It's Football party season, so why not have a few new appetizer dip recipes in your arsenal? I'm calling these 3 recipes the Good (not too bad for you), the Bad (ok, we're a little bit naughty), and the Ugly (yep, who cares about calories anymore?).
Artichoke and Oven Roasted Tomato Dip
We'll start out with the healthier recipe. With barely any cheese, there's no guilt here. I first heard about this idea while listening to Splendid Table. There are numerous other ingredients that would lend well to this recipe - for example, capers and orange zest -- but I kept it simple knowing what I like.
1 lb. roma tomatoes
Salt and Pepper
1 15 oz. can artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed
1/2 a jar roasted red peppers, chopped (equal to roughly one full pepper)
1/4 C. parmesean cheese
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. lemon zest
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Pita chips for serving
First, roast the tomatoes. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Slice the tomatoes into rounds and place on a tinfoil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the over for roughly 20 minutes until tomatoes start to blister and brown. Remove from heat and let cool.
In a medium bowl, add the tomatoes and the remaining ingredients - artichokes, red peppers, parmesan, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Using a stick blender (or a regular blender), pulse until the mixture has a rough chop. I like mine a little chunky, but feel free to pulse for a more smooth consistency. Serve at room temperature with pita chips. Leftover dip is great with pasta and grilled chicken!
Cajun Shrimp Dip
All things are OK in moderation, right? I have a really hard time walking away from this dip - call me partial, but this is my favorite of the 3. The trick to making this shrimp dip stand out from other similar recipes is to use raw shrimp and cook it yourself. Some recipes call for canned shrimp -- and that just makes me shudder -- yuck! You could try cooked shrimp too, but I just don't think it tastes as good.
1/2 lb. raw peeled and deveined shrimp, tails removed (20-30ct. per pound)
1/4 C. onion, minced
1/2 C. celery, diced
1 oz. package cream cheese (feel free to use the 1/3 less fat kind), room temperature
6 Tbsp. mayonnaise
3 Tbsp. ketchup
1 tsp. cajun seasoning
Pita chips for serving
Begin by cooking the shrimp. Fill a deep skillet or saucepan with a 3-4 inches of water. Bring to a boil and add the shrimp. Boil for 2 minutes then immediately place shrimp in an ice bath to stop the cooking. Once shrimp is cool, drain, and chop into small bits.
In a large bowl combine the cream cheese, mayonnaise, ketchup, and cajun seasoning. I prefer to use a stick blender to ensure a smooth consistency. Once smooth, stir in the shrimp, onion, and celery. Taste and add more cajun seasoning if desired. Chill until ready to serve.
Chili Cream Cheese Dip
There's nothing fancy about this last recipe. It's a tried and true staple that my mom used to make for parties when we were growing up. Best of all it's super easy and will appease the most picky of eaters. We all love the classic Velveeta dip, but try this next time instead.
The recipe below is the classic version, but feel free to mix things up by using homemade chili, or in my opinion, double the diced green chilis!
1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1 4 oz. can diced green chilis, drained
1 15 oz. Hormel Chili No Beans
1 1/2 C. cheddar cheese, shredded
Tortilla chips for serving
Using a microwave safe dish, (I recommend a glass pie pan but anything similar with do), spread the softened cream cheese into an even layer across the bottom. Layer on the green chilis, then Hormel chili. Top with the shredded cheddar cheese. When ready to serve, cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 5.-8 minutes or until cheese is melted and ingredients are bubbly. You can also bake this in the oven at roughly 350 degrees for 30 minutes (do not cover in the oven).
Looking for a "lighter" dip? This has all the flavor, but lacks the mayo/cream cheese/sour cream calories. I felt so bad for stripping out the good stuff I made sure this recipe still had some bacon and gorgonzola cheese to make up for it.
1 large onion, diced
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 lb. bacon, diced
2 cans cannellini beans, drained
2 ounces Gorgonzola cheese
Salt and Pepper
The first step is the longest, but so worth it. We're going to caramelize some onions. In a medium skillet, add the onion, butter, and olive oil. Saute over medium-high heat until the onions start to become translucent - about 5 minutes. Be sure to stir frequently to prevent the onions from charring. At this point I like to sprinkle a little bit of sugar (1/8 - 1/4 tsp.) over the onions to help bring out the sweetness. Turn the heat to low, cover, and set the timer for 40 minutes. Stir the onions every 5 minutes to ensure they are not browning. At the end of the 40 minutes, the onions should be nicely caramelized. Remove the onions from the pan and add in the bacon. Cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Drain/dry the bacon.
Next comes the easy part. In a food processor, add the onion mixture, bacon, beans, Gorgonzola cheese, and 1 tablespoon honey. Process until the beans are no longer visible. Taste, and add more honey as desired as well as salt and pepper. Keep chilled until ready to eat. Serve with crackers, pita chips, or better yet - veggies!
Hi, I'm Michelle and based in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. I love all things cooking and baking and would love to inspire you to create something of your own!