Artichoke Spinach Dip Grilled Cheese

We sit down together as a family on a weekly basis and I ask what each person would like for dinner the
coming week.  I get the exact same answer from K1 every week: "Grilled cheese and tomato soup!"  And I mostly change the subject quickly because regular grilled cheese and tomato soup has kind of become redundant and boring in my book.  So instead of avoiding her request this week, I made a new version using Artichoke Spinach Dip.  I've seen this version several times and thought I'd give it a go.

The difference is that I wanted a truer to the original version of the dip than most recipes I found.  And it had to be cheesy.  When I use artisan or gourmet cheeses in recipes, I sometimes buy a little extra and throw it in the freezer for a rainy day.  So I went and raided my freezer and found Monterey Jack and some Smoked Gouda.  Because they had been in the freezer, they crumbled very easily.  Throw in a little parmesan, and O.M.Y. (oh my yummy!)  I did add one more ingredient that made it go over the top - cream cheese.  Spread a little on each side of the bread and it just makes this sandwich heaven.  And seriously, choose good bread.  Go to your bakery section in the market and pick out a good artisan bread (and even better, you can usually find some that's already sliced!).  It will change the sandwich entirely.

Artichoke Spinach Dip Grilled Cheese


1 can artichoke quarters, drained and coarsely chopped
1 package frozen spinach, thawed
1/2 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
1/4 cup Monterey jack cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup smoked gouda cheese, crumbled
3 Tbs. mayonnaise
1 loaf of bread
1/2 package cream cheese
4 Tbs. softened butter


1. Preheat a panini grill or skillet over medium heat.

2. Squeeze the liquid off of the spinach.  Place it in between several sheets of paper towels and press remaining liquid out.  Place in a medium mixing bowl.  Add artichoke hearts, basil, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, paprika, black pepper, and cheeses.  Toss ingredients together.  Add mayonnaise and stir to mix.

3. Lay out 2 slices of bread.  Spread cream cheese on each side of bread.  Spoon approximately 1/2 cup of mixture onto one slice.  Top with other slice, cream cheese down.  Spread butter on both sides of bread.  Repeat with remaining bread and mixture.

4. Place sandwiches in panini grill or in skillet and cook until both sides are browned and cheese has melted.  Serve immediately.

Serves 4
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