Delectable Dips

OK, maybe you can’t have dip for dinner. But it certainly can be more than a snack. After all, appetizers are an essential part of any great meal, and a to-die-for dip can make your pre-dinner treats even more special. Check out our recipes and you’ll soon find your guests jockeying for position at the dip bowl — and maybe hinting that your dip really is the best part of the meal. 

Amanda Cunningham, Staff Writer


Hot Artichoke and Spinach Dip

Elizabeth Ciresi, Spotsylvania, Va.

8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
¼ cup mayonnaise or sour cream
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
¼ cup Romano cheese, grated
1 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon dried basil
¼ teaspoon garlic salt
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 jars (6-oz. each) artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
½ cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
¼ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a small baking dish. In a medium bowl mix together the first 8 ingredients. Gently stir in artichoke hearts and spinach. Thin mixture with milk if it is too thick for your taste. Transfer to a baking dish. Top with mozzarella cheese and bake for 25 minutes until bubbly and lightly browned.



Shrimp and Pistachio Dip

Wendy Lewis, Moneta, Va.

1 cup small curd cottage cheese
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon onion powder
1 cup small salad shrimp, cooked and chopped
½ cup pistachios, finely chopped

Place cottage cheese, lemon juice and onion powder in food processor. Cover and blend on high speed for 2 minutes. Stop blender and scrape sides. Blend 30 seconds more until smooth. Pour into small bowl and stir in shrimp and nuts. Cover and chill for 4 hours. Serve with crackers.



Nashville Hot Chicken Dip


Wendy Lankford, Red Oak, Va.

3 8-oz. pkgs. cream cheese, softened
¾ cup buttermilk
6 tablespoons hot sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 ½ teaspoons cayenne pepper
¾ teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon scallions, sliced

Microwave cream cheese on high until melted, 1-2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute. Stir in buttermilk, hot sauce, honey, cayenne pepper and garlic powder. Microwave on high until hot, 2-3 minutes. Top with sliced scallions. Serve with chicken wings.



Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip


¾ cup vanilla Greek yogurt
¼ cup peanut butter
1 dash cinnamon
apples, graham crackers or other dipper of choice

In bowl, mix Greek yogurt, peanut butter and cinnamon until smooth. Serve with apples, graham crackers or another dipper of choice. Prep time: 5 minutes. Servings: 4.


Lemon-Garlic White Bean Dip

Wendy Lankford, Red Oak, Va.

15.5-oz. can small white beans, drained and rinsed
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

In food processor process beans, garlic, lemon zest and juice, salt, pepper and oil until smooth. Pulse in parsley. Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired. Cover and chill for 30 minutes. Serve with crudités or chips.



Caramel Apple Dip


Yvonne Burnette, Sutherland, Va.

8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
½ cup caramel ice cream topping
¼ cup honey
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
3-4 apples, cored and sliced

In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, caramel topping, honey and cinnamon. Beat until smooth. Store in refrigerator until chilled. Serve with apple slices. Makes 2 cups.



Pepperoni Pizza Dip 


Wendy Lankford, Red Oak, Va.

1 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
2 8-oz. pkgs. cream cheese, softened
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
½-1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 can or jar of pizza or spaghetti sauce
2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated pepperoni, chopped mushrooms, green peppers, onions, optional 

Beat together sour cream, Italian seasoning, cream cheese, garlic powder and Parmesan cheese. Spread in 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Top with a can or jar of pizza or spaghetti sauce. Next, cover with mozzarella and sprinkle additional Parmesan cheese over top. Chop pepperoni and put over top. Add optional items on top, if desired. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips.


The dips featured on these pages bring snacks to life. But keep in mind that providing nutritionally balanced snacks is important, too. That’s especially true for children, who consume about 25% of their daily calories from snacks, according to research published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 

For example, low-fat and fat-free dairy foods are essential to children’s growth and overall wellness. They provide calcium and vitamin D, two nutrients kids don’t get enough of, according to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The guidelines recommend 2-3 servings of low-fat and fat-free dairy foods every day, depending on the child’s age.

Get more ideas to get kids cooking and snacking smart at


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Selected recipes and stories will be published in future issues of Cooperative Living.

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