Warm Spinach and Artichoke Dip is a healthy twist on classic comfort food. (Photo by Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post)

Warm Spinach and Artichoke Dip is a healthy twist on classic comfort food. (Photo by Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post)

A game-day classic scores with a healthful twist

As dips tend to be, this is a party food that brings people together; an edible ice breaker, beckoning everyone to gather around and literally rub elbows as they dig in.

But this one goes a step further by appealing to eaters who often seem on opposite ends of the field: those seeking classic comfort food and those wanting something on the healthful side. It is as savory and creamy as you would expect a spinach-artichoke dip to be, but it is much better for you than the typical recipe, thanks to a couple of tweaks.

Although most of the ingredients are the same as those you find in other spinach-artichoke dips, this one flips the typical proportions around, so rather than having a modest amount of the vegetables swimming in a cheese- and cream-heavy base, here the vegetables lead the way and the dairy is the supporting player, with just enough to lend richness and meld the ingredients while keeping the dip in the lighter zone.

One key ingredient change also helps that cause: Instead of the usual sour cream, this recipe calls for Greek yogurt, which offers a comparable texture in a more healthful way.

You can make the dip and refrigerate it up to three days in advance, so it is ready to heat on game day or whenever you need it. Serve it warm with whole-grain pita chips or toasts, and with crisp, scoop-friendly vegetables such as celery sticks, bell pepper strips and Belgian endive leaves. (If there is any dip left over, it’s worth noting that it makes a delicious sandwich spread.)

Team Comfort Food or Team Healthy, it is sure to be a winner no matter what side you are on.

Warm spinach and artichoke dip

Make ahead: The mixture can be assembled, covered and refrigerated up to 3 days in advance. Let it sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before baking.

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for the baking dish

1 medium onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

9 ounces frozen/defrosted artichoke hearts, rinsed and patted dry

10 ounces frozen/defrosted chopped spinach, excess liquid squeezed out

½ cup 2 percent or whole-milk plain Greek-style yogurt

½ cup (3 ounces) whipped cream cheese

½ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

¼ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise (do not use nonfat)

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly brush a 4-cup-capacity baking dish, such as a 9-inch oval casserole, with oil.

Heat the 1 tablespoon of oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened and light golden. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute, then remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

Combine the artichoke hearts and spinach in a food processor; pulse until finely chopped. Add the yogurt, cream cheese, mozzarella cheese, half the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, the mayonnaise, salt, pepper and the cooled onion/garlic mixture; pulse until well incorporated. (Alternatively, you could chop the artichokes finely by hand and mix everything together in a mixing bowl.)

Transfer the mixture to the dish, spreading it evenly. Sprinkle the remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano on top. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until heated through and just set on top.

Serve warm. Makes 12 servings (3 cups).

Nutrition per serving (using 2 percent yogurt): 90 calories, 5 grams protein, 5 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 15 milligrams cholesterol, 260 milligrams sodium, 2 grams dietary fiber, 1 gram sugar.

Nutritionist and cookbook author Ellie Krieger blogs and offers a weekly newsletter at www.elliekrieger.com.

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