Delicious things ensue when you bake spinach with roasted red peppers, cream cheese, and Parmesan.
A kind of creamed spinach happens, only better.
A richer, cheesier version filled with comfort.
I don’t know why but it’s called spinach Maria, there are a few different recipes floating around claiming to be restaurant copycats.
They all have one thing in common and that’s a lot of enticing cheese.
I’m sorry but you have to go through the trouble of wringing the water out of the spinach. A task made easier by sticking it in the center of a clean dish towel and twisting it up.
I use bagged spinach because it seems to have a little less water in it as long as you don’t use the microwave steamable kind.
Everything is melted together in a frying pan and then baked in a casserole dish with Parmesan on top to get toasty like breadcrumbs.
It is one of the most delicious things ever.
Exactly what you’d expect from wrapping an excess of cheese around spinach and baking it until molten hot and gooey.
My new favorite way to eat spinach.
- 16 ounces bagged, frozen spinach, thawed (not the microwave steam in the bag type)
- 2 tablespoons butter, plus more for greasing the pan
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 1 jarred roasted red pepper, diced
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- salt and pepper
- ½ cup half & half
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- a couple pinches red pepper flakes
- Put half the spinach in the middle of a clean kitchen towel and twist it to wring out the water. Repeat with the other half.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter an 8x8-inch round or square casserole pan.
- Heat the butter in a large frying pan over medium-low heat and add the onion, red pepper and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cook, stirring often, about 5 minutes.
- Turn the heat down to low, add the spinach, half & half and cream cheese. Break the cream cheese apart and stir it into the spinach as it melts.
- Mix in ½ cup Parmesan cheese, a pinch or two of red pepper flakes and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Spoon it into the baking dish and sprinkle the remaining parmesan over the top.
- Bake 25 minutes.
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