Ultimate Spinach Cassarole
60 ounces of frozen, chopped spinach – cooked per package directions
1 pound center-cut bacon – crisp-cooked
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves chopped garlic
2 medium purple onions
1 pound brown mushrooms – cleaned & sliced or chopped per preference
2 12 ¼ ounce cans “Cream of Mushroom with Roasted Garlic” Soup
3 cups shredded Italian Style blend cheese
Italian Style Bread crumbs, just enough for firm consistency
Salt & Pepper to Taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
While the spinach is cooking, heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic, mushrooms and onions. Sauté until juices release and onions are just transparent. Drain well. Once Spinach has cooked, drain very well and press out as much liquid as possible. In a large mixing bowl, combine spinach, garlic/mushroom/onion mixture, soup, shredded cheese, and salt & pepper. Gently mix well. Add breadcrumbs to create a medium-firm consistency, if needed.
Fold into a casserole dish prepared with non-stick spray. (Hint: I like Smart Balance, as it is all-natural and uses olive oil in the blend, which gives the edges of this dish a yummy, crispy taste.)
Bake 30-40 minutes, watching it carefully, so as not to burn the bottom. It’s ready when the edges are bubbly and just browned and the center is heated through.
***This makes a fantastic side dish for any meal, and makes a really nice accompaniment for pork, beef or turkey. You can make it for company on a Saturday night for dinner, and then use the leftovers in a quiche or omelets the next morning. It is always a big hit at holiday time and at covered-dish pot-lucks – so take two. You can add a little of the mixture to your stuffed egg recipe or fill mushrooms caps and bake for lovely appetizers. It can be made a day ahead and covered, unbaked, in the fridge until you’re ready. Leftovers freeze well when packaged air-tight, can last up to 6-months, and are best thawed in the refrigerator rather than the microwave. Enjoy!
Sent in by Janna Reid Templeton, CA