spinach dip

Spinach dip (without the mix)

24 June 2013

Spinach dip in a sourdough bread bowl was the California party food of my teen years. It’s great teen cooking – easy junk food with a generous dose of spinach for redemption – plus the fun of carving the crusty round of bread and cutting cubes for dipping.

The original dip is flavored with Knorr’s leek soup mix, but now I eliminate the mix with its MSG and additives and lighten up the dip with Greek yogurt in place of sour cream.

But I stay true to the ease of the classic preparation. You could use fresh spinach, but frozen chopped spinach is already cooked, cut and cold. Combine dry seasonings – onion powder, garlic powder and paprika – plus a dash of Worcestershire and chopped water chestnuts for the mystery crunch. And it’s party time.

spinach dip ingredients

Fresh scallions are the one extra step. Peel off any wilted strands.

peeling scallions

Slice in half lengthwise and chop.

dicing scallions

Water chestnuts are easy to cut, but a quick whir in my mini chopper is faster.

water chestnuts

The key to it all – squeeze out as much water as you can from the spinach. You have to use your hands for this.

squeezing spinach

The original dip has half mayo, half sour cream. I used two-thirds Greek yogurt and one-third mayo.

dip base

A little Worcestershire sauce adds a bit of salt and tang.

worcestershire sauce

My tightly squeezed spinach.

chopped spinach

Ready to go. But a couple of hours in the fridge helps the flavors absorb.

spinach dip bowl

It’s harder to find a big round sourdough loaf in Ohio. But Panera makes a good loaf for cubes.

sourdough bread cubes

And if sourdough isn’t your thing, any crackers, chips, bread or cut vegetable will work as a dip-delivery mechanism.

spinach dip

I’m so glad my sister-in-law requested spinach dip for my nephew’s graduation party. A decade or so ago, I’d worked out how to make the dip without soup mix, but I never wrote it down. Next time I won’t have to remember.

Spinach Dip (Without the Mix)
Spinach dip in a sourdough bread bowl was the party food of my youth – easy to make and deliciously rich. Now I like to make it without the Knorr’s soup mix, which has MSG and a bunch of other additives, and I lighten it up with Greek yogurt in place of sour cream.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions
  • 1 8-ounce can water chestnuts, drained and chopped finely
  • 1 16-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess moisture

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, add greek yogurt, mayonnaise, onion powder, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix well.
  2. Make sure you squeeze spinach well to rid of excess water. Add spinach to bowl along with chopped scallions, chopped water chestnuts and Worcestershire sauce. Chill before serving to allow dip to absorb flavors.
  3. Serve California-style with sourdough bread cubes or whatever bread/crackers you prefer.

Notes

  • If you have time, you can thaw frozen spinach in a colander in the sink. Otherwise, microwave on half-power to defrost without cooking.
  • Frozen chopped spinach is very convenient here – already cooked, cut and cold – but if you want to use fresh spinach, blanch the leaves first, then cool, then chop. As with the frozen spinach, make sure you squeeze out all excess water before you add it to the dip. Spinach cooks down a great deal, so you may need 2 1/2 pounds of fresh to equal one pound of frozen.

Here’s the link to a printable version.

This work, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Meera 24 June 2013 at 10:28 am

Looks good! Going to try this.

Reply

cg 28 June 2013 at 4:50 pm

hi meera – hope you like it!

Reply

Carolyn 24 June 2013 at 3:50 pm

I love spinach dip but have not made it in a very long time because I didn’t know of another recipe without the soup mix. Thank you for sharing.
A tip on how to get the moisture out of the frozen spinach: put in in an old tea towel and twist it around and squeeze. Works really fast and gets most of the moisture out.

Reply

cg 28 June 2013 at 4:50 pm

hi carolyn – thanks for the tip! and hope you enjoy the dip. =)

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Lyn R. 21 October 2013 at 2:13 pm

Just what I came on the web to look for. Thank you!! My son has been on a spinach dip kick these past couple of weeks and I’ve made it for him twice now, but can’t stand that there’s msg in the Knorr soup mix. My son actually has suffered from msg migraines in the past and so he hardly ever has any in his diet now, with the exception of this dip. He knows when he eats it, he has to drink down a couple glasses of water as well to help prevent a migraine, which thankfully that’s been working– but now we don’t have to worry about it with your recipe. :) I’m sure it’ll be just as yummy, so again- thank you!

Reply

cg 21 October 2013 at 2:26 pm

hi lyn – hope you and your son like it! you can tweak it to suit your taste. commercial mixes are all about more – so if he think it needs more flavor, try more salt, onion powder and garlic powder. glad he will be able to enjoy spinach dip without the migraines. =) thanks so much for taking the time to share back.

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Elizabeth H. 28 October 2013 at 6:06 pm

Thank you for this! I’ve been trying to clean up my diet and clear out processed foods (plus I’m sensitive to MSG), and your site came up when I was looking for a spinach dip recipe without the soup mix. It was delicious! Big hit at a Halloween party this weekend. No leftovers at all!

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cg 29 October 2013 at 11:18 am

hi elizabeth h – so glad the recipe worked out for you! you are sweet for sharing back. thanks!

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PMDO 27 February 2014 at 9:53 am

Wow, just made this and in a side by side comparison with the “knor” mix and it held its own! It is delicious!

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Monika 12 November 2014 at 11:20 am

THANK YOU….i’m pregnant and craving cold spinach dip, as of late…but i hated that the knorr soup mix had MSG in it…I’m trying this tonight! :)

Reply

cg 14 November 2014 at 12:32 pm

hi monika – i hope it satisfied your craving…good luck with the pregnancy!!

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