If you love the rich, decadent flavor of classic spinach and artichoke dip, you'll love my mouthwatering spinach and artichoke grilled cheese sandwich. Griddled up until perfectly crispy and golden-brown, this ooey-gooey grilled cheese is prepared with a light mixture of marinated artichoke, garlicky baby spinach and whipped cream cheese, plus lots of creamy mozzarella.
When a Grilled Cheese Sandwich Meets Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Friends, I must admit that I'm a total sucker for classic spinach and artichoke dip.
It's a rare occasion that my hubby and I go out to eat and spy that rich, creamy, pungent dip on a menu and don't promptly order up a portion to share as an appetizer.
Served with crispy tortilla chips or toasted bread, it's pretty impossible for us to pass up that one!
So when I recently got a hankering for a crispy, golden grilled cheese sandwich with a fresh take, I immediately thought of how delicious it would be to create a spinach and artichoke grilled cheese, loaded with the zippy, cheesy flavors of our favorite dip.
It seemed like a natural partnership made in grilled cheese sandwich heaven!
Brimming with a combination of garlicky, sauteed baby spinach and chopped artichoke hearts, blended with a hint of whipped cream cheese and lots of creamy mozzarella cheese, this spinach and artichoke grilled cheese sandwich takes two classics—the classic grilled cheese sandwich and spinach and artichoke dip—and mashes 'em deliciously together!
My Recipe For Spinach and Artichoke Grilled Cheese
When it comes to making a really delicious grilled cheese sandwich, I like to start with the bread...
The bread is the vessel that holds all of the mouthwatering filling components together. So if one uses a bread that's too flimsy, then things are liable to fall out.
On the other hand, if you use a bread that's too thick and hearty, this makes it difficult for the cheese inside to melt.
I like a nice, sturdy bread such as sourdough, and I like to slice it between ¼-inch to ½-inch thick to give some substance to my grilled cheese sandwich, just enough to help the ingredients inside have some structure, and provide a nice crispy bite.
And to create that classic spinach and artichoke dip flavor and texture, I spread onto the bread a touch of mayo, then add over top of that a layer of mozzarella cheese, then spoon in my yummy mixture of chopped, marinated artichokes, spinach and a hint of lemon-kissed whipped cream cheese before a final little sprinkling of mozzarella.
So gooey, cheesy and delicious!
Here's a sneak peak at my spinach and artichoke grilled cheese recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- To get started, I saute my baby spinach with garlic, just until the spinach gently wilts, and set it aside to cool a little.
- Once cooled, I combine the chopped artichoke hearts and the spinach and garlic mixture with some whipped cream cheese and a couple of other aromatic ingredients.
- Next, I assemble my grilled cheese sandwiches with a touch of mayo, my spinach and artichoke mixture, and the mozzarella.
- I heat my cast-iron pan (or other heavy skillet) until hot, and add my sandwich buttered-side down into the hot pan. I grill each side for about 4 to 5 minutes until it’s a deep golden brown, and the cheese within is melted.
- To serve, I cut the spinach and artichoke grilled cheese sandwich in half, and enjoy while hot.
Spinach and Artichoke Grilled Cheese
by Ingrid Beer
This spinach and artichoke grilled cheese sandwich is brimming with marinated artichoke, garlicky spinach and ooey-gooey mozzarella cheese!
Yield: 4 sandwiches
Nutrition Info: 872 calories per sandwich
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
- Olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
- 4 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
- Black pepper
- 1 (6.5 ounce) jar marinated, quartered artichoke hearts, drained well, patted dry and chopped
- ⅓ cup whipped cream cheese
- 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
- ¼ teaspoon lemon zest
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
- 8 slices sourdough bread (¼ to ½ inch thick)
- Softened, unsalted butter, for bread (about 8 tablespoons)
- Mayo, for bread
- 2 cups shredded whole milk mozzarella cheese
- Begin by gathering and prepping all of your ingredients according to the ingredient list above to have ready and organized for use.
- Place a skillet over medium heat, and drizzle in a small amount of olive oil. Add the garlic, and once aromatic, add the spinach and a pinch or two of salt and pepper, and saute for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, just until the spinach is gently wilted. Spoon the spinach into a bowl and set aside to cool to room temp for a few minutes.
- Once the spinach has cooled, add to it the chopped marinated artichokes, the whipped cream cheese, the parmesan, lemon zest and juice, plus a pinch or two of salt and pepper, and fold these ingredients together to completely combine. Taste to check the seasoning, and set aside for a moment.
- Place a cast iron skillet or other heavy bottom pan over low or medium-low heat.
- Place the bread slices in front of you, and butter one side of each slice of bread, about 1 tablespoon worth of butter per slice. Then, spread a very small amount of mayo (about 2 teaspoons worth) over the other side of each of the bread slices.
- To assemble the grilled cheese, place four slices of bread with the mayo-side up in front of you. Sprinkle ¼ cup of the shredded mozzarella cheese over the mayo, then spoon over that about ¼ cup of the artichoke/spinach/cream cheese mixture (use a knife to smooth and even it out, if you'd like), then sprinkle over this another ¼ cup of the shredded mozzarella.
- Cover each with a slice of bread with the buttered-side up, and working with 1 or 2 sandwiches at a time, place the sandwiches into the skillet and grill for 4 to 5 minutes per side on low or medium-low, until each side is a deep golden-brown and the cheese is melted through (a total of about 10 minutes). Repeat with the other sandwiches until all are grilled.
- To serve, cut the spinach and artichoke grilled cheese in half if desired, and serve hot.
Tips & Tidbits for my Spinach and Artichoke Grilled Cheese recipe:
- Sturdy bread, such as sourdough: To create a grilled cheese sandwich with some bite to it and a crispy, golden exterior, opt for a bread such as sourdough with a bit of structure to it. Slice it to medium-thick slices, to help hold ingredients in. Sourdough is also a great choice because you get a bit more flavor from it. Yum!
- Marinated artichoke hearts for added flavor: For a bit of added zip, I like to use quartered, marinated artichoke hearts for the mixture, and chop them up into small pieces. Marinated 'chokes are a little more flavorful, but you can also substitute frozen and thawed, non-marinated artichoke hearts, and chop those up, if you prefer.
- Mozzarella or other terrific meltable cheeses: Classic whole-milk mozzarella is terrific for this sandwich, with a nice, clean and creamy flavor. I also love gruyere, or even a soft gouda, which add a bit more nutty, savory flavor and are both highly meltable cheeses.
- Grill low and slow: I've found that cooking my grilled cheese sandwiches low and slow works best, keeping the heat under my cast iron skillet low or medium-low. It takes a little longer, about 4 to 5 minutes per side, but this method prevents the buttered side of the bread from burning before the cheese inside is melted.