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Spinach Casserole: A Family Favorite for Generations

This Spinach Casserole recipe is a special one in our family. It’s been with us for years, ever since a friend of my mother-in-law shared it with me at my bridal shower. It’s a simple, yet delicious dish that combines fresh spinach and creamy cheese, creating a comforting and hearty meal that everyone loves. Over the years, it’s become a staple at our family gatherings, and it’s just as good now as it was when I first tried it. Perfect for anyone looking for a tasty and easy-to-make side dish!

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Ingredients for Spinach Casserole

To create this mouth-watering casserole, you’ll need the following ingredients:

– 1 cup of lightly crushed fried onions, divided
– 1/2 cup of panko breadcrumbs
– 2 tablespoons of olive oil
– 18 ounces of fresh spinach (2 bags, 9 oz. each)
– 3 tablespoons of butter
– 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
– 1 1/2 cups of whole milk
– 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
– 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
– 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper
– 2 ounces of cream cheese
– 1 1/2 cups of shredded Gruyère cheese
– 1/3 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
– Zest from 1 lemon

How to Make Spinach Casserole

Follow these steps to prepare your Spinach Casserole:

1. Preparation: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Mix 1/2 cup of the crushed fried onions with the panko breadcrumbs in a bowl and set aside.

2. Cooking the Spinach: In a large skillet or Dutch oven, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the spinach in portions, if necessary, and cook until it wilts, about 5 minutes. Once done, transfer it to a bowl.

3. Making the Sauce: In the same skillet, melt the butter until it’s frothy and golden. Add minced garlic and flour, stirring for about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk, salt, and pepper, and cook until the sauce thickens (approximately 5-7 minutes).

4. Cheese Addition: Lower the heat and blend in the cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add the Gruyère cheese in parts, ensuring each is fully melted before adding the next. Stir in the Parmesan cheese.

5. Combine: Return the spinach with its juices to the skillet, mixing it well with the cheese sauce. Fold in the remaining fried onions.

6. Baking: Transfer the mixture to an 8×8 inch baking dish. Top with the breadcrumb and onion mixture. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the casserole bubbles and the top turns golden brown.

7. Final Touch: Allow the casserole to cool for at least 10 minutes. Sprinkle lemon zest over the top before serving.

Creamy and cheesy spinach casserole in a baking dish, perfect for family dinners

Serving Suggestions

This Spinach Casserole pairs wonderfully with grilled meats, roasted chicken, or as a standalone vegetarian dish. It’s also a great addition to holiday tables or potluck dinners.

Make-Ahead Tips

You can prepare this casserole a day in advance. Simply cover and refrigerate after assembling. Add an extra 5-10 minutes to the baking time if cooking from cold.

Reheating Instructions

To reheat, cover with foil and warm in a 350°F oven until heated through, about 20 minutes. For individual servings, a few minutes in the microwave will do the trick.

Enjoy your homemade Spinach Casserole, a dish that’s not only delicious but also brings comfort and warmth to your table!

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