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Spinach Artichoke Butter Bean Toasts

Because everyone wants to eat dip for dinner.


Spinach artichoke butter bean dip on toast on a plate with a fork.

If you’ve ever wanted to devour an entire pan of spinach artichoke dip in one sitting and call it dinner, you’re in luck. Canned artichokes and butter beans join frozen spinach in a garlicky bechamel sauce for a pantry-friendly dinner that’s weeknight comfort food at its finest.


While you might think you’ve never tried butter beans before, there’s a good chance you actually have. Butter beans are the larger, more mature manifestation of the green-skinned lima beans that many of us shunned as kids. Don’t worry: the flavor and texture are vastly different! While lima beans are mealy with a more pronounced vegetal flavor, butter beans are soft and silkier with a milder taste that lends itself to absorbing any flavors they’re paired with. Here they add a beautiful soft substance that plays beautifully against the creamy spinach and the slightly more toothsome artichoke. If you can’t find them—or are still scarred by childhood lima bean trauma—feel free to substitute another canned white bean such as cannellini, navy, or great northern.


Garlicky bechamel sauce in a pan on the stove.

While spinach artichoke dip is typically made by melting down cream cheese and sour cream before adding the spinach and artichokes, we’re using a bechamel sauce as the base for this dinnertime version. Consisting of milk thickened with a butter and flour roux, bechamel is the classic foundation for many creamy white sauces, most notably mac ‘n’ cheese. Here it provides a perfect base to hold the cheesy spinach, beans, and artichokes.


If you want, you can simply throw some toast on a plate and dollop the spinach artichoke sauce on top—and it’ll be delicious. But if you want to taste these toasts at their best, top them with more cheese and broil until bubbling and golden-brown on top. It’ll take a few extra minutes, but trust me—it’s worth it.


Enjoy!

 

Spinach Artichoke Butter Bean Toasts

(Makes 6 cups sauce, enough for 18 toasts)


Spinach artichoke butter bean dip on toast on a white plate.

4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

6 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3 tbsp. all-purpose flour

1 ½ c. whole milk, divided

8 oz. cream cheese, cubed

10 oz. frozen spinach, thawed, with the water squeezed out

1 (14-oz.) can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered

1 (15.5-oz.) can butter beans, drained, and rinsed

4 oz. white cheddar, shredded (about 1 cup), plus more for serving (optional)

3 oz. parmesan cheese, finely shredded (about 1 cup), plus more for serving (optional)

¼ tsp. hot sauce, plus more

¼ tsp. kosher salt, plus more as needed

1 loaf Italian bread, cut into 18 ½” pieces, toasted


Equipment: large pan, baking sheet (optional), broiler (optional)


Method


Spinach artichoke butter bean dip in a pan on the stove.

In a large pan over medium heat, melt butter.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Stir in flour to form a smooth paste and cook, stirring constantly, until golden brown and bubbling, 1-2 minutes more.

 

Add half the milk and stir until smooth, then add remaining milk, stirring constantly, and stir until completely combined into a thick white sauce. Stir in cream cheese until melted.

 

Add spinach, artichokes, and beans to sauce, folding in until evenly distributed, and cook until heated through and sauce is bubbling. Reduce heat to low and fold 4 ounces cheddar, 3 ounces parmesan, and ¼ teaspoon hot sauce until cheese is completely melted. Taste and season with ¼ teaspoon salt and additional hot sauce to taste.

 

Serve over toasted bread.

 

For the broiled finish (optional but highly recommended):

 

Top toasted bread with spinach artichoke butter bean mixture and sprinkle with about a tablespoon shredded cheddar and/or parmesan cheese. Broil on high, watching closely, until toasts are bubbling and golden-brown on top.


Spinach artichoke butter bean dip on toast on a plate.

Originally posted April 13, 2024.



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