Renee's Kitchen Adventures

Friday, April 13, 2012

Lightened Up Warm Spinach Artichoke Dip

Every time my family has dinner at a local restaurant, we feel compelled to order their Warm Spinach Artichoke Dip as an's so good...but I am certain...not so good for the diet!  When I won the cookbook, Food Network Magazine's 1,000 Easy Recipes from Debbi Does Dinner Healthy a few weeks ago, ( thank you again Debbi...I love it!)  one recipe that quickly caught my eye was for a Spinach Artichoke Dip.  I knew I could easily change up a few ingredients and lighten it significantly, and so the trial and error began.

It actually came out perfect first time around!

Since the original recipe called for 8 oz. cream cheese, my initial reaction was to sub reduced fat cream cheese, but after carefully reading labels, I decided to go with 8 oz. of light Laughing Cow cheese instead.  I really love Light Laughing Cow cheese wedges, and ounce per ounce, it is about half the calories of reduced fat cream cheese.  The original recipe also called for smoked mozzarella cheese, which was easy enough to replace with the new smoked mozzarella cheese sticks from Weight Watchers.  I love ANYTHING smoked, and these cheese sticks are no exception.  Since I pulled out so much fat from the recipe with my substitutions, in order to keep the dip moist, I added in some fat free half and half.  It worked wonderfully.  If you can't find the Laughing Cow or the WW cheese sticks, you could sub reduced fat cream cheese and plain reduced fat mozzarella cheese, but the nutritional stats may be different from what is posted if you do. 

I whizzed everything up in a food processor, and it came together quickly.  It's super easy to "grate" up the cheese sticks by cutting them in half and then pulsing them in a food processor.

Once everything came together, I spread it in an oven proof dish and baked it at 375 degrees F for about 20 minutes.  ( I reserved a few TBS of the Parmesan cheese for the top)

The original recipe called for the dip to be warmed in a slow cooker for two hours.  This is certainly an option as well, and a great idea if you are going to want to keep it warm at parties and gatherings. 

Lightened Up Warm Spinach Artichoke Dip
adapted from 1,000 Easy Recipes

Servings - 12   Serving Size- about 1/4 cup   Points Plus per Serving - 2 Points+
Calories - 79.3,   Total Fat - 3.3g,   Carb - 3.5g,   Protein - 7.2g,   Fiber - 0.6g

6 smoked mozzarella cheese sticks ( cut in half and pulsed in food processor until grated)
8 wedges of Light Laughing Cow Cheese
10 oz. package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
1- 15 oz. can of artichoke hearts, packed in water, drained
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese ( reserve a few TBS for top, if desired) 
1/4 cup fat free half and half
2 cloves of minced garlic OR 1 tsp. garlic powder
salt and pepper, to taste

1.  In food processor, with blade attached, add all ingredients and pulse until combined.  

2.  Heat oven to 375 degrees F.  Spread dip into an oven proof baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake until cheese melts, about 20 minutes.  Serve warm.  


While this wasn't EXACTLY like the dip at the restaurant, it came pretty darn close and with such better stats!  Wow!  2 points+ for a whole 1/4 cup of dip! 

What are some of your favorite appetizers you like to order at a restaurant that aren't exactly the healthiest?  To be honest, I am more of a dessert girl than an appetizer girl, but I will admit, there are some appetizers that call my name and this is one of them! 

This recipe is being shared with:
Tastetastic Thursday @ A Little Nosh


  1. You must be a mind reader! :) We just went to a restaurant that served this and I had 'just a bite', but of course wanted more! Now I can. :)

    1. how funny! it isn't as creamy as the dips in the restaurants...because it's so low fat, but that taste is definitely there!

  2. Yum!!! I am definitely making this over the weekend! xo

  3. Looks so yummy! I've made a version using white beans that turned out pretty fab too. Love this dip. Happy weekend

  4. This is probably my favorite appetizer too, and your lightened up version sounds great! I love those WW smoked mozzarella sticks. This sounds FAB!! I usually don't go for appetizers at all, it was just because of the company we were in once that I even had this. Usually just a salad. I go for the desserts instead too. :)

  5. My husband and I both love nachos, which are really not good for you ! This dip looks delicious and easy.

  6. I love spinach artichoke dip, and a lighter version is music to my ears. I'll have to try this soon. I've seen Laughing Cow products but I've never tried them out. I think that needs to change. :)


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