Super healthy vegan spinach artichoke dip with chickpeas and sunflower seeds, this is one of our favorite vegan dips.
VEGAN SPINACH ARTICHOKE DIP
I make a lot of dips or bread spreads and definitely a lot of different chickpea spreads, but this vegan spinach dip with artichokes one really stands out.
I posted the original recipe for the vegan spinach artichoke dip many years ago, when I had just started with the blog. It was a recipe I had found on Love and Lemons, however the recipe developed ever since and it is quite different now.
The main change for me is to use Parmesan instead of nutritional yeast most of the times now.
Nutritional yeast tastes great in this combination and this is the way I used to make this vegan spinach artichoke dip before, but as we are not vegans, not even vegetarians, I don't buy the nutritional yeast that often, it is just too expensive and hard to find.
However, I tried this artichoke and spinach dip both with Parmesan and nutritional yeast repeatedly, it works very well both ways.
Another change is that I only use spinach to make this vegan artichoke dip nowadays. The original recipe used kale, but I find spinach so much better.
I often think that the kale we get in Germany is different from the one you get in the UK or US, thougher, it needs a longer cooking time to become soft and palatable.
Spinach is easier, it only takes minutes to cook, it is softer and more delicate.
INGREDIENTS FOR THE VEGAN SPINACH ARTICHOKE DIP
Canned or jarred artichokes?
- Theoretically, you could use either canned artichoke hearts in brine or jarred artichokes hearts in oil. The brined version will have less calories, but I think the artichoke hearts in oil taste so much better that I prefer not to think about the extra calories.
- Canned artichokes have a rather strong citric acid taste. The citric acid is used to preserve the artichokes’ color, but I often find it too dominant.
- Jarred artichokes in oil are milder and have a superior taste and consistency.
Fresh or frozen spinach?
- I use frozen spinach for convenience. You only need a small amount of spinach – about 1 handful – but fresh spinach only comes in large packages. So, I prefer to defrost the small amount from the bag of frozen spinach I always have in my freezer.
- If you would rather use fresh spinach, wash about 2-3 handfuls fresh spinach and place them while still wet in a saucepan. Let the spinach wilt on medium low heat for a few minutes. Drain well and chop finely once cooled.
Nutritional yeast or cheese?
- Nutritional yeast is a food additive sold in the form of flakes or powder. It has a nutty, cheesy taste and that makes it a popular substitute for cheese in vegan recipes. It can be bought in natural food stores, at least I have only been able to buy it there.
- If you are not trying to make this artichoke spinach dip vegan, you can use grated Parmesan instead, I do that often because I don't always have nutritional yeast in the house.
- However, keep in mind that Parmesan is not even vegetarian, so if aiming to make the dip at least vegetarian, choose a vegetarian hard cheese.
HOW TO MAKE COLD SPINACH DIP?
Spinach artichoke dip:
- Cook the spinach covered and stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes or until fully thawed.
- Give to a fine mesh sieve and let drain. When cool, squeeze it well to remove excess moisture.
- Drain the artichoke hearts and reserve 1 tablespoon of the oil.
- Drain the chickpeas, reserve ⅓ of the chickpeas for the topping.
- Reserve 1 tablespoon of the sunflower seeds as well.
- Place the artichoke hearts, sunflower seeds, chickpeas, nutritional yeast (or Parmesan if not vegan or vegetarian), garlic, mustard, lemon juice, coriander, cumin, red chili flakes, water, the reserved oil from the artichokes, some salt and pepper in the food processor.
- Mix until creamy and adjust seasoning.
- Add the finely chopped spinach and chives.
Crispy sunflower seeds and chickpeas:
- Heat a frying pan on medium heat. Add the reserved sunflower seeds and roast shortly until golden. Shake the pan often and make sure you don't let them burn. Remove from the pan.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in the same frying pan. Add the remaining chickpeas and cook, shaking the pan often, until lightly brown and crunchy, about 10 minutes.
- Top the artichoke dip with the crispy sunflower seeds and chickpeas.
HOW TO SERVE THE VEGAN DIP?
My favorite way of enjoying this vegan spinach artichoke dip is with crispbread or spelt crackers. A few fresh tomato and cucumber slices on the side and you will have a super healthy and delicious dinner or lunch in no time.
You can make sandwiches to take to work or open faced sandwiches.
You can also serve the artichoke spinach dip with vegetable sticks or with roasted (or boiled) potatoes.
OTHER VEGAN DIPS OR SPREADS
Ajvar Recipe - Balkan Food - a vibrant, smoky and delicious vegetable spread with roasted red peppers and eggplants.
Muhammara Dip - spicy Syrian dip with roasted red peppers and walnuts.
Homemade Chocolate Nut Spread - a decadent nut butter and dark chocolate spread.
White Bean Dip with Caramelized Onions - a traditional Romanian white bean dip with lots of garlic - fasole batuta.
PIN THIS FOR LATER
Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip
- a handful of frozen spinach See note 1
- 1 jar artichoke hearts in oil about 6 artichoke hearts
- ½ cup raw sunflower seeds divided
- 1 can chickpeas divided
- ½ cup nutritional yeast See note 2
- 1 large garlic clove
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 ½ tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon red chili flakes more or less to taste
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 2 tablespoons chives
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt or Kosher, more or less to taste
- 1 pinch black pepper
- Thaw spinach: Place the spinach in a small saucepan and let thaw on medium-low heat, covered and occasionally stirring for about 5 minutes or until fully thawed. Place into a fine-mesh sieve and let drain and cool while you prepare the rest.
- Drain the artichoke hearts and reserve 1 tablespoon of the oil. Next, drain the chickpeas, reserve ⅓ of the chickpeas for the topping. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the sunflower seeds as well.
- Mix: Place the artichoke hearts, sunflower seeds (minus the 1 tablespoon reserved for the topping), chickpeas (minus the reserved ones), nutritional yeast (or Parmesan), garlic, mustard, lemon juice, coriander, cumin, red chili flakes, water, the reserved oil from the artichokes, some salt, and pepper in the food processor. Mix until creamy.
- Squeeze the spinach well to remove excess water, chop finely and add to the dip. Finely chop and add the chives as well. Adjust the taste again.
- Roast seeds: Heat a frying pan on medium heat. Add the reserved sunflower seeds and roast shortly until golden. Shake the pan often, and make sure you don't let them burn. Remove from the pan.
- Roast chickpeas: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in the same frying pan. Add the remaining chickpeas and cook, shaking the pan often, until lightly brown and crunchy, about 10 minutes.
- Top the artichoke dip with crispy sunflower seeds and chickpeas. Serve as suggested above.
- If you would like to use fresh spinach, see blog post for instructions.
- You can use vegetarian hard cheese for a vegetarian artichoke spinach dip or Parmesan, if you are not vegan or vegetarian.