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
4 diced shallots, onions or leeks
2 ½ bags of frozen spinach (16 oz bags)
3 garlic cloves
¾ C cream cheese
Saute the shallots with butter
Add garlic, salt and pepper
Add the spinach and cream cheese
Cook for about 5 mins, stir constantly
Pour the spinach mixture in the baking dish
If serving in the next few days:
Let the spinach mixture cool down and refrigerate in the baking dish.
Keep the toasted panko and spinach filing separately
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
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.