This Christmas Tree spinach dip pull-apart bread was the perfect thing to bring to a Christmas party. My husband and I received numerous compliments on how creative and delicious it was. Of course, the only reason we pulled off this Pinterest-worthy creation was because of how ridiculously simple it was – made easier because I used Thrive Life freeze dried spinach.
I first came across this recipe on another blog, Satisfy Her Soul and I liked Michelle’s addition of artichoke. I made a few changes though: I added a few more spices, using Thrive Life freeze dried spinach instead of frozen, and opted to make my own pizza dough. I also found the tutorial for making the tree, as well as additional seasoning to add, from It’s Always Autumn.
Making the Dough
Let’s talk about the crust to start. You have a few options:
- Use ready-made pizza crust (such as Pillsbury Pizza Dough).
- Make your own – this is what we did (by “we,” I mean my husband) and I like to think it was worth the extra effort (especially since I wasn’t the one putting in said effort!)
My Thrive-a-lized Spinach Dip
I noticed most spinach dip recipes call for thawing and chopping frozen spinach, and then drying it off as much as possible so the bread doesn’t get too soggy. Ugh, talk about WORK! One of the things I love about being a Thrive Life Independent Consultant is finding ways to simplify recipes. I like to maximize the flavour and nutrition of my food while minimizing the effort. Hence why I “thrive-a-lized” this recipe and used Thrive Life spinach!
I love it because:
- It is already dry and chopped for me.
- The long shelf life means it is fresh and ready whenever I want to use it – the can lasts one year at room temperature once open (25 years unopened).
- You get a stronger flavour and greater nutrition that grocery store frozen or even fresh spinach. It is picked at peak ripeness, flash frozen and then freeze dried without high heat, which preserves the taste, nutrients and enzymes – without adding anything! For real. There is ONE ingredient – spinach!
Making the Tree Shape
When it is time to cut the crust, you can follow It’s Always Autumn’s guide. My husband (Mr. Precision) actually took a pizza knife and straightened the edges, so he would have a perfect rectangle. He also measured to make sure he was centering the tree shape. Here are your basic steps:
- Cut out the tree base (an isosceles triangle). You have the option of also including a trunk at the base of the tree, if your pan is long enough to accommodate it.
- Spread your spinach dip mixture over the tree, making sure it goes right to the edge. It’s a little tough to spread as it is a fairly firm dip. Just keep working it until it is evenly spread.
- Take the two remaining right angle triangles, bring them together to form one isosceles triangle, and place it on top.
- Make the branches – about one inch cuts on either side, leaving a couple inches space in the middle to form the trunk. Then you twist these so that the spinach dip is visible.
- If you chose to trim the edges at the beginning like we did, you can take the dough scraps and twist them into a star for the top of your tree (or in our case, beside the tree since our pan wasn’t long enough).
The three main ingredients are cream cheese, spinach and artichoke. I played around with how much of these to add until it seemed right, and then added the other seasonings (the Thrive Life freeze dried Italian Seasoning works splendidly) and ingredients. Here is the recipe card with directions.
Thrive-a-lized Christmas Tree Spinach Dip Pull-Apart Bread
- 1.5 cups Thrive Life Chopped Spinach
- 1 - 2 tbsp water
- 9 oz cream cheese softened
- 3/4 cup chopped artichokes can used canned/pickled
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp Thrive Life Chopped Onions crumbled in hand
- 1 tsp Thrive Life Italian Seasoning
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp chili powder or more if you like more zing
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan or refreshed Thrive Life parmesan
- 1 cup Mozzarella cheese
Garlic Butter Topping
- 2-3 tbsp butter melted
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 1/2 tsp Thrive Life Italian Seasoning
Prep your dough. When about to make the dip, preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Make sure your cream cheese is soft (leave it out of the fridge for about 30 min). Cut it into a bowl and add your freeze dried spinach. You can crumble the spinach a bit to make the pieces smaller. Add water to slightly moisten the mixture. Beat together.
Cut up artichoke into small pieces, dry off with a towel. Stir this and the minced garlic into your mix. I used three heads of pickled artichoke.
Take your Thrive Life freeze dried chopped onions and crumble them slightly in your hand before adding them to the mix.
Add all your seasonings and beat to combine.
Add your Parmesan and mozzarella and beat to combine.
Follow the directions provided to make the tree shape and spread your dip.
Bake on the middle rack for 25 – 30 minutes. The time will vary depending on the type of dough you made. With our homemade dough, it was closer to 30. But the goal is to have a nicely browned but not burnt crust.
Make the garlic butter topping. Add more seasoning as needed as per your preference. Spread on once you’ve take your Christmas tree out of the oven.
In the comments below, let me know – what are some of your favourite fun holiday themed dishes to make for a party?