Cheesy protein-packed artichoke kale dip

Cheesy protein-packed artichoke kale dip

If I’m ordering dip at a restaurant, it’s going to be artichoke dip. It’s so cheesy and creamy. I love how the flavor of artichoke permeates through the dish. And when the weather gets cooler, I think it’s a great dish to serve up with chips or crusty bread. 

My artichoke dip is a twist on the classic spinach artichoke dip. I load it up with a lot of healthy proteins and a rich variety of vegetables so you can eat a lot of this dip without feeling guilty about it. 

Protein-packed artichoke and kale dip with chips

Where did artichoke spinach dip come from? 

It’s believed that the beloved artichoke spinach dip that we see in restaurants originated from American soldiers returning from Europe after World World II and bringing Mediterranean flavors they experienced while overseas, like artichokes and spinach. Another lore around the dish’s origin comes from home cooks in the mid-20th century who were looking for new ways to jazz up appetizers for their parties. In the 1970s, the dish became a staple across restaurant menus around the United States. The dish was also easy to make and customizable, so it became popular to make at home. Nowadays, it’s one of the most common appetizers seen in the United States. 

Why are we using kale in this recipe?

Traditionally, artichoke dip uses spinach, but I’m opting for kale in this recipe because I like the added fiber and nutrients. Kales and spinach are both healthy, leafy greens. They have a lot of health benefits, are loaded with vitamins, are high in fiber, and are low in calories. 

Kale is a good source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as calcium, iron, and potassium. It is also a good source of antioxidants, which can help protect your cells from damage. It has a higher concentration of vitamin C and calcium than spinach. However, if you are looking for a vegetable that is high in folate and lutein, spinach is the better choice. If you don’t like kale, you can always swap out for spinach in this recipe and it will still taste just as great. 

Using tofu instead of sour cream

Sour cheese is the typical base for artichoke spinach dip. But to cut down on the saturated fat and to add more protein, I use a combination of tofu and cottage cheese instead for this recipe. Blending the tofu and cottage cheese together helps create a creamy base that’s a great, low-calorie alternative to the traditional recipe. In order to give the dip some richness, I add a little bit of low-fat mayonnaise or you can use olive oil. The fat helps add flavor. 

Making spinach artichoke dip vegan 

If you want to make this dish vegan, then you’re in luck. It’s pretty easy. Substitute the cottage cheese for a cup of vegan cream cheese. Instead of using shredded cheese, use vegan cheese, or nutritional yeast. Instead of using mayo for the base, use olive oil. For the topping, you can use vegan cheese instead of dairy cheese. 

Recipe: Cheesy protein-packed artichoke kale dip  

Serves 10 to 12 people 

Prep time: 30 minutes | Cook time: 20 minutes | Bake time: 30 minutes | Total cooking time: 1 hour and 10 minutes 



  • 2 14-ounce cans of artichokes (in water, low sodium) 
  • 1 14-ounce can of Hearts of Palm (you can substitute for water chestnuts if you want more of a crunch) 
  • 12-ounce bag of frozen kale 
  • ½ cup of roughly chopped parsley and dill 
  • Spring of thyme 
  • 1 tablespoon of basil (fresh, if you don’t have fresh then you can use dry, but please reduce quantity by 75%. Dry herbs are more potent.)
  • 1 teaspoon of tarragon (fresh)
  • 1 teaspoon of oregano (fresh) 
  • 1 medium-sized yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon of avocado oil (for sauteing the vegetables in the pan)


  • 1 block of firm tofu (don’t press it, keep the liquid inside the tofu) 
  • 1 cup of small curd cottage cheese (I used 1% milk fat, low sodium)
  • 1 cup of shredded cheese (I use a combination of cheddar, low-moisture mozzarella, parmesan, and asiago) 
  • 1 teaspoon of low-fat mayonnaise (can substitute with olive oil) 
  • ¼ cup of roasted cashews 
  • 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard 
  • ¼ cup of filtered water 
  • 4 to 6 cloves of garlic (1 to 2 tablespoons, depending on how garlicky you like it)
  • Salt and pepper to taste 
  • Red pepper flakes

Crispy topping 

  • ¼ cup of panko bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup of shredded cheese mix 
  • 1 teaspoon of avocado oil 
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Pinch of paparika

Tools needed for this recipe

  • High-speed blender (I used a Vitamix) 
  • 8x8 baking dish or another larger casserole dish
  • Skillet 
  • Mixing bowls 


Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  

Prep your vegetables by dicing 1 onion and setting it aside. We’re going to sauté the onions later.

chopped onions

Drain your artichokes chop them roughly. Place in a large bowl. 

Canned, drained artichokes

Drain your Hearts of Palm and chop roughly so that they are in bite size pieces. 

Diced Hearts of Palm


Defrost the bag of frozen kale and squeeze as much of the liquid you can out of it. 

Drained and defrosted kale

Add it to the bowl containing the artichokes and Hearts of Palm.

Vegetables for dip in a bowl before sautéing in pan


Heat your pan to medium heat and add your avocado oil. Sauté your onions in the oil.

Onions cooking in pan

When they start to get caramelized add your artichokes, Hearts of Palm, and kale to the pan and sauté them for about 10 minutes. You want the moisture to be gone from the vegetables. After you’ve cooked them, set aside and let them cool. 

Sautéed vegetables

Let’s start making the creamy base. You will need to use a blender or food processor, although I think a blender works better. You will add your tofu, cashews, cottage cheese, garlic, mustard, and mayo (or oil) to your blender.

Ingredients for the cream base

Start blending. Add water if you need the mixture to be a bit looser to help your machine blend. 

Ingredients for cream base added to blender

Once you blend everything together, you should have a creamy and smooth paste.

Blended ingredients created creamy base

Pour the mixture into a mixing bowl and add in your spices and herbs.

Herbs and spices added to the cream base

You want to fold in your herbs and cheese. 

Cheese mixture added to cream and herb base


Make sure to combined those ingredients well.

Cheese, herbs, spices, all well combined into cream base

Then, add your vegetables to the creamy mixture and fold everything in until well combined. 

Cooked vegetables added to the dip

Pour the dip into a casserole or baking dish. You will be finishing it off in the oven. I used an 8x8 brownie pan. I like to line my pan with parchment paper so I have an easy clean-up later. 

dip added to baking dish

Next, we will make the crispy topping that we will pour on top of the dip. In a separate bowl, add your Panko, cheese, seasonings, and oil, mix and pour over your dip.

Crispy topping mixture

You want an even layer covering all the dip. 

Crispy topping mixture spread across dish

Place your dip into your preheated oven and bake for 18 minutes. After 18 minutes, switch your oven to the broil setting. You want to broil on high for 1 to 2 minutes until the topping gets nice and crispy, bubbly, and golden brown. 

Dip golden brown fresh out of the oven

Remove from oven and let it cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. I like to serve it with tortilla chips, but this is a great dip to eat with bread and vegetables, and you can even add it to sandwiches. 

Cheesy artichoke dip being scoped out of warm baking dish

Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Cheesy warm dip being served on a chip

Let me know if you make this recipe by leaving a comment below! It really helps me out and lets others know about the recipe. Thank you. 

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