Creamy spinach artichoke dip is delicious no matter how you serve it. We love it cold paired with crisp veggie scoopers like jicama and carrots, but there's something even more irresistible about this classic appetizer when the dip is bubbling hot. The umami flavors in the Parmesan cheese blend more easily in the dairy base, and the chunks of yummy artichoke become the textural focus of the dip. And although you can use your microwave or stir the mixture up on the stove to heat it, popping a dish of the dip in your oven is the best route for achieving bubbling hot and irresistibly gooey results.
Your oven (or toaster oven) provides consistent and uniform heating from all directions, ensuring that every part of the artichoke dip reaches the desired temperature. The combination of heat and slow, steady baking time allows the ingredients to meld together, creating a creamy and cohesive dip that has a fuller flavor. The oven's heat allows the top layer to develop a beautiful golden-brown crust while the inside becomes gooey and satisfying. The sight and aroma of the sizzling dip as it comes out of the oven is mouthwatering.
Tips For Achieving Perfectly Hot Oven Warmed Dips
It goes without saying that your dip will need to be baked in an oven-safe dish. Choose a dish that allows for even heating and has enough surface area for the top to crisp up. A shallow, wider dish will heat through quickly and will give you lots of brown bubbly cheese on top. Preheat your oven to the recommended temperature, usually around 375 degrees Fahrenheit. For an extra crispy top, consider adding a layer of extra grated Parmesan cheese or buttered breadcrumbs to the prepared dip -- both of those will add crunch, toasty flavor, and a beautiful finished look to the dip when you serve it.
Then, all that's left is to place the dish in the preheated oven and bake until the artichoke dip is bubbling hot and the top is golden brown. The baking time may vary depending on your oven and the specific recipe, but it typically takes around 20-25 minutes. Sure, the microwave might be a little faster, but there's no substitute for the combination of hot dip and browned crispy bits from the top that oven baking provides.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.