It can generally go without saying that there are many, many different kinds of dips out there. From different variants of cheese dips to dips made with nuts, plants, and everything else in between, there’s no doubt that you will be able to find a dip that suits your interests best and allows you to eat your chips with happiness.
However, there may come a time when you want to use the ingredients in your kitchen to make something, but you aren’t entirely sure what you should make. For example, if you have leftover spinach but you don’t know what you want to have the spinach with, you could end up making some spinach dip.
Spinach dip is a relatively new take on the many different kinds of dips for chips there are, and it has risen in popularity as more and more people incorporate a majority of greens into their diets.
As the name would suggest, one of the primary ingredients of spinach dip is going to be your leftover spinach and it is often flavored with other tasty ingredients, including cream cheese and mozzarella.
With the spices, spinach, and cheese all mixed together, you can get a healthy yet hearty vegetarian dip that you can use for your chips, but the question is, what exactly should you be dipping into spinach dip, and can it be used for anything other than your standard dipping tortilla chips?
The truth is that spinach dip is mostly a dip for chips and other similar foods. While there is nothing that is stopping you from using spinach dip for meats or other treats, the flavors of spinach dip are not likely to go with most meats as well as it can go with the simple, salty snack of tortilla chips.
Spinach Dip’s Place on the Dinner Table
Spinach dip is often served as an appetizer to larger entrée dishes, much in the same way that you can get chips and salsa at certain restaurants, and it is best kept this way as it is a light and airy dip (depending on how you go about making it).
Depending on the recipe you will be using for your spinach dip, while spinach will absolutely be a part of the dip, much of the flavor that you will taste will be that cream cheese base.
Naturally, this means that you are going to want to pair your spinach dip with relatively plain foods that will not overpower the light taste that the spinach and additions will bring to the cream cheese (or mozzarella) base of your dip.
This more or less removes most types of meats or other heavily seasoned foods that you would find on most dinner plates and leaves you with more appetizer-like options to choose from.
Depending on how you make your spinach dip, it tends to have a mild taste that is flavored by the spinach and seasonings that you add to it, meaning that strongly flavored chips (think of barbecue chips, salt and vinegar chips, and so on) are going to end up being an unpleasant mix for this food.
Remember that this dip is commonly served as an appetizer, or a way to prepare your stomach to be ready for heavier food to come rather than being a meal in it of itself.
As an appetizer, spinach dip is generally not meant to have a strong, clashing, or particularly forceful taste to it, since it is supposed to be the opening to a meal.
This means that anything you dip into it should be complemented by the light and mild taste and flavorings of the spinach dip, and this will limit you to most plain chips and crackers that you come across.
When it comes to the dinner table, spinach dip tends to have the best place when it is served as an appetizer or something to munch on while you and your family are watching something on the TV before a family gathering or another large meal.
Spinach dip could certainly stand alone as a snack-time dip, but there are other dips for this that you might be more interested in.
Some people will even make spinach dip for family gatherings, as it certainly works well as an appetizer for a large group of people who are going to eat a hearty meal later. While it might not be the most festive addition to the meal plans, spinach dip has been served for Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and Thanksgiving (for those in the United States).
Spinach dip is an incredibly versatile dip that will allow you to enjoy and make use of your spinach while also having a relatively healthy appetizer during a fun family gathering period.
If you really wanted to, spinach dip can also be eaten as a snack when you’re home alone, if you happen to have any left by the time everyone leaves, although that is unlikely with the number of people who truly enjoy spinach dip.
What Should You Put Into Your Spinach Dip?
Now that you have a good idea as to what purpose spinach dip tends to serve when it is made for people, you will likely have a much better idea of what you should be putting into the spinach dip, or at least, what would make sense when serving spinach dip.
The most popular foods that people eat with spinach dip tend to be crackers, pita chips, and plain tortilla chips.
Your goal is to have a nice, crunchy base to offset the creamy and airy dip that you have made for your family. Some spinach dip recipes will leave you with a more spinach-heavy dip rather than a cream-heavy one, and this may be best with hard slices of bread rather than chips to offset the texture.
As for the taste, as mentioned earlier, spinach dip really shines when it is given a relatively plain base to work with. What this means is that whatever food you put your spinach dip on, it shouldn’t have any predominant and overpowering flavors to it, such as garlic bread would.
The foods that you dip into spinach dip should have, at the most, a bread-like flavor to them to go with the cream cheese that makes up the majority of most spinach dip recipes, as well as some degree of salt, as salty foods tend to make for delicious appetizers and can make you more hungry for the foods that are to come later in the day.
In addition to the most popular foods that people decide to eat with their spinach dip, you can also consider homemade tortilla chips (which are fairly easy to make, if you know what you are doing), chunks of plain or rustic bread, crostini, pretzels, and even certain kinds of vegetables.
Vegetables can go well with spinach dip, especially when they have that crunchy texture to go with the light dip and when they have a fairly mild flavor to them as well, making for a perfect vegetarian-friendly snack for friends and family alike.
When using vegetables as a dipper for your spinach dip, you will want to aim toward simple, cheap vegetables that don’t have that bold of a flavor and tend to have a good crunch to them when you eat them.
Some of the most popular vegetables that people will eat with their spinach dips will be carrots, bell pepper slices, cucumbers, and broccoli.
Technically, potato chips can also count as a vegetable that you could dip into your spinach dip, if you really wanted to push the boundaries of health.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.