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What Is a Spinach Casserole?

Baked fish and spinach casserole topped with mornay sauce.
Breadcrumbs may be used as a topping for spinach casserole.
Wedge of gorgonzola cheese, which is often included in spinach casserole.
Fresh spinach is often used in a spinach casserole.
Article Details
  • Written By: H. Bliss
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 28 June 2014
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A spinach casserole is a hot baked spinach dish that comes in many forms with a variety of ingredients. Also called a spinach bake, spinach casserole comes in many varieties. Usually, it includes spinach, cream cheese. and soup, which are baked in a casserole dish. Spinach casserole can also be made with other ingredients including meat like pork and chicken, seafood like crab or tuna, or vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and artichokes. A spinach casserole can be topped with a variety of ingredients, including cheese, breadcrumbs, or pie crust dough.

This dish is a common homemade family-style meal. At home, it is generally served out of the baking dish at the dinner table. Spinach casserole is also common in cafeteria or buffet-style restaurants, particularly in the southern United States. It is generally found in warming tubs near the macaroni and cheese and other baked dishes.

Spinach casseroles can be made from fresh or frozen spinach. When incorporating spinach into a casserole, it is important to adjust the recipe for the water that spinach gives off during cooking. Steam from dripping spinach can cause a casserole to cook strangely, and at worst, the water from the spinach can drip and render the whole dish soggy. The most fail-proof way of adjusting a recipe to account for watery spinach is to cook and drain the spinach before putting it into the casserole. Creamed spinach is a common cooked spinach preparation used in spinach casserole.

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A versatile ingredient that can be prepared with many things, spinach is commonly paired with egg or bacon in breakfast casseroles, which are similar to spinach quiche. This leafy green vegetable pairs well with light meats liketurkey, and it is almost always used alongside cheese. Common cheese varieties used in spinach casserole include cheddar, cream cheese, and strong, crumbly cheeses like blue cheese or Gorgonzola. Some recipes use cottage cheese instead of cream cheese. Many casseroles have breadcrumbs sprinkled on top to add a crunch when they toast in the oven. Spinach casseroles can also be made with pasta.

Though the word casserole originally comes from the a specific type of baking dish, spinach casseroles can be prepared in many different baking dishes. Generally, a casserole dish is a glass or ceramic dish with handles that is roughly the size of a deep pie dish, but not all casseroles are made in casserole dishes. Like other types of casseroles, homemade spinach casseroles can be made in almost any type of deep baking pan, including cake pans.

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