Spinach Artichoke Dip. Everyone’s favorite appetizer in a crispy fried tortilla chip-crusted ball. Need I say more? I don’t think so!
Food is more fun when it’s bite-size, isn’t it? One of my favorite bar food appetizers is Spinach Artichoke Dip. Always has and always will be. I love serving these on game day, as well as at barbecues and cocktail parties.
This recipe takes a classic dip and turns it into an easy hors d’oeuvre to pass around by crusting it in crushed up tortilla chips and frying. The result? A melty gooey interior with the most perfectly balanced crunchy exterior.
The spinach artichoke dip itself is extremely easy to prepare. Just mix all the ingredients together until combined. I used a stand mixer and it took me no time at all! Then you’ll scoop and roll the dip into balls and freeze until solid. Freezing makes it easier to bread the dip. Roll in flour, dip in egg, then crust with crushed tortilla chips.
- Frozen Chopped Spinach – If you can’t find it chopped in the frozen section, just chop it yourself after defrosting it. Either way, make sure to squeeze as much water out as possible!
- Artichoke Hearts – I buy the quartered hearts, since we’re chopping them up anyways.
- Italian Cheese Blend – If you can’t find a shredded Italian Cheese Blend, then you can do equal parts mozzarella and provolone.
- Gluten-Free Flour – I use a Cup4Cup, which you can find here.
- Xochitl Tortilla Chips – These are the best tortilla chips to use for this appetizer because they’re so thin. Other tortilla chips are thicker and end up being too hard after frying the spinach artichoke balls.
Spinach Artichoke Balls
- Stand Mixer or Large Bowl fitted with the paddle attachment
- Cookie Scoop 2.5 tablespoon
- Parchment Paper
- Medium Pot or Air Fryer
- Paper Towels
- 1 (10 oz.) packet chopped frozen spinach thawed and water squeezed out
- 2 (14 oz.) cans quartered artichoke hearts chopped
- 1 (8 oz.) packet cream cheese I use 1/3 fat when I can find it, at room temperature
- 1 (15 oz.) jar mayonnaise I use light mayo when I can find it
- 1 ½ (8 oz.) packets Italian cheese blend shredded
- 10 tablespoons grated parmesan
- 6 teaspoons Italian Herb Blend dried
- 4 garlic cloves minced or grated
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 ½ cups gluten-free all-purpose flour
- 3 large eggs
- ¼ cup milk or half and half
- 1 bag of Xochitl tortilla chips
- Frying oil or cooking spray
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or just a large bowl), place the spinach, artichoke hearts, cream cheese, mayonnaise, shredded Italian cheese blend, parmesan cheese, dried Italian herb blend, garlic, 1 tablespoon Kosher salt (double this amount if doubling the recipe) , and 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (double this amount if doubling the recipe). Mix until evenly combined.
- Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes.
- Scoop the balls into 2-3 tablespoon-sized pieces (use your hands or a cookie scoop). Place onto a parchment lined sheet pan.
- After all the balls are scooped, roll into spheres (they are easier to roll if your hands are wet and the mixture is colder). Place back on the parchment-lined sheet pan and into the freezer for at least 1 hour, until frozen solid.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the gluten-free flour with a decent pinch of Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- In a second medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk with a pinch of Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Crush the tortilla chips in the bag with your hands until they are in very small pieces, a bit larger than breadcrumbs. There will be some very tiny pieces and some slightly larger, this is okay. Transfer to a third medium-sized bowl.
- Take the Spinach Artichoke Balls out of the freezer and first roll them in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess. Then transfer to the egg mixture and coat them all over. Lift them from the egg mixture with a fork, draining any excess, and transfer to the crushed tortilla chips. Roll in the crushed tortilla chips, making sure to press them into the balls to adhere. Place back onto the parchment lined baking sheet. Freeze for at least 30 minutes.
- When you are ready to cook, remove the Spinach Artichoke Balls from the freezer 20 minutes before frying.
- If choosing to deep fry (my preference), fill a medium pot two-thirds of the way with frying oil. Heat over medium heat until hot enough to fry (you’ll know when a piece of tortilla chip sizzles in the oil). Add spinach artichoke balls, in batches, and cook until golden and completely melted inside, lowering the heat if cooking too quickly. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
- If choosing to air fry, place into the air-fryer and spray balls with cooking spray. Cook at 375°F for 10-12 minutes, flipping in between and spraying with cooking spray again, until golden and completely melted inside.
- Serve hot and enjoy.