Lightened Spinach Dip

I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that there are very few things Josh and I fight about. Mostly because I’m always right 😉 Not surprising, the few times we fight, it’s always about food. Usually, it’s in the realm of “Kelly, we should eat more cheese/Ranch dressing or the merits of crumbly vs cakey cornbread. Lately, the new hot button item has been water chestnuts. If you’re not familiar with water chestnuts, they’re disgusting. Unless you ask Josh, in which case they’re delicious and add a fabulous crunch. Pfft, incorrect.

Lightened Spinach Dip

In order to keep the peace, we have a Water Chestnut Policy. If  a dish contains water chestnuts that are large enough pieces to easily pick out, I get the dish as-is and scoop out the chunks to give to Josh. If they’re too small or too well incorporated, I can get the dish without. When I was making this dip for a get together over the weekend, Josh was in love with it. Until he fond out that it normally has water chestnuts. Oh God, the Water Chestnut Policy doesn’t include what we do when we prepare dishes at home!

Lightened Spinach Dip

Luckily, it was too late in the day to run out and water chestnuts, so the dip stayed delicious. When I make it again, I’ll just have to hope Josh doesn’t look at the grocery list and realize I “forgot” to pick them up. If you’re a water chestnut fan, feel free to chop some up and throw them in. Just don’t try serving it to me :-p

Lightened Spinach Dip
Prep time: 
Total time: 

Serves: Approx 3 c

  • 10 oz frozen spinach, thawed (or cooked fresh spinach, 1½ – 2 c after cooking)
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • ½ c fresh grated parmesan
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • 1 c Greek yogurt (I used fat free)
  • 1 c sour cream (I used fat free)
  • ½ c mayo (I used Just Mayo, you could sub in a reduced fat variety)
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 – 2 tsp honey
  • Optional: 8 oz can of water chestnuts, drained and chopped

  1. Press the extra liquid out of the spinach (I placed the spinach in a fine mesh sieve and pressed down to get most of the liquid out. I’m a little paranoid, so I then placed it between several sheets of paper towel and pressed the remaining liquid out.) and the shredded carrot (I placed between several sheets of paper towel and pressed the liquid out.).
  2. Transfer the spinach and carrots to a bowl. Using a fork, separate out the pieces of spinach and carrot until it’s in small pieces. Add the parmesan, garlic, onion powder, yogurt, sour cream, mayo, and Worcestershire. Add salt and pepper according to your preferences.
  3. To alleviate some of the yogurt tanginess, stir in 1 tsp of honey. Taste and add an additional tsp if it’s still a little tangy. You don’t want to add enough to make it sweet, just to take away the tang.
  4. Stir in the water chestnuts, if using.
  5. I recommend making this dip in advance and refrigerating for 30 minutes to overnight before serving.
  6. Serve with a veggie tray and/or pumpernickel bread.

To keep the dip vegetarian, make sure you are using vegetarian Worcestershire sauce. Also keep an eye out for gelatin in reduced fat/fat free dairy products.
Serving size is a generous ¼ c (12 total servings). If you have a large spread of appetizers, a more realistic serving size would be 2 tbsp. per person (24 servings at about 50 calories each). Nutritional estimate uses fat free yogurt, fat free sour cream, and full fat mayo.

Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¼ c Calories: 100 Fat: 5 Carbohydrates: 9 Fiber: 1 Protein: 5

This dip is often served in a hollowed out pumpernickel bread bowl. I like to serve it in a regular bowl so that it stays gluten free for anyone with dietary restrictions and because I’d rather eat the bread than use it as a vessel 😉

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    Julia Nov 20, 2014

    Yeeees I looooathe water chestnuts, too!! They’re just so weird…I feel like they’re actually some sort of secret animal instead of a plant. Is that weird? That’s weird.

    This dip. I need to make it for my Friendsgiving feast next week!

      Kelly Nov 20, 2014

      They have a weird metal taste, which is what I’ve come to imagine most meat tastes like… so not weird. Totally agree.

    Annie @Maebells Nov 18, 2014

    This is too funny. I actually think spinach dip is the only thing I have ever had water chestnuts in!

    Joanne Nov 18, 2014

    I am not big on water chestnuts either…thankfully the.boy has no idea what they are and/or thinks he doesn’t like them.

    marcie Nov 17, 2014

    I like spinach dip, but lots of times it’s just too rich for me. This sounds perfect for me, and since it’s lighter, I can eat more of it!

    Ashleigh Nov 17, 2014

    I’m with ya on that one lady! Water Chestnuts remind me of Styrofoam! Something about the texture gives me chills. I’ll have to try this dip with some of these new pita chips I’m obsessed with.

    Kayle (The Cooking Actress) Nov 17, 2014

    I absolutely love spinach artichoke dip and this lightened up version looks awesome! Michael is pro water chestnuts and I’m con–but he really only ever eats them if I make him bacon wrapped water chestnuts 😛

    Emily Nov 17, 2014

    Ha! This is funny. My husband does not like water chestnuts, but I do. The only time I eat them though is in my Chinese takeout.

    Becky @ Olives n Wine Nov 17, 2014

    Oh man, you don’t like water chestnuts?! They are so crunchy and delicious! But Ill forgive you, I’m pretty sure they add zero nutritional value in their canned state anyways 😉

      Kelly Nov 17, 2014

      They just taste like crunchy water! I already have ice cubes filling that role :-p

          Kelly Nov 17, 2014

          Are you anti-cucumbers?! I think cucumbers are a “time and place” kind of food. I’ll mostly only eat them if they happen to be on my salad and precious Ranch dressing is on them!