(Better Than) Applebee’s Spinach and Artichoke Dip

applebee's spinach and artichoke dip

(Better Than) Applebee’s Spinach and Artichoke Dip

I’ve heard people say they’re nuts about the Applebee’s Spinach and Artichoke Dip.  I’m really not much of a fan of chain restaurants.  We have an Applebee’s in our town and I think I’ve only been there a few times (only because someone else chose the location).  I have nothing against Applebee’s.  We just choose to frequent mom and pop restaurants (see our road trip family rules).

Forget the chains.  I have a Spinach and Artichoke Dip recipe that I would put up against any restaurant recipe.  Honestly, I’ve never come across a better version.  Yes, I’m bragging.

Frugal Tip:  Instead of going out to eat, invite another couple over this weekend.  This is the perfect thing to serve at a casual party.  In my opinion, it’s so much more fun (and frugal) to invite people over to your home instead of going out to a restaurant.

(Better Than) Applebee’s Spinach and Artichoke Dip
 
Do you love Applebee’s Spinach and Artichoke dip? This version is even better!
Ingredients
  • 1 14-oz. can artichokes, drained and chopped
  • ½ of a 10-oz. package frozen spinach, thawed and drained (re-freeze the remainder to use the next time)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ C. sour cream
  • ¼ C. mayonnaise
  • ¼ C. cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ C. Romano cheese, grated
  • ¼ C. Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Panko bread crumbs (optional)

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine all ingredients except for the Parmesan cheese and mix well.
  3. Spread the dip in a baking dish and top with Parmesan cheese. Next, sprinkle Panko bread crumbs on top with a little pat of butter here and there.
  4. Bake until completely heated through and the cheese begins to bubble and brown.
  5. Serve with crackers, cocktail rye, pita, tortilla chips or even veggies.

 

Tortellini Gorgonzola

tortellini gorgonzola recipe

This Tortellini Gorgonzola recipe was inspired by a local restaurant called The Neighbors Italian Bistro.  I order it almost every time I go there, so I wanted to figure out how to make it at home.  This semi-homemade version is quick and easy – ready in 30 minutes.   Plus, now that I feel I’ve got a good version of my own I may branch out and try something different the next time I’m there.

Tortellini Gorgonzola
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
A quick, easy at-home meal that will satisfy your craving for Italian restaurant food
Ingredients
  • 2 chicken breasts (1/2 per serving)
  • 1 bag cheese tortellini noodles
  • 1½ C. fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
  • ½ jar Alfredo sauce
  • 1 C. half and half (to thin the sauce)
  • ½ container Gorzonzola cheese crumbles
  • ½ C. chopped walnuts
  • 1 red pepper, sliced (optional)
  • ¼ C. diced Roma tomatoes (optional)
Instructions
  1. Prepare tortellini noodles per bag instructions. Meanwhile, saute the spinach and red peppers in 1 Tbsp. of butter. Add the Alfredo sauce. Next, add the walnuts, gorgonzola crumbles, and diced tomatoes. I grilled my chicken breast on my George Foreman grill. I didn’t add the red peppers and tomatoes this time because I didn’t have them, but the original restaurant version includes them. Add the cooked tortellini noodles to the sauce. Slice ½ chicken breast and add to the top of the noodles and serve. Serves 4.
  2. Note: I really “eyeballed” the quantities on this recipe. You may want to adjust according to your taste – but it’s really yummy, quick, and easy too!

 

Frugal Tip:  Flash frozen chicken breasts that come in a bag are pretty cheap, but they often get dried out and don’t taste as flavorful as fresh chicken breasts.  One thing I’ve discovered is that if you par-boil them in chicken stock before grilling, they taste better and are more juicy.

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