Ahoy there, my fellow foodie adventurers! Today, I have a mouth-watering recipe that is going to take your taste buds on a wild ride. If you’re looking for something hearty, healthy, and simply scrumptious, you’ve come to the right place! We are going to be diving deep into my Vegetarian Spinach & Zucchini Casserole Recipe.
Now, some people might think of vegetarian dishes as bland and boring, but let me tell you – that’s just hogwash. This casserole is packed with fresh veggies and bold flavors that will make even the most carnivorous among us chow down and ask for seconds.
The creamy spinach and zucchini mixture is perfectly balanced with the salty tang of feta cheese, all baked in a crispy parmesan crust. It’s a flavor explosion that will satisfy all of your cravings without leaving you feeling guilty or weighed down.
This recipe is not only delicious, but it’s also incredibly easy to prepare. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a kitchen novice, you can whip up this dish in no time.
Trust me, once you’ve tried this Vegetarian Spinach & Zucchini Casserole Recipe, it’s going to become a staple in your kitchen. So grab your apron and let’s get cooking!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Friends, I daresay that this Vegetarian Spinach & Zucchini Casserole recipe is sure to tantalize your taste buds with its creamy texture and savory flavors. Believe you me, it’s a crowd-pleaser to every last person, whether they be a strict vegetarian or not.
Firstly, let’s talk about the main ingredients: bright zucchini, velvety spinach, salty feta cheese, and delectable parmesan cheese. Thrillingly delicious? Indeed! Additionally, the combination of these ingredients creates a hearty and healthy meal that will have you feeling good on the inside and out.
The preparation process of this recipe is simple as can be – just slice your zucchini and chop your spinach into small bits. Then, toss in some cheese and eggs for binding and pop it in the oven. It couldn’t be easier!
Furthermore, this dish can be customized to one’s personal preferences. You can add more cheese for an extra punch of flavor or substitute other vegetables such as diced tomatoes or butternut squash to make it more interesting.
If you’re looking for a tasty twist on lasagna or a new way to enjoy zucchini, this recipe certainly won’t disappoint. A tip from me to you: pair it with a fresh salad and some crusty bread for a perfect meal. Trust me when I say that your friends and taste buds will thank you!
This vegetarian spinach and zucchini casserole recipe calls for some basic yet flavorful ingredients that you might already have in your kitchen. Here’s what you would need:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 tablespoons of stick unsalted butter, melted and divided
- 6 scallions, white and green parts sliced
- 3 cups of baby spinach
- 2 small zucchinis, diced small
- 2 small yellow squashes, diced small
- ¼ cup of fresh basil, chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for topping
In addition to these ingredients, this recipe uses a package of frozen spinach that has been thawed and squeezed dry. The frozen spinach gives a velvety texture to the casserole while the fresh vegetables add crunch and color.
The Recipe How-To
Now that you have all of the necessary ingredients, it’s time to start cooking! Follow these step-by-step instructions to create a delicious and healthy vegetarian spinach & zucchini casserole.
Preheat your oven to 375°F. Next, grease a large baking dish with olive oil, then set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add diced onions and cook until they become translucent (about 5 minutes).
- While the onions are cooking, slice 2 small zucchinis and 2 small yellow squashes into ¼ inch-thick rounds. Remove any stem tops from 3 cups of baby spinach.
- Add the sliced zucchinis and yellow squashes to the skillet with the onions. Cook until they are slightly softened (about 7 minutes). Remove from heat.
- In the greased baking dish, layer the cooked zucchinis and yellow squashes on the bottom, followed by a layer of baby spinach leaves.
- Sprinkle about ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese on top of the vegetables.
- Continue to layer the vegetables and grated Parmesan cheese until you reach the top of the dish.
- Once you reach the top layer, sprinkle about ½ cup crumbled feta cheese on top.
- Drizzle about 2 tablespoons olive oil over everything in the baking dish.
- Finally, sprinkle some fresh chopped basil on top of everything.
Cover your baking dish with a foil and put it in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until vegetables are cooked through and cheese is melty.
Remove from oven and let it sit for couple minutes before slicing up into portions and serving hot!
That’s it! This recipe makes for an excellent vegetarian main course option that can be enjoyed all year round! It’s simple to make, flavorful and nutritious!
Substitutions and Variations
Well, let me tell you something, folks. As a vegan chef, I like to think of myself as someone who can come up with different substitutions and variations to suit my customers’ preferences. Here are some ideas for you to make this Vegetarian Spinach & Zucchini Casserole that will knock your socks off!
For starters, if you want to make this dish gluten-free, simply swap the parmesan cheese for a vegan parmesan substitute or nutritional yeast. Voila! Instant gluten-free recipe.
If you’re not too keen on using feta cheese, go ahead and use some crumbled goat cheese. It gives off a tangy and salty flavor that complements the velvety spinach and zesty zucchini.
For all those butternut squash fans out there (and I know there are many!), why not swap the zucchini for butternut squash? You can even try sweet potato instead of yellow squash.
And let’s not forget our dairy-free friends out there – you can use vegan feta cheese instead of regular feta, and top it off with some vegan mozzarella for an ooey-gooey delight.
Feeling adventurous? Add some chopped walnuts or pine nuts for a crunchy texture, or some sliced cherry tomatoes for a burst of color.
Now, if you’re in the mood for something similar but different, try these other recipes that use spinach and/or zucchini:
– Ina Garten’s Baked Spinach and Zucchini (aka Zucchini Gratin)
– Spinach Lasagna
– Zucchini Lasagna Recipe
– Spinach Pasta Bake
– Zucchini Tomato Casserole
But hey, if you’re feeling rebellious today, go ahead and come up with your own variations! Cooking is all about creativity and experimentation. So go ahead and have fun with it!
Serving and Pairing
Well now, I reckon it’s time to talk about serving and pairing this scrumptious vegetarian spinach and zucchini casserole. This here dish is hearty enough to stand alone as a main course, yet versatile enough to be paired with your favorite side dishes for a complete meal. Allow me to share a few ideas, if you don’t mind.
Firstly, I recommend serving this casserole with a side of fresh salad greens or roasted vegetables, such as butternut squash or eggplant. You see, the creamy texture of the casserole pairs nicely with the crunch of lightly dressed greens or the sweetness of roasted veggies.
Another pairing that always goes down smooth is a nice bowl of rice pilaf or an herbed quinoa salad. The grains help to balance out the richness of the casserole while still keeping things tasty and filling.
Now, if you’re feeling extra fancy and want to treat yourself, you could go ahead and whip up some homemade garlic bread to go alongside this casserole. Trust me when I tell you that dipping warm garlicky bread into the velvety spinach and feta mixture is practically heavenly.
In case you got leftovers (though I doubt it), let me tell you that reheating this dish is just as simple as baking it was. Simply pop whatever portion you need into an oven-safe container, cover with foil, and bake at 350°F for around 20 minutes (or until heated through).
I hope these tips have helped shed some light on how best to serve and pair this delightful vegetarian spinach and zucchini casserole. Bon appétit!
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
Let me tell you something, folks, this recipe is so versatile it’s like a chameleon. You can make it ahead of time, store it in the fridge or freezer, and reheat it when you’re ready to serve. It’s like having a magic trick up your sleeve for any occasion.
First off, let’s talk about making ahead. If you want to save yourself some time on the day of your big meal, this dish can be fully assembled up to one day ahead of time. Simply prepare as directed and keep it covered in the fridge overnight. Just remember to add a few extra minutes to the bake time to ensure everything heats through properly.
Now onto storing. If you have leftovers (and let’s face it, who doesn’t?), this casserole will keep in the refrigerator for up to three days. If you plan on eating it beyond that timeframe, I recommend transferring individual portions into freezer-safe containers and freezing them for later.
When it comes time to reheat your handiwork, you have a few options. To reheat individual portions, simply pop them into the microwave for 1-2 minutes until heated through. Alternatively, you can reheat the entire casserole in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-30 minutes. Just remember to cover with foil to prevent it from drying out.
Now, one thing I want to caution y’all about is that this dish has a tendency to get a little watery during reheating due to the moisture released by the veggies. Fear not, my friends! All you need to do is use a slotted spoon or spatula when serving to remove any excess liquid.
In short, this casserole is so good that you’ll be craving leftovers all week long. And with these make-ahead and reheating tips, you can enjoy it anytime your heart desires – without sacrificing quality or flavor.
Tips for Perfect Results
Now that you have all the ingredients handy, it’s time to get ready for some action in the kitchen. But wait, before you start cooking your vegetarian spinach and zucchini casserole recipe, let me share with you some tips and tricks for perfect results.
First of all, make sure to buy fresh and seasonal vegetables. Fresh produce will make a huge difference in the taste and texture of your casserole. If you can, buy organic vegetables for maximum flavor and nutrition.
When cutting the zucchini and yellow squash, try to keep them around 1/4 inch thick. This thickness ensures that the vegetables will cook evenly and not become too mushy or too hard.
Incorporating freshly grated parmesan cheese gives an explosion of flavor to your veggie bake. For best results, stick to good quality cheese and grate it right before you are ready to use it.
Adding scallions to your recipe will enhance its flavor by adding a hint of onion taste without overpowering the dish. Use both the white and green parts of scallions, thinly sliced.
To make this dish even healthier, replace the butter with extra virgin olive oil. It is a better option for vegetarians who are aiming for healthier fats in their meal while still adding additional flavors that can complement every ingredient used in the recipe.
Finally, make sure to preheat your oven before baking your casserole for perfect results. A well-preheated oven ensures even cooking throughout the bake.
Incorporate these simple tips into your preparation stages to achieve stunning results that will have everyone reaching out for seconds!
In conclusion, this vegetarian spinach and zucchini casserole recipe is a game-changer in the world of healthy yet delicious meals. It is undoubtedly one of the best recipes out there for anyone looking for a hassle-free, flavorful way to add veggies to their diet. And with the endless possibilities of substitutions and variations, you can make it your own and have something new every time.
So why not give this recipe a try? You’ll love it! Don’t forget to follow my tips for perfect results and store any leftovers for a quick and easy meal later on. Trust me, you won’t regret it. And who knows, it just might become your new favorite dish.
Vegetarian Spinach & Zucchini Casserole Recipe
- 2 lbs spinach
- 5 zucchini
- 2 onions
- 1/3 cup fresh basil (loosely packed)
- freshly-ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (optional)
- Cut coarse stems off spinach.
- Place leaves in colander and rinse with cold water, lifting and tossing spinach to wash away grit.
- Shake spinach to get rid of excess water and put it in a large bowl.
- Set aside.
- Cut off stem top and root bottom of each zucchini.
- Slice in 1/4-inch slices and add to spinach.
- Cut stem top and root bottom off onions.
- Cut onions in half lengthwise from stem top down.
- Put each half flat-side down on a cutting board and cut lengthwise in strips 1/4-inch wide, then holding strips together, cut onion in 1/4-inch strips crosswise.
- Add onions to bowl.
- Stack basil leaves in a pile, and with sharp paring knife, chop into small pieces.
- Add to bowl.
- Using your hands, reach to bottom of bowl and gently toss and turn vegetables until they are well mixed.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and turn to mix well.
- Place vegetable mixture in 4-quart casserole and drizzle oil evenly over top.
- Cover and bake at 350 degrees, checking after 30 minutes to see if all greens seem tender and nicely blended.
- If they are, sprinkle cheese over top, put lid back on and bake another 5 minutes.
- If they aren't done, bake another 5 to 10 minutes before adding cheese.
- Serve hot.
- Serve with small red new potatoes boiled and rolled in olive oil, finely chopped garlic, salt and coarse black pepper.
Add Your Own Notes
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Jolo is a talented chef and food blogger with a passion for vegan and Caribbean flavors. From savory vegetarian dishes to tropical smoothies, Jolo’s Kitchen has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for meat-free meals or creative Caribbean recipes, Jolo’s Kitchen is the perfect place for you.