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Dairy Free Spinach Artichoke Dip

A creamy and delicious baked vegan spinach artichoke dip, served warm from the oven and made from scratch with cashew mozzarella. Naturally vegan, dairy-free, and paleo!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Servings 3 cups
Calories 111 kcal
Author Yup, it’s Vegan
Modified by IHH Clinic

Ingredients

For the vegan spinach artichoke dip:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 white onion thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 7-oz jar artichoke hearts drained and roughly chopped
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach (about 2 ounces) thinly sliced
  • ground black pepper and chili flakes (optional, to taste)

For the cashew mozzarella:

  • 1/4 cup raw cashews soaked (see notes)
  • 1 cup plain, unsweetened non-dairy milk room temperature or warm
  • ¼ cup COYO brand natural yogurt
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp + 1/2 tsp tapioca starch (see notes about substitutions)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional, see notes)
  • 1/4 tsp paprika

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Prep the vegetables:

  • In a small skillet or sauté pan, warm the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, for 4-5 minutes or until the onion is somewhat translucent.
  • Toss together the artichoke hearts, spinach, onion and garlic mixture from the skillet (including oil), black pepper, and chili flakes (if using keep in mind that the spinach will shrink significantly once the hot cashew cheese hits it.

Make the cashew cheese:

  • Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor, until smooth (or as smooth as you can get it). If not using a high-powered blender like a Vitamix, make sure to blend or process for 60 seconds and pour through a mesh sieve before continuing.
  • Pour the mixture into a saucepan and turn the heat to medium. Stir every few seconds, making sure to scrape around the bottom of the saucepan to keep from sticking. The mixture will start to get chunky in places; when you see this happening, start to stir constantly until the mixture smooths out again and becomes one cohesive, somewhat stretchy mass. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for another 2 minutes, then remove from the heat.

Bake the vegan spinach artichoke dip:

  • Place the dip into the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, or until hot all the way through and the top is slightly crusty and browned.
  • Serve immediately, with chips, crackers or toasted bread of your choosing. Be careful, as the inside will be hot.

Recipe Notes
Soak the cashews overnight, but if you forget, simply put them in a bowl with water and microwave for 90-120 seconds at a time or until very softened.

Some people don’t like nutritional yeast in ‘cheese’ recipes and I tend to be one of them. I think it is easy to go overboard and overpower the other flavors. But in this instance, just one tablespoon adds savory notes and balance to the dish; however, you can omit it if you don’t keep nutritional yeast on hand, or don’t like its flavor.

Tapioca starch is the same thing as tapioca flour and it’s made by Bob’s Red Mill as well as other brands. Look in the baking aisle or natural section of your grocery store.

I don’t recommend making a substitution for the tapioca starch if you can avoid it. Cornstarch or arrowroot starch may work to thicken the dip but tapioca starch is definitely the best at making it gooey and stretchy!

I recently updated this recipe to include the formerly optional step of sautéing the onions and garlic before cooking the dip. I also changed the recipe to use regular paprika instead of smoked paprika. After trying it a few times with different brands and amounts of smoked paprika I have made it both ways, but prefer it without.

VARIATIONS: Use blanched kale or other greens instead of the spinach. Add jalapeno to the sauté mixture for an extra kick.