Spinach-Artichoke Grilled Cheese

published Feb 8, 2023
Spinach-Artichoke Grilled Cheese Recipe

Here is the perfect ratio of melty cheese to crispy bread — with the primary flavors and ingredients of a spinach-artichoke dip.

Serves4

Prep30 minutes

Cook14 minutes

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Spinach artichoke grilled cheese cut in half.
Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Stylist: Micah Morton

Spinach-artichoke dip is one of those shareable dishes I associate with a night out with friends or family. We sit around chatting while dunking freshly made crispy tortilla chips or eating our way to the bottom of a crusty sourdough bread bowl. The melty, savory, creamy, and briny aspects of the dip make it an irresistible crowd-pleaser.

Here, I went one step further and took everything I love about a good spinach-artichoke dip, sandwiched it between two slices of chewy sourdough bread, and turned it into a grilled cheese. Because every dinner can’t be a night out with loved ones, my grilled cheese combines the best of both worlds to create a fun weeknight dinner that everyone can enjoy.

Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Stylist: Micah Morton

What Makes This a Spinach-Artichoke Grilled Cheese?

First and foremost, this recipe is for grilled cheese, so I wanted to highlight the main characteristics of a great grilled cheese: melty cheese, and the perfect ratio of cheese to bread. To evoke the flavors of spinach-artichoke dip, I used this dip as inspiration for my recipe.

To make my spinach-artichoke grilled cheese, I simply spread a generous layer made of spinach, cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, scallions, artichokes, lemon zest, garlic powder, salt, and pepper on a slice of bread, drape provolone cheese over the top, and sandwich it with another slice of bread. All that’s left to do is cook it in a nonstick skillet until golden-brown and crispy.

Tips for Making a Great Spinach-Artichoke Grilled Cheese

  • Use melty cheese: Typically, spinach-artichoke dip is made with mozzarella, provolone, and Parmesan cheese. Along with salty Parmesan cheese, I landed on provolone cheese for its melty quality, “cheese pull” potential, and sharp flavor.
  • Make it savory: The addition of garlic powder, instead of raw minced garlic, heightens the flavor of this sandwich. I also call for slathering mayonnaise on the outsides of the bread, which adds richness. Plus, it does an excellent job of developing that crispy, crunchy golden exterior.
  • Add creamy ingredients: Usually there are three creamy elements in spinach-artichoke dip: cream cheese, sour cream, and mayo. For my recipe, I went with two: Cream cheese on the inside, and mayo on the outside to provide the right amount of creaminess.
  • Introduce a briny element: During my research, I found that recipes used either artichokes in water or marinated artichokes. As soon as I tried a grilled cheese with marinated artichokes, I was sold — I loved those  sharp, briny flavors in the creamy spinach layer paired with the melty cheese.

Spinach-Artichoke Grilled Cheese Recipe

Here is the perfect ratio of melty cheese to crispy bread — with the primary flavors and ingredients of a spinach-artichoke dip.

Prep time 30 minutes

Cook time 14 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 (10-ounce) package

    frozen chopped spinach

  • 4 ounces

    cream cheese

  • 2 ounces

    Parmesan cheese (heaping 1/2 cup store-bought grated)

  • 2

    medium scallions

  • 1 (6.5-ounce) jar

    marinated artichoke hearts

  • 1

    medium lemon

  • 1 teaspoon

    garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 to 8 slices

    provolone cheese, divided

  • 4 tablespoons

    mayonnaise, divided

  • 8 slices

    sourdough sandwich bread

Instructions

  1. Place 4 ounces cream cheese in a medium bowl and let sit out at room temperature until softened, at least 30 minutes. Alternatively, place in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave until soft to the touch, about 15 seconds.

  2. Place 10 ounces frozen spinach in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 1-minute bursts until defrosted, 2 to 3 minutes total. When cool enough to handle, squeeze all the excess moisture from the spinach with your hands. Add to the bowl with the cream cheese.

  3. Prepare the following, adding each to the bowl of spinach as it is completed: Finely grate 2 ounces Parmesan cheese (1/2 cup), or measure out heaping 1/2 cup store-bought. Thinly slice 2 medium scallions (about 2 tablespoons). Drain and chop 1 (6.5-ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts into bite sized pieces. Finely grate the zest of 1 medium lemon.

  4. Add 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoonblack pepper to the bowl. Smash and mix together with a flexible spatula until combined. Taste and season with more kosher salt as needed.

  5. Assemble the sandwiches: Spread 1/2 tablespoon mayonnaise onto each of 4 slices of the sliced sourdough bread and place on a cutting board mayo-side down. Evenly divide and spread the spinach mixture onto each of those slices of bread (scant 1/2 cup each). Top each with 1 to 2 slices provolone cheese. Spread 1/2 tablespoon mayonnaise onto each of the remaining 4 slices of bread. Close the sandwiches with these slices with the mayo side facing out.

  6. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Place 2 of the sandwiches in the skillet and cook until golden brown and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Reduce the heat as needed if the sandwiches are browning too quickly, you want the filling to warm through and the cheese to melt.

  7. Transfer to a cutting board and repeat cooking the remaining 2 sandwiches. Cut each sandwich in half with a serrated knife.

Recipe Notes

Artichokes: I like the briny flavor the marinated artichokes bring to this recipe, but if that’s not your preference, you can substitute with artichokes packed in water instead.

Make ahead: The filling can be made up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container.

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Rewarm in a low oven until heated through.