Better for you Healthy Spinach Dip with creamy Greek Yogurt, twice as much spinach and just a touch of mayo! Classic appetizer guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser at your next party.
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This healthy spinach dip is the first to go at any party I bring it to. It is an absolutely crowd pleasing appetizer without extra calories! No one realizes it is healthy, and absolutely everyone asks me for the recipe. And you know where I send them, right?! 🙂
Hands down, it’s also one of the easiest healthy dips to make. All you have to do is thaw spinach overnight (or in a microwave if you forgot), sauté a few veggies, add creamy ingredients and stir.
During a busy holiday (or hockey) season, this cold spinach dip recipe always delivers, because I don’t always have the time to make healthy deviled eggs (one of my other favorite go to appetizers!)
Why Make Healthier Homemade Spinach Dip?
- Twice more spinach: Superfood spinach is loaded with nutrients while being low calories! This dip is a great way to sneak in those veggies.
- Four times less mayo: Say goodbye to high saturated fat, I use just a touch of mayo to provide zing while at the same keeping this dip low fat and low calorie.
- Greek yogurt: High in protein thick Greek yogurt adds creaminess without fat.
- No powdered packet: Skip the packet full of preservatives and who knows what else, fresh veggies sauted in a little olive oil give this dip depth of flavor.
- Crowd pleaser: Party dip alert! Everyone will love this cool and creamy dip with so much flavor.
- Classic taste: Decadent and creamy, this low fat spinach dip is just as flavorful as the original.
Ingredients for Healthy Spinach Dip
- Frozen chopped spinach: Organic frozen spinach is best as greens are sprayed heavily with pesticides.
- Fresh onion, carrots and garlic: Instead of using a packet with preservatives and sodium, sauteed fresh veggies add a lot of healthy flavours.
- Plain yogurt with at least 2% fat: Regular or Greek yogurt. Don’t use 0% (non-fat yogurt) as it is quite chalky and dip will lack creaminess. You will not enjoy it.
- Mayo: I use avocado oil mayo, use your favorite brand. Just don’t skip mayo, spinach dip needs a bit of that umph from mayo. I used 1/4 cup of mayo and that was plenty. Mayo in small amount is a healthy choice IMHO.
- Salt and pepper: To season and taste.
How to Make Healthy Spinach Dip
- Prep frozen spinach: Place spinach in a colander and defrost for at least 8 hours or overnight. Using your hands, squeeze excess water. Spinach doesn’t have to be completely dry, some water is fine. Transfer squeezed spinach to a medium bowl.
Alternately, prep fresh spinach: You will need two 11 oz boxes of fresh spinach. Chop coarsely, then saute, adding to the skillet in batches as spinach wilts. Transfer to a colander, let cool, then squeeze excess water with your hands. Save liquid for a green smoothie (especially if it’s organic). Your “thawed spinach” is ready.
- Saute vegetables: Preheat ceramic non-stick skillet on medium heat and swirl oil to coat. Add onion, 2 minced garlic cloves and carrot. Sauté for 7 minutes or until translucent, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a bowl with spinach. Fresh veggies replace nasty packet of onion mix soup in traditional spinach recipe.
- Stir everything together: Add yogurt, mayo, salt and pepper. Stir well to mix and now add grated garlic to taste.
Trust this Ukrainian, fresh garlic at the end of homemade spinach dip makes all the difference!
Optional Add-In’s and Variations
- Fresh spinach: When I cannot find frozen organic spinach, I use fresh spinach and wilt it in the skillet, then squeeze out the water before adding to homemade spinach dip recipe.
- Other mayo: Olive oil mayo or veganese work as well.
- Water chestnuts: Drained and chopped, add when stirring ingredients together.
- Baked: For a warm homemade spinach dip, use an oven safe dish and pop in the oven at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until hot.
- Extra cheese: This is especially great if you are planning to eat your spinach dip warm. Add freshly grated parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese or cheddar.
- Red bell pepper: Fresh or roasted bell peppers, add fresh when sauteing vegetables and roasted when mixing ingredients.
- Diced meat: Diced cooked bacon or ham, warning your dip may not be so low fat any more!
- Greek yogurt: Regular plain yogurt (can be strained to be thicker) or if sour cream is all you have on hand, by all means that works, too.
- Onion: Shallots could be used instead of onion.
- Sun dried tomatoes: Chopped small would be great mixed in and add a depth of flavor.
- Dairy free healthy spinach dip: Substitute plain dairy free yogurt and use vegan mayo. Taste may change.
- Heat: Add a pinch of red pepper flakes.
Looking for a warm dip with spinach? Try baked spinach artichoke dip, always a party favorite!
Tips for Best Results
- Squeeze water from spinach: And when you think you have squeezed enough, squeeze some more! No one likes a water spinach dip.
- Fuller fat yogurt: At least 2% will produce the best creamy results in this homemade spinach dip.
- Small sized vegetables: Finely grated carrot, finely chopped onion and the same goes for any other vegetables you add into the dip. This ensures guests will be able to scoop the dip onto their cracker, vegetable etc.
- Fresh ingredients are best: This recipe relies on it actually! Do not substitute fresh onion for dried and same goes for the garlic.
- Lemon zest: Just a pinch will add a zing of flavor that brightens the dip.
This could happen if you did not squeeze all the water from your spinach or if you used a non-fat yogurt.
Did you add too much spinach (more than the recipe called for?) or too many other mix-in’s? You could thin it out with some additional yogurt, but taste might change and/or you may need to add more seasonings.
This recipe is! It uses less dairy and more spinach for a creamy flavor filled healthy dip with fresh veggies for flavor. Restaurant or store bought dips, not so much on the healthy side of things. Most spinach dips use loads of cream cheese, shredded cheese, sour cream or mayo plus a seasoning packet full of preservatives.
That is really a personal preference! I have served it both ways. If you need to make it ahead, make cold spinach dip recipe. The flavors will ‘marry’ together for so much flavor. If you are serving it right away, it might still be warm from the skillet vegetables or you can even bake it for a hot spinach dip.
I would recommend that. This recipe gets its flavor from the sauteed vegetables, fresh onion when sauteed adds a savory taste that dried onion just can’t mimic.
How to Serve Spinach Dip?
Warm or cold? This dip tastes amazing either way. It’s a personal preference and circumstances. We love this healthy dip warm right after it’s made. We love cold spinach dip recipe the next day because flavors had a chance to marry each other more. This type of dip benefits from flavours sitting together and “marrying” each other for a bit.
What to dunk into dip with?
- Bread bowl: You can put healthy spinach dip in a traditional bread bowl. Sourdough is a healthy choice. Here is a great video how to hollow out a bread bowl.
- Bread chips: Pita chips like Stacy’s of flat baked pretzel chips are sturdy vehicles to be loaded with creamy dip.
- Whole grain crackers: We love baked corn crackers like Salmas or brown rice crackers I buy at Costco like Mary’s Gone Crackers.
How to Make Cold Spinach Dip Recipe Ahead?
Make ahead and store: Refrigerate stirred dip in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Give it another stir before serving. Or add all ingredients to a bowl, cover and refrigerate like this, and then combine right before serving.
Freeze? I have not tried freezing it and am not sure whether yogurt will separate and dip become watery. Please report if you do. If serving 3 people or less, cut recipe in half.
Ideas for leftovers: If you have a lot leftovers, stuff chicken breasts with spinach dip, sear for 3 minutes per side and then bake for 25 minutes in preheated 375 degrees F oven.
More Spinach Recipes
More Healthy Dips to Try
- Healthy buffalo chicken dip
- Garlic olive oil dip
- Cranberry jalapeno cream cheese dip
- Cottage cheese dip
- Healthy 7 layer dip
Healthy Spinach Dip
- Place spinach in a colander and defrost for at least 8 hours or overnight. Alternatively you could use a microwave.
- Using your hands, squeeze as much water out as possible and transfer to a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Preheat ceramic non-stick skillet on medium heat and swirl oil to coat. Add onion, 2 minced garlic cloves and carrot; sauté for 7 minutes or until translucent, stirring occasionally.
- Transfer to a bowl with spinach along with yogurt, mayo, salt and pepper.
- Stir well to mix and add grated garlic to taste. If have time, refrigerate for a few hours to let flavours "marry" each other.
- Serve with pretzel chips or brown rice crackers.
- Store: Refrigerate stirred dip in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Give it another stir before serving. Or add all ingredients to a bowl, cover and refrigerate like this, and then combine right before serving.
- Freeze: I have not tried freezing it and am not sure whether yogurt will separate and dip become watery. Please report if you do. If serving 3 people or less, cut recipe in half.
- Plain yogurt with at least 2% fat: Regular or Greek yogurt. Don’t use 0% (non-fat yogurt) as it is quite chalky and dip will lack creaminess.
- Mayo: I use avocado oil mayo. Olive oil mayo or veganese work as well. Just don’t skip mayo, spinach dip needs a bit of that umph from mayo.
- How to make dip with fresh spinach: You will need two 11 oz boxes of spinach. Chop coarsely, then saute, adding to the skillet in batches as spinach wilts. Transfer to a colander, let cool, then squeeze excess water with your hands. Save liquid for a green smoothie (especially if it’s organic). Your “thawed spinach” is ready.
- Onion: Shallots could be used instead of onion.
- Baked: Use an oven safe dish and pop in the oven at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until hot.