This gluten-free, dairy-free spinach artichoke dip is a delicious appetizer for special occasions. It’s perfect served warm with your favorite crackers or some crunchy raw vegetables.
Main ingredients and substitutions
I used fresh baby spinach in this recipe because it has the perfect melt in your mouth texture that complements the artichokes in this dish. You can substitute regular spinach if you prefer, or even frozen spinach if necessary.
If you opt for frozen spinach, cook it according to the package instructions, then drain it and add 1 cup of cooked spinach to the recipe.
I opted to use canned artichoke hearts in this recipe for convenience’ sake, but you can substitute cooked fresh artichoke hearts if you prefer.
This vegan spinach dip gets its creamy texture from cashews that have been soaked and then blended. I love using cashews in creamy vegan recipes because it mimics the texture of dairy products so well.
Another key ingredient in this dairy-free spinach artichoke dip is nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast is often used to add a cheesy flavor to vegan recipes. It’s the perfect way to trick your palate into thinking you’re eating dairy.
You can find nutritional yeast at health food stores, many grocery stores, or it can be purchased online.
A bit of arrowroot starch (also known as arrowroot flour) gives this dip a thick, creamy, satisfying texture. Arrowroot starch is a gluten-free, paleo diet friendly thickener. It’s a handy ingredient to have in the pantry and is perfect for thickening sauces, dips, and pie fillings.
You can omit the arrowroot starch if necessary – the consistency of the dip will be less thick but it will still be delicious. Arrowroot starch is available at some grocery stores or it can be purchased online.
This dip is spiced with plenty of garlic powder and onion powder. You can substitute chopped fresh garlic and onion if you prefer. Finely chopped chives would be a good alternative as well.
How to make this dairy free-spinach artichoke dip
This dip is easy to make. Start by boiling a kettle of water, then add the cashews to a bowl or pot. Pour enough boiling water over the cashews to completely submerge them, then cover the bowl or pot with a lid or plate.
Allow the cashews to soak for at least an hour (up to 12 hours is fine too if you prefer to do this step overnight). Once the cashews are done soaking, drain them and discard that liquid, rinse them well, then add them to a food processor or high powered blender.
Next you’ll add the cold water, nutritional yeast, arrowroot starch/flour, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and black pepper, then process/blend until a smooth, creamy, sauce consistency is achieved. This may take a few minutes and you may have to use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the food processor or blender in order to achieve a really smooth texture.
Once the cashew sauce is smooth and creamy, put a large frying pan on the stove and set the heat to low-medium. Add the olive oil to the pan (or you can substitute your preferred oil as long as it’s pretty neutral in flavor – I don’t recommend using coconut oil in this recipe. If you are on an oil-free diet you can omit the oil and substitute 1 tablespoon of water instead).
Allow the pan to heat up for a couple of minutes, then add the fresh baby spinach to the pan and sauté until it is wilted.
Add the chopped artichokes (I like to chop them roughly so they add a nice, chunky texture to the dip) and the cashew sauce, then cook for a few minutes to heat everything through and allow the arrowroot starch/flour to cook and thicken the dip.
Be sure to stir this dairy-free spinach artichoke dip constantly while heating or it may stick to the pan and burn. Once it’s hot and just starting to bubble, remove the pan from the heat and transfer the dip to a serving dish before enjoying.
How to serve this dip
This gluten-free spinach artichoke dip is best served warm with your favorite crackers (or try this chickpea flour crackers recipe) tortilla chips, bread, or fresh raw cut veggies. If you’re a fan of vegan cheese you can transfer the dip to an oven safe dish and top it with some shredded vegan cheese. Then set your oven to broil and allow the cheese to melt before serving. This should only take a minute or two so don’t walk away from the oven or it may burn.
Storing the leftovers
You can store this dairy-free spinach artichoke dip in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. Leftovers can be enjoyed cold but I prefer to reheat them in the microwave, oven, or on the stove.
More dairy-free recipes to try
- These vegan stuffed portobello mushrooms are perfect for special occasions. They’re gluten-free and made with simple, nutritious ingredients.
- These date and coconut balls are a tasty plant-based snack idea. They’re easy to make and nutritious.
- These vegan applesauce muffins are perfect for a make-ahead, freezer-friendly breakfast or snack.
- This vegan baked polenta is creamy, filling, and delicious.
Dairy-Free Spinach Artichoke Dip
- Food processor or high powered blender.
- 4 cups tightly packed fresh raw baby spinach
- 1 1/2 cups chopped canned artichoke hearts
- 1 cup cashews (plus enough boiling water to soak the cashews)
- 1 cup cold water
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon arrowroot starch/flour (omit if necessary)
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Add the cashews to a bowl or small pot, then pour enough boiling water over the cashews to completely submerge them.
- Cover the bowl or pot with a lid or plate and allow the cashews to soak for one hour.
- When the cashews are finished soaking, drain and discard the liquid and rinse the cashews before adding them to a food processor or high powered blender.
- Add the cold water, nutritional yeast, arrowroot starch/flour, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and pepper, then process/blend until a smooth and creamy consistency is achieved.
- Add the olive oil to a large frying pan on the stove and set the heat to low-medium.
- Allow the pan to heat up for a couple of minutes, then add the spinach to the frying pan and saute until it is wilted (this should take about 2-3 minutes).
- Add the artichokes and the blended cashew sauce to the frying pan, then continue to cook for three more minutes, stirring constantly to ensure it doesn’t burn.
- Transfer the dip to a serving dish and serve warm, or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.
- Serve this dairy-free spinach artichoke dip warm with crackers, chips, or fresh raw vegetables.
- You can omit the arrowroot starch if necessary – the consistency will be less thick but the results are still good.
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