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Overhead closeup of vegan spinach dip.
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5 from 6 votes

Vegan Spinach Dip (Cheezy + Healthy)

This creamy vegan spinach dip is secretly healthy and you can chow down without any guilt at all. The creamy base is made with vegan yogurt, white beans and nutritional yeast. Stir in sweet caramelized onions and spinach, then blanket all that goodness with panko bread crumbs and vegan cheese shreds, and bake until hot and bubbly. This is a soy-free recipe and you can easily make it nut-free and gluten-free.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Dip/Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: Vegan Spinach Dip
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 145kcal

Ingredients

  • tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (divided)
  • 2 medium onions (thinly sliced. You can use yellow or red onions)
  • 3 cloves garlic (crushed or minced)
  • 5 oz baby spinach (or regular spinach, roughly chopped)
  • 2 cups white beans (I used cannellini, but any white beans are fine. If you are using canned beans, 2 cups will be around 2 15-oz cans, drained)
  • 1 cup vegan yogurt (use any you like and a nut-free yogurt if you're nut-free. Make sure the yogurt is unsweetened. You can also use a cup of vegan sour cream instead of the yogurt)
  • 4 oz vegan mozzarella shreds (divided)
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder (or flakes)
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon paprika (optional. Can also use cayenne if you want more heat in the dip)
  • teaspoons dried oregano (or sage, or a mix of both. You can also use thyme or rosemary or marjoram)
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs (or any breadcrumbs. Use gf breadcrumbs if gluten-free)
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit/190 degrees Celsius.
  • Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a wide skillet or saucepan. Add the thinly sliced onions, a generous pinch of black pepper and salt and cook, stirring frequently, for about 10-12 minutes over medium heat until the onions are nicely caremelized and a rich golden-brown.
  • Stir in the garlic and saute for a few seconds.
  • Add the roughly chopped spinach to the skillet and stir for a minute or so until the spinach has wilted. Turn off the heat.
  • Place the beans and yogurt in a food processor bowl with the nutritional yeast, nutmeg, onion powder or flakes, paprika, if using, two teaspoons of the dried herbs and salt to taste. Add ¾ cup of water (or the bean cooking liquid, if you cooked the beans from scratch). Process until you have a very smooth paste with no graininess--this will take a few minutes depending on how powerful your food processor is. The dip at this point should be a bit runnier than you want the final dish to be because it will thicken up as it bakes.
  • Add the spinach and caramelized onion mixture to the food processor and pulse a few times. You can choose how chunky or smooth you want the dip to be at this point--pulse just three or four times if you want discernible pieces of onions and spinach in the dip. Or pulse a few more times until everything has broken down and is still discernible but not chunky.
  • Add half the vegan mozzarella shreds to the food processor and pulse 2-3 times to mix.
  • In a bowl, mix the remaining mozzarella shreds with the breadcrumbs, the remaining half a teaspoon of herbs, the remaining ½ tablespoon of olive oil and salt and ground black pepper to taste.
  • Scrape the dip out of the food processor and into a 1 ½ to 2 quart baking dish. Smooth the top.Sprinkle the breadcrumb-cheese mixture evenly over the top.
  • Place the baking dish into the preheated oven and bake 25 minutes or until the dip is bubbling at the sides. Turn on the broiler for two minutes so the panko-cheeze topping turns golden-brown. Remove the dip from the oven.
  • Serve hot with vegetable crudites or crackers or wedges of toasted pita bread.

Notes

  • If you have a pretty skillet that can go from the stove to the oven, you can reduce cleanup by caramelizing the onions and then assembling and baking the dip in the skillet.
  • Make sure the yogurt you use is not too tangy and is unsweetened.
  • Add cayenne or red pepper flakes instead of paprika if you want more heat in the dip.
  • Tweak consistency: You can determine the consistency of the dip by pulsing the onion-spinach mixture fewer times for a chunkier spread, and a few more times for a very creamy spread.
  • Serving: Serve the spinach dip with an assortment of crackers and crudites so there is something for everyone to dip. Baby carrots, celery, wedges of cucumber, bell pepper and iceberg lettuce are all great choices. Slices of toasted baguette would also work beautifully with this dip. I love scooping up this dip with wedges of toasted pita bread or pita chips.
  • Storage: You can assemble the dip early, cover the baking dish with cling wrap and bake the next day. Or you can freeze it, unbaked, for up to three months. Uncover, thaw and bake as instructed. Leftovers of the baked dip can be refrigerated for up to three days. You can also freeze the baked dip for up to three months. Defrost and reheat in a 375-degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until bubbly.

Nutrition

Calories: 145kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 31mg | Potassium: 295mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1156IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 2mg