’ve never reheated leftovers first thing in the morning because you just couldn’t wait ’til lunch. Keeping this in mind, I decided it would be fun to make Spinach and Artichoke Dip into more of an actual meal, and thus Spinach and Artichoke Dip Alfredo was born.
Luckily Alfredo Sauce and Spinach and Artichoke Dip share some common base ingredients, so combining them is actually very easy and doesn’t take long at all! This is a great meal to serve to dinner guests, because it’s fun, quick, and of course, delicious.
- 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ can artichokes, drained and coarsely chopped
- 10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained well
- 4 oz reduced fat cream cheese
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup skim milk
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- Shaved fresh parmesan cheese
- 1 lb cooked pasta of your choice
- In a small saucepan, combine the milk, chicken broth, flour, salt and pepper over low heat, stirring until smooth and thick.
- In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add the chopped artichoke hearts. Stir and cook the artichoke hearts for 4 minutes, breaking apart the artichoke hearts as they cook. Add the spinach and cook for 3 minutes or until hot. Add garlic and sauté until golden brown. Add in the cream cheese and stir until melted. Stir in the mozzarella. Stir until all ingredients are well mixed.
- Stir the alfredo sauce starter into the spinach and artichoke mix. Stir in the parmesan cheese.
- Add additional milk as necessary to thin out the sauce until it reaches the desired consistency. Mix with pasta of your choice, top with fresh parmesan shavings and a sprinkle of paprika, and serve.