Creamy Stovetop Spinach Dip

by on January 30, 2009

I’m admitting that I have an eating issue when it comes to anything warm, rich, cheesy and gooey. Add a bold red glass of wine and a crusty baguette, I’ll inhale a big bowl of any  cheese dip that was accidentally left in front of me.

I’ll even confess to the fact that I troll all party buffet tables until I can be the last one to scrape the bottom and the edges of the dip bowl. That’s where the best part of the charred, burnt and crispy parts of the dip lie. Knowing where to find tastiest part of the dip was my hidden little secret, until now.

Oh, my pathetic heart. Cheese dips are my weakness and I know it won’t be long before I keel over from a heart attack or start popping meds to lower my cholesterol.  My only salvation is afterwards, when I take out all my “post dip eating gluttony guilt” with uppercuts, hooks, and left cross punches. Thank health goodness that I turn to kickboxing as my cheese calorie burning therapy.

It’s not often that I make my appetizer dips outside of the oven. The slow, warm love that the oven lathers on to my cheese dip is amazing and there’s no substitution to how well the oven melts everything together.

But when my brother #2, who also happens to be my #1 dip fan, made one of my appetizer dips on the stove top,  I screamed out loud in dip mutiny. How could he rip apart my recipe and cook it in 10 minutes in a FRYING PAN?! I’ve always nurtured all my dips in the oven for about one hour and patiently waited out the long bake time. The results for my dip recipes were always so wonderful that I never, ever considered changing my cooking technique.  Why mess with perfection?

“It’s good, try it,” he told me. Brother #2 has always been a quiet, gentle guy of few words. So when he made the effort to share his ideas, it was powerful enough to  convince me to pull out my cast iron pan, think out side of the oven and give my warm spinach dip a try via the stove top.

Lo and behold,  he was right on the money. I made my spinach dip in a frying pan and within 10 minutes I had a rich, cheesy, beautifully melted and flavored dip that rivaled the 60 long minutes of oven cooking. I couldn’t believe how fast, and well combined all the ingredients came together in the frying pan. The flavors  of this spinach dip were actually BETTER in this stove top method because I was able to caramelize the onions and garlic until they became fragrant. The oven version never had that same caramelized epiphany.

I’m completely hooked to my brothers fast technique on this spinach dip and am thankful for his bachelor style cooking methods. But I blame him for making me eat this spinach dip more often because it’s so EASY! Thanks Bro!

- Diane


Stove top Spinach Dip Recipe

Yield: Serves 4

Total Time: 10 minutes

Who doesn't love a good spinach dip? The best part about this dip recipe is that it's made with melted cream cheese and made on stove top. You can also make this ahead of time, and bake it in an oven proof dish right before serving


  • 10 oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed & squeezed dry of excess water
  • 8 0z can water chestnuts, drained & chopped
  • 8 oz pkg cream cheese
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1.5 Tablespoons of grapeseed/olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 2 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • lots of fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • crusty bread or crackers


  1. Over medium heat, heat oil in large saucepan. Then add onions and garlic. Saute until fragrant and light golden brown.
  2. Add spinach and water chestnuts and continue to saute till spinach cook together with onions and garlic. Add salt and pepper
  3. Add milk, cream cheese, grated Parmesan cheese and mayo. When cheese melts, turn down heat to low.
  4. Continue stirring and allow dip to simmer until cheese and rest of ingredients are blended well together.
  5. Serve warm with bread and/or crackers.
  6. Add additional salt/pepper to personal taste.
Recipe Source:

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Recipe Note for Salt: All recipes containing salt are based on kosher or sea salt amounts, not table salt. If using table salt, reduce the amount used to taste.

{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

1 maggie January 30, 2009 at 2:54 pm

Oooh, this looks delicious.


2 toontz January 30, 2009 at 2:58 pm

Oh, yum. Kudos to your brother for figuring out the quicker method, because, sometimes you just need it. (Like when you promised to bring an appetizer and forgot about it until you started to walk out the door. lol) Yes, it has happened to me. This dip would be the perfect answer!


3 Marvin January 30, 2009 at 3:28 pm

We were actually planning on making your awesome sweet onion dip for the superbowl, but maybe we’ll give this new one a try instead.


4 Mellisa January 30, 2009 at 3:36 pm

Okay, now sprinkle on more cheese and broil until crusty. The corners fo the casserole are always the crusty best.


5 Andrea January 30, 2009 at 2:57 pm

Fantastic! Spinach dip is one of my favs.


6 Phoo-d January 30, 2009 at 3:00 pm

Oh yum! I think I’m going to need Mr. B to keep me from calling this dinner and skipping everything else! It does have vegetables in it… =)


7 Hana January 30, 2009 at 4:14 pm

Diane and Todd,
This SuperBowl spinach dip is incredibly mouthwatering!!
I have the biggest weakness for any type of cheesy dips too, but I am not a good cook and I don’t have much patience to make time-consuming foods, so I resort to restaurants and grocery-stores :(! However, your brother’s idea to make the dip on a frying pan in 10 minutes is genius!! I am going to have to try this out for my SuperBowl Party.

Anyway, thanks for yet another great post. Please come check out some of our easy-to-make SuperBowl dip recipes at, I think you’ll really enjoy them :)



8 paoix January 30, 2009 at 3:59 pm

sweetness!! superbowl food (check)


9 maryann January 30, 2009 at 5:15 pm

I love this too too much ;)


10 Passionate Eater January 30, 2009 at 6:13 pm

Sigh, I want to come over to your house for your spinach dip (and not the Super Bowl, just the dip). And making it on the stovetop? Very innovative and much easier than baking!


11 Eat. Travel. Eat! January 30, 2009 at 6:24 pm

Wow, this looks so delicious! I love these types of dips, so thick, cheesy, and yummy. Never knew stovetop dips took so little time; I would have expected like a 20 minute cooking time.


12 Jenni January 30, 2009 at 5:27 pm

Mmmmm. Methinks some goat cheese needs to find its happy little way into that dip as well….Would it be to egregious to just spread that on bread and make a big, fat sammich?!


13 Rita January 30, 2009 at 6:50 pm

Well, I think I share your eating disorder too……. nice dip


14 Rebecca (Foodie With Family) January 30, 2009 at 7:09 pm

Diane- I’ve taken up parenting five little boys as my post cheese dip eating gluttony guilt buster. I’ll fight you for some of this ;-)


15 Heather January 30, 2009 at 7:12 pm

i love spinach dip. it is so unapologetically bad for you and deliciously indulgent at the same time. yours looks lovely.


16 Hélène January 30, 2009 at 7:14 pm

I’m crazy about those cheese dips also. So now you tell me that I can make this in 10 min. I know what I’ll be making this week-end.


17 Manggy January 30, 2009 at 9:18 pm

Hmm… It appears Bro is also quite a cooking genius! Hee hee. Have a great weekend Todd and Diane! Go (insert your team here)! I have no idea how I’ll assimilate on Sunday, ha ha :)


18 Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) January 30, 2009 at 9:26 pm

Like you, I love all things hot and cheesy. hats off to your brother, who’s got a winning recipe here!


19 Chez Us January 30, 2009 at 10:47 pm

OKAY … I am sure our superbowl invite is lost in the mail! And I am certain this dip should be shoveled into my MOUTH right now! WOW, I LUV spinach dip- and more than I, my step mom loves it even more and I am passing this along to her – she will shout you out & hug you BIG for this one!!!


20 Victoria January 30, 2009 at 11:52 pm

I don’t think THIS is going to help me lose 10 post-holiday pounds!


21 Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary January 31, 2009 at 5:48 am

DIP! I love spinach dip! Making it on the stovetop is genius!

Hey guys, check your email please and find out what a dumbass I am.



22 Kalyn January 31, 2009 at 7:21 am

Oh yes, I would eat this until every drop was gone myself! Great photos!


23 grace January 31, 2009 at 11:49 am

water chestnuts, eh? great addition to a classic binge food.

did i just admit that? :)


24 Julie January 31, 2009 at 8:27 pm

Ooohhhh, yes, yes, yes! And I like to tell myself that eating a dip like this is actually good for me because of all that healthy spinach. Is is, isn’t it?


25 Marc @ NoRecipes January 31, 2009 at 7:33 pm

That looks amazing, and as luck would have it I have all those ingredients sitting in my cupboard. I also just got the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day book and the bread is mindblowingly good (I just ate a whole boule by myself, which unintentionally became my dinner).

I wasn’t planning on doing much for the superbowl, but now I might have to invite people over. Then again I guess I could just eat all the bread and dip myself:-)


26 The Duo Dishes January 31, 2009 at 10:28 pm

Water chestnuts! Love that crunch. It’s so different.


27 matt wright January 31, 2009 at 11:27 pm

OK, I am making this tomorrow, seriously. I have almost all the ingredients anyhow. Why not!!!!! Looks fab guys. wow, that sounded 80s.

Happy Sunday!


28 Kevin February 1, 2009 at 8:22 am

THat spinach dip looks good! I will have to try adding water chestnuts next time.


29 Melissa February 1, 2009 at 5:12 pm

Oh that’s no secret about the edges. *DROOL*

That’s cool he gave you a quicker way. I admit I could inhale the whole thing myself also, mostly because it has spinach in it and I can never get enough of that!


30 Laura February 1, 2009 at 8:06 pm

This looks friggin amazing. Your story about your brother messing with your recipe cracked me up.


31 Madam Chow February 2, 2009 at 4:36 pm

Oh, this looks so good – and I’m with you on the eating disorder that involves cheesy goodness and crusty bread!


32 shayne February 2, 2009 at 8:11 pm

its not right to read such a post while stuck in a hotel in Toluca Mexico without a stove and my cast iron pan in shipment somewhere between Michigan and here…I so love spinach dip


33 Aimee February 3, 2009 at 11:16 am

OK, I recently had warm spinach dip for the first time and was an instant convert. Now I can make it myself…Thank you thank you!

Any tips on making ahead and reheating??


34 White on Rice Couple November 22, 2009 at 6:51 pm

Aimee- You can definitely make this ahead of time and re-heat it in the oven or microwave! Either way, the dip still tastes wonderful .


35 The Food Hunter February 4, 2009 at 10:46 pm

I love spinach dip and yours looks really good. Wish I would’ve seen this recipe before the superbowl.


36 Spinach Artichoke Dip March 9, 2009 at 5:05 pm

The pictures on your site are beautiful and delicious looking. Thank you for sharing


37 Katie November 3, 2009 at 6:32 pm

I took this to a Halloween party this weekend and everyone loved it! It will definitely be my go-to dip from now on.


38 Kim November 6, 2009 at 10:47 am

I had a similar recipe from a Houston restaurant called the Mason Jar, but it called for shredded Swiss cheese and Monterrey Jack cheese. It also had light cream, but no cream cheese. I cannot find my recipe, which I cut from the Houston
Chronicle a long time ago. Can anyone help me out?


39 Shawn December 30, 2009 at 10:10 pm

Kim – I too had the same recipe and was looking tonight and also found I had lost my printed copy…here’s one I found on the net…looks very similar to the original I remember:

Spinach Artichoke Dip*
Serves 6

* 1½ packages frozen, chopped spinach
* 3 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 14 oz jar artichoke hearts, chopped
* 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
* 1½ teaspoons salt
* 1 teaspoon white pepper
* ½ teaspoon Tabasco Sauce
* ½ cup whipping cream
* 1 heaping cup grated Baby Swiss cheese
* 1 heaping cup Monterey Jack cheese
* Tortilla chips

Thaw spinach in refrigerator or in microwave. Cook in microwave on high for 5 minutes. Drain, pressing out excess water. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté garlic and artichoke hearts. Add salt, pepper and Tabasco Sauce, stir well. Reduce heat to low and add spinach. Add cream and all but 1/4 cup of each cheese. Stir until mixed and heated through. Pour into serving dish; put the rest of the cheese over the top. Place in hot oven or microwave until cheese is melted. Serve with tortilla chips.

*Adapted from recipe attributed to Mason Jar Restaurant in Houston, Texas.


40 Yoko February 28, 2010 at 7:20 pm

this was great! perfect for a cold rainy day. i’m going to make stuffed mushrooms with the leftovers :)


41 gowns July 16, 2010 at 4:50 pm

This is a wonderful recipe. I totally agree with the saute pan method and maybe a vidalia onion. I love anything warm and cheesy especially where artisan bresd comes in. The possibilites abound. anyway thanks for a great job. I can see the passion in it.


42 Nad November 21, 2010 at 7:24 pm

Awesome recipe, this Was a great hit at my house! Tasted just as good, if not better then oven baked dip. I will definitely be making this again! Thank you!!!


43 Janis February 25, 2011 at 12:09 pm

I was looking for a recipe for a dip I had at a restaurant recently, Baked Spinach and Jalapeno Dip. I am going to use your recipe and add the jalapenos with the onion and garlic. I think it will be close!


44 Mandy February 23, 2013 at 1:34 pm

Just need to ask one quick question…..How much spinach would I need to use if it were fresh instead of frozen….same 10 oz?


45 White on Rice Couple February 25, 2013 at 4:13 pm

Mandy- I’m not sure how much fresh spinach you would need. I’ll have to make it and test it for a fresh spinach version.


46 Tess May 19, 2013 at 10:46 am

Hi! Fantastic recipe. I’m planning on making several batches of this for my sister’s birthday next week. :)

I have two questions, though:
1) What are the water chestnuts for? I assume they add a bit of crunchiness and texture, but are they absolutely necessary? I mean, I love them, but was wondering if I can omit them in case I don’t find them.

2) The recipe calls for “1/4 mayonnaise”. I assume this means 1/4 cup?



47 White on Rice Couple May 19, 2013 at 10:12 pm

Hi Tess. You are correct about the chestnuts, they are mostly there for texture but it can always be omitted if you need to. If you still want the crunch, you could use chopped jicama if you’d like. They would give a similar texture and will be easier to find this time of year.

And you are correct about the mayo. It is 1/4 cup. I don’t know how that one missed out editing. Thanks for pointing it out.

T & D


48 Marifel September 7, 2013 at 8:12 pm

Can’t wait to try this one! My version uses parmesan cheese, no onions, and is baked in the oven. It’s a guaranteed hit!


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