Hot & Cheesy Artichoke Dip

Confession time: I don’t love artichokes.  I know!  And even worse: only a few months ago, I would have avoided them at all costs.  I’m talking pick around them in spinach artichoke dip, leave them off the pizza, and steamed artichokes? Forget about it!

But let me just say that my taste buds have turned a corner lately.  I now admittedly love artichokes on pizza, and I’m much more open to trying them in different recipes.  Which is why they are showing up today in this hot and cheesy artichoke dip.

We recently went on a date night in Columbia to Flat Branch Pub & Brewing.  Everyone around here kept raving about this place – the food, the beer and specifically the Chokes and Cheese Dip.  I thought, “yeah right, I’m sure it will be OK.”  Um, you guys, it was MORE than OK.  It was one of THOSE recipes that Paul and I sat as we ate and dissected each and every bite until we figured out the ingredients.  And then it made an appearance in our kitchen only about two weeks later.

Hot & Cheesy Artichoke Dip

I guess it’s a little unique because they serve it in a bread bowl and who doesn’t love bread and cheese together?  And it has just a little bit of spice that adds the perfect amount of flavor, but not too much heat.  And then the artichokes – the perfect balance of flavor and texture with the cheese.  Overall winner and I think the next time we go back I am ordering this for my meal.  Let’s say this dip is quickly turning around my opinion of artichokes! 

Hot & Cheesy Artichoke Dip

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Hot Cheesy Artichoke Dip

Yield: 4 cups; 2 dip bowls

Total Time: 35 min

My take on a Flat Branch Pub & Brewing's Chokes and Cheese Dip - artichoke dip with 3 cheeses and a little bit of spice, served in a bread bowl.

Ingredients:

1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup shredded Parmesan
1 cup mozzarella cheese
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 (15-ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped well
1 green onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut a hole in the top of a two bread bowls and scoop out the bread inside, creating a cavity for the dip. Set aside the extra bread for dipping later.

In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, Parmesan, mozzarella and cream cheese until smooth. Mix in the artichokes, green onions, garlic and season with salt pepper and cayenne pepper and stir well until all ingredients are well-distributed.

Divide the filling evenly between the two prepared bread bowls. Cover lightly with a small piece of aluminum foil. Bake in the 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes, until heated through. Top with an additional sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and serve with carrots, celery and/or chips, and the reserved bread.

Cassie's Notes:
This recipe will feed a crowd - and it's rich! So if you are having a small gathering, I would suggest halving the recipe.

The dip mixture is also amazing served cold!

Also, if you prefer spinach in your artichoke dip, add 6 ounces of fresh chopped spinach or 12 ounces of frozen spinach (thawed and squeezed of water) to the mixture before baking in the bread bowl.

Inspired by Flat Branch Pub & Brewing's Chokes and Cheese Dip

Hot & Cheesy Artichoke Dip