This smoked spinach artichoke dip is just like the classic party appetizer, but with a kiss of smoke flavor from the pellet grill! An awesome spinach dip recipe to cook on the Traeger!
Smoked dips are some of my favorite appetizers to make on the pellet grill. Anytime you add loads of melty, bubbly cheese and a hint of smoke flavor, you’re in for a treat!
So whether you need a smoked appetizer dip to serve on game day, or you’re just looking for a fantastic smoked dip recipe to put on the pellet grill for a family get-together, this delicious and easy smoked spinach artichoke dip is a winner! Here’s how to make it:
Notes for Smoked Spinach Artichoke Dip
- Pellet Grill Temp – 225 degrees F (Super Smoke mode), then 400 degrees F
- Wood Pellets Used – B&B Championship Blend Wood Pellets (blend of pecan, cherry and oak wood)
- Smoking Time – 1 hour at 225 degrees F, then about 20 minutes at 400 degrees F
- Pellet Grill Used – Traeger Ironwood XL
Spinach Artichoke Dip Ingredients
This smoked spinach artichoke dip recipe is made with ingredients commonly found in traditional spinach dips, with a few special additions (like roasted garlic and smoked gouda). Here’s what you need:
- Frozen spinach – I used frozen spinach because it is more budget-friendly and doesn’t require any precooking. You’ll need the spinach to be completely thawed for this smoked dip recipe.
- Canned artichoke hearts – I used quartered artichoke hearts, but you can use halved or whole also. The canned artichokes will get chopped up before adding to the dip.
- Cream cheese
- Mozzarella cheese
- Smoked gouda cheese – Smoked gouda is one of my all-time favorite cheeses, and adding this particular cheese to a smoked party dip adds an extra note of smoky flavor. If you’re going to be baking the dip in the oven instead of cooking it on the grill, then the smoked gouda is a great way to add in a hint of smoke flavor.
- Parmesan cheese – The nutty flavor of the freshly grated parmesan perfectly compliments the spinach and artichokes.
- Garlic – You’ll need a whole head of garlic for this recipe that includes two different preparations: roasted garlic and fresh minced garlic.
- Sour cream
- Black pepper – I omitted the salt in this recipe because of the saltiness of the cheeses and the tortilla chips for dipping.
How to Make Smoked Spinach Artichoke Dip
Preparing the Garlic
If you’ve watched a few of my YouTube cooking videos, then you know that I’m a HUGE fan of roasting garlic. Just two ingredients, a piece of aluminum foil, and an hour of baking time, and you can add major flavor to any recipe.
To roast your own garlic, just follow these simple steps:
- Cut the top 1/4 off the garlic bulb. See the photo above for how much of the bulb to cut.
- Place the larger part of the bulb cut side up in a piece of aluminum foil.
- Drizzle about 1/2 – 1 tablespoon of olive oil on the exposed cloves.
- Wrap the garlic in the aluminum foil.
- Place the wrapped garlic in the oven with the cut side up, and bake at 350 degrees F for one hour.
After one hour, the roasted garlic will be soft and creamy with a sweet flavor. You should be able to just squeeze the bottom of the bulb and the garlic cloves will slide out in a paste-like consistency.
When I’m roasting garlic, I typically roast the top 1/4 of the bulb that I cut off in the same aluminum foil pouch, but for this smoked Traeger spinach dip, I wanted to add a few different garlic flavors. So instead, I peeled and minced the top 1/4 of the bulb to mix in to the dip.
Making fantastic food is all about these small details, and this simple step gives your finished dip both sweet and robust garlic notes.
Preparing the Artichoke Hearts and Frozen Spinach
While the garlic is roasting, you can prep the other ingredients. Simply drain the can of artichoke hearts well, and then rough chop them into pieces that are about 1/2″ in size. I prefer my spinach artichoke dip to be on the chunkier side, so I keep the pieces of artichoke hearts slightly larger.
Next, you need to get as much moisture out of the spinach as possible.
To start, make sure that your frozen spinach is completely thawed. Then, add to a mesh strainer and squeeze handfuls of the spinach to drain the excess moisture.
Making the Dip
When the garlic is done roasting and the artichokes and spinach are both well drained, shred the blocks of smoked gouda, parmesan, and mozzarella. Then, it’s time to mix all of the ingredients together.
You can squeeze the roasted garlic right out of the bulb into the mix, just make sure that none of the garlic skins fall into the spinach dip.
After mixing with a hand mixer for a few minutes, your spinach artichoke dip should look something like this:
*Be sure to reserve about 1/2 cup loosely packed of each of the shredded cheeses to sprinkle on top of the dip later.
Smoking Spinach Artichoke Dip on the Pellet Grill
Next, it’s time to put your spinach dip on the pellet grill.
Spread the dip mixture into a buttered cast-iron skillet or casserole dish. The recipe measurements below fit perfectly in a 10 inch or 12 inch round cast iron skillet.
Then, smoke the spinach artichoke dip on the pellet grill at 225 degrees F for about one hour. After that time, you should have some slight browning on top of the dip.
After about one hour, remove the dip from the grill and sprinkle the rest of the shredded cheeses on top. Then, crank up the grill temp to about 400 degrees F. *Make sure that you take the dip off the grill while the temperature of the grill adjusts – if not, then you won’t have as much time to cook the smoked spinach dip at the higher temp.
When the grill temp has reached 400 degrees F, put the smoked spinach artichoke dip back on the grill and close the lid. Cook the dip an additional 15-25 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the dip is bubbly.
And when it’s done, your Traeger spinach artichoke dip should look something like this… Serve it with your favorite tortilla chips, corn chips, toasted bread slices, or vegetable crudités and you’ve got yourself a fantastic pellet grill appetizer that’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser!
*Wondering what to do with the leftover spinach dip (if there is any!)? Use it to make some delicious stuffed chicken breasts! Pound out chicken breasts to make them evenly thin, add a large dollop of spinach dip, and roll the breast around it. Then, bake the chicken in a baking dish at 350 degrees F until done.
And there you have it… a fantastic smoked spinach artichoke dip that showcases the versatility of a pellet grill! Whether you’re hosting a party, gathering with friends, or simply enjoying a weekend barbecue, this creamy and smoky dip is sure to be a fan favorite. Experiment with the ingredients and make it your own signature dish. Happy grilling!
Can I make this spinach artichoke dip without a pellet grill?
Absolutely! You’ll miss a bit of the smoky goodness, but this dip can definitely be baked in the oven at 350 degrees F until it’s hot and bubbly.
Can I add other ingredients to the dip?
Of course! This dip recipe is easy to customize with your favorite add-ins. For a spicy kick, add some chopped jalapeños, or try adding sun-dried tomatoes for a hint of sweetness. Bacon would also pair nicely with the other flavors in this smoked spinach artichoke dip.
What type of wood pellets should I use for smoked spinach artichoke dip?
For this dip, mild-flavored wood pellets like oak, maple, or fruit woods (such as apple or cherry) work well. They provide a subtle smoky flavor without overpowering the other ingredients.
How long with this smoked dip recipe stay good?
The dip is best consumed within 3-4 days when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat it in the oven or microwave before serving.
Smoked Spinach Artichoke Dip
- 1 head garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 10 oz bags frozen spinach thawed and squeezed to drain
- 2 14 oz cans quartered artichoke hearts drained and rough chopped
- 12 oz cream cheese softened
- ¾ cup sour cream
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 1½ cup shredded mozzarella
- 1½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1½ cup freshly grated smoked gouda cheese
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- enough butter to butter a 10-12" cast iron skillet or casserole dish
- tortilla chips, toasted bread, or veggies for dipping
- Prepare the garlic. Preheat oven to 350℉. Cut the top ¼ off the head of garlic, exposing the cloves. Place the larger ¾ of the head in a piece of aluminum foil with the cut side facing up. Drizzle about 1 tablespoon of olive oil on the exposed cloves. Wrap in aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour at 350℉. For the remaining ¼ of the head, peel and finely mince the garlic. Set aside.
- Prepare the pellet grill. Preheat grill to 225℉ with your favorite mild wood pellets (like a fruit wood or oak).
- Make the spinach artichoke dip. Add drained spinach, chopped artichoke hearts, cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, 1 cup of each of the shredded cheeses (mozzarella, smoked gouda, and parmesan), and black pepper to a large mixing bowl. Add the minced fresh garlic and the roasted garlic (you should be able to squeeze the roasted garlic out of the bulb). Use a hand mixer to mix until well combined. *Reserve ½ cup of each of the shredded cheeses to sprinkle on top of the dip later.
- Add dip to a cast iron skillet. Spread the spinach artichoke dip evenly in a buttered 10-12" cast iron skillet or oven-safe casserole dish.
- Smoke the spinach dip on the pellet grill. Place the dip on the pellet grill and close the lid. Smoke the dip at 225℉ for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the top is slightly browned. Remove the dip from the grill.
- Melt the cheeses on top. Adjust the pellet grill temp to 400℉. While the grill is coming up to temp, sprinkle the remaining shredded cheeses evenly on top of the dip. Put the smoked spinach artichoke dip back on the grill. Cook at 400℉ for about 15-25 minutes, or until the cheese on top is melted and the dip is bubbly.
- Serve the spinach artichoke dip. Remove the dip from the grill, and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips, toasted bread, or vegetables for dipping.
- This dip can also be made in the oven. Just follow all of the instructions to prepare the dip, and bake at 350 degrees F until it’s hot and bubbly.
- The dip is best consumed within 3-4 days when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat it in the oven or microwave before serving.
- If you can’t find smoked gouda, you can substitute extra mozzarella cheese.