Outrageously Good Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip

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This Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip in a bread bowl is sure to be the most popular appetizer at the party! It's creamy, cheesy, and just as indulgent as the classic without the heaviness of dairy. A must-make for the holidays!
Prep 20 mins
Cook 30 mins
Total 50 mins
5 from 18 votes

This Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip is ultra creamy, indulgent, and comforting. It’s just as decadent and delicious as a classic spinach artichoke dip and undetectably vegan. 

It has so much flavor and the perfect balance of creamy richness and tang thanks to blended cashews, sautéed shallots and garlic, lemon, artichokes, and fresh spinach.

The scooped bread from the bread bowl gets put to use as well. Once toasted, they’re perfect for dunking in the hot cheesy dip.

Bring this showstopping bread bowl dip to your next party or holiday dinner and you’re guaranteed to be the most popular person in the room!  

Table of Contents:
1. Why this recipe works
2. Ingredient notes
3. Step-by-step instructions
4. Tips for making this recipe
5. What to serve with this recipe
6. Frequently Asked Questions
7. Recipe card with notes

Woman dipping bread into spinach artichoke dip in a bread bowl.

Why this recipe works

Creamy and indulgent comfort food.

This spinach and artichoke dip looks, tastes, and feels so close to the real thing. The only giveaway is that, unlike the classic dairy-rich recipe with cream cheese, sour cream, mayo, and mozzarella, you won’t feel weighed down after several scoops of this dip.

It’s super lush texture comes from blended raw cashews, which lend a creamy and thick body. Lemon zest and juice add a bright but subtle pop of tang, just like the classic recipe made with cream cheese.

And every bite is packed with cozy and warm flavors. Sautéing shallots and garlic gives it a subtly sweet and savory base, while a generous amount of nutritional yeast and some vegan parmesan add the requisite cheesy flavor. 

And if you’re skeptical that cashews can replicate a spinach artichoke dip’s cheesy creaminess, just know that we did test this recipe with vegan cream cheese and we actually preferred the flavor and texture of the cashew-based version.

A bread bowl dip = king of dips. 

A creamy dip baked in a sourdough bread bowl?? I literally don’t know anyone who could walk past such an irresistible appetizer without taking a bite. 

A bread bowl is the perfect vessel for warm dips like this. The middle is scooped out, then torn into pieces and toasted. These mini “croutons” become golden brown and are perfect for dipping (plus, minimal food waste)!

Do you have gluten-free guests coming to the holiday party? No worries.

The dip is easy to bake in an ovenproof skillet, cast iron skillet, or baking dish instead. I’ve included more detailed instructions in the FAQ section and the recipe card.

Perfect for any occasion!

This is a party snack not to be missed, especially when it’s served in a bread bowl. Keep it in your back pocket for Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving dinners, Christmas and holiday parties, Super Bowl parties, and year-round get-togethers.

PS: if you’re looking for more crowd pleasing dips, check out my roundup of 30 delicious vegan dips here!

Ingredient notes

Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip ingredients in various bowls on a wooden cutting board on a white table.

Cashews. Blended and soaked cashews give the dip a rich body and velvety smooth texture. Raw, unsalted cashews are a must, as they swell up and creamify (roasted cashews don’t, plus they have a distinct taste).

Bonus: No need to soak the cashews overnight, either!

Nutritional yeast. A good amount gives the dip its classic savory flavor and subtle cheesiness.

Lemon zest + juice. The dip wouldn’t be nearly as balanced or bright without fresh lemon juice and zest. 

Tapioca starch. Sometimes labeled as tapioca flour. It’s a key ingredient in many gooey vegan cheese recipes like my Baked Vegan Mac and Cheese because it adds a thick, stretchy texture, just like real melted cheese.

I first learned of tapioca starch’s melty powers from my friend Michaela of Ela Vegan. She posted this crazy cool vegan cheese sauce recipe a few years ago that uses tapioca starch. When the tapioca reacts to the heat, it helps the sauce stretch very similar to traditional cheese!

You should be able to find tapioca starch in well-stocked grocery stores, Asian markets, or online.

Substitute: We haven’t tried this, but several readers have used arrowroot flour with good results, as well as cornstarch.

Artichokes. Canned artichoke hearts are a must in this dip. Buy pre-quartered ones if you can, or cut whole hearts into quarters. To tone down their raw bitter flavor, the artichokes are quickly cooked with the aromatics.

Baby Spinach. Unlike frozen spinach, fresh baby spinach doesn’t need to be thawed, drained, and pressed, so you save on prep time. And unlike mature spinach, baby spinach is already pre-washed. Just toss it in the skillet, wait for it to wilt, and you’re done!

Substitute: While we preferred the texture of fresh baby spinach, frozen spinach worked well in our tests. Use one 8-10 ounce package.  

Vegan parmesan: Adds those savory cheesy notes you expect in a spinach artichoke dip. If you can’t find it, skip it. Consider using slightly more nutritional yeast.

Tips: Our favorite vegan parm brand is Follow Your Heart!

Substitute: If you can’t find vegan parm, omit it. It’s still good without it! Consider adding a bit more nutritional yeast.

Bread bowl. Once you bake hot spinach dip in a bread bowl, you’ll never go back. It’s the ultimate vessel for this crowd-pleasing appetizer.

The bread that’s scooped out of the middle is torn into bite-sized pieces and baked at the same time as the dip in the oven. Once golden brown and crispy, they’re the perfect toasty bread dippers.

You can buy a large sourdough bread boule at many bakeries and the bakery section of major grocery stores. And if you’re a bread baker, use this recipe from Food and Wine for guidance if you’re up for the challenge. 

vegan spinach artichoke dip in bread bowl next to cooked bread pieces on a blue sheet pan.

Step-by-step instructions

Start by soaking the cashews in boiling water while you prepare the other ingredients. 

Hollow out the bread bowl. Slice off the top of the sourdough boule and use the knife to cut a circle around the middle.

Tip: Is it your first time cutting a bread bowl? Head to the Tips section to learn how to do it like a pro.

Scoop out the bread in the center and tear it into bite-sized crouton pieces; tear the bread top into pieces as well (or save as a covering for the dip).

Make the cashew cream. Transfer the soaked, drained cashews to a high-powered blender. Add the water, nutritional yeast, lemon zest and juice, salt, and black pepper and blend until very smooth.

Taste and add more lemon juice/zest, nutritional yeast, or salt as needed. Once it’s to your liking, add the tapioca starch and blend again.

Saute the aromatics and vegetables. Heat the olive oil and butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Once warm, add the shallots and garlic. Cook until they’re fragrant, then add the artichokes and red pepper flakes.

Next, add a handful or two of spinach and cook until the leaves are wilted. Repeat until all of the spinach is cooked and most of the liquid has evaporated. 

Pour the cashew cream mixture into the pan and stir constantly for a minute. Keep cooking for a few more minutes, stirring frequently, until thickened and creamy. To finish, stir in the vegan parmesan, if using. 

Season the bread pieces. Toss the torn bread pieces with olive oil and salt. Spread them in an even layer on a sheet pan.

Assemble and bake. Pour the dip into the hollowed bread bowl on a sheet pan. 

Place the sheet pan with the bread pieces on the bottom rack of the oven, and the bread bowl on the upper rack. Bake until the bread is toasted and golden, and the dip is gooey and bubbly.

Broil. For a golden brown top, broil the dip for 1 to 2 minutes. Keep a close eye on it, as the bread bowl can burn easily. Don’t broil the bread pieces!

Let the dip cool for a few minutes, then serve with the toasted bread for dipping. Enjoy!

Bread bowl filled with spinach artichoke dip and croutons on sheet pan after being cooked.

Tips for making this recipe

How to cut a bread bowl.

The video below of my culinary assistant Hannah shows you how to cut a round loaf of bread into a bread bowl. It’s really easy! 

I recommend ripping the bread from the middle of the bowl with your hands rather than cutting it with a knife into cubes.

One, it’s a little easier, and two, the toasted bread pieces have more surface area so they end up with a crispier texture.

Tip: Do not cut through the sides of the bread bowl! Otherwise, your gooey, creamy dip will leak out.

PS: If you can’t find a large boule, you can split this dip between two smaller boules / round loaves.

How to make a bread bowl
How to make a bread bowl

Blend the cashews really well.

You want to blend the cashews on high speed preferably with a high-powered blender to pulverize every piece.

Taste BEFORE the tapioca.

Adjust the seasonings in the cashew cream before you add the tapioca starch. After you blend it in, the tapioca will add a chalky taste, making the flavors harder to adjust (this chalkiness goes away after baking).

Leftovers are delicious.

Depending on the size of your bread bowl, you may have a little extra spinach artichoke dip that won’t fit in the bowl (don’t overstuff it to avoid a messy oven).

Fret not because it is delicious spread on toast with beans for lunch, on toasted crostini for a quick appetizer, or even in a spinach artichoke grilled cheese or panini sandwich! 

What to serve with this recipe

  • Surround this crowd-pleasing dip with the toasted bread pieces, hearty crackers, pretzels, chips, pita bread, or even vegan naan. For something lighter, serve with crudités at your party.
  • Serve it with plenty of chips and even more savory dips for a festive party, like my Lemony White Bean Dip or Cheesy Buffalo Cauliflower Dip.
  • It would be an eye-catching centerpiece at your Thanksgiving or Christmas party, especially when paired with more crowd pleasing appetizers, like Vegan Nachos or Gobi Manchurian.
Woman dipping bread into spinach artichoke dip in a bread bowl.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this dip without the bread bowl?

Yes, you can bake the dip in an ovenproof skillet or baking dish if you don’t want to use the sourdough bread bowl. 

In step 4, use a large ovenproof frying pan. I used an 11-inch cast iron skillet with great results, but you’ll want to cook the cheese filling for just 3 minutes total instead of 5 minutes because it thickens quicker in cast iron. 

Bake the dip in the skillet at 375FºF for 15 minutes. In step 8, if desired, broil the dip but for longer, 3 to 5 minutes, or until golden brown in spots. 

Don’t forget to buy crackers or make croutons/crostini for dipping.

Where can I find a large sourdough boule or round loaf?

You can buy a large sourdough bread boule at many bakeries and the bakery section of major grocery stores like Whole Foods. And if you’re a bread baker, use this recipe from Food and Wine for guidance if you’re up for the challenge. 

Is this spinach artichoke dip gluten free?

The dip is naturally gluten free, but the bread bowl is not. To make this appetizer fully gluten free, either use the instructions right above or in the recipe card to bake it in a skillet instead.

Can you make it ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare steps 1 through 5 in the recipe ahead of time. Once the cooked dip is cooled, transfer it to an airtight container and store in the fridge for 1 to 2 days.

Just before serving, transfer it to your scooped out bread bowl and bake. Or, transfer to your oven-safe skillet and bake.

How long do the leftovers last? Can I freeze them?

The leftover dip can be scooped out of the bread bowl and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. I don’t recommend leaving it in the bread bowl because the bread becomes soggy after less than a day.

To freeze, store the leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe container or sealable bags. The texture will change slightly when thawed but is still good.

Is artichoke dip served hot or cold?

Great news: spinach and artichoke dip is delicious when served fresh out of the oven or after chilling for a few days in the fridge. Just don’t chill the dip when it’s still in the bread bowl because you’ll end up with soggy bread.

Side view of spinach artichoke dip in a bread bowl.

If you love this Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip as much as we do, please rate and review the recipe with your feedback below! It’s always very much appreciated :)

Outrageously Good Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip

5 from 18 votes
This Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip in a bread bowl is sure to be the most popular appetizer at the party! It’s creamy, cheesy, and just as indulgent as the classic without the heaviness of dairy. A must-make for the holidays!
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
Course: Appetizer, Dip, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Serving size: 10 to 12

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cups (185g) raw cashews
  • 1 sourdough boule or round country loaf (at least 10 inches in diameter) (Note *1)
  • 2 cups (480 mL) water
  • cup (28g) nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest + 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt (Note *2)
  • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup (30g) tapioca starch (Note *3)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter (or more olive oil)
  • 2 medium shallots, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional, for a subtle kick)
  • 2 (14-ounce/400g) cans of quartered artichokes, drained and rinsed (quarter if using whole artichokes)
  • 8 to 10 ounces (230 to 285g) of baby spinach (or frozen spinach, Note *4)
  • cup to ½ cup (40 to 60g) vegan parmesan (Note *5)

For serving

  • Toasted bread pieces from the bread bowl leftovers
  • Crackers or crudites of choice for dipping (Note *6)

Instructions

  • Cover cashews with boiling water for 10 minutes (or longer) while you prep everything else. Preheat the oven to 375ºF/190ºC. Arrange one oven rack on the 2nd rack and one oven rack in the bottom (if not making the bread bowl, just one rack in the middle).
  • Slice off the top of the bread/boule. Using a knife, cut around the inside of the bread, but don’t cut through the sides. Scoop out the center of the bread using your hands.
    Use your hands to tear the bread into pieces about the size of croutons (or you can slice the bread into cubes); do the same with the top of the bread, or keep as a cover for the dip (handy if you're traveling with the dip).
  • Make the cashew cream. Drain and rinse the cashews. Add to a high-powered blender with the water, nutritional yeast, lemon zest and juice, kosher salt, and black pepper to taste. Blend on high speed for a few minutes until thoroughly blended and all cashew bits have been pulverized. Taste, adding more salt or nutritional yeast as desired. Now add the tapioca starch and blend again (it may taste chalky but it will cook off).
  • In a 12-inch nonstick frying pan, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Once warmed, add the shallots and garlic and cook until golden and aromatic but not browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the artichokes and, if using, red pepper flakes, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add a few handfuls of spinach, cook until wilted, and repeat with the rest of the spinach, until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  • Pour in the cashew cream mixture, stirring constantly, for a minute. Cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until no longer runny and the mixture is thickened and creamy. Turn off the heat. Stir in the parmesan, if using. Taste and season with salt and pepper, as needed (I typically don’t need to add any).
  • Toss the torn or cubed bread pieces with some olive oil and season with salt (as if you were making croutons). Spread out on a rimmed sheet pan.
  • Place the hollowed out bread bowl on a second rimmed sheet pan. Transfer the dip into the hollowed out cavity and fill to the top but don’t overfill (Note *7). Transfer the pan with the bread pieces to the bottom rack and the bread bowl dip to the upper rack. Bake both for 15 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven.
  • Optional: For a golden brown top, preheat your broiler for a few minutes (if you have a medium setting, use that). Add the bread bowl dip to the 2nd rack below the heat source (not directly underneath) and broil for just 1 to 2 minutes until bubbly and golden on top, keeping a close eye so the outer rim of the bread doesn’t burn.
  • Cool for a few minutes. Use the toasted bread pieces and/or crackers for dipping.

Notes

*1 To make this dip without a bread bowl, a few changes: (1) In step 4, use a large ovenproof frying pan (I used an 11-inch cast iron skillet with great results, but you’ll want to stir more because it will thicken quicker in cast iron. (2) Bake the dip in the skillet at 375FºF for 15 minutes. In step 8, if desired, broil the dip but it may need a couple extra minutes. (3) Don’t forget to buy crackers or make croutons/crostini for dipping.
*2 I use Diamond Crystal kosher salt, which is nearly half as salty than table salt and many sea salts. If you use another salt, start with 1 teaspoon salt, and adjust to taste. 
*3 Some readers have had success using arrowroot powder or cornstarch. 
*4 Frozen spinach: use an 8-10 oz box, but defrost first. Squeeze the spinach until no more water drips out, then break it up into pieces. Add it all at once to the pan. It will be lumpy, but once you add the cashew cream, it will incorporate better. 
*5 Vegan parm enhances the savory, cheesy flavors, but if you can’t find it, it’s still good without. We love Follow Your Heart, and also like the Whole Foods 365 brand.
*6 This makes a lot of dip, so consider buying crackers or having additional bread on hand for dipping in case you run out of the “croutons” from the bread bowl.
*7 If you have leftover dip, store it in a jar in the fridge for 5-7 days. It’s delicious on toast!

Calories: 246kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 617mg | Potassium: 198mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1817IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 2mg

Recipe: Nisha Vora / Rainbow Plant Life | Photography: Megan Morello

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30 comments on Outrageously Good Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip

  1. Renee Kapowai

    5 stars
    WOW – so good and made this at Thanksgiving for an appetizer (because there is NEVER enough apps or food during this celebration). My nonvegan husband was munching on this dip, mentioned how tasty and then I told him it was vegan. He had no idea and he said it tasted like the diary type of dip. This will now be a staple for the holidays, thanks for sharing such a delightful dip. Like you said in your notes, it does make a lot so maybe next time will try to only go with half the ingredients.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Woohoo, Renee, that’s a win! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe with loved ones :)

  2. Megan

    5 stars
    I made this dip on Thanksgiving and it was definitely a crowd pleaser. I didn’t have time to do the bread bowl, so I just made it in a casserole dish and served with tortilla chips (like BJ’s does). Most of my family are dairy-free, so it is always nice finding a dip that everyone could enjoy. A couple people asked for the recipe. I will definitely make for sure events! Thanks Nisha!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Awesome, Megan. We’re thrilled the family enjoyed the dip :) Thanks for your comment and for taking the time to review!

  3. Marie

    5 stars
    Delicious! Thanks for a great recipe.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Woohoo! You’re welcome Marie!

  4. Coby

    5 stars
    Wow, this dip is so amazingly creamy and delicious! It was part of our Thanksgiving spread, and was so, so good! If I didn’t know it was vegan, I wouldn’t even be able to tell. I used half the amount of cornstarch for the tapioca starch, and it worked really well – not chalky at all. This will definitely be my go-to spinach-artichoke dip! Thanks for a great recipe!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Woohoo! What a wonderful review, Coby! Thanks for giving the recipe a shot :)

  5. Fran

    5 stars
    This is a luxurious treat!! No crazy ingredients to buy and we loved it..even the meat and potato crowd!! Thank you for another wonderful recipe!! Delicious!!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      What a compliment! Thanks for trying the recipe and leaving a review :)

  6. Kat

    5 stars
    This was excellent!! Halved the recipe and made in a 10 inch cast iron. Used arrowroot starch instead of tapioca and it came out perfectly.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Awesome, Kat. Thanks for your comment and for taking the time to review!

  7. Anu

    This looks delicious! Is there anything I can use instead of tapioca starch? Our family doesn’t have any dietary restrictions.

    1. Anu

      just kidding, saw your response below!

  8. Cate

    Question about the tapioca starch, would corn starch work as a substitute?

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi there Cate, unfortunately no. In a pinch, arrowroot flour should work as a replacement for tapioca flour. We don’t recommend using cornstarch because it’s too chalky.

  9. Jessica Sivakumar

    I have a cashew and walnut allergy. What could I use instead of cashews?

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Jessica, you can use vegan cream cheese instead (the traditional ingredient used in spinach artichoke dip is cream cheese). I’d recommend at least 16 ounces, possibly 24 ounces.

  10. Meredith

    Cant wait to try this for thanksgiving – always love your recipes so no doubt it will be a hit. My 1 question is you mention it makes a lot. I am actually hosting Wednesday night and Thursday night to accommodate family schedules. Would I be able to (1) split this into 2 equal portions – I wasnt sure how many people this would serve as an app and (2) put in a casserole dish if I wanted to serve with tortiall chips (like our favorite restaurant does) and what size you would recommend and finally you mention this can be put in the fridge – do you think I could make this Tuesday and then bake each individually wednesday and thursday? Thank you so much!

    1. Nisha

      Hi Meredith, I’m glad you’re excited to make this! You can make the dip on Tuesday through step 5. Once cooled, refrigerate the dip. You can split the batches up and bake one on Wednesday, and the second half on Thursday. You can definitely put each one in a smaller casserole dish, or a small cast iron skillet works great. The dip easily serves 12 people, more if folks want just a few bites. Hope that helps!

      1. Meredith

        That helps tremendously – will let you know how it turns out – thank you for the response!!

        1. Meredith

          5 stars
          Just confirming the dip was AMAZING! Made on Tuesday, had half Wednesday with one group and half Thursday with another group. I had to add a little water to it before reheating as it thickened up a bit but that worked perfectly. It was loved by everyone and I am bummed I dont have any left to eat today! Thank you for all the great recipes!!

          1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

            Lovely, Meredith! You’re so welcome for the recipes, thanks for trying them!

  11. MacKenzie

    5 stars
    We chanced upon this when browsing your blog over the weekend and made it even though it didn’t have a ton of recipes yet (we just trust you that much Nisha!).

    All I can say was that was definitely the right decision. This was a huge hit and eating out of a bread bowl was so much fun (if you don’t have a good bakery near you, Whole Foods bakery sells a sourdough boule that’s just right. At least the Whole Foods near me). I think we’ll make it again for Thanksgiving. Thanks, Nisha!!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Wonderful, MacKenzie! Always great to hear when the recipes turn out well. So lovely that you’ll be making it for Thanksgiving as well :)

  12. Kayleigh

    5 stars
    I just made this for a football tailgate and WOW – it stunned everyone!! So creamy, and every non-vegan didn’t even notice it was missing dairy. The perfect sharable holiday staple. Thank you so much!!!

    1. Nisha

      YAY! That’s always such a great feeling! Thank you for making it for your game day and for sharing that with us!

    2. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Amazing! Thanks for making the recipe and sharing your experience, Kayleigh!

  13. Sarah Westerhof

    Where I live I have never been able to find vegan parmesan cheese anywhere… is there an alternative product you would suggest? I am dying to make this recipe :)

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Sarah, ahh shucks! 1/4 cup more nutritional yeast would probably work well. We hope you enjoy the recipe as much as we do!

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