I could eat an entire meal made of up appetizers. I love everything appetizers have to offer: small dishes, cute sauces, finger foods and you can eat them without putting down your cocktail.
I have a few app favorites – but my one achilles heel is a warm and bubbly spinach and artichoke dip.
The proper (read: best) way to enjoy spinach and artichoke dip is on crispy sea salt pita chips or toasted naan. If you put that in front of me at a party, I would never leave the table, I don’t care who showed up at the door.
But I can’t just make a casserole dish of spinach and artichoke dip and eat it for dinner. (Grown ups don’t do that, do they?). So instead, I looked for another way to enjoy the flavors of the dip that I love that would be an acceptable – and healthier? – option. And guess what? I found one! This vegetarian dinner (I’m looking at YOU, Meatless Monday!) is made with spaghetti squash instead of using crackers or breads as the dip vessel.
NOTE: despite what you might think from 2 spaghetti squash posts in one month, I am not being paid by the National Spaghetti Squash Council to bring awareness to the squash. It just so happens that the old spaghetti squash is not only tasty, it’s versatile!
Cheesy Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
Basically, you can take your favorite spinach and artichoke dip, and at the end when everything is being mixed together, you add in the cooked spaghetti squash until blended. Then put the mixture back into the hollowed out squash shells and bake like you would a dip until everything is hot and melty.
First, cut the spaghetti squash in half the long way (BE CAREFUL!) and scoop out the seeds.
Then drizzle the squash insides with olive oil and salt and pepper. Place them face down on a baking sheet lined with foil and bake until soft. Let cool until you can handle them, and then scoop out all the string flesh into a bowl.
Meanwhile, make your favorite spinach and artichoke dip. I feel like everyone had a recipe for this dish that they love. I tend to mix and match. a few different recipes. This night, I cooked down the onions in oil and butter until they were soft, and then I mixed in the cream cheese and cheeses, then folded in fresh spinach and chopped artichoke hearts.
Next, add in the cooked spaghetti squash flesh. (Is there a better word for flesh? Because I’m starting to feel a little like Hannibal Lecter over here).
Once mixed, divide the mixture between the spaghetti squash shells and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, until everything looks melted and slightly browned.
Enjoy the right from the shells with a nice side salad or veggie.
I hope you try this as a weeknight meal. I actually made this recipe on a Sunday, stuffed the shells, and then baked them 2 days later. It really saved me time of cooking and prep on a busy school night.
Just writing this blog post had made me hungry!