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.
Fresh scallions are the one extra step. Peel off any wilted strands.
Slice in half lengthwise and chop.
Water chestnuts are easy to cut, but a quick whir in my mini chopper is faster.
The key to it all – squeeze out as much water as you can from the spinach. You have to use your hands for this.
The original dip has half mayo, half sour cream. I used two-thirds Greek yogurt and one-third mayo.
A little Worcestershire sauce adds a bit of salt and tang.
My tightly squeezed spinach.
Ready to go. But a couple of hours in the fridge helps the flavors absorb.
It’s harder to find a big round sourdough loaf in Ohio. But Panera makes a good loaf for cubes.
And if sourdough isn’t your thing, any crackers, chips, bread or cut vegetable will work as a dip-delivery mechanism.
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
- In a large bowl, add greek yogurt, mayonnaise, onion powder, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix well.
- 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.
- 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.
Looks good! Going to try this.
hi meera – hope you like it!
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.
hi carolyn – thanks for the tip! and hope you enjoy the dip. =)
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!
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.
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!
hi elizabeth h – so glad the recipe worked out for you! you are sweet for sharing back. thanks!
Wow, just made this and in a side by side comparison with the “knor” mix and it held its own! It is delicious!
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! 🙂
hi monika – i hope it satisfied your craving…good luck with the pregnancy!!
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!
hi dorothy – good luck, hope the non-msg version works out for you! thanks for coming by!
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!
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
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!
hi mom of a celiac – thanks for the heads up!
Lee & Perrins worcestershire sauce is officially gluten free for the last year or two, at least in the US it is. Their site even states it, so that’s nice. I just figured I’d share.
hi janae – great info! thank you so much for sharing. and happy holidays to you!
if I am using fresh spinach, how much should I use?
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!
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.
hi RN – how great! no one should have to live without spinach dip. =) what a fantastic sister you are!
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 🙂 Thank you for this great recipe!
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!
Thanks for this recipe! I wanted to make this but can’t find the soup mix. I love the miracle that is MSG so will have to add some.
How long does this last in the fridge?
hi barb – should last a few days!
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!
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.
I love this with Challah or Hawaiian bread and this is a killer recipe. I upped the garlic a tad and it is divine!
Its great!! Did for ny eve!! The Worcestershire great idea (I added a tad more garlic) ty for the recipe!!
thanks nancy – very glad you liked it! happy new year to you!
Made it tonight. Couldn’t wait more than an hour to try. I LOVE IT!! Did exactly as recipe is written. Cant wait to make some baked potatoes and stuff them and stuff some mushrooms with this.
Spinach Dip has been a family favorite for the holidays since I was little. This is my first year living abroad and am unable to obtain the Knorr Veggie packet (it’s doable, but for the import cost and msg content—not worth it). I came across your recipe today and am so relieved to have found this beacon of spinach dip saving light! I am hosting a Thanksgiving with friends this weekend and was so saddened that there was a chance I wouldn’t be able to share the SD wonder. No more worry thanks to you!!
hi uk expat – i hope it satisfies your craving! so happy to help keep your holiday tradition alive in the UK. 😁 happy thanksgiving!
This is a good recipe made according to recipe, we liked it very much. One thing I must say is why do people comment when they haven’t even made the recipe? Who cares if you say ‘ looks yummy?’ Also, do people really know how rare MSG allergies are? It’s not at all common.
hi msry – i am happy to know you liked it! 😘 thank you for sharing back with the community!