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Skinny Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip with Fontina Cheese Recipe

by Jeanette on December 18, 2012 · 21 Comments
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Skinny Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip © Jeanette's Healthy Living

Hug your kids and loved ones more. Hug them tighter. Each day is precious. Last Friday’s tragedy in Newtown, CT, less than an hour away from our home, has shaken our town and the entire nation. My heart breaks thinking of all the families that suffered losses and witnessed such a horrific shooting. Like many moms yesterday, I cried when I dropped my son off at the bus stop yesterday, not being able to imagine what it must be like to say goodbye to your child for the very last time and not know it.

It all just seems senseless and unimaginable. I don’t know how the families in this quaint town will be able to move forward and forgive. When something so unfathomable happens, it can also shake our faith. How could God allow something like this to happen. He loves children.

We may never understand how or why something so terrible could happen. My youngest son has asked me why this happened. He is in a state of shock that this child shot his own mother. I don’t have any answers. All I can tell him is that we need to be nice to everyone and try to love others, especially kids that might seem troubled. Perhaps the shooter felt misunderstood or unloved.

I pray for all the families that have been affected by this tragedy and are suffering deeply from their losses. I also pray for all of us that we might be more compassionate towards others that might be different from us, and reach out to them, because they are people too and need to feel loved. It is hard to love the unloved, but they need it even more than the ones that are easily loved.

Skinny Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip © Jeanette's Healthy Living

One of the ways I show my love to my boys is through my cooking. I nurture their bodies as much as I can with healthy foods that I cook for them. I pour my love into the time and attention into preparing each and every meal or snack I feed them.

This Skinny Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip is an example of a healthy after-school snack that I make for my boys, packed with nutrients and protein. They actually fight over it – it’s probably the only time I see them fight over vegetables.

It’s a variation on my Skinny Hot Spinach Dip. My secret ingredient in this dip is cottage cheese. As I’ve said in an earlier post, I’m not a fan of cottage cheese in its curdled form, but when it’s whipped smooth, low-fat cottage cheese makes a great substitute for cream cheese. It’s packed with protein and low in fat.

Recently, Sartori sent me a sampling of their finest cheeses, including the Fontina cheese that I used for this hearty dip. Fontina cheese melts more than Parmesan cheese and has a sharper taste, a nice variation if you’re looking for something special.

Skinny Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip © Jeanette's Healthy Living

We’re hosting an Open House on Christmas Eve this year, and this Skinny Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip will be making an appearance on our menu. I’ll also be making Sartori’s Baby Field Green Salad with their Merlot BellaVitano cheese, and a pasta salad with spinach, red bell peppers, chickpeas, and Basil and Olive Oil Asiago with a Pomegranate Vinaigrette.

Out of curiosity, I entered this recipe into Calorie Count. Here are the Nutrition Facts for this recipe:

Serving Size: 94 grams (~ 1/2 cup)
Calories: 68
Total Fat: 2.8g
Saturated Fat: 1.6g
Cholesterol: 9 mg
Dietary Fiber: 1.8g
Sugar: 1.1 g
Protein 7.1 g
Vitamin A: 93%
Calcium: 11%
Iron: 4%

Not bad, considering Boston Market’s Spinach and Artichoke Dip has more than twice the calories, and about three times the saturated fat and cholesterol, and 2 grams less protein than this skinny dip.

This dip is perfect for entertaining over the holidays. Just don’t tell your guests what the secret ingredient is (shhh).

5 from 1 reviews
Skinny Spinach and Artichoke Dip with Fontina Cheese
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This makes a great party appetizer. No one will know this is actually good for them.
Serves: 12
  • 8.5 ounces artichoke hearts (14 ounce can artichoke hearts, drained)
  • 1½ cups 1% low-fat cottage cheese
  • 16 ounce pack frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of cayenne
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1½ cups Fontina cheese, shredded
  • paprika, for garnish
  1. Place artichoke hearts in food processor bowl and pulse until coarsely chopped; remove to a bowl.
  2. Place cottage cheese in food processor bowl and process until smooth.
  3. Squeeze excess water from defrosted spinach; reserve.
  4. Heat oil in large skillet. Add onion and garlic, and saute until onions are soft, about 3-4 minutes. Add spinach, chopped artichokes, nutmeg, cayenne, and pepper to taste. Cook until warmed through and excess liquid evaporates. Turn off heat and add pureed cottage cheese and grated Fontina cheese. Stir until warmed through and cheese melts.
  5. Spoon into serving dish and sprinkle with a little paprika.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ½ cup Calories: 68 Fat: 2.8

Disclosure: Sartori provided me with samples to try their cheeses in various recipes of my choice. Their cheeses are to quality, and are certified rBST-free, so they are free of added hormones. I also like the fact that Sartori partners with local dairy farmers.

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  1. I’m kind of obsessed with spinach dip, but never make it because it’s TERRIBLE for you. So great to see this skinny version! I’ll have to give it a try!

  2. This looks delicious, Jeanette! I love Spinach Artichoke dip. The idea of a dip that doesn’t include ALL of my daily calories would be a welcome one!!

  3. Such a beautiful post, Jeanette. Thank you for sharing your poignant words with us.

    I’m a big fan of spinach artichoke dip and I absolutely LOVE everything you did to lighten it up! Great use for cottage cheese, which is something I always have on hand.

  4. You are right, Jeanette, every day is precious…a fact that’s easy to forget when life with kids gets hard. I want to keep this all at the forefront of my mind.

  5. I have been hugging and kissing and squeezing them like never before… I still can’t believe that happened. My heart hurts for all the victims and their loved ones.

  6. Thank you for these thoughtful words and this delicious skinny dip. I LOVE spinach artichoke in every form, and LOVE it even more now that it’s skinny. Going to make it for my stepson tonight who is at that age where hugs are not cool, but food is!

  7. our favorite dip! I am SO making this

  8. Maria Rodlund says:

    I hug all of my boys that night ages 21,19 and 10 my thoughts and prayers are with all the family.

    Sorry I also need to ask can this dip be kept warm in a crock pot.

  9. Maria Rodlund says:

    Can this be kept warm in a crock pot

    • Maria – I’ve never tried keeping it warm in a crockpot, but I think it should be fine. Please let me know if you try it, I’d love to hear if it works.

  10. Thanks everyone – cooking is my way of showing my family that I love them, although I’ve been giving everyone extra hugs and kisses too.

  11. yummy! I love that’s it’s the skinny version, that means I can eat more of it right? and maybe slack on the workouts…yep dreaming I am!
    I LOVE this :)
    It’s so sad what happened in Ct. it really breaks my heart!

  12. I love spinach and artichoke dip especially the bad fatty kind so I love that you’ve given me a SKINNY VERSION! This is fantastic!

  13. Beautiful post, Jeanette. Food is always how my family shows love too–my grandma’s Christmas cookies, my mom’s famous potato casserole. We’re not a demonstrative family, but we sure do eat a lot!

  14. Huge hugs to you and your family, Jeanette. It is completely senseless. :(

    bout your dip – it looks so good! I love that you used fontina cheese.

  15. I love the use of cottage cheese here to lighten things up. Perfect for a snack or holiday entertaining. Gotta love a dip that does double duty!

  16. This dip just blew my mind. Seriously. I just recently have started making a huge effort to lighten our meals and prepare whole, local, and lowfat/low carb. I have previously enjoyed cream cheese/mayo laden dips like this but my husband and I are both reaching an age where we can’t eat anything and everything. I LOVE to cook, but in the past few weeks I have had to do a complete overhaul of my pantry, fridge, and cookbooks, not to mention a whole new set of cooking/preparing skills (adding smoothies, homemade hummus, etc…) I love this recipe so much because when you’re new to eating healthy/whole it gets kind of boring. no more pork verde enchiladas. no more spaghetti and meatballs. But this makes it fun again – I’m beginning to see that healthy food isn’t boring, you just have to be more creative. Thanks for posting, I’ll be checking your blog for recipes!

    • Heidi, so you glad you tried this dip and liked it. My friends love this dip as do my kids. Lowfat cottage cheese is a great substitute for cream cheese in many recipes. Eating healthier definitely doesn’t mean skimping on taste. I’m a foodie at heart and love to eat, so although I try to cook healthy for my family and friends, whatever I make has to taste really good. Hope you enjoy more recipes from my blog. By the way, you can make healthier spaghetti and meatballs by using lean ground meat (turkey, chicken, 92% lean beef), and ground oatmeal or whole grain bread crumbs. Served over whole grain pasta (check the proper serving size) and a nice green salad (with a light dressing), this can actually be a fairly healthy meal.

  17. hmm.. mine came out very watery.. pretty disgusting actually..

    • Moon, so sorry to hear yours didn’t come out. Not sure what happened. I’ve made this a bunch of times and haven’t had that happen. Did you drain the artichokes, squeeze the spinach dry and cook the vegetables until there was no liquid left? The only other thing I can think of is the cottage cheese. If there was any excess liquid on top of the container, be sure to pour it off.

  18. This looks great! You had me at skinny…I have to try it. Thanks!

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