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.


  • 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


  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.


  • 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 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Meera 24 June 2013 at 10:28 am

Looks good! Going to try this.


cg 28 June 2013 at 4:50 pm

hi meera – hope you like it!


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.


cg 28 June 2013 at 4:50 pm

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


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. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m sure it’ll be just as yummy, so again- thank you!


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.


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!


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!


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!


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! ๐Ÿ™‚


cg 14 November 2014 at 12:32 pm

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


Dorothy 7 November 2015 at 10:44 pm

This is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you very much. I made the Knorr version yesterday thinking if I ate only a little that I wouldn’t get my normal headache and extreme drowsiness from the MSG. I was wrong! It’s difficult to find any commercial soup products without MSG. Sigh. I’ll be making your version tomorrow. Thanks again!


cg 11 November 2015 at 5:14 pm

hi dorothy – good luck, hope the non-msg version works out for you! thanks for coming by!


Stephanie 5 December 2015 at 1:10 pm

Chinese Grandma – I’ve always made spinach dip with the MSG-laden Knorr dry soup mix (reluctantly) and we’ve always enjoyed it. But today, I was in a bind. I had promised to take spinach dip to a funeral dinner and as I pulled the dry ingredients from the pantry, I realized I didn’t have the soup. But – I found your recipe! Wow! Your spinach dip is wonderful – yummy with all the flavors and so fresh-tasting! We’ll never make spinach dip with “expensive poison” again! Thank you for sharing!


cg 8 December 2015 at 1:26 am

hi stephanie – i’m so glad my recipe came to your rescue! and you are making me want spinach dip…haven’t made it in a while, and i love it so.


mom of a celiac 13 December 2015 at 4:55 pm

Be careful because Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce’s sauce 1st ingredient is Malt Vinegar ( from Barley). There are GF Worcestershire sauces but usually harder to find.
Haven’t tried this recipe yet but definitely will give it a try!


cg 15 December 2015 at 1:30 pm

hi mom of a celiac – thanks for the heads up!


Veronica 16 December 2015 at 11:09 pm

if I am using fresh spinach, how much should I use?


cg 17 December 2015 at 12:08 am

hi veronica – online sources say a 10-ounce package of frozen spinach yields 1 1/2 cups, which would be a pound and a half of fresh spinach cooked down. by that guideline, the 16-ounce package of frozen spinach in this recipe would yield 2.4 cups, which would take about 2.4 pounds of fresh spinach cooked down. hope that helps!


hilda hermosillo 7 January 2016 at 9:45 am

me encanta


cg 7 January 2016 at 3:18 pm

gracias, hilda!


RN 13 March 2016 at 3:11 pm

Love your recipe. For years I used Knorr Leek mix to make my spinach dip, until my sister was reminiscing about her gluten days, and how she missed my spinach dip. So I did a search for gluten-free spinach dip recipes. Since I found your recipe I have never gone back! Thank you for sharing.


cg 14 March 2016 at 10:06 am

hi RN – how great! no one should have to live without spinach dip. =) what a fantastic sister you are!


Christine 24 May 2016 at 2:56 pm

This is DELICIOUS! I made mine with full fat sour cream vs. greek yogurt, and omitted the Worcestershire (because I dislike it). Mine came out a little salty. Not a bad thing ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for this great recipe!


cg 19 June 2016 at 10:52 pm

hi christine – it’s crazy how salty commercial mixes are – i tried to make this one strong enough to match up without going overboard. thanks for sharing back!


Barbara Hansen 21 December 2018 at 1:43 pm

Thanks for this recipe! I wanted to make this but canโ€™t find the soup mix. I love the miracle that is MSG so will have to add some.


Barb Kelly 28 January 2017 at 7:16 am

How long does this last in the fridge?


cg 28 January 2017 at 1:27 pm

hi barb – should last a few days!


Cathy Hubbard 22 August 2017 at 11:07 pm

So glad to find your recipe. I love spinach dip. Have not been able to make it because I am deftly allergic to Maltodextrin. One of the main ingredients in the Knor soup mix. Thank you, thank you, thank you!


Wendy 21 November 2017 at 6:37 pm

I decided to make it this Thanksgiving. I did not want to look everywhere for the Knorr brand and I had no idea it had MSG. It has been years since I have made the soup spinach dip glad to know! What a Godsend to find this recipe! Thanks for posting, one thing we always added to our dip that is not on the recipe is shredded cheddar cheese. It is not on the Knorr recipe either, just thought I would share in case anyone wanted to try it.


sarah 22 November 2017 at 5:05 pm

I love this with Challah or Hawaiian bread and this is a killer recipe. I upped the garlic a tad and it is divine!


Nancy Browne 31 December 2017 at 8:55 pm

Its great!! Did for ny eve!! The Worcestershire great idea (I added a tad more garlic) ty for the recipe!!


cg 31 December 2017 at 11:17 pm

thanks nancy – very glad you liked it! happy new year to you!


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