Everyone in my family loves hot artichoke dip. What is not to love, really, about a dish so creamy, so cheesy, and so replete with garlic… especially when it’s right out of the oven.

Because it is so creamy and cheesy (most recipes call for mayonnaise or sour cream, as well as cream cheese and several types of shredded cheese), hot artichoke dip is generally not very healthy. It isn’t something I would typically make; it’s one of those foods I would seek out at parties (and believe me, I’d get pretty sad if there was none).

The impetus to attempt a healthier version of this dip came from my kids. As I mentioned before, they just love this dish, and I am all for something that inspires them to eat raw vegetables with gusto. In my home, I serve this as an appetizer with organic corn chips and/or rice crackers, but I also put out lots of crudites: we particularly like it with baby carrots, sliced cucumbers, and red pepper strips.

This version is chunky and heavy on the garlic. It still contains cheese, but cuts down on the fat a bit and ups the good-for-you factor by using Greek yogurt and no mayonnaise, sour cream, or cream cheese. It might not be as creamy or rich as artichoke dip recipes you’ve tried in the past, but it’s still delicious…and can be enjoyed without feeling guilty at your next get-together. I’m not a football fan but I believe the Superbowl is coming up, right?!

Recipe for Hot Artichoke and Garlic Dip

Inspired by Eating Well

Ingredients:

* two 14-ounce cans artichoke hearts, organic if possible, rinsed and drained
* 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (divided)
* 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese or Italian 4-cheese blend, organic if possible
* 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
* 6 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced (use less if you are not a garlic lover)
* 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest, preferably from a Meyer lemon
* smoked paprika or cayenne pepper, to taste- optional

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

2. Chop artichoke hearts by hand (or use a food processor for a smoother dip).

3. In a large bowl, mix the artichoke hearts with 1 cup Parmesan cheese, 1 cup shredded mozzarella or 4-cheese blend, Greek yogurt, garlic, and lemon zest. Note that if you want a smooth dip, you can puree all the ingredients in a food processor; I personally prefer a chunky dip.

4. Transfer to a suitable sized baking dish (I use a round pie plate) and sprinkle with the reserved 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese.

5. Cover the dish with foil and bake until the dip is heated through and bubbly, about 20 minutes. You can uncover it for the last 5 minutes so it browns a bit on the top, if you like. Sprinkle with the optional smoked paprika or cayenne pepper, and serve warm with sliced baguette, pita bread, all natural chips or rice crackers, and/or raw vegetables.

More hot artichoke dips that look great:

Vegan Hot Artichoke Dip from Gluten Free Goddess
Light Spinach Artichoke Dip from Ingredients, Inc.
Artichoke Dip Make Healthy from The Healthy home Economist