You can fix a runny spinach dip by adding yogurt, cheese, mayonnaise, or a cornstarch slurry. If you don’t have any of the ingredients at hand, simmer the dip in a saucepan to help thicken it.
This article will explain how you can thicken your spinach dip with yogurt, cheese, and cornstarch. I’ll also explain why your cheese dip gets watery in the first place so that you can avoid it in the future.
How To Thicken a Dip With Yogurt
If you like to cook or bake, plain Greek yogurt should be a staple in your kitchen. Not only does it offer a lower fat, higher protein alternative to sour cream, but it also has myriad uses when you’re cooking.
It’s important to note that you should use plain Greek yogurt if you’re trying to thicken something. Regular yogurt will be too thin and watery, giving you the opposite of what you want.
Here’s how to thicken spinach dip with Greek yogurt:
- Add it to your runny dip, one tablespoon at a time.
- Mix thoroughly by hand after each added tablespoon, and add more until you get the desired consistency.
While Greek yogurt doesn’t have a high water content, you can take the extra step to strain the yogurt of any excess moisture before you add it in.
Greek yogurt has a mild flavor similar to sour cream, so it shouldn’t have much impact on the flavor of your dip. Taste the dip after adding your yogurt, and add more seasoning if you feel the flavor has become too tart or acidic.
If you want to avoid dairy, you can also use mayo since it contains no milk products.
Using Cheese To Thicken Runny Spinach Dip
Who doesn’t love cheese? Some say it makes everything better.
In the case of a watery spinach dip, adding cheese will undoubtedly make the consistency better. Most people have some form of cheese at their disposal, and the good news is you can make any cheese work.
If you have a block of cheese, do the following:
- Pop it in the freezer for around five minutes to make it easier to shred.
- Use a cheese plane or grater to shred the cheese before adding it to your dip.
It’s a good idea to add the cheese while the dip is hot or add everything to a heated saucepan for easier melting.
Pre-shredded bagged cheese doesn’t have a reputation for being easy to melt. If you’ve ever tried making macaroni and cheese with plain shredded cheese, you know it can make clumpy and stringy dishes. This is because of the cellulose added to pre-shredded cheese to keep it from sticking together in the bag.
Here’s how to use shredded cheese to thicken your dip:
- Select your shredded cheese so that the flavor compliments your dip.
- Dump the desired amount of cheese into a fine-mesh strainer.
- Run cold water over the shredded cheese to rinse off the powdery cellulose.
- Allow the rinsed cheese time to drain so you don’t introduce more excess moisture to your dip.
- Once drained, add the cheese to your dip while it’s hot and give it a good stir.
Can You Use Cornstarch To Thicken a Dip?
You can use cornstarch to thicken a dip by making a quick cornstarch slurry. All you need to make a slurry is cornstarch, cold water, and a fork or whisk to stir it. Don’t add plain cornstarch to a dip because it will create clumps.
How To Make a Cornstarch Slurry
Cornstarch slurries are commonly used in creamy soups, gravies, and dips to thicken them without introducing any new or unwanted flavors.
Here is a step-by-step guide to making an effective cornstarch slurry to thicken your dip:
- Add one tablespoon of cornstarch and 1 ½ tablespoons of cold water to a small bowl or cup.
- Use a whisk or fork to mix the starch and water thoroughly, removing any remaining clumps.
- Pour the slurry into your dip and gently fold everything together by mixing in a figure-eight pattern.
- Inspect the consistency of the cornstarch slurry and decide if it’s still too runny.
- If it’s not thick enough, make another slurry with the same measurements in step one and mix that in.
Making a cornstarch slurry is a simple, effective way to thicken a runny dip. However, you must avoid adding the cornstarch to your dip in its original powdery form. Cornstarch tends to clump together, and getting rid of those clumps is even more difficult than fixing a runny dip.
Alternatives to Cornstarch When Thickening a Watery Dip
Corn allergies may inhibit you from using cornstarch. You can try using plain flour to make a slurry, but the flavor and consistency won’t be the same. Use arrowroot powder to get the closest results to cornstarch slurry.
The recipe for an arrowroot powder or cornstarch slurry is the same because arrowroot and cornstarch have a 1:1 conversion ratio.
Why Does My Cheese Dip Get Watery?
There are many reasons why your cheese dip, spinach dip, or any other dip may turn out watery and less than ideal. Be careful to follow the recipe precisely to avoid issues in the first place.
Did you follow the recipe but still end up with a runny consistency? There could be an issue with the recipe itself. In this case, you can use one of the hacks listed above to fix it.
Your cheese dip may become watery because the added vegetables are expelling too much moisture, an ineffective roux, or no roux. Other potential causes include not simmering the dip long enough and using a blender instead of mixing the dip by hand.
Here’s why these things may have resulted in a runny dip and how to fix the issue or avoid it in the first place:
1. Adding Watery Vegetables
You do your best to get your veggies in, and adding them to your dip makes eating greens a little more palatable. That said, vegetables like spinach have a high water content. This makes them healthy and introduces excess moisture to your recipes.
When making spinach dip, cook down your raw spinach in a saucepan until it is wilted and soft. Before adding the cooked spinach to your spinach dip, squeeze out the excess moisture with a paper towel, strainer, or cheesecloth if you have it.
2. Ineffective Roux
If your recipe calls for a roux, it may not correctly explain how to make one. A roux seems simple enough because it’s just butter and flour, but it isn’t easy to get right. Here’s how to make a roux the right way:
- Select a high-quality butter to enhance the flavor of your roux.
- Add the butter to a saucepan and let it melt.
- Once melted, add all-purpose flour to the pan and constantly whisk for about five minutes.
- After five minutes, your roux should be clump-free and have the color of pancake batter.
3. Not Simmering Long Enough
As I mentioned, adding vegetables to your dip can introduce excess moisture to the dip. To combat this, you must simmer the dip to evaporate excess water. You can also fix a dip that turned out too runny by dumping it back into a saucepan and simmering it on low until it reaches your desired consistency.
4. Using a Blender
Mixing your ingredients by hand is far superior to using a blender when making dips. A blender may be convenient, fast, and seemingly efficient, but it might actually do too good a job. Moreover, blending the ingredients in a blender may draw out additional moisture and make your dip too smooth — mix ingredients by hand for a thicker result.
Helpful Dip Articles
A spinach dip might turn out too watery because of the vegetables you’ve added, the roux, not simmering it long enough, or using a blender to mix the ingredients. Avoid making a runny dip by:
- Draining excess moisture from your vegetables.
- Learning how to make a proper roux for your dip.
- Simmering the dip to evaporate any excess water.
- Mixing the ingredients by hand rather than using a blender.
If you’re done making your dip, but it’s still watery, adding yogurt, mayo, cheese, cornstarch, or arrowroot powder can resolve the issue. You’ll end up with a nice, thick dip.
Anne James has a wealth of expertise in a wide array of interests, including quilting, cooking, gardening, camping, and making jelly.
She has a professional canning business and has been featured in the local newspaper, and has been her family canner for decades. Anyone growing up in the South knows that there is always a person in the family who has knowledge of the “old ways,” and this is exactly what Anne is.
With over 55 years of experience in these endeavors, she brings a level of hands-on knowledge that is hard to surpass.
Lovingly known as “Jelly Grandma” by her grandkids, Anne hopes your visit here has been a sweet one.