Mexican Spinach Dip

 

 

Spicy  Spinach Dip

 

Last week was crazy busy! It was like we were trying to accomplish 2 months of summer activities in one week. My husband is preparing to leave for job training and we are trying to spend every moment possible together.  Something had to give, so I apologize for not being present last week.

Being out and about nearly all day left us stopping for dinner. It never fails that when we go out for dinner that everyone wants to order an appetizer. The hardest part about this is getting the entire family to agree on one.

My husband and son often try to convince my daughter that we should share buffalo wings.  My daughter doesn’t like wings, so that never wins.

Once someone suggests the spinach dip, all minds are made up. Spinach dip it is!

Spinach Dip Recipe

Of course, having tried lots of different spinach dips at a variety of restaurants, I have been on a mission to create my own version.

I finally created one that is a delicious balance of flavors and texture.  It is a combination of queso and spinach dip!

 

Mexican Spinach Dip | Pick Fresh Foods

 

We love queso dip. There is a popular queso dip made with Velveeta cheese and Rotel tomatoes. We’ve had it many times, but the problem with that dip is it is made with a process cheese.

The food science lover in me can appreciate the creation of this cheese food, but the healthier, natural side of me could live without the extra ingredients, such as preservatives and food coloring.

If you’re interested in knowing…process cheese is made by heating and adding emulsifiers to natural cheese. This kills any microorganisms to increase shelf life and reduces spoilage. In the process of heating salts make the protein molecules smaller, so the cheese is more soluble has an increase ability to bind to water. This is why process cheese is kind of rubbery, but it also helps the cheese melt evenly.

Okay, food science lesson is over. :D

 

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Mexican Spinach Dip

Now, back to this delicious Mexican Spinach Dip.

It is made with natural Monterey jack cheese and is make thick by creating an easy béchamel sauce.

This sauce produces a deliciously creamy and cheesy dip.

Then, I add in lots of great nutrient rich spinach. Spinach is a great source of vitamins K, which helps support good bone health.

Lastly, I add some Rotel tomatoes for the perfect amount of spiciness.

 

Spinach Queso Reicpe

I love this Mexican Spinach Dip. Take a bite and taste all of this creamy, cheesy, spinach goodness!

 

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Mexican Spinach Dip
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Ingredients
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • 4 tbsp all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1½ cups fat free milk, divided
  • 1 cup sweet onion, diced
  • 10 oz Monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups frozen leaf spinach
  • 10 oz rotel tomatoes
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan melt 2 tbsp of butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  2. Slowly whisk in 1 cup of milk; cook until sauce thickens about 5 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Toss Monterey jack cheese with 2 tbsp of flour; set aside.
  4. In a large saucepan melt 1 tbsp of butter over medium high heat. Add onions and sauté until soft; about 5 minutes.
  5. Add remaining ½ cup milk, cream sauce, cheese, and spinach to the saucepan. Stir to melt cheese.
  6. Add in tomatoes and salt. Stir and cook until sauce is thickened and cheese in melted; about 5 minutes.
  7. Serve with your favorite chips.

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Cindy I absolutely love your Mexican spinach dip! When we go out to eat and actually splurge on an appetizer, it’s totally what we order. And appetizers are like 10 bucks these days….so making it at home (with your healthier version) is totally the right idea! I cannot wait to try this.

    Maybe I’m a dork, but I love the science lesson about processed cheese. I am freaked out by processed cheese actually and don’t let the family eat much of it, preservatives and added coloring are rare in my home. It’s kind of the equivalent to eating bleach.

    And being from Buffalo, we know about wings! I don’t even like wings, haha and never eat them. But we do have some great wing places here, Duffs in particular is excellent, or so I hear!!

    Glad you got to spend time with your husband and family, so very important!!

    • Thanks Laura! I’m happy to know that someone else aside from myself loves food science. I love knowing how things work and why ingredients are added. Not that I like the ingredients, but at least I know why they are used.
      My son would love to go to Buffalo and have real wings. He is crazy for those things. I’d rather pass. I’m not a fan of meat on a bone.
      Isn’t crazy how expensive appetizers can be?! This Mexican spinach is delicious and better than what I’ve had at a restaurant :D

  2. I am happy with anything that is Mexican related. This looks delicious too.

  3. A combo of queso and spinach dip??? Oh my do I need this in my belly!! haha I get weirded out by the processed cheeses … there’s just something about them…

    But seriously this sounds amazing! I hope you are spending lots of time with your husband before he leaves – that’s most important!

    • Thanks Ashley :D You mean you don’t like that bouncy cheese that seems to never spoil? Haha It is pretty strange. That is why I love this dip…natural delicious cheese that is just as creamy.

  4. Yum! This sounds amazing and reminds me of my favorite spinach quesadillas from a local Tex Mex joint :)

    • Oh, spinach quesadillas sound fantastic. I’ve never had those, but have made spinach enchiladas and they were so good. Thanks Medha

  5. Ooh Cindy, this looks so great!! Spinach dip is definitely a crowd pleaser around here (and so is queso), so I know already this will be a big hit! And your food science lessons are always so interesting. :) I love that you eliminated the processed cheese and that this is packed with spinach!

    Best of luck to your husband with his job training! Family time always comes first. :)

    • Thanks Alyssa! You are so right, family does come first :D I’m happy to hear that you like my tidbits of information. For some reason my kids roll their eyes when I start talking science stuff. haha
      Hope you enjoy the dip as much as we do :D

  6. Loved the science lesson Cindy! And spinach dip is one of my favorites too! I LOVE your version! It looks so creamy, fresh and flavorful!!

    • I know…school is out and I can’t get away from this stuff :D I have this chain reaction thinking that is always on. Thanks Renee

  7. This dish looks absolutely incredible Cindy! I love spinach dip and queso, but combining them is pure genius. I’m pinning this one! My husband would love it too.

    • Thanks Danielle :D I love both separately, but together it is amazing! I could skip the meal and just have this for dinner :D You’re awesome, thanks for Pinning!

  8. Cindy you had me a Mexican dip, fabulous recipe. Happy to hear you spend time with your family. I find it important for the soul :)

    • Thanks Kathy. When it comes down to it family is always first. Time passes way to fast to miss out of quality time, right? :D

  9. Aren’t restaurant decisions the worst? It’s just my husband and I, and sometimes we have a hard time deciding what appetizer or dessert to get if we choose to order one, so i can only imagine how it must be with kids. Spinach dip gets me every time, and my husband loves queso, so what a brilliant idea to combine them together! Wish I had some chips to dunk into this dip right now.

    • Oh my goodness, Gayle we decided either or when it comes to appetizers and dessert. Eating out can get so expensive when you have kids. Sadly, my days of kids meals are gone. Now it is 4 adult meals. Needless to say, we don’t go out all that often.
      So, it is great to be able to create tasty food at home. This dip is fantastic :D

  10. Its like spinach dip meets queso… genius! Sounds like the perfect appetizer to snack on Cindy! Hope you had lots of sweet time with the fam. :)

    • Thanks Krista! It was a wonderful week. We loved snacking on this Mexican Spinach Dip. The hardest part was getting everyone to wait for me to get some photos :D

  11. Mmmm … spinach dip is a fave … and so is queso dip!!! So I already know that I’ll love, love, love this!! :)

    Hmmm … so you have the dinner debate at your house, too?? We always can agree on Mexican – and that’s usually where we end up! Sometimes my oldest wants Mediterranean, my little one wants pizza, my husband wants a burger, and I just want to not have to clean up the kitchen after dinner – so where do we go? Mexican, of course! Lol!

    • It is quite tasty, if I do say so myself :D I’m glad to hear that it isn’t just my family that can’t decide what to have for dinner. My daughter suggests we all have whatever we want. She calls it, Fend for Yourself! Haha Okay, so long as I don’t have to cook 4 different meals.
      Thanks Gretchen :D

  12. Cindy this sounds like the most amazing dip! Who knew spinach dip and/or queso could get any better??? And such an easy recipe too. Pinned!

    • Thanks for Pinning Meggan! It is a great combination. It is cheesy, a bit spicy, and delicious spinach. My husband likes it with tortilla chips and I love it with pita chips. I don’t think you can go wrong :D

  13. I’ve been so busy too lately and it can be challenging keeping up with the blog and real life! Spinach dip is one of the first things I learned how to make when I started getting into cooking and I absolutely love it! I’m also obsessed with Mexican food, so this is a match made in heaven to me!

    • It can be overwhelming at times to keep up with. I struggle with letting anything go, so last week was tough for me. I love blogging and reading what everyone is up to, but it does take time. We had a great week all together and it was wonderful.
      I feel in love with spinach dip a long long time ago when I worked at Olive Garden. I never get tired of having it, but I think combined with queso is my favorite :D

  14. Love the combination of spinach and mexican flavors together! And yay for no processed cheese!

    • Thanks Darlene! The flavors work so well together. I always feel a little less quilty eating all that spinach with some cheese :D

  15. Spinach dip is always my go-to appetizer choice at any restaurant. This looks delicious and I love that it’s lightened up a bit! Definitely going to have to try this out :)

    • Isn’t spinach dip awesome?! I love it is so many different ways :D This happens to be my favorite version.
      Thanks Sam

  16. Processed cheese is one thing I could never buy. Hope your husband enjoys his training. Lovely summer recipe Cindy :)

    • As a kid, I didn’t know any better. Now, I don’t see the need for it. Creating a béchamel sauce produces smooth creamy cheese goodness :D
      Thanks Tandy

  17. Jen @ YummyHealthyEasy says:

    Holy YUM!! I love dips like this! It would be gone in a matter of minutes in my house! Pinned and dying to try!

  18. Wow Cindy! You’ve combined two of my favorite dips into one. This looks so heavenly!

  19. Cindy, one of the most interesting things to me about reading all of these North American blogs is seeing how differently you guys eat over there. We would never have this kind of dip on offer on a menu over in the UK (well, probably not never, but rarely, anyway). It sounds absolutely delicious, though, and perfect for sharing. I especially love that it has spinach and a little spice in it.
    I really enjoyed your little lesson about the processed cheese. I used to like eating it as a child but really …. yuck!

    • Helen, I think that is one of the best parts of blogging. You get introduced to new foods all the time. This is a super tasty combination.

  20. Wow! This is amazing! I am a huge fan of spinach dip and to know this one is a combination of queso and spinach dip is right up my alley! It’s an appetizer we can always agree on too! I love your food lessons! :-) BTW, Pinned!

    • Thanks Kristi. This was one of those recipe ideas that just comes together just like you hoped. Thanks for Pinning….you’re awesome friend :D

  21. Whoa whoa whoa… hold the phone. Did you just say that this is a combo of queso dip and spinach dip?!?! Why have I never thought of this geniusness before?!?! This. is. amazing. Like, hands down, the best recipe I’ve heard of in a while. SO creative!

  22. consuelohoneyandfigs says:

    I love your food science lessons, they are so interesting! And do you know what else I adore?? Spinach dip. And queso dip too! This concoction is the boooooooomb!
    Also, do not apologie for not being here so often darling! We all understand how important being with your family is! I hope you’re all having a wonderful summer! Hugs xxxx

  23. I love food science! I used to be obsessed with Good Eats and Alton Brown, he made it fun. Have you read Shirley Corriher’s Cookwise?- full of recipes with each ingredient analyzed as to the food science behind it. This dip looks amazing- love that there is no processed cheese (I won’t use it)- pinned!

    • I love Good Eats! It is good stuff to know when you are creating recipes. I also just really love knowing how things work. I haven’t read Cookwise, but it sounds like something I would love. I’m going to check this out! Thanks :D

  24. Queso and spinach dip together sounds delicious! I love ordering a bunch of apps and making it my meal.

    • Me too! I really love appetizers and there are certain restaurants that we visit where I will only order an app for dinner. Thanks Bianca :D

  25. Wow, Cindy! This dip looks out of this world amazing!! I bet it’s super addictive too – once you start dipping, you probably can’t stop. Soo good!

    • Exactly, Kathi! We love it. I did a lot of taste testing and was so full by the time I was done taking photos. Haha

  26. Keep up the food science! I love it :) And this dip sounds incredible! Way to combine the two best dips in the world! Dips and chips are dangerous. I can’t pull myself away from them!

    • Awesome…thanks, Mary Frances :D I love chips and dips. You are right they can be dangerous. This one is dangerously delicious!

  27. Sounds like you had a fun week! I love being together with family.

    This dip sounds delicious!

  28. Spinach dip is my absolute favorite!! But my husband won’t touch spinach artichoke dip so I never make it. You may have totally solved our issue though because I think he would be all over this!! I can’t wait to try!

    • Annie, if he likes cheese dip then I think he may like this one :D The spinach is not overpowering at all. Hope you give it a try :D Thanks!

  29. I love this dip, Cindy! I would never eat queso dip because I won’t eat process cheese. But I would definitely try this.

  30. I used to love Velveeta and American cheese growing up — now I cringe at the thought. I love all the natural ingredients you have in here, and it’s packed with veggies! We all love spinach dip here, and this is one I’d be proud to serve. Pinning!

    • Me too Marcie. I didn’t know any better and just gobbled it up. None of that stuff here :D Just natural goodness! Thanks for Pinning, Marcie.

  31. The summer is going by so quickly, so glad you are getting some family time in and hope you are enjoying it so far :) Oooh, this dip sounds terrific! Love spinach dip and queso so combining the two sounds amazing! Love this!

    • It is going by way too quickly. Last time I blinked it was July1st and here we are mid July. I never look forward to the end of summer because my guys have to go back to school. It is so wonderful having everyone home and together all the time :D

  32. Allison @ Clean Wellness says:

    Summer is sometimes so CRAZY busy even though it’s supposed to be “relaxing” -lol it’s generally is go go go and non-stop activity. I wouldn’t mind a nice scoop of this dip to kick back with though! I’ve never tried velveeta cheese -I’m not sure if it’s in Canada… I don’t think I will hehe. I’d much rather have this beauty!

    • Summer is crazy! I wish I could find a good balance between busy and relaxing. You’re really not missing anything with the velveeta cheese. Stick with the natural stuff :D
      Thanks Allison

  33. Oh, gosh. I could definitely make a meal outta this gorgeous dip, Cindy! Seriously, I LOVE Mexican food and chips ‘n’ dip is one of my favorite apps in the world. So trying this dip for our next cook-out! Pinned.

  34. Mexican food is one of my favourites… and this spinach dip is just outstanding.. so cheezy and creamy.. Oh and I love your little science lesson too.. :)

    • Thanks Arpita :D We too love Mexican food. It’s always easy for each of us to find something we like. We especially all agree that this dip is fantastic!

  35. I’ve never been a spinach and artichoke dip fan, but this version might change my mind! Real cheese is always so much better than processed.

    • I couldn’t agree more that real cheese is so much better than processed. It’s good stuff :D If you like cheese dips, then I think you will love this. It has great flavors and the spinach blends nicely and isn’t overpowering. Thanks for stopping by Michelle :D

  36. Cynthia says:

    I love spinach. Give me some tortilla chips and I bowl of this dip and I’d be set! Thank you for linking at the In and Out of the Kitchen Link Party. Hope to see you again next week.

  37. this spinach dip looks delightful Cindy, totally pinning and making ASAP!! and never apologize for taking time away from blogging for your hubby, the fam comes first!!! enjoy all the time together you can :)

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