This holiday season, we're declaring it: Dip can be for dinner.
With fewer people gathering around the dining room table in the coming weeks, why not skip the labor-intensive roast on a Wednesday night and instead opt for something hot, cheesy and delicious. Bonus points if your dip has a vegetable or protein in it, and serve it with an assortment of crudité and a stack of napkins and you'll have even fewer dishes to do (that is, if you're sharing your dipping space with those in your immediate household, of course. Double dippers during a pandemic? We think not …)
Eagle staffers share their favorite comfort dips that can be whipped up in a pinch, even if it's just for an afternoon snack on a Saturday afternoon when there doesn't seem to be much else to do but enjoy something ooey-gooey and downright perfect for a winter day spent at home.
HOT CHEESY SPINACH AND ARTICHOKE DIP
I have no idea where I got this recipe, but the numerous spills and stains on the recipe card attests to how often I've made it and how good it is. I dug it out last night and made it to surprise a friend who was coming over to watch "The Bachelorette" with me — our now not-such-a-secret guilty pleasure.
When I make it, I add mozzarella to the cheese used for the topping to add another layer of stringy cheesy goodness. And, yes, in my estimation it does have to be Hellmann's mayo!
— Margaret Button, associate features editor
Makes about 4 cups dip
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 package (10 ounces) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup Hellmann's mayonnaise
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack Cheese, about 6 ounces, divided
1 package Knorr Vegetable soup, dip and recipe mix
1 can (14 ounces) artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 can (8 ounces) water chestnuts, drained and chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In medium bowl, combine all ingredients except 1/2 cup cheddar cheese. Spoon into 2-quart casserole, then top with remaining 1/2 cup cheddar cheese.
Bake 35 minutes or until heated through. Serve, if desired, with toasted French baguette rounds, sliced garlic bread, corn or tortilla chips, or vegetable dippers.
SPANAKOPITA DIP: Substitute feta cheese for the cheddar and eliminate the artichoke hearts. Spoon into mini phyllo cups and bake for 8 minutes or until filling puffs.
CRAB RANGOON DIP
This dip is so easy that you don't even need to turn the oven on to make it. Each bite tastes like the creamy filling of your favorite take-out joint's Wonton-filled Crab Rangoon without the greasy paper bags. This is also delicious served with tortilla chips or sliced carrots or sweet peppers.
— Lindsey Hollenbaugh, managing editor of features
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese
3/4 cup sweet and sour sauce
1/2 package (8 ounces) imitation crabmeat
1 green onion with top (about 1/4 cup thinly sliced)
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
Crispy Wonton Chips (optional)
In bowl, combine cream cheese and garlic. Add Swiss cheese; mix until well blended. Spread cream cheese mixture in microwave safe dish.
Spoon sweet and sour sauce over cream cheese mixture. Coarsely chop crabmeat; sprinkle evenly over sauce. Microwave, uncovered, on HIGH 4 to 6 minutes or until outside edges of dip are bubbly and dip is heated through.
Meanwhile, thinly slice green onion. Sprinkle dip with green onion and almonds. Serve dip warm with Crispy Wonton Chips, if desired.