This ooey gooey spinach and artichoke mozzarella bites, served with marinara sauce, are a perfect way to welcome spring. Great as an appetizer to bring to a party or enjoy with a couple friends! Be warned…they're addictive 😉

Ingredients

1 cup baby spinach
6oz jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
3 ounces cream cheese, slightly softened
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup plain breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon dried oregano
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus some for sprinkling
4 eggs
1 - 1 1/2 cups canola oil, or other neutral frying oil
marinara sauce, to serve

Directions

Step 1
In a food processor, combine all filling ingredients. Process on low until combined, about 30 seconds.

Step 2
Line a 9x5 loaf pan with wax paper or parchment paper. Pour filling into pan and spread evenly. Freeze for 1 hour to stiffen the mixture but NOT freeze it through.

Step 3
In the meantime, on a small plate mix breadcrumbs and oregano. On another small plate, mix flour, cayenne, and 1/4 tsp salt. In a small bowl, mix 4 eggs with a fork. Set all aside.

Step 4
Remove cheese mixture from freezer and remove from loaf pan. Cut into 36 pieces (9 pieces by 3 pieces).

Step 5
With each piece, coat in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs, then egg, then breadcrumbs. This gives a double layer of coating on the bites which prevents the cheese from leaking and gives them more structure as they fry.

Step 6
In a medium sized sauté pan, add canola oil. You will want enough to come halfway up each bite as they fry. Heat oil up to 350-360 degrees. If you don't have a thermometer, you can stick a wooden spoon inside the oil. If it starts to steadily bubble around the spoon then you are ready to go! If it bubbles vigorously then you should lower it.

Step 7
Place bites in pan evenly spaced and fry 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown (4-6 minutes total). Remove and place on paper towel lined plate to soak up excess oil. While still hot, sprinkle with just a little more salt.

Step 8
Serve immediately with marinara sauce on the side. Enjoy!