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  • Writer's picturechefgabyschuster

Baked spinach casserole

This is one of my favorite dishes to cook for any holiday because I can make it a few days prior to the party and just bake it the day of. If you do this just make sure that you leave the filling and the topping separately until it is time to bake it. The flavorful spinach filling is creamy and the topping crunchy getting the best two textures in the same dish. The last time that I cooked this dish I used Neufchafte cheese and everyone loved that it was creamy, but not super heavy. Make it for the next gathering and let me know how it goes!



Serve: 8/10ppl Prep time: 20 mins Cooking time: 20/30 mins Total time: 50 mins


Ingredients:

4 diced shallots, onions or leeks

2 ½ bags of frozen spinach (16 oz bags)

3 garlic cloves

¾ C cream cheese

Butter

Panko


Directions:

  1. Saute the shallots with butter

  2. Add garlic, salt and pepper

  3. Add the spinach and cream cheese

  4. Cook for about 5 mins, stir constantly

  5. Pour the spinach mixture in the baking dish

  6. If serving in the next few days:

    1. Let the spinach mixture cool down and refrigerate in the baking dish.

    2. Keep the toasted panko and spinach filing separately

    3. When you are ready to heat it up: add the panko breadcrumbs on top of the spinach and bake at 375 until you see few bubbles coming out on the borders of the baking dish

7. If serving immediately:

Add the panko breadcrumbs on top of the spinach and bake at 375 until you see few bubbles coming out on the borders of the baking dish



Panko Bread Crumbs Topping:


In a saucepan over low-medium heat melt butter

Add the panko, salt, pepper and garlic powder, stir well to coat evenly

Cook, stirring constantly until the panko looks golden brown. Watch out! They burn in the blink of an eye

If you are adding cheese to the breadcrumbs let it to cool down first



TIPS:

The last time that I cooked this dish I used Neufchafte cheese and everyone loved that it was creamy, but not super heavy. Personally I think that cream cheese and Neufchatel cheese are really similar in flavor, I believe that if I had both on a blind testing set up I couldn’t differentiate one from the other one. The biggest difference between these cheeses is that Neufchatel is slightly less rich than cream cheese.





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