Can You Freeze Spinach Dip?

Got leftover spinach dip from your last party? Apart from storing the dip in the fridge, how can you preserve it? Can you freeze spinach dip? Technically, you can freeze any type of food you like if only to avoid waste. To some extent, yes, you can freeze spinach dip. However, the state of the dip after it’s been defrosted will depend on the ingredients you use as well as the length of time that the dip was kept in the freezer.

The problem with freezing spinach dip is that the consistency could turn runny or watery once it’s been defrosted. Traditionally, spinach dip is made with cream cheese or sour cream, both of which are quite sensitive to freezing temps. The cream cheese in the dip could also turn crumbly; the milk proteins might separate too. The consistency of the dip could also turn grainy or chunky depending on how the dip was prepared.

Nachos and dips
Image used under Creative Commons from Ryan Dickey

In addition, the dip contains mayonnaise, another ingredient that’s problematic to freeze. Our advice is to make the dip in small batches to reduce the loss of quality. There are tricks to avoid these issues but don’t expect the dip to retain its original texture once it’s been frozen! If you are freezing the dip, use it later in recipes as opposed to serving it again as a dip so the texture won’t matter too much.

How to Freeze Spinach Dip?

Freezing Baked Spinach Dip

If you are making the spinach dip from scratch, you want to cool the dip completely after baking first. If you know that you will have leftovers, divide the portion between the dip that you will serve and the portion that you will freeze. This will help extend the shelf life of the dip and prevent cross-contamination.

Once the dip has cooled completely, divide it into serving portions. By dividing the dip into serving portions, thawing the spinach dip is much easier. Spoon the dip into a packet of freezer-safe, resealable plastic bag. Do not fill the bag fully; give about 2 inches of room for the dip to expand as it freezes. Squeeze out as much air as you can then seal. Write the storage date them stick flat in the freezer.

Another freezing technique involves using a couple of muffin trays. Just spoon the dip into each section of the tray. Repeat until the muffin molds are filled with the dip. Stick in the freezer and freeze for at least 2 hours or until frozen solid.

While waiting for the spinach dip to solidify, prepare a couple of resealable plastic bag. After two hours or so, take the tray out of the freezer. Pop the molded dip out carefully then place them into the resealable plastic bag. Work fast because the dip could melt during handling. Once packed, squeeze out as much air as you can then seal. Write the storage date them stick flat in the freezer.

Spinach dip and breadcrumbs
Image used under Creative Commons from Jake Spurlock

Freezing Pre-Baked Spinach Dip

If you are concerned about the loss of the dip’s quality, you have the option to freeze the unbaked dip. However, this technique is best used for store-bought pre-baked spinach dips. These products contain stabilizers and preservatives that will help retain the quality of the dip even when they have been frozen before being baked.

Usually, pre-baked spinach dips are packed in freezer-friendly packaging but if they are bottled, you have to transfer the product in a freezer-safe container. Just use a spoon or a plastic spatula to transfer the product in a  resealable plastic bag. Again, do not fill the bag fully; give about 2 inches of room for the dip to expand as it freezes. Squeeze out as much air as you can then seal. Write the storage date them stick flat in the freezer. After thawing, you can pop the dip in the oven to bake.

Shelf Life, Thawing, and Reheating Suggestions

When kept in the freezer, the spinach dip should stay fresh for at least 3 months. However, we recommend using the dip as soon as you can for optimal flavor. To defrost the dip, just leave it to thaw overnight in the fridge. Never defrost the dip at room temperature because this increases the risk of bacterial growth. Once the dip has thawed completely, it might take on a watery consistency or the milk proteins might separate.

You can solve this issue by stirring in a little heavy cream and then blending the cream cheese. The consistency should become velvety and smooth once again. Once the cream cheese has been prepped after thawing, you can start reheating it.

There are many ways of reheating spinach dip. You can either pop the dip in the oven to warm it up or use the microwave. You can also reheat the dip in a saucepan. If you are reheating the dip in the oven, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Transfer the spinach dip in an oven-bake container then bake for 30 to 40 minutes until hot and bubbly.

If you want to reheat the spinach dip in the microwave, transfer the thawed dip in a microwave-safe container then nuke on high in 10-second intervals until thoroughly reheated. Finally, you can reheat the spinach dip in a saucepan. Set the stove on high heat, pour the dip into a skillet and then reheat for 15 minutes or so. Serve piping hot.

For the defrosted pre-baked dip, follow the cooking instruction on the packaging.

Nachos and spinach dip
Image used under Creative Commons from HimmelrichPR

Freezing Tips

If you are planning to freeze a portion of the spinach dip you made, use full-fat cream cheese rather than low-fat cream cheese. Low-fat cream cheese is likely to turn watery once it’s frozen and defrosted.

While spinach dip could last for months in the freezer, most culinary experts recommend using the dip within two weeks or less.

If the spinach dip is made with mayonnaise or sour cream, reheat it over the stove. This is the best way to retain the consistency of the dip. As you warm the dip, stir often to bring back its thick and smooth texture.