This is a copycat recipe of Jose Peppers Espinaca Dip recipe. It’s cheesy with so much flavor (and uses homemade Velveeta)!
I especially love this Espinaca Dip recipe because it’s cheesier than most dips. I was given the recipe by a friend who swears it tastes just like the original version from Jose Peppers restaurant. I did change her Espinaca Dip recipe slightly by roasting my own poblano peppers instead of those from a can and making my own homemade Velveeta cheese (it’s incredibly easy and has just four ingredients)!
What is Espinaca Dip?
Espinaca Dip is a Mexican (or Tex-Mex) hot cheese spinach dip made from cooked and pureed spinach mixed with cheese, cream cheese and spices. It is often served as a dip for tortilla chips or vegetables, or as a spread for sandwiches or baked potatoes. Some variations of Espinaca Dip may also include ingredients such as sour cream, chorizo, and garlic. It is a flavorful and creamy dip that is easy to make and can be enjoyed on Taco Tuesday, during a football game or as a snack or appetizer.
“Espinaca” is the Spanish word for “spinach”. “Queso” is the Spanish word for “cheese”. “Muy” means “very” and “delicioso” translates to “delicious”. Therefore, this dip technically could be called “Muy Delicioso Queso Espinaca”. Sounds much prettier, doesn’t it? But since this dip is a recreation of Jose Peppers Espinaca Dip recipe, I think we’ll leave its title the same as where it first started.
- Cheese: I use my own homemade Velveeta cheese. You could easily use store-bought Velveeta or just try adding regular shredded cheese, but I wanted both the flavor of real cheese and the texture that you can only get from Velveeta. It’s just so meltable and holds up well when it’s heated for any length of time.
- Cream cheese: This recipe is spicy enough that you can use low-fat cream cheese, if you prefer.
- Frozen spinach (boxed): Frozen spinach is the easiest way to go but fresh spinach is also good. Thaw thoroughly and squeeze as much water as possible with a dry kitchen towel, cheesecloth or paper towels.
- Poblano peppers: Brings a mild to medium heat and a slightly sweet and smoky flavor.
- Jalapeños: The smoky flavor of poblanos contrasts nicely with the savory flavor or Jalapeños.
- Fire-roasted tomatoes: Rotel tomatoes will work too but I like the smoky, charred flavor that fire-roasted tomatoes bring.
- Cilantro: Fresh cilantro adds a fresh tangy citrus flavor to the dip. Use the leaves, not the stems.
- Chicken bouillon: The variety of seasonings in the bouillon ramps up the flavor.
- Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO): Use EVOO for a strong, full-bodied flavor.
- Onion: White or yellow onions are best.
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper: Add to taste; I season this dip liberally to bring out its flavors
- Heavy cream: Makes this dip smooth and adds to the creaminess.
- Milk: Add as necessary if mixture is too thick for your liking.. You can also use chicken broth or evaporated milk.
(Scroll down to the bottom for the printable recipe card with exact measurements and recipe instructions.)
How to Make Espinaca Dip
- If making homemade Velveeta cheese follow this recipe
- Roast: Place peppers under a hot broiler until very black, turning once to ensure the entire pepper is blistered and blackened.
- Sauté: Add EVOO and onions and sauté over medium heat for about two minutes.
- Heat Mixture: Heat all ingredients except cilantro, salt, pepper and milk until mixture is hot and bubbling and cream cheese has completely melted.
- Add in Remaining Ingredients: Season with salt and pepper, taste and add more seasoning as needed. Stir in cilantro and, if desired, add small amounts of milk until you reach your desired consistency.
A slow-cooker would be ideal for this recipe so feel free to melt all the ingredients that way if you prefer.
I love this dip as is but it’s always fun to mix things up too. Try these variations:
- Meat: Bacon, chorizo, chicken or beef would all make great additions to this recipe.
- Other Velveeta Cheeses: You can still use Velveeta but with a different cheese. Other Velveeta cheeses include Queso Blanco, Mexican, Sharp Cheddar or 2% Milk Reduced Fat Cheese. Try another processed cheese such as American cheese as well.
- Regular Cheese: Any shredded cheese can be used for this recipe including Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, Smoked, Mild or Extra Sharp Cheddar, Mexican-blend, Mozzarella or your favorite cheese.
- Artichoke: I could put away a good amount of any type of spinach dip. I love it cold, I love it hot and I love it when it’s got artichokes thrown into the mix.
- Corn: Adds a more Southwestern-style to this dip.
What to Serve with Espinaca Dip
There are many dipper options for this queso.
- Tortilla chips
- Pita chips
- Bread or toasted baguette rounds
- Raw veggies
- Spread for sandwiches or toast
Make Ahead, Store & How to Reheat
This dip can absolutely made ahead and then stored. Here is how:
- To store, place it in an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to 3 days.
- To freeze, place the dip in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. To thaw the dip, transfer it to the refrigerator the night before you plan to serve it and let it thaw slowly.
To reheat Espinaca Dip, you can use the stovetop, microwave, or oven.
- Stovetop: Heat over medium-low heat in pan, stirring occasionally, until heated through.
- Microwave: Heat in a microwave-safe dish on medium-low power for 1-2 minutes, or until heated through. Stir the dip halfway through reheating to ensure even heating.
- Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F. Place the dip in an oven-safe dish and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until heated through.
Keep an eye on the dip as it reheats to ensure that it doesn’t overcook or burn. You may need to add a little milk or cream to the dip to help it retain its creamy texture if it has become too thick during storage.
- 1 lb Velveeta cheese, homemade Velveeta cheese, or your favorite cheese
- 2 medium poblano peppers
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1 8- ounce box frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed well with a hand towel until very dry
- 2 cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained
- 4 chicken bouillon cubes
- 3-5 jalapenos, diced
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/2 pint heavy cream
- 2 8- ounce packages cream cheese, softened
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, or to taste; I season this dip liberally to bring out its flavors
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- milk, added as necessary if mixture is too thick for your liking
- Line a loaf pan (any pan will do, it will just be a different shape) with saran wrap.
- Put gelatin and powdered milk into a blender. Add boiling water and process immediately until smooth. Add cheese and continue blending until mixture is very smooth.
- Pour mixture into pan and smooth out with a spatula. Cover with more saran wrap then refrigerate until firm.
- Meanwhile, roast your poblano peppers: Place peppers on a baking sheet and place under hot broiler until very black, turning once to ensure the entire pepper is blistered and blackened. Immediately (and carefully) place hot peppers into a resealable plastic bag and close tightly; allow to sit for at least ten minutes or until cool enough to handle. Peel blackened skin from peppers; remove and discard stem and seeds. Chop peppers and set aside.
- Add extra-virgin olive oil and chopped onion to a preheated skillet and sauté over medium heat for about two minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Place all ingredients except cilantro, salt, pepper and milk in a large-sized pot on stove over medium-low heat. Heat mixture slowly, stirring occasionally, until mixture is hot and bubbling and cream cheese has completely melted. Season with salt and pepper, taste and add more seasoning as needed. Stir in cilantro and, if desired, add small amounts of milk until you reach your desired consistency.
- Serve hot with salty tortilla chips.
Here is the recipe for homemade Velveeta cheese. Takes just 10 minutes!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 231Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 59mgSodium: 775mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 8g
This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix.
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