All year long, our family meals require some mental gymnastics to ensure that that I prepare at least one item that appeals to each family member — no easy feat with five kids! So I reserve the right to make Mother’s Day all about what I want to eat…
Topping my list this year is this scrumptious take on my favorite appetizer at Olive Garden, the popular Spinach & Artichoke Dip. I’ve taken the liberty of lightening it up a bit by swapping in 1/3 fat cream cheese, artichokes canned in water, and mozzarella cheese for some of the high fat and calorie ingredients.
Trust me, this version is every bit as tasty, and the best part is it’s so simple to make,that my husband can throw it together, allowing me a little bit of rest and relaxation on this special day!
Lightened Up Spinach Artichoke Dip
- 1 block (8 oz.) 1/3 less fat cream cheese
- 1 cup mascarpone cheese
- 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 can (14 oz.) artichoke hearts in water, drained and chopped
- 1 package (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach
- 1 Roma tomato, chopped (optional)
- crackers, for serving
- Preheat your over to 350 degrees.
- Thaw, drain and squeeze the spinach dry. Set aside.
- Thoroughly combine the cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, garlic and crushed red pepper.
- Fold in the artichoke hearts and chopped spinach.
- Spread mixture in a baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, until the mixture is bubbly and browning on top.
- Garnish with tomato (optional) and serve with crackers.