Private chef and culinary instructor, Chef Ellen’s teachings have targeted a variety of audiences in Houston for over 15 years. As a volunteer chef at Recipe for Success, this chef is no stranger to the culinary industry. Her grandfather and father owned grocery stores and she has been in the kitchen since the age of nine. Chef Ellen enjoys spending her summers teaching cooking techniques and recipes to children at numerous venues including St. Luke’s Methodist Church in Houston and West University’s After School Program, Kid’s Connect.

Chef Ellen shares a scrumptious roasted artichoke heart spread with us this week and gave four secrets to making this outstanding recipe.


Text Version of this Recipe


  • Frozen Spinach
  • Cream Cheese
  • Frozen Artichokes
  • Minced Shallot
  • Garlic Clove
  • Mayo
  • Lemon Juice
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Fresh Herbs
  • Croutons


  1. Defrost a 5 oz. box of spinach. After it defrosts, take a clean dish towel and wring it out until no juice remains. It will shrink considerably. Add this to a big bowl. Leave ⅓ of an 8 oz. bar of cream cheese at least two hours ahead of preparing this spread to soften.
  2. Place ¾ bag of frozen artichoke hearts on a sheet pan and drizzle lightly with olive oil and season with your favorite spices such as cracked lemon pepper, black truffle salt, whatever you prefer.
  3. Bake for 25 minutes on 425 until the artichokes begin to caramelize and turn a little brown and dark golden around the edges. Roughly chop and add to a mixing bowl.
  4. In a small saute pan, soften a minced shallot, add a pinch of salt and 1 garlic clove smashed after the onion softens.
  5. Put the cream cheese into the spinach bowl and add the hot onion mixture to further soften the mix. Add 1 cup of Hellman’s mayo along with 2 tsp of lemon juice,  ½ cup of grated Parmesan cheese, chopped fresh rosemary or thyme.  Take the mixture and press it into a 9 inch pie pan and bake in the middle rack at 425 for 20 min.  
  6. Take out of oven and scatter rough chopped homemade croutons for the top and bake 5 more min for browning.  

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