Forget the sour cream.
Forget the cream cheese.
Spinach dip made with mascarpone cheese is an absolute winner! Lighter (texture…sorry…not in calories) and I bet you’ll love it.
I’m normally all over anything served warm, spreadable and dippable, but I had never met a spinach dip to fall in love with, that is until now. Most recipes that I’ve seen call for sour cream and cream cheese, and the combination of the two heavy ingredients make the spinach dip too thick and hides the flavor of the spinach. Which is good if you’re like my husband and don’t like spinach anyways and is in it only for the warm oozy cheese…but just so-so for Popeye fans.
The solution that I found was in a cookbook called “In a Cheesemaker’s Kitchen” by Allison Hooper, founder of the Vermont Butter and Cheese company. They not only sent me a cookbook to test recipes from, but also included a selection of their artisan cheeses, including a mascarpone cheese, which I used in their Warm Spinach Mascarpone Dip recipe.
Simply fantastic. The mascarpone cheese made the spinach dip so much lighter!
(screeeetch!) Wait. I didn’t say the dip was lighter in calories (I haven’t counted, and I probably won’t) as mascarpone is made of butterfat. But um, perfect warm spinach dip? Who’s counting?! The texture of the dip is lighter than if you used sour cream/cream cheese combo…and bonus…I can taste the spinach!
Oh and by the way, I’ve just realized that I’ve been pronouncing Mascarpone wrong all these years.
My way (i.e. the wrong way): mar-ska-pone
The right way: mas-car-pone
Warm Spinach Mascarpone Dip Recipe
- 16 ounces frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
- 1 small onion, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt (1/4 teaspoon table salt)
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (freshly grated if you have)
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder
- 8 ounces mascarpone cheese, softened at room temperature
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Take a handful of the defrosted spinach and squeeze and discard the water from the spinach. Squeeze as much of the water out as you can, you should get about a little less than a cup of spinach water.
- Heat a saute pan over medium heat. When hot, add the olive oil and swirl to coat. Add the onions and saute until soft and translucent, about 4-5 minutes (take your time, if you do this over high heat, the onions will burn and become bitter). Add the spinach and saute until the spinach is warm, but still bright green about 30 seconds.
- Season and toss with salt, pepper, nutmeg and cayenne. Turn off the heat and stir in the mascarpone cheese and the grated parmesan.
- Pour into 2 small ramekins (or other oven-safe dish) and bake for 30 minutes until the cheese is bubbling around the edges. Serve warm with pita chips, bread or celery sticks.
I made this for my husband, he loves spinach dishes. He loved it!! Really loved it!
The only thing… mine didn’t look like yours. It didn’t have that cheesy gold color. All the cheese melted and blended into the spinach. There was a bit creamy color because both are cream color but not gold. Didn’t matter though because he still loved it!! Will definitely make again. Thought it would be good in mushrooms and baked too!
Is there any chance i can make the substitution for the spinach? It looks delicious, but i want to change the spinach instead. Thank you, best regards
Use any cooked greens you want!
Why not use fresh spinach instead of frozen?
The pics look amazing! Can this be done on a mini slow cooker too?
He pics look amazing. Can this be done on a min slow cooker too?
Where is the recipe for Warm Spinach Mascarpone Dip?
eeeks! where did it go? just fixed it. thanks for heads up
No recipe? What’s the point of the blog post?
This looks so good!! I gonna try this tomorow!
If I make this, how long could I safely refrigerate it before baking?
I’ve made it the night before!
Wow is all I can say. I have tried this with cream cheese and it was very good. Your recipe takes the flavor to a higher level and I love it. Mascarpone is made for this recipe,Thankyou for this wonderful idea.
That is a unique blend to me, “Mascarpone” I must try ! Thanks For sharing. 🙂
Making this tonight for my boys watching the Fiesta Bowl!
OMG – this stuff is sooo crazy good! Thank you so much for the recipe (I blogged about it). I had forgotten how much I love mascarpone. However, Bel Giorno brand that you can get at regular markets, not so good. I have to head back over to Whole Foods for the stuff I can eat by the spoonful.
This looks so good. I’ll definitely bookmark this for my next grocery shopping trip!
Made this for Christmas Eve and everyone loved it…Very Yummy!!! Thanks for a new twist on an old dish! Love you site!
Dang American rules that require aging raw cheese 60 days! I need to find someone who will smuggle some raw Mascarpone into the country for me, just so I can make this. And those pictures. Drool-worthy. Really wish I hadn’t skipped lunch.
Looks delicious…delicious enough I’m making it for New Year’s party I’m having; thanks!
This is just evil. Pure evil. What am I going to do when my marathon training is over in January? I’m gonna have to sign up for another race so I can keep eating all these tasty morsels … that’s what I’m gonna have to do! :oP
Sounds perfect, totally my kind of dip! I’ll be trying it very soon 😀
All the best to you and the family for the holidays!
Yum! Can I eat this for breakfast? 🙂 I think this would qualify for getting my greens in at breakfast like I’m supposed to do this pregnancy.
Of course we ate all of my bread recently, so I’ll have to make some more French bread, too. . .
Brilliant! I cannot wait to try it!
Oh yeah, Mascarpone cheese blows them others away! This has got to be freakin’ amazing!
So glad to see this recipe, Jaden — you’ve validated me!!! My usual spinach and artichoke dip was made with cream cheese, which I can no longer eat due to food allergies. So this year, I used goat cheese and mascarpone as a substitute and everyone thought I was crazy. Now I can say, “See, Jaden used it, too!”
mmm…New year eve appetizer for me! Thanks !
This is what I want for Christmas.
I just made a cheddar and walnut cheese ball, but now I’m seriously wishing I had made this instead. Might just have to make a trip to the store tomorrow to squeeze it in.
This looks heavenly Jaden! My mom always makes a spinach artichoke dip whenever we have people over, but I’m sure this would be a fabulous (but not too drastic) change every once in awhile!
I think the Olive Garden uses mascarpone in their spinach artichoke dip – which is by far the best I’ve had at any restaurant. Yum!
Spinach dip is a favorite of mine. This has a different twist! It does look a lot lighter. Always good with bread . Yummy!
I don’t need any bread slices, just hand me a spoon please;)
ohhhh, i’m such a fan of warm dips. yum yum yum on this one.
I love spinach dips… and this is definitely a must try!
Happy Holidays Jaden… I feel like I found a new friend in you, I hope you stay as sweet as you are!
Anything with mascarpone is a winner in my book! This looks lovely and perfect for a quick snack!
I’m always searching for a good friend with sliced baguettes. Here it is 🙂
Mmmm This could be the death of my calorie-counting streak!
wow… this looks like a wonderful way to make this dip! I bet it would be hard to stop at a couple scoops!
That is a neat twist on regular old spinach dip! Delicious!
heartbreaking! I love that first picture. Enough to make me run out to the supermarket RIGHTNOW and get the ingredients. naughty! christmas is coming and I’m already down with the pre-holiday weight but I’m going to try this anyway =D