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Broccoli-Spinach Casserole

When I told my mom that I was writing a book on casseroles, she immediately began digging into her old file box of handwritten recipes and gave me one for broccoli-spinach casserole. But the instructions were so wacky we couldn’t make heads or tails of it. She told me that those handwritten recipes of hers from fifty years ago were really reminder notes more than anything, and so much time had passed that she was clueless as to its meaning, so we discussed how the recipe should look and this is what we came up with. When mom first made it in the 1950s she didn’t have access to the extraordinary produce we do today, and this is a recipe begging for the best. Mom would have used store-bought croutons, but I usually make my own because I think they’re better. To make your own croutons, cut 2 to 4 slices of Italian or French bread into small cubes that should equal a cup; then fry them in a non-stick skillet in 1 tablespoon of butter until golden. She would have also used Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup, but I make my own sauce. If you serve this casserole as a side dish, it is best with a simple main course, such as roast chicken.
  Broccoli florets 3⁄4 Pound
  Spinach 1 1⁄4 Pound, heavy stems removed, washed well
  Finely chopped onion 1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)
  White mushrooms 1⁄4 Pound
  Whole milk 1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)
  All purpose flour 2 Tablespoon
  Salt 1⁄4 Teaspoon (Plus More As Needed)
  Freshly ground black pepper 1⁄4 Teaspoon
  Heavy cream 1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)
  Eggs 2 Large
  Mayonnaise 1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)
  Shredded mild white cheddar cheese 3 Ounce (1 Cup)
  Bread croutons 1 Cup (16 tbs) (For Stuffing, Small Plain Or Herbed)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 12 x 9 x 2-inch or similar casserole.
2. Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat then boil the broccoli florets until tender and bright green, 6 minutes and not more. Remove the broccoli with a skimmer or slotted spoon and plunge them into a bowl of cold water to stop them from cooking. Drain the broccoli florets from the cold water after a couple of minutes and transfer them to a large bowl.
3. Meanwhile, keep the water in the saucepan at a boil, then add the spinach and cook until it wilts, about 1 minute. Drain the spinach well, squeezing the excess water out with your hands once it’s cool enough to handle. Chop the spinach and set aside in the bowl with the broccoli florets. Add the onion to the bowl and toss the vegetables well.
4. Place the mushrooms, milk, flour, a little salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper in a blender and blend until smooth. Add the heavy cream and blend briefly.
5. In a bowl, beat the eggs, then stir in the mayonnaise, reserved mushroom sauce from the blender, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper. Add the cooked vegetables and toss well. Transfer to the buttered casserole.
6. In a bowl, combine the cheddar cheese and croutons, tossing to mix and then sprinkle on top of the vegetables. Bake until the cheese is melted and the edges of the casserole are bubbling, about 20 minutes. Serve hot.

Image and Recipe © Clifford A. Wright

This recipe is excerpted from the book Bake Until Bubbly by Clifford A. Wright.For more information or to purchase the book, please visit CliffordAWright.Com.

Recipe Summary

Side Dish

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Nutrition Rank

Nutrition Facts

Serving size

Calories 410 Calories from Fat 250

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 28 g43.1%

Saturated Fat 9.8 g48.8%

Trans Fat 0 g

Cholesterol 161.4 mg53.8%

Sodium 561.4 mg23.4%

Total Carbohydrates 26 g8.6%

Dietary Fiber 4.2 g17%

Sugars 3.2 g

Protein 19 g37.8%

Vitamin A 328.8% Vitamin C 201%

Calcium 39.7% Iron 33.2%

*Based on a 2000 Calorie diet

Broccoli-Spinach Casserole Recipe