Chicken Spinach and Artichoke Casserole
Dec 10, 2023, Updated Jan 24, 2024
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Creamy chicken, spinach, and artichoke casserole is a rich and comforting dish, where the earthy flavors of spinach and artichokes meld seamlessly with a luscious, cheesy cream sauce, creating a warm, indulgent experience in every bite.
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Artichoke and Spinach Cheesy Casserole
Creamy spinach and artichoke casserole is a delectable fusion of comfort and elegance, transforming simple ingredients into a rich and satisfying dish. At its heart lies a luxurious blend of tender spinach and succulent artichoke hearts, enrobed in a velvety mix of cream, cheese, and a hint of garlic, creating layers of lush flavor and texture. This casserole is not just a side dish but a star in its own right, with the creamy base accentuating the earthy taste of spinach and the subtle, nutty notes of artichokes. The magic of this dish lies in its versatility; it’s equally at home on a casual weeknight dinner table as it is being the centerpiece of a festive gathering.
The preparation of creamy spinach and artichoke casserole is a delightful culinary experience, inviting creativity and personal touches. The base typically involves a roux, enriched with cream or milk, and a generous helping of cheeses like Parmesan or mozzarella, melting into a gooey, heartwarming mixture. Variations might include a sprinkle of herbs like thyme or a dash of spice for an extra kick. Baked to perfection, the casserole’s top layer crisps into a golden crust, offering a delightful contrast to the creamy interior. Served hot, each spoonful is a comforting embrace, making it a dish that’s not only nourishing but also a testament to the joy of hearty, homemade cooking.
How to Make SPinach Artichoke Casserole
First assemble the following ingredients:
- Spinach (2 cups) – This leafy green vegetable, known for its iron content and versatile nature, adds a nutritious and vibrant touch.
- Artichoke hearts (12oz) – Preserved in a jar, these tender artichoke hearts offer a slightly tangy and nutty flavor, making them a delightful addition.
- Cooked chicken (1lb) – Pre-cooked chicken, whether grilled, baked, or roasted, is a convenient and protein-rich ingredient that can be easily incorporated, you can easily boil the chicken.
- Cream cheese (8 oz) – With its smooth texture and mild, tangy flavor, cream cheese is a versatile dairy product that enhances the richness of this casserole.
- Mayonnaise (1 cup) – This creamy condiment, made from oil, egg yolks, and vinegar or lemon juice, adds moisture and a subtle tang.
- Dijon mustard (1 tbsp) – Known for its sharp and slightly spicy flavor, Dijon mustard is a popular condiment that can add depth to this dish.
- Parmesan cheese (2 cups) – Aged and hard, Parmesan cheese is famed for its savory, nutty flavor.
- Mozzarella cheese (2 cups) – This soft and stretchy cheese, known for its mild and milky taste, is a staple in Italian cooking.
- Garlic (2 cloves)- garlic adds a distinctive aroma and flavor to this casserole.
- Salt (2 tsp) – salt enhances the flavor of foods, making it a fundamental ingredient.
- Black pepper (1 tsp) – fresh ground black pepper introduces a warm, mildly spicy note.
- Onion powder (1 tsp) – onion powder offers a convenient way to impart a sweet yet sharp onion flavor.
- Garlic salt (1 tsp) – A blend of garlic powder and salt, garlic salt is a handy seasoning that combines the savory depth of garlic with the flavor-enhancing properties of salt.
Use this Method
Combine filling. In a large bowl combine the spinach, artichoke hearts, chicken, cream cheese, mayo, dijon, half the parmesan, half the mozzarella, the garlic, salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic salt. Mix until it is homogenous.
Spread. Spray a 9 x 13 casserole dish and spread the mixture into the dish. Top with the remaining parmesan and mozzarella.
Bake. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Tips and Tricks for Making Spinach and Artichoke Casserole
Use Fresh Ingredients: Opt for fresh spinach and artichokes if possible. They offer a more vibrant flavor and texture compared to canned or frozen.
Squeeze Out Excess Water: After cooking the spinach, make sure to squeeze out as much water as possible. This prevents your casserole from becoming soggy.
Chop Artichokes Finely: To ensure even distribution and better texture, chop the artichoke hearts into small, bite-sized pieces.
Balance Your Cheeses: Use a mix of cheeses like mozzarella for stretch and creaminess, and Parmesan for a sharp, salty flavor.
Season Well: Don’t forget to season your spinach and artichoke mixture with spices and herbs. Garlic, salt, pepper, and a hint of nutmeg can really elevate the flavors.
Create a Creamy Base: Use a roux (butter and flour mixture) as the base for your creamy sauce. This helps in achieving a smooth and thick consistency.
Don’t Overcook: Overcooking the casserole can dry it out. Bake it just until it’s bubbly and the top is golden brown.
Let it Rest: Allow the casserole to rest for a few minutes after taking it out of the oven. This helps it set and makes it easier to serve.
Add a Crunchy Topping: A breadcrumb or cracker crumb topping can add a delightful crunch. Mix the crumbs with melted butter and sprinkle over the top before baking.
Experiment with Add-ins: Feel free to add other ingredients like sautéed onions, bell peppers, or even a bit of crispy bacon for added flavor.
Use a Good Baking Dish: A good-quality baking dish ensures even cooking and can go from oven to table for a nice presentation.
Prep Ahead: You can assemble the casserole ahead of time and refrigerate it. Just add a few minutes to the baking time if you’re baking it straight from the fridge.
Yes, you can use frozen spinach. Just make sure to thaw it completely and squeeze out all the excess water to prevent the casserole from becoming watery.
Yes, it’s important to cook the spinach to reduce its volume and water content. For artichokes, if you’re using canned or marinated ones, they are already cooked, but fresh artichokes should be cooked until tender.
Absolutely! You can assemble the casserole, cover it, and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours before baking. Just add a few extra minutes to the baking time if it’s cold from the fridge.
Yes, cooked chicken, bacon, or even shrimp can be great additions for extra protein.
The casserole is done when it’s bubbling around the edges and the top is golden brown. This usually takes about 25-30 minutes in a preheated oven.
It’s best to enjoy this casserole fresh. Freezing can alter the texture, especially the creaminess of the cheese.
Yes, ensure all your ingredients are gluten-free, particularly if you’re adding a flour-based thickener or a breadcrumb topping.
Yes, you can use plant-based cheeses and cream alternatives, along with vegan butter, to create a vegan version of this dish.
Definitely! Consider adding bell peppers, mushrooms, or onions for added flavor and nutrition.
You can use low-fat cheese, reduce the amount of cheese, or increase the proportion of vegetables to make the dish lighter.
What to Enjoy with this Casserole
Spinach and artichoke casserole pairs wonderfully with a variety of foods and drinks, enhancing both casual and formal dining experiences. Here’s a list of what you can enjoy with it:
Grilled Chicken or Fish: The lightness of grilled chicken or fish complements the richness of the casserole.
Crusty Bread or Garlic Bread: Perfect for soaking up the creamy sauce of the casserole.
Fresh Salad: A crisp, fresh salad with a vinaigrette dressing balances the creaminess of the casserole.
Roasted Vegetables: Vegetables like asparagus, bell peppers, or zucchini roasted with herbs add a delightful flavor contrast.
Pasta or Quinoa: Serve as a side for a more filling meal, especially with pasta like penne or bowtie.
White Wines: Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc pair beautifully, cutting through the richness of the dish.
Light Red Wines: A Pinot Noir can complement the dish without overwhelming its flavors.
Sparkling Water with Lemon: For a non-alcoholic option, sparkling water with a twist of lemon adds freshness.
Rice Pilaf or Couscous: These grains offer a subtle flavor that doesn’t compete with the casserole.
Fruit Platter: A selection of fresh fruits can provide a sweet and refreshing end to the meal.
Steamed Broccoli or Green Beans: These steamed vegetables bring a healthy and light side to the table.
Iced Tea or Lemonade: For a casual meal, these beverages offer a refreshing complement.
Creamy Spinach Articoke Casserole Recipe
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- 2 cups spinach, chopped
- 12 oz artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- 1 pound cooked chicken, shredded
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 cups finely shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a large bowl combine the spinach, artichoke hearts, chicken, cream cheese, mayo, dijon, half the parmesan, half the mozzarella, the garlic, salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic salt. Mix until it is homogenous.
- Spray a 9 x 13 casserole dish and spread the mixture into the dish.
- Top with the remaining parmesan and mozzarella.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
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Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 597Total Fat 48gSaturated Fat 17gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 28gCholesterol 122mgSodium 1411mgCarbohydrates 12gFiber 4gSugar 3gProtein 31g
Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.