Spinach Artichoke Dip Jalapeno Poppers ~ When you have friends over for dinner, or a drink and a game, there’s no need to go crazy making lots of different appetizers. Make one really good one, and make lots.
I love spinach artichoke dip with a passion. In the colder months we often make a dinner out of it. But in the summer that’s not really appropriate, so here’s a way to sneak it in where it won’t seem out of place. The hot cheesy dip, all bubbly and browned in these handy little peppers is so good you might never buy chips again. And the fierce flavor of jalapeno poppers holds its own up against any drink you can throw at it.
I used red jalapenos, which are the riper version of green ones, and a little milder, too. They’re also a bit bigger, so every popper provides at least two good gooey, spicy bites.
The heat of hot peppers resides in the seeds and veins, so when you scoop them out, the pepper is usually not super hot. I actually left a few seeds and veins in the halved peppers on purpose to retain a little of the heat since the creamy dip works to mute the heat in the first place.
I make the dip the same way I always do, but for this recipe I put it in the food processor to get it smooth; it will fit in the peppers easier. Make lots of these, because you won’t be able to stop popping them in your mouth. (Double the recipe below for a crowd)
- 1/2 cup artichoke quarters
- 1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
- 1 or 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 cup shredded Italian blend cheese (I use the bagged varieties from Kraft or Sargento)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Set oven to 375F
- Put all the dip ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to blend thoroughly and get rid of any large chunks. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Taste it and adjust the salt, pepper, garlic and/or lemon if necessary. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Cut the jalapenos in half and carefully scoop out most of the seeds and veins. If you are careful and use a small sharp knife you can cut right down through the middle of the stems, too, so the poppers each have a cute stem/handle.
- Stuff each popper with dip, mounding it just a bit.
- Bake on an ungreased baking sheet for 15 minutes, and put them under the broiler for the last minute or so if they need a little more browning. Don't leave them too long in the oven or broiler or the peppers will lose their shape.
- Enjoy right away.
- After you thaw the spinach, force the extra moisture out of it: I press it in a mesh strainer with the back of a spoon. It will make your dip watery if you don’t do this step.
- When you cut the peppers in half, take note of their shape and cut it in such a way that they will lay the flattest.