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What is Artichoke Dip?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
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Artichoke dip is a creamy spread made with artichoke hearts, a cream dressing, and cheese. It is typically offered along with appetizers at a party, with guests dipping bread, crackers, or vegetables into the dip. Artichoke dip can also be used as a side or condiment to pair with various roasted meats, or a spread in sandwiches and wraps.

To make basic artichoke dip, cooks combine artichoke hearts with mayonnaise, grated Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. The goal is to use just enough mayonnaise to pull the dip together into a creamy blend, and not enough to make the dip heavy or greasy. Depending on the cook's taste, the artichoke hearts may be chopped for a coarse dip, or run through a blender for a more creamy, smooth dip.

There are a number of variations on artichoke dip. The above recipe can be heated in the microwave or oven to make a hot dip, for example. Whole artichoke hearts can be baked in a creamy blend of yogurt and cheese until they soften and the baked dip develops a golden crust for a more luxurious version of artichoke dip, and the dip can also include add-ons like paprika, baked eggplant, roasted red peppers, spinach, crab meat, and so forth.

For cooks who do not like to work with mayonnaise, artichoke dip can be made with plain yogurt, sour cream, or a cheese and milk blend which has been processed into a thick cream. Pretty much any soft cheese can be used, from cream cheese to blue cheese, and a hard cheese may also be grated into the dip for more texture. Crunchy items like pickles, olives, and so forth may also be included in this dip. The flavor of the artichokes should still be allowed to shine through, however, as they are the focal point of this spread.

As a general rule, less is more with artichoke dip. If cooks want to add extra ingredients, they should only add one to two, so that the dip does not become overwhelmed with the extra flavors. If the artichoke dip is naturally low in acidity, as is the case with a mayonnaise-based dip, it should also be refrigerated, so that it does not begin to harbor bacteria.

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Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By golf07 — On Feb 22, 2012

@julies - I have heard other people say you can't really taste the artichoke hearts in a fresh artichoke dip, but I disagree.

I have never liked the taste of artichokes and can usually tell just by looking at a dip if it has artichokes in it or not.

Once I tried a dip that I thought was safe because it looked different. Come to find out, it was an artichoke dip, but they had added some pickles to make it crunchy.

I had a hard time even swallowing the one bite I took. I know a lot of people who say the only way they will eat artichokes is in a dip. I really can't stomach them any way I have tried them.

By John57 — On Feb 21, 2012

I have never made an artichoke dip even though I enjoy the taste of them. It looks like there is a lot of work involved just for a dip.

I saw some pre-packaged dips at the store the other day, and one of them was a cheese artichoke dip. I couldn't resist and had to try it.

It really was delicious. All I had to do was warm it up in the microwave, and it tasted just like it does at my favorite restaurant.

I just wish there was some way you could make this dip taste good without being loaded with so much fat and calories.

I suppose by using yogurt instead of mayonnaise this would help, but there is still a lot of fattening ingredients in this dip.

By julies — On Feb 21, 2012

I have an awesome garlic artichoke dip that always goes over well at parties. A lot of people don't even realize they are eating artichoke hearts.

If you told them, they would probably turn their nose up at it and say they don't like artichoke hearts!

Whenever I make this I serve it in the crock pot. This way it stays warm all evening and I just refill the chips when they get low.

I have also made a spinach artichoke dip that I serve at room temperature. I usually have small pieces of bread they can spread this on.

The same thing goes with this dip - most people probably don't realize they are eating spinach and artichokes together. It tastes so good that you don't even mind!

By SarahSon — On Feb 20, 2012

I love a good artichoke dip and often order it as an appetizer at a restaurant that serves it.

When we were on a cruise they had a hot baked artichoke dip that was on their menu every day. This was a warm dip that was served with fresh tortilla chips.

Every night at dinner they had a new menu, but they also had items you could order every night, and this was one of them. I could not resist, and ordered this every night and never got tired of it.

I have had this dip served both hot and cold, and usually prefer to eat it warm. The only bad thing is it is hard to stop eating it once you start.

By anon249000 — On Feb 19, 2012

The dish looks delicious. Want to try it one of these days for our gatherings.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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