You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 3 p.m.

Greek spinach dip a gooey, rich appetizer fit to celebrate a football game

By Mary Bilyeu


Mary Bilyeu, Contributor

I'm a proud graduate of the University of Michigan; my ex-husband, Stuart, attended medical school at Michigan State University. Needless to say, the intra-state rivalry has always been a lot of fun for us! When Stuart and I were married, we hosted a party each year in honor of the big Michigan-Michigan State football game.

After we met, Stuart used to follow me around, offering to take me to the game. It didn't happen that year, 'cause the tickets are extremely popular and hard to come by... and expensive.

Stuart did get tickets for the game in 1990, when we were expecting Jeremy. I had to buy a large sweatshirt to wear to the game, to go over the "baby bump." We still consider it Jeremy's first Michigan-Michigan State game, even if he didn't get to see anything that time.

So, what to serve this year in honor of the game? My family's traditions have changed, as has the family unit itself; but the need for appropriate food for this important occasion remains a constant.

Michigan State's mascot is a Spartan, named for the famous warriors of the ancient Greek city of Sparta. So it only made sense to make a spinach dip — which would feature MSU's team colors of green and white — and to give it a Greek flair with oregano and lemon and feta.

This is gooey and rich, with a vibrant lemon flavor that is distinctive and shines through. And if you serve it with maize-and blue-colored chips, you've got Michigan's team colors invited to the party as well!

Greek Spinach Dip

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, chopped fine
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
5 cups chopped fresh spinach
1 lemon
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
8 ounces mozzarella, shredded
5 ounces feta, divided
chips or crackers, for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a flat 3-cup baking dish.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, salt, pepper and oregano; saute until the vegetables are translucent. Add the spinach; saute until wilted.

Zest the lemon, then juice it. Add the zest and juice to the spinach, then place the spinach mixture into a large mixing bowl.

Stir the yogurt, mozzarella, and 4 ounces of the feta into the spinach mixture; place the spinach into the prepared baking dish, then top with the remaining feta.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until the top is starting to brown and the dip is bubbling. Serve hot, with chips or crackers.

Serves 4.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Bilyeu

Mary Bilyeu has won or placed in more than 60 cooking contests and writes about her adventures in the kitchen. She was thrilled to have her post about Scottish Oatmeal Shortbread named as one of the daily "Best of the Blogs" by the prestigious Food News Journal.

Go visit Mary's blog — Food Floozie — on which she enthuses and effuses over all things food-related. Her newest feature is Frugal Floozie Friday, seeking fun and food for $5 or less ... really! Feel free to email her with questions or comments or suggestions:

The phrase "You Should Only Be Happy" (written in Hebrew on the stone pictured in this post) comes from Deuteronomy 16:15 and is a wish for all her readers as they cook along with her ... may you always be happy here.


Urban Sombrero

Sun, Oct 16, 2011 : 1:46 a.m.

Mary, I made this today. It was as good as I'd hoped. Awesome! The only thing I didn't do was use the lemon zest. I've never zested a lemon in my life and didn't want to mess things up if I did it wrong. Still, it was great. Thanks for posting this! :)

Mary Bilyeu

Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 1:33 p.m.

I am SO glad you wrote to let me know how much you enjoyed the dip -- that made my whole Monday morning! If you get a plane grater at a kitchen supply store (maybe $10), you can finely zest the lemon; it really adds amazing flavor. But I love to know that people use and like my recipes, so this was fabulous to read to start my week ... :)

Urban Sombrero

Sun, Oct 16, 2011 : 1:55 a.m.

I almost forgot to add: I've already committed this recipe to a card in my "tried and true" recipe box. I'll definitely be making it again. I just love feta and spinach and this recipe really brings out the best in both. Thanks again.


Fri, Oct 14, 2011 : 12:38 p.m.

Another winner Mary

Mary Bilyeu

Fri, Oct 14, 2011 : 3:37 p.m.

Thank you so much! Did you ever try the Fluffernutter Cupcakes??? If you have a sweet tooth, which everybody should(!), they are an absolute MUST!

Urban Sombrero

Fri, Oct 14, 2011 : 2:31 a.m.

This sounds amazing. And, I have almost everything needed in my house already. I'll definitely be trying this this weekend!

Mary Bilyeu

Fri, Oct 14, 2011 : 3:36 p.m.

I do hope you enjoy it! Please let me know how you like it ....


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 9:07 p.m.

Thank you--this sounds divine!

Mary Bilyeu

Fri, Oct 14, 2011 : 12:59 a.m.

Thank you so much! I do hope you enjoy it. Jeremy doesn't like spinach, but he still devoured this. It's messy, but it's really good!