Italian Spinach Casserole

Italian Spinach Casserole

Italian Spinach Casserole

This casserole came out scrumptious!  I just kept throwing more stuff onto the browned ground beef and the end result got a fantastic reaction from both me and my husband.  Very much like lasagna.  The leftovers freeze nicely, too!

The key to throwing something like this together easily is having the homemade spaghetti sauce at the ready in your freezer.  I try to keep a big batch frozen in smaller portions for just such purposes.  My own ground beef spaghetti sauce is what I used for this tonight.  Just made a 5 X batch this week, in fact.

Because of the ricotta, this recipe is not suitable until you get to the “more dairy” level of the Atkins OWL ladder.    There’s way too much cheese in this for Paleo folks, but Primal followers might like to try it on for size.

My spaghetti sauce has ground meat in it, so if substituting a sauce without meat, you will want to increase the meat called for by another ½ pound or your dish won’t be quite as good, in my opinion.    Get a load of the nutritional info for this recipe!  A very nutritious meal indeed. It was sooooooo good I’ll be making this one again and again! 🙂

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1 lb. 90% lean ground beef

2 c. my meaty spaghetti sauce (

12 oz. frozen spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed out all moisture

1   6.5-oz can sliced mushrooms, drained

12 black olives, sliced

½ tsp. fennel seed, crushed

¼ c. Parmesan cheese

2 c. mozzarella cheese, grated

½ c. ricotta cheese

4 black olives sliced for top garnish

4 leaves fresh basil, chopped

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Brown the meat in a non-stick skillet.  Sprinkle evenly into a 8″x12″ greased casserole dish.  Crumble the well drained and squeezed spinach evenly over the top of the meat.  Sprinkle with all the Parmesan cheese.  Next spread the mushrooms and olive slices evenly over the mixture.  Now spread the spaghetti sauce over all without disturbing the lower layers too much.  Sprinkle with the crushed fennel seed and chopped basil leaves.  Dot the surface intermittently with the ricotta cheese and sprinkle the mozzarella evenly over the top of the casserole.  Garnish the surface with the 4 sliced olives.  Cover with foil and bake at 350º for 30 minutes.  Uncover and bake for about 30 more minutes or until bubbly all over.  Allow to cool 5-6 minutes before attempting to dip it up or the servings won’t be so pretty.  It’ll still taste good, however.  Serve with a nice green salad and your favorite low-carb garlic bread.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 6 servings, each contains:

530 calories

36.6 g  fat

12.77 g  carbs, 4.03 g  fiber, 8.74 g  NET CARBS

38.33 g  protein

500 mg sodium

400 mg potassium

59% RDA Vitamin A, 25% B6, 110% B12, 18% C, 15% E, 40% calcium, 23% copper, 40% iron, 22% magnesium, 24% manganese, 27% niacin, 60% phosphorous, 39% riboflavin, 47% selenium, 13% thiamin, 64% zinc

31 comments on “Italian Spinach Casserole

    • Donns, any main dish recipe under 10 net carbs per serving is considered VERY low. You must not have been low-carbing very long if you don’t know that. That said………..use less sauce and that will cut them considerably. But you will end up with a much “drier” final dish than mine. I’m not too fond of too much spaghetti sauce in a recipe myself and I did NOT find this one excessively sauce like most lasagna recipes.


    • Hmmm. As you see in the photo, mine was still moist and not overdone. You may want to invest in a cheap oven thermometer at a hardware store (probably only around $5.00) and see if your oven is cooking hot. That would be real good to know, especially when baking. Then you’ll know to shorten cooking times, or to cook at slightly lower settings on the dial. I once rented a house whose provided oven cooked 15º too hot. Someone suggested that to me as I didn’t know they could deviate from the set temperature.


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