Spinach Pizza Quinoa Casserole

Spinach Pizza Quinoa CasseroleI love quinoa.  Why?  More like why not!  It’s full of protein, fiber, iron, calcium, phosphorus and- yeah yeah, we all know it’s super healthy.  But what I really love is the texture it adds to a dish; whether it’s cold, tossed with pesto and veggies, or smothered in cheese and baked into a warm casserole.  It’s so versatile and and can be substituted for pasta or rice in almost anything.  This is especially important to me, being a vegetarian who doesn’t care much for milk or nuts…to have a superfood like quinoa with all those essentials?  Yes, please!   What’s your favorite way to eat quinoa?

This quinoa and spinach pizza casserole was fabulous!  It was cheesy and flavorful, and the leftovers held up great in the fridge for reheating as weekday lunch!  It’s even compatible with children and picky eaters because the flavors of the tomato sauce and spices are so powerful.  This dish is a winner!

Spinach Pizza Quinoa CasseroleSpinach Pizza Quinoa Casserole

Spinach Pizza Quinoa Casserole

Yield: 9 servings / Prep Time: 15 minutes / Cook Time: 30 minutes

  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 16 oz tomato sauce
  • 2 cups frozen spinach, thawed
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • optional: cheese for topping (I used shredded cheddar and slices of mozzarella)
  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions.  While it is cooking, chop your vegetables and thaw your spinach.  Let the quinoa sit for five minutes while you combine the vegetables and seasoning.
  2. Preheat oven  to 350.
  3. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a medium bowl and mix to combine.  Add quinoa and mix again.  Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.  Pour into a 8×8 baking dish and cover with cheese.
  4. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes covered, uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes until cheese is completely melted.Spinach Pizza Quinoa Casserole

Spinach & Ricotta Stuffed Tomatoes

Spinach & Ricotta Stuffed Tomatoes via elisebakesThe filling in these stuffed tomatoes was so good I could have eaten it plain.  It was the perfect proportion of ricotta to spinach (says a ricotta fiend – you could up the spinach if you wanted to) and the Italian style breadcrumbs added a nice salty crunch.Spinach & Ricotta Stuffed Tomatoes via elisebakes

Spinach & Ricotta Stuffed Tomatoes via elisebakesSpinach & Ricotta Stuffed Tomatoes:

  • 3 tomatoes
  • 6 Tbsp ricotta cheese
  • 3 Tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Italian style breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup thawed frozen spinachSpinach & Ricotta Stuffed Tomatoes via elisebakes
  • 1 garlic cloved, finely diced
  • pinch of salt, pepper, oregano, and basil
  • Additional Italian breadcrumbs for sprinkling
  1. Cut top of tomatoes off.  Cut into tomatoes, angling in to remove the top of the core.  Scoop out the insides, it may help to rinse the inside out with cold water to remove the seeds.
  2. In a small bowl, mix ricotta, parmesan, spinach, garlic, and spices together with a fork.  Spoon into tomatoes and sprinkle with Italian style breadcrumbs.
  3. Bake in a foil lined baking dish for 15 mins at 375.Spinach & Ricotta Stuffed Tomatoes via elisebakes

Spinach-Artichoke Crescent Roll-ups

Spinach-Artichoke Roll-ups via elisebakesSpinach and Artichoke is one of my favorite flavor combinations.  I usually this prepare this recipe as a typical dip, but this time I  doubled it and made half into crescent roll-ups.  The recipe I have posted below is the doubled version, which makes enough for 16 crescent rolls and an additional 3 cups of dip.  They were so delicious, especially right out of the oven (what isn’t?), but they maintained their deliciousness even after sitting on the counter for several hours!Spinach-Artichoke Roll-ups via elisebakes

Spinach Artichoke Dip/Roll-ups (for 16 roll-ups + ~3 cups of dip)

  • 2 cans quartered artichokes
  • 8-10 oz package frozen spinach, thawedSpinach-Artichoke Roll-ups via elisebakes
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced of finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Crescent Rolls
  • optional: 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella for sprinklingSpinach-Artichoke Roll-ups via elisebakes
  1. Drain artichokes and cut up a little bit (I cut each quarter into thirds).
  2. Beat cream cheese until smooth.  Add sour cream and mayonnaise and mix until combined thoroughly.
  3. Add cheeses, garlic, and spices.
  4. Fold in artichokes and spinach.
  5. Place a spoonful onto a crescent roll, then roll it up and bake at 350 for about 15 minutes, or until the dough has turned golden.  Half of the dip filled 2 tubes of crescent rolls for a total of 16 crescent roll-ups.
  6. For the remaining dip, place in a 24 oz baking dish and sprinkle extra mozzarella on top. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes, until cheese is golden brown.Spinach-Artichoke Roll-ups via elisebakes

Spinach & Mushroom Lasagna

Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna via elisebakesI looove lasagna.  My mom’s lasagna was always my favorite, so I took her recipe and put a little spin on it to give it a little more substance.  It was delicious!  This is the first time I used oven ready lasagna noodles, and I was pleasantly surprised at how normal they turned out!  Like the package said, they did expand and fill the pan appropriately, and yes, they tasted like regular noodles.  It was an especially big bonus that it cut out the step of boiling the noodles first because I always end up ripping half of them

Spinach & Mushroom Lasagnalasagna4

  • 1/4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 8 0z containers of mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 10 oz package of frozen spinach, thawed
  • 5 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 3/4 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated and divided
  • 4 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 12 oven ready lasagna noodleslasagna
  1. In a large saucepan, cook garlic in olive oil  until it just begins to brown.  Then add the mushrooms and cook for several minutes.  When the mushrooms are just about tender, add the spinach and salt and pepper to taste.  Add 3 cups of tomato sauce and cook everything until the vegetables and tender.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine ricotta cheese, egg, 1/4 cup parmesan, basil, oregano, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.
  3. To begin assembly, spread a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of a 9×13 pan (3/4 – 1 cup).  Place three lasagna noodles crosswise in the pan; they will expand as it cooks so spread them out evenly across the length of the pan.  Spread 1/3 of the ricotta mixture over the noodles, top with 1/3 of the vegetable mixture, and 1 cup mozzarella.  Repeat the layering two more times, starting with another layer of noodles and ending with a layer of noodles on top for a total of three layers.
  4. On top of the last layer of noodles, spread the remaining cup or so of tomato sauce and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
  5. Cover with foil and bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes.  Remove foil and bake another 15-20 minutes until cheese is completely melted and begins to brown.lasagna5

Note: You can also freeze this for up to two months, just cover with saran wrap and then a layer of foil (without baking) and pop it in the freezer.  Be sure to thaw completely before you do bake it.