Pasta & Spinach Casserole Side Dish

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I am always playing around with side dishes because if I didn’t, I know I would fall in the rut of serving the same few favorites over and over again. And that wouldn’t be fun for everyone. Eventually, those favorites would turn into boring and then no one would want to eat them. So I mix things up and make sure we have a lot of variety in our side dishes.

Sometimes I opt for simple sides and sometimes a meal just calls for something a bit more elegant. I find that is definitely the case when entertaining, especially during the holidays.

Here’s one of those side dishes that I proudly serve up to company. The flavors blend together subtly to create a comforting, mild dish that does not over power a more flavorful meat. Yet it still has a unique and delicious, somewhat cheesy, flavor of its own. I’ve found that even non-spinach eaters will dig in to this happily, including my oldest daughter.

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Pasta & Spinach Casserole Side Dish

  • 4 T. butter or margarine
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/3 c. milk or cream
  • 1/2 lb. pasta, cooked and drained
  • 1/2 lb. frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. black pepper
  • 1/4 t. Italian seasoning
  • 1/8 t. nutmeg
  • 1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

1. In a large pot, melt butter or margarine. Add garlic and cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add cream cheese and milk or cream. Stir until cream cheese is completely melted. Do NOT boil.

2. Stir pasta, spinach and seasonings into the pot until combined. Pour half of the mixture into a round or square casserole dish. Cover with half the mozzarella cheese. Add remaining pasta and top with remaining cheese.

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3. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, until cheese if fully melted and lightly browned on top.

Head on over to The Happy Housewife’s where she is serving up the salads and side dishes for the Second Annual Bloggy Progressive Dinner. Then head back here on Thursday and join me in serving the main dish.

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Comments

  1. Becca says:

    We are having a football party on Saturday and I think I will make this as an side dish! It sounds unique yet delicious at the same time. Thanks!

  2. Lora says:

    This sounds great, Kate! I love spinach in almost anything.

  3. Mama Laundry says:

    That looks so fabulous, it makes me want to go cook it right this minute!

    Can’t wait to try it….

  4. Becca says:

    This looks delicious, I am bookmarking this recipe!

  5. Denise says:

    Yum!!! My family will certainly enjoy this! I may not even make it as a side dish – it could stand on it’s own as a main with some garlic bread and salad :)

  6. Mandi says:

    Just want to say Thanks!!! This dish was fabulous… I used it as a main dish and served it with semi-sweet yeast rolls… The ladies in my social club just enjoyed it so much, when it was turn to host a luncheon again, it was highly requested.. Thanks a bunch Kate… And to think, I never did like spinach…

    • Kate says:

      Thanks Mandi! I am so glad you liked this dish. I’ll definitely be serving it as a main dish the next time I make it.

      And by the way, I always thought I didn’t like spinach too. Now it’s one of my favorite veggies to add in to dishes. I still am not crazy about it just on its own though. :)

  7. I definitely get into a rut of serving the same side dishes – usually bread and salad or steamed California mix vegetables. This looks delicious and I think I’ll give it a shot. I’m not a big spinach eater but I think even I would like that.

  8. Lea says:

    Has anyone tried making this and freezing it for a future use??? Wondered how it would turn out.

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