Cheesy Spinach Artichoke Bread is the perfect appetizer package….everybody’s favorite garlicky, cheesy dip all hot and bubbly and ready-stuffed into a crunchy baguette. Slice it up and watch it disappear.
It’s unanimous in our family, spinach artichoke dip is the king of appetizers. Mention it late in the afternoon and you’ll hear all sorts of grunts, groans, and slurping noises…it isn’t pretty. Spinach artichoke dip calls up some decidedly primitive instincts.
Usually I bake and serve this dip in a casserole dish with chips, or sometimes with bread, but this is the first time I’ve baked and served it IN bread. It’s genius, and utterly delicious.
After I’ve make my dip I simply cut out a channel from the top of a loaf of French bread. I pull out some of the extra bread from the center of the loaf to make room for the dip. I’m careful not to scoop out all the bread because I need to leave enough so that the dip and bread will hold together when sliced. Then I pack the hollowed out loaf with the dip.
I bake the stuffed loaf for 15 minutes, then top it with lots of shredded mozzarella cheese — then bake for another 15 minutes until browned and bubbly.
If you need to reheat this cheesy spinach artichoke bread, wrap loosely in foil and place in a 325F oven until hot.
- 8 ounces frozen spinach, thawed
- 1-2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 large loaf French bread
- chopped fresh parsley for garnish
- Set oven to 350F
- Make sure your spinach is very well drained, I put it in a mesh strainer and push the excess liquid out with the back of a large spoon. Put the spinach and garlic into the bowl of a food processor and process until finely minced.
- Drain the can of artichoke hearts, and then squeeze the excess liquid out of each one gently by hand. Add them to the processor and process until finely chopped.
- Add the cream cheese, sour cream, mayo, sharp cheese, and just 1/2 cup of the mozzarella to the processor. (Save the remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella for the topping.) Add the salt and pepper and process until well blended.
- Cut a channel into the top of the loaf of bread and remove the top section of the crust. Scoop out enough of the bread to leave room for the dip, but be sure to leave some bread along the bottom and sides for stability. Stuff the dip into the bread, pressing down with a spoon to get it completely filled. You will have extra dip, depending on the size of your loaf. You can bake it separately with chips, or freeze it for later.
- Bake the bread for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the remaining mozzarella cheese over the top. Return to the oven for another 15 minutes, or until everything is hot and melted. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley.
- Let the bread cool for a couple of minutes, and then slice. Plan to serve right away, while it is hot.
- Look for a relatively large, soft, ‘fat’ baguette for this recipe, a long crusty skinny one will be hard to stuff.
- Use a gentle sawing motion with a sharp serrated knife to slice the bread without squishing it.
- Be sure to drain your spinach and artichokes well, you don’t want a soupy dip for this recipe because it will be difficult to slice and eat.
- That being said, this is not a neat appetizer, the dip will ooze out a bit, especially when hot, so serve it with plenty of napkins.