Appetizers are probably the greatest food invention of all time.
Seriously, hear me out on this one.
Appetizers are basically a prelude to the big musical number. They’re the opening monologue of a play that sets the tone for the rest of dinner. Appetizers are the introduction to a meal, and first impressions mean everything.
If there are appetizers served at a restaurant, chances are I’ll be buying one—-if not more. I’m all about small plates, and appetizers are the originators of small plates.
One of my favorites is chips & dip. Being from Texas, you can’t go one meal without having a precursory bowl of salsa (or queso) served with tortilla chips. However, if I’m not stuffing my face full of melty queso, chances are I’m swimming in a vat of spinach-artichoke dip.
No joke. Spinach artichoke dip owns my soul.
That warm, fragrant, cheesy vegetable dip is the next best thing to heaven. Cheddar’s, a pretty well-established chain restaurant (it’s kind of like Chili’s, but a thousand times better) has the best spinach artichoke dip. When I was a teenager I would go up there with my friends and just eat that. No meal, no dessert, just an appetizer. The way life should be.
How nobody has thought of putting spinach artichoke dip into potato shells is beyond me. If there’s anything better than the actual dip, it’s these twice-baked potatoes. They’re brimming with tangy artichokes, spinach, and melty Parmesan cheese. You only need a handful of ingredients, too, so with very little money you can have your own personal potato boats of spinach artichoke dip!
I served these as a side dish, but you can always make them an appetizer if you want. I did just go on a whole tangent about how appetizers are the greatest thing since sliced bread, so why not?
Spinach & Artichoke Twice-Baked Potatoes
Twice-baked potatoes stuffed with an artichoke, spinach and cheese filling.
- 4 large Russet potatoes, washed and scrubbed
- 2 TBS. butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (10 oz.) box frozen spinach, thawed and drained
- 1 TBS. lemon juice
- 1 (14.5 oz) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup sour cream, plus more for serving
- salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prick potatoes all over with a fork and then bake (not wrapped in foil) for 1 hour or until soft and cooked through. Let potatoes cool before handling them.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic and saute until just fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add spinach, lemon juice and artichokes, plus a crack of pepper and a pinch of salt. Stir and continue cooking until heated through, about another 2 minutes. Pour mixture into a large bowl.
- Once potatoes have cooled, slice each one in half. Using a spoon, scoop out the insides of the potatoes and mash lightly in veggie mixture bowl. Make sure to leave a little bit of flesh around the potato skins intact.
- Add Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to potato-veggie bowl and stir until mixture is well combined. Fold in sour cream.
- Place potato skins in a large baking dish. Spoon filling back into potato skins. Return to oven and bake for another 25-30 minutes or until tops are golden brown and filling is heated through. Serve with extra sour cream.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prick potatoes all over with a fork and bake for 1 hour or until soft. Let cool. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic and saute until just fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
Add spinach, lemon juice, and artichokes to pan, plus a crack of pepper and a pinch of salt.
Stir to combine and continue cooking until heated through, about another 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and place into a large bowl.
Once potatoes have cooled, cut in half and scoop out the insides, making sure to leave a little bit of flesh still intact around the skins.
Place the scooped out potatoes into the bowl with the veggies, and mash lightly.
Add parmesan, salt and pepper to the bowl and mix until well combined.
Fold in 1/3 cup of sour cream.
Place potato skins into a large baking dish. Spoon filling back into potato shells. Return to oven and bake for another 25-30 minutes or until tops are golden brown and filling is heated through.