Is it normal to get so googly-eyed over a creamy artichoke dip? Because I have major googly-eyes, friends. And if it’s not normal, I want to stay weird.
Maybe I want to stay weird anyway, but that’s an entirely different blog post. This one is about the vegetarian appetizer you’ll be taking to parties, game days, and holiday get-togethers from here on out.
This recipe is a spin-off of the classic spinach artichoke dip. Replacing the greens with hearty and nutritious kale, along with leeks for their mild, sweet onion flavor that infuses throughout.
The cheesy, creamy base bakes up and it all becomes dip perfection. It’s definitely sharing size, but no judgment if you enjoy it for a solo dinner, too…
Artichoke Kale Dip Ingredients
If you’re the first to order spinach artichoke dip at restaurants, or you just love creamy cream cheese dips for parties, then you’re going to love this dip recipe. And if you don’t fit either of those boxes, then you’re still going to love it.
You cannot go wrong with this combination of ingredients. As always, be sure to see the full recipe card below.
- Kale – the spinach replacement. You can use the common curly green or lacinato kale (a.k.a. dinosaur or Tuscan kale).
- Lacinato is thinner and more tender, which means it will saute and wilt more quickly. Curly kale is slightly more bitter, and you’ll need to saute it a little longer.
- Artichoke Hearts – use canned or jarred artichoke hearts to keep this recipe easy! I recommend getting the variety that is not in a marinade.
- Leeks: one of my favorite ingredients to elevate recipes! They’re sweet, delicate, and have a mild onion flavor. Read all about leeks here for more information!
- Cream Cheese, Sour Cream, Parmesan Cheese, and Mozzarella provide the creamy, cheese base that artichoke dip is known and loved for. This version is made without mayonnaise, though.
- Garlic, white pepper, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and of course salt add additional flavor and depth to the dip. Make sure you use salt and pepper to taste.
How to Make Kale Dip
It starts with a saute and ends with a bake. This means if you have a pan that is both stove and oven safe, you can keep this a one-pan recipe!
Saute the Veggies
Because leek and kale are both hearty and worthy of a good saute in a bath of olive oil and garlic to really bring out their excellence, this is where we start.
Place the sliced leeks in the skillet with hot olive oil and saute them for a few minutes until tender. Add the greens and cook for a few more minutes until wilted. Remember to add a pinch of salt to bring out the flavors and help tenderize the greens, too!
Keep in mind it will further bake and the time will vary depending on the variety of kale used.
Add in the artichokes so they get mixed in with the goodness.
Add the Cheeses!
Want to keep this a one-pan recipe still? You’ll need to do some magic stirring in your skillet.
If you’re not sure, combine the cheeses and spices in a separate bowl. Then, add in the sauteed greens and artichokes until completely combined. Remember, taste test for salt and spice levels!
Spread the mixture back in your oven-safe skillet (as you see, I like to use a cast iron skillet for ease) or a baking dish.
Bake Until Bubbly
Bake for about 25 minutes or so until the top is golden brown and the dip is bubbly. That’s when you know it’s hot, melty, and ready to be devoured!
Dipping Vehicles: What’s Best?
It’s known in some parts that the best chip to dip in spinach artichoke dip is the classic tortilla chip. If you’re a chip fan, then I’d recommend using tortilla chips for kale artichoke dip, too.
I also love warm pita bread as a dipping vehicle (what’s better than warm bread and cheesy dip?). Try a basic cracker – extra flavored crackers will detract from the dip, so steer clear of those.
Truly, you could eat this dip with a spoon and skip the carb altogether. It’s that good.
Keep this recipe gluten-free by serving it with your favorite gluten-free bread, crackers, or chips!
Make Ahead & Reheating
The beauty of many appetizer dip recipes is that they can be made ahead of time! A huge win when you’re traveling to a game-day party or holidays with the family.
Make Ahead: simply prepare the dip just to the point of baking and spread it in a baking dish that either has a lid or can be easily covered. Store it in the fridge until it’s time to bake. Remove the pan from the fridge as the oven preheats, so it’s not going directly from the fridge to the hot oven (a big no-no especially if it’s a glass pan!).
Then, bake as directed and enjoy!
Reheating and Storage: if you have leftovers, transfer them to an airtight container and store in the fridge for 4-5 days. Reheat in the microwave for 1-2 minutes until warmed through, or at 350°F in the oven in a glass or ceramic container until warmed through. The time will vary depending on how much leftover dip you’re reheating.
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!
Get the Recipe Baked Kale and Artichoke Dip with Leeks
- 3 cups leeks, about 2-3 leeks, halved and chopped in ½ inch pieces; use only the white and light green parts
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups kale, stems removed and roughly chopped
- 8 ounce can artichoke hearts, quartered, drained and roughly chopped
- ½ cup parmesan cheese*
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup sour cream
- ½ cup mozzarella cheese, small diced or shredded
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt, more to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Red Pepper Flakes, to taste
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Prepare the leeks by cleaning (see this post for more details). Remove the dark green top, leaving the white and light green parts of the leeks. Halve the cylinder if you haven't already. Cut into ¼-½ inch slices (they will be half moon shape).
- In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sliced leeks and cook for 3-4 minutes, with a pinch of salt. Add garlic and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally until tender. Add kale and cook for 2-3 more minutes, until slightly wilted. Add artichokes and stir until combined.
- In a separate bowl (or in the same skillet if oven-safe and you have enough room), stir together parmesan cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, mozzarella, white pepper, additional salt and peppers to taste.
- Stir in the kale and artichoke mixture until combined. Spread in an oven-safe skillet or an 8×8 baker.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and bubbly. Serve warm with pita chips, baguette slices, or tortilla chips. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days, reheating as desired.
- If you use an oven-safe skillet, you can bake the dip in the same pan!
- To cut the leeks: trim off root end and top stems (where the white turns dark green). Cut lengthwise and lay on flat side. Cut into 1/2 inch half circles.
- Clean properly by placing cut pieces in a bowl of water and stir around to remove any dirt and sand. Drain and rinse.
- *Look for cheese specifically labeled vegetarian, if needed.
By the Way…
This recipe is part of our easy vegetarian appetizer collection. Check it out!