Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip

A hand dips a pita chip into a skillet of vegan spinach artichoke dip.
Recipe At-A-Glance
Vegan, Holiday15 minutes
You'd never guess that this creamy and rich Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip is made without dairy! Serve it hot off the stove for a decadent plant-based appetizer.

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I have such a love/hate relationship with dairy. My tastebuds love it, but my body does not. Insert sad trombone.

Because of my body’s rebellion against all things cheese, I’ve made it my life’s goal to try to make really freaking good dairy-free options of some of my favorite foods. We’ve tackled Parmesan cheese, ice cream, sour cream, coffee creamer, and even eggnog! And today, I’m showing you how I made the king of the appetizer circuit—Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip—totally dairy-free, vegan, and plant-based.

How do you make spinach artichoke dip vegan?

Regular hot spinach artichoke dip is typically made with tons of cheese (both shredded and cream cheese) and heavy cream or milk, and sometimes even sour cream. But in my version, I use a garlicky, plant-based cashew cream sauce that thickens up to a gooey, creamy, can’t-believe-it’s-not-cheese dip that you’re going to love!

There are two secret ingredients that give this vegan version its cheesy flavor and texture:

  • Nutritional Yeast: If you’ve been around the dairy-free or vegan world for awhile, you probably have nutritional yeast (or “nooch,” as some folks call it) in your pantry. This all-natural, plant-based yeast has a slightly cheesy, nutty flavor that can help add some depth of flavor to vegan cheese sauces. You can buy it online, or most major supermarkets carry it with the spices.
  • Tapioca Starch: To get the thick, fatty texture of a cheese sauce without any dairy, this dip uses tapioca starch. This gluten-free, grain-free thickener is available online and at most major supermarkets with their gluten-free flours. It’s also sometimes called “Tapioca Flour.” It’s great to have on hand for grain-free recipes like pizza crusts and chocolate chip cookies.

Cashew cream gets poured over a skillet of artichoke hearts and spinach.

Do you bake this spinach artichoke dip?

Nope. Unlike traditional spinach artichoke dips, this vegan version is made entirely on the stovetop. It’s ready, start-to-finish, in about 15 minutes!

Is this spinach artichoke dip served hot or cold?

This recipe is for a hot spinach artichoke dip—it comes right off the stovetop for a cozy, warm, dippable appetizer. While I prefer it warm, you can also eat it cold, if you’d like. It does tend to thicken up quite a bit when chilled, so you might want to thin it out with a bit of non-dairy milk or cashew sour cream before serving.

A wooden spoon stirs artichoke hearts with spinach in a skillet.

Can you make this dip with frozen spinach?

My recipe calls for fresh spinach because I find it slightly easier to work with than frozen, but frozen will also do the trick. Just make sure to completely thaw the frozen spinach, and then place it in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze it dry before adding it to the dip.

Can you make this dip ahead of time?

You can definitely make this spinach artichoke dip ahead of time. It’ll last in the fridge for up to a week, and to reheat, just heat in the microwave until warmed through, or cover with foil and heat in a 400°F oven until bubbly and warm.

Close up of vegan spinach artichoke dip.

Can I make this dip in the slow cooker for entertaining?

If your slow cooker has a brown/sauté functionality as mine does, you definitely can! You sauté the vegetables just as you do in the stovetop version, and then pour in the cashew cream sauce. When it’s thickened, you can switch the slow cooker to low or warm to keep the dip nice and toasty for your party!

What do you serve with this vegan spinach artichoke dip?

You can dip almost anything into this dip with great results! Here are some of my faves: pita chips, nut and seed crackers, celery, cucumber slices, baby carrots, naan bread, and Parmesan crisps.

Can you use something other than coconut milk in this recipe?

Coconut milk is great for these cream sauces because it adds a fattiness that is similar to whole dairy, and it’s very stable—meaning it doesn’t tend to separate or curdle like nut milks do. I find that there is enough garlic and other flavorings in this dip that I don’t taste any coconut flavor at all. However, if you’re super coconut-averse (or allergic), I recommend making a straight cashew cream sauce by doubling the amount of cashews to 1 cup total and increasing the boiling water to 2 cups total. The resulting cream sauce won’t be quite as decadent and rich, but it will still be amazing!

A hand dips a pita chip into a skillet of hot vegan spinach artichoke dip.

Can you use a nut other than cashews?

Sorry, Charlie. Raw cashews are the way to go for this recipe. The only other nut that would work texture-wise is macadamia nuts, and I’ve found that they are too strongly flavored in this dish.

What can you use instead of the tapioca starch in the cashew cream sauce?

Tapioca starch makes for the stretchy, cheesy texture we all want in spinach artichoke dip, but if you need to substitute, arrowroot flour would give the same thickening properties.

Looking for more plant-based comfort food? Try these:

 
A hand dips a pita chip into a skillet of vegan spinach artichoke dip.

Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

You'd never guess this creamy and rich Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip is made without dairy! Serve it hot off the stove for a decadent dairy-free appetizer.

Ingredients

For the Cashew Cream Sauce

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1 14.5-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

For the Dip

  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 cups chopped fresh spinach
  • 1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Pita chips, crackers, or veggies for serving

Instructions

  1. In a high-powered blender, combine the cashews, coconut milk, water, garlic, nutritional yeast, tapioca starch, and salt. Blend on high until very smooth. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add in the red pepper flakes and onion, and cook until onion is just tender, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add in the spinach and cook until the spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes. Then add in the artichoke hearts. Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low, and then pour in the cashew mixture, stirring constantly as you pour. Cook until just thickened, about 2 minutes. 
  5. Remove from heat, add in lemon juice, and then season with additional salt and black pepper, if needed. Serve immediately with pita chips, crackers, or veggies for dipping.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 182Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 424mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 6gSugar: 6gProtein: 6g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

Cassie is the founder and CEO of Wholefully. She's a home cook and wellness junkie with a love of all things healthy living. She lives on a small hobby farm in Southern Indiana with her husband, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and 15 chickens.

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Hello. My name is Cassie, and I’m a healthy home cooking expert.

I'm a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, and I've been developing healthy recipes professionally for over 15 years. Food is my love language, and my kitchen tips and nourishing recipes are my love letter to you!

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