I hope I never go through another bad break-up. I certainly don’t plan to. But if the unfortunate day comes when I’m licking my emotional wounds while watching Pretty Woman and ugly-crying on the couch, I will break one break-up stereotype: I’ll stay away from the Ben & Jerry’s. I’ll make myself this Spinach and Artichoke Dip Stuffed Garlic Bread and eat the whole baguette in one sitting instead. Forget frozen desserts, nothing soothes a broken heart quite like cheesy, garlicky carbs, right?
Mind you, I have a theory that feeding James delicious things makes him less likely to get fed up with me. Maybe it’s Spinach and Artichoke Dip Stuffed Garlic Bread that helps keep me from bad break-up territory in the first place. It certainly doesn’t hurt.
Really, this Stuffed Garlic Bread is a great choice whether you’re dealing with a split or making date night dinner. Or having a party. Or feeding the family. Basically, any time that you want to consume the bread and cheese equivalent of pure joy.
How’s it made? First, I cut a baguette into 4 pieces and then I use a long knife to hollow out the insides. It’s much easier to do than it seems, just cut in a circular shape, remove the knife and set it aside, and then use your hands to push or pull out pieces until you’ve hollowed out all of the loose bread. Luckily, I had James around to help me out while I snapped some photos!
Next, I need to make the filling. The Spinach and Artichoke Dip is similar to what we’re used to eating as an appetizer, but slightly less creamy. I want to make sure it’s thick enough that it stays in place in the sliced baguette instead of oozing out all over the place when it’s cooked, so I leave out the mayonnaise and sour cream and rely on cream cheese and mozzarella instead. Because I don’t wring the spinach out after cooking it, it gives just off just enough liquid to thin the cheeses without making things watery or messy.
Then it’s time to stuff the baguette. I use a spoon to help push the filling inside of the baguette quarters, making sure that the Spinach and Artichoke Dip is well-packed.
Once I fill the bread, I line up the pieces so that they match up to create one big baguette on a cutting board. Then, I slice the baguette with a sharp knife, making sure not to apply too much pressure and push out the dip filling. Once it’s sliced, I slide the stuffed bread off of the cutting board and onto a long piece of heavy duty aluminum foil.
Now I’ve got some tasty stuffed bread, but it’s certainly not garlic bread. I microwave some butter and minced garlic together and brush the mixture aaaaaalllllll over the baguette, letting it drip down in between the slices and spreading over any remaining garlic bits that remain at the bottom of the buttery bowl. Then it’s time to wrap it up tightly and bake all of that deliciousness together.
I bake the bread all wrapped up for 15 minutes, and then unwrap it and cook for 5 more minutes to get the top to brown just slightly. Once it’s cooked, I grate some parmesan on top, sprinkle with some torn basil leaves, and then dig in.
If you can manage to eat just one slice and share the rest, please share with me your willpower secret. Because I eat almost half of the baguette every single time I make this.
Give the bread a go, serve it at a party, or for dinner with the One Pot Penne Alla Vodka with Sausage from earlier this week! You’re going to love it. When you try it, don’t forget to take a photo and tag it with #hostthetoast on Instagram or Twitter.
- 1 baguette
- ½ tablespoon oil
- 1 (14 oz) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- 1 (10 oz) bag baby spinach leaves
- 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
- 1½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 3 green onions, sliced
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- Parmesan cheese, grated, to top
- Fresh basil leaves or parsley, torn, to top
- Cut the baguette into 4 pieces. Use a long knife to cut out the insides, leaving some bread along the edges. Pull out the loose bread to leave hollow bread quarters. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add in the artichoke pieces and cook for one minute. Reduce heat to medium, add in the spinach, and cook until wilted, turning often.
- Mix in the cream cheese and mozzarella, and let it melt entirely. Fold in the green onions and season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Stuff the baguette quarters with the spinach and artichoke dip, using a spoon to help pack the dip.
- Once the bread is stuffed, transfer it to a cutting board. Line up the quarters so that they fit together as they did before the baguette was cut. Slice the baguette into slices that are approximately 1" thick.
- Tear a piece of heavy duty foil that is about 5-6 inches longer than the baguette. Slide the baguette slices off of the cutting board and onto the foil, keeping them together.
- In a small bowl, combine the butter and minced garlic. Loosely cover the top and microwave for a minute, or until the butter is fully melted. Brush the garlic butter over the baguette, allowing some to drip down between the slices. Make sure to get all of the minced garlic on top of the bread.
- Wrap the foil around the bread and bake for 15 minutes. Unwrap the bread and bake for 5 minutes, or until the top browns slightly.
- Remove from the oven, top with parmesan cheese and torn basil or parsley leaves, and serve warm.
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