Spinach Artichoke Bake

My husband loves this colorful savory hot spread.  It’s full of his favorite vegetables, he can dip into it with crunchy crackers, and it doesn’t require too many dishes.  When we married, Roy volunteered to wash all the dishes, not realizing how many plates, bowls, pots, pans and utensils a chef and recipe creator can dirty in a day.

All the ingredients for this bake are layered into one dish as you prepare them.  Make the simple sauce, pour over the veggies and gently stir.  Bake and voilà, an almost one-dish wonder!

This dish can be made up to 12 hours ahead and baked just before serving.

Yields 3 cups.  Serves 12 or 1/4 cup per person.

1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and diced into 3/8” pieces
1 (4-ounce) can diced green chilies (preferably roasted)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
4 cups fresh baby spinach, washed and coarsely chopped
1/3 cup chopped green onions (about 4)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

For the sauce:
2 tablespoons butter
1/4-cup low-fat or skim milk
4 ounces low-fat cream cheese

Sliced almonds, optional

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Spray an attractive oven-safe dish.  Scatter chopped artichokes in the dish bottom. Sprinkle the green chilies over the artichokes.  Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese.  Top with spinach, then green onions, kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.

Make the sauce by melting butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.  When butter has almost melted, add the milk.  Stir.  Add the cream cheese and stir with a wire whisk until the cheese melts.  Pour the cheese sauce over the vegetables.  Stir gently until sauce is mostly combined with vegetables.

Sprinkle top with remaining Parmesan cheese and almonds, if desired.

Bake for 30-40 minutes.  Vegetables should be bubbling.

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