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This warm spinach artichoke dip is extra creamy, with a little added zip

Creamy spinach and artichoke dip is always a hit. It’s one of the first things I reach for at parties, and if I’m the one throwing the event, I love enjoying leftover dip — if there is any — for the days to come. Though it’s also good cold, I love the warm and melty version of this appetizer, with sturdy pita chips or crackers for dipping.

This spinach artichoke dip recipe is pretty classic and straightforward, but I offer a couple small twists to take it to another level.

Outside of the two star ingredients in the dish’s name, the only other thing you absolutely need is some sort of dairy product to bind it all together. (Though, you could also try vegan, nondairy alternatives in place of the animal products.) I settled on cream cheese, sour cream, mozzarella and a salty cheese, such as Parmesan or pecorino Romano, for a nice blend of creaminess, meltiness and flavor. Crushed red pepper flakes and smoked paprika (not shocking if you’ve been following my recipes) add a hint of spice and smoke for extra intrigue.

Lastly, I’ve cut the richness with a bit of acid in the form of hot sauce that also adds a little zip. I recommend a mild Cajun-style hot sauce, such as Frank’s RedHot, for flavor without much heat, though you could opt for another bottle if you want more of a kick. (And if you’re really spice averse, you can use less than what I recommend or leave it out entirely.)

Make Ahead: The dip can be assembled and refrigerated up to 1 day in advance. Heat in a 400-degree oven until warmed through, 15 to 20 minutes, before broiling.