Growing up, it was a good night when Mom put a Stouffer’s Spinach Soufflé in the toaster oven. My husband was a bit luckier, as his Grandma Lila made her own, homemade Spinach Squares – a dish that became a staple amongst his family dinners. After getting married, and having to start splitting holidays between our families, I wanted to marry some of his traditions with my own, and thus I re-imagined Grandma Lila’s Spinach Squares so that they would always be a part of our celebrations no matter who we were celebrating with. Casseroles are always a wonderful way of serving side dishes when hosting larger dinners, and these cheesy Spinach Squares are such an awesome way to get everyone loving their vegetables!
SHOPPING LIST: 4 large bags frozen spinach, 2 eggs, whipped cream cheese, dijon mustard, shredded mozzarella, shredded cheddar, parmesan cheese, chopped garlic, non-stick spray, onion powder, salt, pepper
Like most of my casserole recipes, the first thing we are going to do is spray our entire 9×12 glass casserole dish with non-stick spray (or wipe with olive oil) and get that into your oven which needs to be pre-heated to 375 degrees. This is my favorite trick so that the bottoms and sides of our casserole are as crispy as the top.
The main thing we need to do to prep our casserole is to thaw our frozen spinach. I simply add all of the frozen spinach into a large stock pot and turn the heat to medium-high. Once the spinach starts melting, I like to stir regularly with a wooden spoon until all of the ice has thawed. Your spinach is going to VERY watery. Line a strainer with paper towels, and then you are going to strain your spinach onto your paper-lined-strainer. Top with a few more layers of paper towels and use the palm of your hand to gently press down on the spinach until most of the liquid has been squeezed out. NOTE: You will not get ALL of the liquid out of the spinach and that is OK. When you are done, peel off the top layer of paper towel.
In a mixing bowl, crack 2 eggs and give a quick whisk with a fork. Add 2 heaping tablespoons of chopped garlic, 2 tB. of dijon mustard, 2 tB. of onion powder, 1 tB. of salt and 1 tB. of pepper and mix well. Pour the thawed spinach over the egg mixture and add 1 16oz. container of whipped cream cheese, 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar and 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella. Mix well. When the mixture is fully incorporated, get an oven mit and carefully remove your HOT casserole dish from the oven. Pour your spinach mixture into the casserole dish and use the back of your wooden spoon to evenly spread the spinach casserole throughout your dish. Finish with another 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar and 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella evenly tossed over the top of the casserole.
Bake your Spinach Squares for 45 minutes. When they are done baking, cover with tin foil and allow at least 10 minutes for them to cool so they can retain their form when serving.