This Junior League Spinach-Artichoke Dip is Bubbly Heaven in a Casserole Dish

published Feb 8, 2022
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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk, Logo: The Junior League of Tampa

When I asked my colleagues for their favorite spinach-artichoke dip recipes for our celebrity recipe showdown, food team member Patty said she’d just read about how great The Junior League’s version was. While I had heard of The Junior League before, I was curious to learn more. What are their missions and values — and where do their beloved recipes come from?

According to the Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc.’s website, AJLI provides education and hands-on training to women to help them create positive impacts in their communities. What was started by one woman, Mary Harriman, in 1901 has grown into an international nonprofit in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Mexico, impacting hundreds of communities.

But back to the dip! In addition to volunteer work, Junior Leagues are also known for their cookbooks — and the famed spinach-artichoke dip comes from The Life of the Party, a cookbook created by The Junior League of Tampa. I was excited by the use of both pepper Jack cheese and red pepper flakes, and couldn’t wait to give it a try.

How to Make The Junior League of Tampa’s Hot and Spicy Spinach-Artichoke Dip

You’ll start by cooking the onion in butter until tender. Then, stir in thawed and drained frozen chopped spinach, cubed cream cheese, sour cream, grated Parmesan cheese, and drained, chopped artichoke hearts. Add salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to your taste preferences.

Pour the mixture into a baking dish (I used an 8×8-inch one) and top with pepper Jack cheese. Bake the dip until the cheese is melted and the mixture is bubbling. The recipe doesn’t specify an oven temperature so I baked it at 350°F, as that’s what the other recipes in this showdown used.

Credit: Amelia Rampe

My Honest Review of The Junior League of Tampa’s Hot and Spicy Spinach-Artichoke Dip

In addition to being one of the easiest spinach-artichoke dips of the bunch, it was also downright delicious. Over the course of three days, I kept coming back to it again and again. I love that it’s made with two (10-ounce) packages of frozen spinach (more spinach per pan size than any of the other recipes), which meant I got delicious and pronounced spinach bites that made the cheesy dip feel fresh. The flavors were well-balanced and the addition of pepper Jack cheese was *chef’s kiss.* 

The Junior League of Tampa understands that the real stars of spinach-artichoke dip aren’t the cheese or dairy, but the vegetables in the name. I’m still learning everything a Junior League does, but in the meantime, I know they do spinach-artichoke dip right.

Overall rating: 10/10

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

This post originally ran on Kitchn. See it there: This Junior League Spinach-Artichoke Dip Is in a League of Its Own