It’s certainly ours.
The spring and summer months are all about effortless gatherings that pull together in a flash a few of our favorite things: good conversation, good food, and plenty of good friends. The one drawback is being caught off guard when a moment of impromptu entertaining arises. In order to avoid that unnerving thought, what should I bring (or serve, for that matter!), we’re going to let you in on our little secret: the Junior League of Tampa’s Hot and Spicy Spinach Dip.
Every Southerner needs a good dip recipe for those last minute cocktail-hour guests, or an unexpected invitation to a neighbor’s cookout. It’s got to be easy, crowd-pleasing, and utterly complimentary of whatever’s on the menu. Bonus points for a recipe that calls for ingredients you already have on-hand. Few dishes fit the bill quite like a good spinach and artichoke dip. The version from the Junior League of Tampa’s The Life of the Party cookbook might just be the easiest, tastiest version we’ve come across. The best part? We bet you already have everything needed in your fridge, freezer, or pantry.
The recipe starts with half an onion, finely chopped and sautéed in one stick of butter. Then, you add frozen chopped spinach that’s been thawed and drained, cream cheese, sour cream, Parmesan, canned artichoke hearts, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper to taste, and top with a dusting of shredded Pepper Jack cheese. That’s it, friends. Pop it in the oven and you’ve got a bubbly masterpiece ready for dipping in just 30 minutes.
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Pair this dip with a crisp white wine and plenty of toasted baguettes. You can even make it ahead and freeze just before baking. Pull it out of the freezer, thaw, bake, then enjoy.