I love to serve a warm dip during the holidays, like this Goat Cheese Artichoke Dip.  It can be prepared several days in advance and popped into the oven right before guests arrive, filling your house with the inviting smell of cheesy goodness.  This dip is a huge crowd-pleaser, so I always double the recipe when serving as part of a cocktail party menu.

Although this dip is cream cheese based, it freezes surprisingly well.  I often make an extra and freeze it (unbaked) so I have a delicious dip on hand for impromptu holiday entertaining.  If you aren’t a fan of goat cheese, use sour cream in place of the goat cheese.  Either way, this dip is absolutely delicious.  Serve with warm whole wheat pita wedges, baguette slices, or whole-grain crackers.

Goat Cheese Artichoke Dip

½ C. low-fat mayonnaise

8oz low-fat cream cheese or Neufatchel cheese, softened

6oz goat cheese, softened

½ C. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 can (14oz) water-packed artichoke hearts, drained

1 medium onion, chopped

1 large clove garlic, minced

1.            Combine mayo, cream cheese, goat cheese and Parmesan in food processor.  Blend until smooth.  Add artichoke hearts, onion and garlic and pulse until combined, leaving some texture to the mixture.  Transfer mixture to a 6” soufflet or casserole dish.  (You can refrigerate this mixture for up to 2 days).

2.            Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Bake dip for 30 minutes, or until warm and bubbly.  Serve immediately.