Real Food Spinach Dip Recipe

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This spinach dip recipe is the perfect way to enjoy a healthier version of the all-time classic party dip. It’s made with real food ingredients including fresh spinach and cottage cheese. This tasty dip is a great addition to a lunch box, and it makes the perfect after-school snack for kids.


overhead photo - spinach dip recipe made with real food ingredients in a glass dish.

Spinach dip is a classic at many gatherings across the country. It’s right up there with onion dip and ranch dip, and it’s likely a good source of spinach for those who don’t typically enjoy eating the green, leafy stuff.

But good gracious! The fat content on most containers of packaged dip is enough to send you running for your closest pair of big-boy-pants. And even then, you may have to leave the button undone.

So in the interest of saving you from all that running…. errr…. I mean, saving you from having to wear your big-boy-pants ~ehem~, here’s my version – a healthy spinach dip recipe, made with REAL FOOD INGREDIENTS.


Don’t stop at the spinach dip recipe! Here are other real food dips you can make for your next snacking session.



I use a package of frozen spinach to make the dip. If you want to use fresh spinach, you will need to steam cook it and then wring as much liquid as possible from the leaves.

overhead photo - spinach dip recipe made with real food ingredients in glass dish

Real Food Spinach Dip Recipe

Love spinach dip? Enjoy it without the mystery ingredients! This delicious real food spinach dip recipe is perfect for your next party or gathering!
Note that the data below is based on a 6 cup yield and a 1/2 cup serving.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 28kcal
Author: The Gracious Pantry


  • 1 (16 oz.) container cottage cheese
  • 10 oz. bag frozen spinach, thawed
  • 8 oz. can water chestnuts, chopped fine
  • 2 tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. salt


  • Using a blender, blend the cottage cheese until it is smooth and creamy.
  • Put the cottage cheese in a large mixing bowl, and add all other ingredients. Stir well.


Calories: 28kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Sodium: 103mg | Potassium: 149mg | Fiber: 1g | Vitamin A: 2780IU | Vitamin C: 2.6mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 0.8mg

Recipe from the Gracious Pantry archives, originally posted 1/28/11.

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  1. Any substitutes for those if who never ate cottage cheese? It creeps me out I’m scared to even touch it, is that an actual picture of it?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Michelle – Yes, that’s an actual picture. I’m not sure how non-fat yogurt would work, but you could give it a try.

  2. Just wanted to say thank you for all these great recipes. I love that you put ones out that are relevant to the time of year (i.e. party/appetizer/finger foods during football season.) And even for those who have no interest in the Super Bowl, who doesn’t love a good spinach dip anytime?! So, thanks!!! Keep them coming!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Beth – Awwe! Thanks so much! I’m so glad you’re enjoying my site and my recipes. Have a great day!

  3. You are my HERO, Thank you!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Maria – You’re welcome! Hope you enjoy it!

  4. OOOHHHHHHH can’t wait to make this!! Perhaps tomorrow since I have to bring a dish for the new member reception at church on Sunday. That way I know at least one thing will be clean!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Paulissa – Always a good idea to bring one clean dish to a gathering! It’s something to fall back on.

  5. Could you put artichoke hearts in this instead of the crunchy water chestnuts?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Sandra – Sure! That would be tasty!

  6. Made a batch of this for the church potluck and the ENTIRE bowl was wiped clean. Served it with some gluten free almond crackers which also went over well.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Paulissa – FANTASTIC!!! I’m so happy everyone enjoyed it!

  7. lynn @ the actor's diet says:

    yum! call me crazy but i also love adding sardines or tuna to my spinach dip…

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Lynn – I’ve never had it that way! Sounds just different enough for me to try! Thanks!

  8. Don’t care for cottage cheese myself, but I think this could be mighty tasty with some low-fat ricotta cheese… maybe, even some soft silken tofu. Oh, and fresh basil chopped or blended with the cheese/tofu! I very much appreciate that you do not have any actual onion in this recipe–it’s something I really dislike, and just about every recipe for spinach dip I’ve found so far has the accursed stuff in it. 🙁

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Charlena – LOL. You remind me of my cousin. He can’t stand onions either. Your substitutions sound good! Let me know how you like it!

  9. It could be even better with some raw minced garlic mixed in at the end. Cooking breaks down the otherwise healthy compounds/antioxidants in garlic, so the fresher the better. Raw garlic can also be thrown into a soup, salad or stirfry just before serving.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Charlena – Fresh garlic is always a fantastic addition. Give it a try!

  10. I’m assuming you drained the spinach too?? I’m making this for a staff gathering. Here’s hoping my co-workers all like it!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Janette – I didn’t make it a point to drain it, but it might be a good thing to do if you have a lot of water content.

  11. The spinach dip was a hit at my house! So good!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Kristen – That’s wonderful! I’m so happy you enjoyed it!

  12. Spinach (bread) dip is the best….mum made two for my wedding…haha….we like to substitute thick natural yoghurt for the tradition sour cream.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Natasha – Yum! Sounds good!

  13. graciouspantry says:

    They are in with the canned goods. I would ask a clerk to help you find them. Depending on where you are, they could also be a seasonal thing. But most stores carry them.

  14. graciouspantry says:

    I don’t recommend it.

  15. Rachel Nash Perlow says:

    I’m going to test this out on my husband today. I’m planning on putting out for munchies with crudite on Thanksgiving. Not has heavy as hummus or cheese and crackers eaten pre-meal.

    1. graciouspantry says:

      I hope you both enjoy it!

  16. Melissa K. says:

    I love spinach dip, but don’t enjoy how much I have to work off traditional spinach dip. This is one of my new favorite recipes!  It’s so light and creamy, the best part is my anti “diet” food friends had no idea just how good for them this is.

  17. This is fabulous! I have been searching for a good spinach dip that is clean eating worthy. Cannot wait to have my family and friends try this!

  18. I used this spinach dip to make stuffed baked chicken breast, delicious! Thanks for the recipe.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Yum! What a great idea!

  19. This was so yummy!!!
    I’m the only one in the house that will eat it though – has anyone tried freezing it?
    Or does anyone have any recipes Likethe stuffed chicken one? I’m not creative enough to do it on my own!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Cottage cheese doesn’t freeze very well in my experience. But you could certainly use it in an omelet for breakfast!

  20. ….speaking of freezing cottage cheese,I love to score it 1/2 right before it expires and stick it in the freezer…you’re right, the texture does change, but it creates a perfect ricotta like consistency that is just right for a clean(er) lasagna 🙂

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Randi – Interesting! Thanks!

  21. Ah thank you, I love spinach and cheese dip, and was hoping it can be healthier! But my mom loves warm/hot food, and this is usually served warm at restaurants from my experience, so can this be heated? If so, should it be in the oven or microwave? From the directions it seems like you serve it cold (which also sounds good)

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Sar – I’ve always served this cold. I’ve never had warm spinach dip. Maybe it’s a regional thing? I would guess you could warm this, but it would have to be done very gently and carefully as the cottage cheese is delicate when warmed. I would warm this in a double boiler over very low heat. Watch it carefully and keep stirring. Remove it when it’s just barely warm.

  22. So I’m new to Clean eating but isn’t low fat a “dirty” food. I thought anything that was low fat or fat free was basically just chemicals?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Andrea – My blog and recipe evolve as I learn more and more about clean eating. I did that recipe a while back when I thought low-fat was the way to go. Now, I don’t recommend it. But many people do still use low-fat products (which are far better than non-fat, as I understand it), so I haven’t changed a lot of them. Feel free to use the full fat stuff, just know that the data on my site will not reflect those changes.

  23. Amy Laura says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I just saw almost the same recipe, but it called for ranch dressing mix instead of the spices. I didn’t know how to substitute for it, so I made it to see if I loved it. I DO! I knew I’d have to find a way to make it clean, and then, there it was, on my Pinterest page 🙂

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Amy – My pleasure! 😀

  24. So DELICIOUS! Thanks for sharing the recipe with us.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Terry – My pleasure! 🙂

  25. Just made this and love it. I love the store bought kind, but I am trying to get a lot better right now. This could probably make any vegetable taste so much better. New follower of your blog. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Anna – Thanks so much! Welcome! 🙂

  26. Soooo good. I warmed it up in the oven for 15 minutes and ate it with wheat thins, delish!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Sabrina – So glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

  27. Looks great! Do you need to squish the water out of the spinach once it thaws? Alternatively, have you made this with fresh spinach? Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Kendra – Might be a good idea. I have not made this with fresh spinach.

  28. How long does this keep and should it be frozen or refrigerated? Thanks for the great recipe!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jodi – My pleasure! I do not recommend freezing it. It will keep for about 4-5 days in the fridge.

  29. I’m going to try this with some avocado in it for some good healthy fats. Plus I love avocados.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jess – Let me know how it turns out! 🙂

  30. Jackie G.H. says:

    can we skip the nuts???

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jackie – Sure!

  31. Delia Perez says:

    How long will this last in the fridge after made?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Delia – About 5 days.

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