Easy Spinach Artichoke Balls Recipe: Perfect for Parties

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Written By Haryana’s Restaurant

Authentic Indian Food – Classic Indian Cuisine in Terrace BC

Imagine biting into a warm, cheesy morsel bursting with the flavors of spinach and artichoke, perfectly seasoned and crisped to golden perfection. That’s exactly what you’ll get with these delightful spinach artichoke balls, a twist on the classic dip that’s become a favorite at gatherings. Whether you’re hosting a party or just craving a tasty snack, these bite-sized treats are sure to impress.

Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make these delightful spinach artichoke balls, perfect for impressing at any gathering.

  • 1 (10 oz) package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 (14 oz) can of artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 large egg, beaten

Equipment Needed

To make these delicious spinach artichoke balls, you’ll need the following kitchen tools:

  • Large Mixing Bowl: For combining the spinach, artichokes, cheeses, and seasonings.
  • Food Processor: To finely chop the spinach and artichoke hearts, ensuring a smooth integration into your mixture.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: Precision is key for balancing the flavors perfectly.
  • Baking Sheet: Lined with parchment paper, this will serve as the cooking surface for your balls, ensuring they don’t stick and have an even cooking.
  • Oven: Preheat to the specified temperature before baking.
  • Spatula: Useful for mixing the ingredients thoroughly and scraping down the sides of the bowl.
  • Cookie Scoop or Spoon: To form uniformly sized balls, ensuring they cook evenly.
  • Wire Rack: For cooling the balls slightly before serving, maintaining their crispy exterior.

Instructions

Follow these detailed steps to create your own delicious spinach artichoke balls, perfect for any gathering!

Prep the Spinach and Artichokes

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). This ensures a steady, hot environment for cooking the balls evenly.
  2. If using fresh spinach, wash it thoroughly under cold water. For frozen spinach, ensure it’s completely thawed. Squeeze out all excess moisture from the spinach using a clean cloth or paper towel.
  3. Drain canned artichoke hearts and roughly chop them into smaller pieces to make them easier to blend.
  4. Place the prepared spinach and chopped artichokes in a food processor. Pulse a few times until they are finely chopped but not pureed. This keeps the texture interesting and bite-sized.

Mix Ingredients

  1. Transfer the chopped spinach and artichokes to a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add 1 cup of shredded mozzarella, ½ cup of grated Parmesan, ¼ cup of softened cream cheese, 1 minced garlic clove, ½ teaspoon of salt, ¼ teaspoon of pepper, and ½ teaspoon of onion powder to the bowl.
  3. Crack an egg into the bowl. The egg acts as a binding agent to help hold all the components together.
  4. Mix all the ingredients thoroughly until everything is uniformly combined. The mixture should be sticky and cohesive, indicating it’s ready to be formed into balls.

Baking the Spinach Artichoke Balls

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. This prevents the balls from sticking and ensures easy cleanup.
  2. Use a cookie scoop or a spoon to scoop out the mixture. Roll the mixture between your palms to form smooth, even balls. Aim for about the size of a golf ball.
  3. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet, ensuring they don’t touch each other to allow even baking.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the balls are golden and firm.
  5. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the spinach artichoke balls to cool on a wire rack for a few minutes. This firms them up further and enhances their flavor.

Cooking Method

Now that your ingredients are prepped and your equipment is ready, let’s dive into the cooking methods to turn your mixture into delectable spinach artichoke balls.

Oven-Baking Instructions

  1. Preheat the Oven: Set your oven to 375°F (190°C). This temperature will ensure your balls are cooked through and get a nice golden crust.
  2. Prepare the Baking Sheet: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease it to prevent sticking.
  3. Form the Balls: Using a cookie scoop or spoon, scoop the spinach artichoke mixture and roll it into balls approximately 1 inch in diameter. This size is ideal for ensuring even cooking and easy eating.
  4. Arrange on Baking Sheet: Place the formed balls on the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about an inch apart to allow for even heat distribution.
  5. Bake: Slide the baking sheet into the preheated oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Halfway through the baking time, gently turn the balls over to ensure they brown evenly on all sides.
  6. Cooling Time: Once golden and firm, remove the spinach artichoke balls from the oven and allow them to cool on a wire rack for about 5 to 10 minutes. This will help them set and be easier to handle.

Frying Method

  1. Heat the Oil: Pour enough vegetable oil into a deep skillet or frying pan to fully cover the balls. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it reaches about 350°F (177°C). Use a cooking thermometer to check the temperature and ensure safety.
  2. Fry the Balls: Carefully place the balls into the hot oil using a slotted spoon. Do not overcrowd the pan; work in batches if necessary.
  3. Cook Evenly: Fry the balls for 4 to 5 minutes, turning them occasionally until they are golden brown on all sides.
  4. Drain: Using the slotted spoon, remove the balls from the oil and place them on a plate lined with paper towels to drain any excess oil.
  5. Cool Before Serving: Let the fried spinach artichoke balls cool for a few minutes before serving to allow the inside to be perfectly gooey and the exterior crisp.

Serving Suggestions

Once your spinach artichoke balls are cooked to perfection, be it golden and crispy from the oven or delightfully golden-brown from frying, you’re ready to think about serving them. These flavorful balls are versatile and can be presented in several appetizing ways to complement the mood of any gathering or meal.

Plating Individual Servings

For an elegant touch, serve these spinach artichoke balls on a small plate paired with a decorative toothpick inserted into each one. This allows your guests to easily pick them up. Arrange them in a circular pattern around a small bowl of dipping sauce for both visual appeal and convenience.

Pairing with Dips

These cheesy delights pair wonderfully with a range of dips. You might opt for a classic creamy garlic dip, a rich marinara sauce, or a light and tangy yogurt sauce. Serve each dip in a separate small bowl, allowing your guests to choose their preferred flavors. Consider labeling each dip if you’re serving a large crowd to streamline the dipping process.

Accompanying Drinks

To balance the rich flavor of the spinach artichoke balls, offer a selection of refreshing beverages. Sparkling water with a twist of lime, crisp white wines such as Sauvignon Blanc, or even a light-bodied beer make excellent choices. These drinks help cleanse the palate and enhance the overall eating experience.

Additional Sides

For a more substantial offering, pair the spinach artichoke balls with a side salad. A simple salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, and a light vinaigrette works well. The freshness of the salad contrasts nicely with the warmth and creaminess of the balls, making for a well-rounded meal or appetizer.

Setting the Scene

Finally, set the mood with some ambient background music and soft lighting to make the dining experience even more enjoyable. Whether you’re hosting a formal dinner party or a casual get-together, these small touches will make your spinach artichoke balls the star of the show.

Make-Ahead Tips

When planning a party or gathering, preparing dishes ahead of time can save you from last-minute prep stress. For the spinach artichoke balls, you have several make-ahead options that ensure your snacks are as fresh and tasty as possible.

Prepare the Mixture in Advance

You can mix all the ingredients for your spinach artichoke balls up to two days before your event. Simply prepare the mixture following the recipe steps, cover it tightly, and refrigerate. When you’re ready to bake, let the mixture sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before shaping and baking. This step ensures the balls cook evenly and hold their shape better when formed.

Freeze for Later

If you prefer to prepare your snacks well in advance, freezing is an excellent option. After forming the balls, place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, ensuring they are not touching, and freeze until solid. Once frozen, transfer the balls to a freezer bag or an airtight container. They can be stored in the freezer for up to a month. When ready to serve, bake them directly from frozen, adding a couple of extra minutes to the baking time. No need to thaw!

Pre-Bake and Reheat

Another time-saving technique is to bake the spinach artichoke balls beforehand and then reheat them just before serving. Bake them as instructed, but remove them from the oven a few minutes early so they are just underdone. Let them cool, then store in the refrigerator covered. Reheat in an oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 5-10 minutes, or until fully warmed through and crisp on the outside.

These make-ahead tips not only streamline your preparation process but also help ensure that your spinach artichoke balls are deliciously warm and ready to be enjoyed by your guests at the perfect moment.

Conclusion

Ready to dazzle your guests with a delicious, crowd-pleasing appetizer? Give these spinach artichoke balls a try at your next gathering. Whether you choose to bake or fry, you’ll end up with a warm, cheesy treat that’s sure to disappear quickly from the appetizer table. Remember, you can always prep ahead to save time and ensure you’re not missing out on the fun. Enjoy the compliments while your guests enjoy the flavors!

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