I found this recipe on PInterest and sent a link to my daughter, Emily. She said exactly what I said upon finding it: omg I never thought to do this! As much as we love spinach dip, adding pasta to it seemed like a really great idea. It would be eating spinach dip with soft noodles instead of my preferred Wheat Thins. Since I love spinach dip, I’d be willing to try it delivered a different way!
Spinach dip happened to be on sale the day I stopped at the grocery store to pick up some items. I was tempted to pick some up and make it in a quicker way so that I could try it faster. But I do prefer to make my own spinach dip so I decided against taking a shortcut.
I didn’t need to make my pasta salad gluten-free, but this would make an excellent dish for those who need to go that route. You probably already have your favorite GF pastas and whatever mayo you use. Follow your usual routines with those and you’ll have a GF compliant dish.
I thawed my spinach several hours before I started making the salad. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a package of frozen spinach that was exactly 16 ounces so I had to thaw 2 12 ounce packages. From there I wondered if I’d have to increase the other ingredients. I used the whole 24 ounces and crossed my fingers.
After my spinach was drained and squeezed dry I set it aside in the strainer. I had a can of chopped water chestnuts but decided to chop them finer.
In a bowl I measured out the ingredients and mixed them with an electic mixer.
I taste tested my mixture and added a little more garlic and salt. You’ll want to check to determine if you’re happy with the flavor at this point as well.
I added the water chestnuts to the bowl and stirred well.
I stirred in the spinach, making sure I didn’t have any green clumps remaining. It takes awhile but with a little patience you’ll get it well mixed.
From here I refrigerated my spinach dip to allow the flavors to blend. I’d planned to finish making the salad the next day.
I prepared the pasta using gemelli, just because it’s a funky shape. I usually cook pasta until it’s al dente, has a little chew left to it. This time I made sure it was no longer al dente. I didn’t want it to soak up all of the spinach dip’s liquid and make my salad dry.
I drained the pasta and placed it in a large bowl. I added the spinach dip and stirred to combine. It was definitely an interesting combination, I couldn’t wait for it to chill so that I could taste it. I stored the pasta salad in a covered container until the following day.
Totally amazing salad! I wish I’d known to do this years ago. I could have been enjoying my spinach dip this way all along! I very much loved it and my P.S. liked it as well. Now I have a new pasta dish to fit into the salad line up, especially during the summer months. And when I’m lazy and in a rush, I might just buy the spinach dip and add pasta. I have no shame.
Spinach Dip Pasta Salad
Tweak your spinach dip craving by adding pasta, for more of a side dish! You'll be happy you did.
- 16 ounces fusilli pasta or shape of choice (use gluten-free pasta for a gluten-free dish)
- 16 ounces frozen chopped spinach; thawed (I used 2 12 ounce packages with good results)
- 5 ounces water chestnuts; finely chopped
- 2 cups sour cream
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise (use gluten-free mayo for a gluten-free dish)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt + more to taste
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
Press thawed spinach into mesh strainer to remove any liquid. Transfer to paper towels and press to remove any remaining liquid.
Drain and finely chop water chestnuts.
Combine rest of ingredients and mix well. Stir in water chestnuts then stir in spinach. Refrigerate if not adding pasta immediately.
Prepare pasta according to package directions. Make sure it is no longer al dente.
In a large bowl place drained pasta and spinach dip. Stir until dip is evenly mixed with pasta. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight to blend flavors.
Adapted from Wonky Wonderful