Baked Artichoke Dip with Roasted Red Peppers: Garlicky Hot Appetizer with Mozzarella and Romano Cheeses

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Low carb dieters enjoy artichokes in a number of ways since they are relatively low in carbohydrates and very high in fiber. As a main dish, they can be added to chicken for an easy one dish meal or chopped and added to a low carb salad. For appetizers, they are popular in dips that are served either cold or hot. Here is a recipe that uses canned artichoke hearts with Neufchatel cheese, diced roasted red peppers, garlic and spices to make a baked, hot appetizer dip.

For this recipe, cut the artichoke hearts into bite sized pieces. How many knife cuts will depend on the sizes of artichoke hearts themselves. Canned artichokes come in different sizes, like extra small (about 10 to 12 pieces per can) and large (about 6 pieces per can). As this will be for a dip, cutting them in even bite sized pieces are fine.

The baked artichoke dip can also be made ahead of time. Simply prepare the dip, transfer to the best baking dish and cover tightly several hours before the event. About a half an hour before serving, place in an oven and bake until lightly browned. See notes below for details.

Baked Artichoke Dip with Roasted Red Peppers

Ingredients:

  • 1 14-oz. can artichoke hearts
  • 1/4 diced roasted red peppers
  • 4 oz. Neufchatel, softened
  • 1/3 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 2 T sour cream
  • 1 T milk
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed with the best garlic press
  • 1/8 tsp white pepper
  • 1/8 tsp dry mustard
  • 3/4 cup plus 1/4 cup part skim shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2/3 cup plus 2/3 cup fresh shredded Romano or Parmesan cheese

Procedure:

  1. Drain the artichoke hearts and cut into bite sized pieces. Place in a mixing bowl. Add the diced roasted red peppers.
  2. In a mixing bowl, add the softened Neufchatel cheese and cream with a hand mixer on low speed or a heavy wooden spoon until smooth.
  3. Add in the reduced-fat mayonnaise, sour cream and milk. Scrape the bottom and make sure no lumps remain.
  4. Stir in the pressed garlic cloves, white pepper and dry mustard. Adjust seasoning if necessary to taste.
  5. Add in the artichoke hearts and roasted pepper mixture. Measure in the 3/4 cup of part skip shredded mozzarella and the 2/3 cup Romano or Parmesan cheese. Stir until all the ingredients have been combined.
  6. Transfer to a baking dish and level with the back of a spoon or spatula. Sprinkle over the top the remaining mozzarella and Romano or Parmesan cheeses.
  7. Place in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for about 25 minutes, or until lightly browned on the top and bubbly.
  8. Serve immediately.

Note: This recipe can also be made ahead of time. Wrap the top and place in the refrigerator up to a day in advance. Place in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for about 20 to 30 minutes. Increase the cooking time as needed to make sure the baked artichoke dip is bubbly and lightly browned before serving.

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