March has certainly come in like a lion this year, good grief! Thankfully, regardless of the weather, there is much to celebrate this month: St. Patrick’s Day this weekend, March Madness for basketball fans, and Easter weekend at the end of the month. All great reasons to gather with family and friends! My sister called earlier this week and asked for my favorite appetizer recipe for her St. Patty’s Day soirée this weekend. This is definitely my “go-to” recipe and I wanted to share it since some were looking for appetizer ideas during the holidays as well. This savory and delicious dip/spread is easy and quick, can be made ahead of time, doubled, and be dairy-free using vegan ingredients. It’s even green for St. Patrick’s Day! I serve it with a sliced baguette or simple crackers and there’s never ever been a drop left in my dish. This would be a welcome addition to any of your gatherings this month, enjoy!
1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
3 ounces cream cheese, SOFTENED
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 1/4 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup minced onion
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drain spinach; press between paper towels to remove excess moisture.
Combine softened cream cheese and mayonnaise in a bowl, stirring with a wire whisk until smooth. Add spinach, 1 cup Parmesan cheese, onion, and next 4 ingredients. Stir well; pour into greased 1-quart casserole dish. If serving the next day, cover and refrigerate. Make sure to take it out and leave at room temperature about 10-15 minutes before baking.
Bake uncovered for 10 minutes. Combine remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese with paprika and sprinkle over spinach. Bake 10 more minutes and serve warm with a sliced baguette or assorted crackers.
Dairy-free Option: Use dairy-free or vegan alternatives for the cream cheese and Parmesan cheese.
From The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook, 1999