Kitchn Love Letters

This Soup Mix Is the Key to My Favorite Thanksgiving Appetizer (No, It’s Not the One You Think)

published Nov 14, 2022
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spinach dip in a bread bowl surrounded by cherry tomatoes, chopped carrots, cucumbers
Credit: Stephanie Ganz

Everyone has their own idea of Thanksgiving. Maybe yours includes turkey, creamy mashed potatoes, tart cranberry sauce, and green bean casserole with fried onions piled on top.

My own Thanksgiving menu includes a few selections from the classics column — dishes like sweet potato casserole, corn pudding, and mashed potatoes with gravy — with some newer favorites that I add in to keep from getting bored, like an assertive chicory salad with anchovy vinaigrette or salted toffee blondies in addition to pie.

When it comes to appetizers, I’m very consistent. For me, the sight of a bread bowl mounded with Knorr Spinach Dip is like the Snoopy balloon at the Macy’s parade. When I see it, I know it’s really, truly Thanksgiving.

Credit: Stephanie Ganz

What Is Knorr Spinach Dip?

Knorr Spinach Dip is a classic recipe based around a packet of Knorr Vegetable Recipe Mix. Theoretically, it’s a soup mix, but I’ve never heard of anyone actually making soup with it. Even the picture on the packet is of the dip, and the majority of the 99 comments on the product’s landing page are dip-related.

For as long as I’ve had a family of my own, Knorr’s Spinach Dip has been a cornerstone of my Thanksgiving table. One of the first years we were together, my husband spent a panicked half hour sprinting up and down the aisles of the grocery store the night before Thanksgiving trying to find the mix, knowing he couldn’t come home without it. (He eventually asked someone for help, and they very kindly advised him not to forget the water chestnuts.) 

Credit: Stephanie Ganz

What’s So Great About Knorr Vegetable Recipe Mix?

Knorr Vegetable Recipe Mix delivers a wallop of savory flavor, thanks to ingredients like tomato powder, soy sauce, onion powder, and yeast extract. When combined with a creamy element (in the case of the dip, it’s a one-two punch of mayo and sour cream), all those savory ingredients come right to life. I’ve seen recipes that call for using this mix in meatloaf, pasta salad, and baked chicken, to name a few. Basically, any dish where a blast of umami is welcome could benefit from a sprinkling of Knorr’s.

What’s the Best Way to Use Knorr Vegetable Recipe Mix?

This mix is all about the dip, which couldn’t be simpler. Just combine a packet of Knorr’s Vegetable Recipe Mix with a container of sour cream, a cup of mayo (Duke’s or bust), cooked chopped spinach, scallions, and water chestnuts. Stir, refrigerate, and enjoy! Scooping into a hollowed-out boule of bread is optional, of course, but once you know that it could be in a bread bowl, it’s kind of hard to imagine it any other way. 

Another Kitchn staffer shared that her husband serves the dip in a pumpernickel loaf. She recommends using the leftover dip as a spread on the better-than-Thanksgiving-itself Thanksgiving leftover sandwich the next day.

I love that I can prepare it the night before, and it’s ready to go as soon as I want it, which is usually somewhere around the opening number of the parade and then literally all day after that (and also in the middle of the night, by the light of the refrigerator). It serves a very important role on the snack table, giving guests (and my kids) something to eat while they’re waiting to … um … eat.

Buy: Knorr Vegetable Recipe Mix, $1.42 for 1.4 ounces at Walmart

What’s your favorite store-bought dip mix? Tell us in the comments below.