Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin

Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin

Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin

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Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin baked in small red ceramic cocotte dishes.

I absolutely love hot, cheesy spinach and artichoke dip. It’s something I can dig into and truly be a little pig about. So today’s post is a riff on one of my favourite dips made into gnocchi casserole form. This will likely be my last warming and hearty casserole of the season because it’s time to think spring…and I’m definitely okay with that. But in the same breath, I didn’t want you to miss out on this wonderfully cheesy and saucy Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin.

If you’re not familiar with gnocchi, they are essentially little dumplings often made with mashed potatoes or ricotta cheese. Very simple to make, they cook in minutes and they can take on whatever sauce you want to toss them in. A classic sauce is a butter and sage sauce, but your favourite family meat sauce would be great too. The cheese lover in me can’t help but smother the tender little dumplings in a luscious Gruyere cheese sauce. Enjoy!

Ricotta gnocchi dusted lightly with flour on a tan cutting board in preparation for Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin.

Tips for great gnocchi:

Don’t overwork the dough and mix only until combined. This will prevent too much gluten development in the flour.

The grooves are not necessary, however, they help the dumpling hold the sauce. It only takes a few extra minutes to roll each piece over the tines of a fork or gnocchi board.

Cook gnocchi in gently simmering water and only cook until they start to float to the surface. A rapid boil is a little too rough for the tender gnocchi.

Gnocchi can be made and cooked ahead of time. Simply chill or freeze in a single layer on a large baking tray. Once they are frozen they can be stored together in a sealable bag or airtight container. If chilling, cover and use within 2 days.

Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin baked in small red ceramic cocotte dishes.

Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin baked in small red ceramic cocotte dishes.
Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    4 people 75 minutes
    Cook Time Passive Time
    27-33 minutes 5 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    4 people 75 minutes
    Cook Time Passive Time
    27-33 minutes 5 minutes
    Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin baked in small red ceramic cocotte dishes.
    Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      4 people 75 minutes
      Cook Time Passive Time
      27-33 minutes 5 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      4 people 75 minutes
      Cook Time Passive Time
      27-33 minutes 5 minutes
      Ingredients
      Gnocchi
      Servings: people
      Instructions
      Gnocchi
      1. In a large bowl whisk together eggs, ricotta, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Stir in flour until dough starts to come together.
      2. Scoop dough onto a floured work surface and knead gently for a few turns until dough is smooth. Shape into a round disk, cover and allow to rest for 10 minutes for the flour to hydrate.
      3. Cut dough disk into 4 equal portions and roll eat portion into an approximate 15" log. Cut each log into 3/4" pieces, dusting lightly with flour as you go to prevent sticking.
      4. Roll each piece across the tines of a fork or gnocchi board, sprinkle with flour as you go to prevent sticking. Dust a large baking tray with flour and lay formed gnocchi in a single layer on the tray. Sprinkle with flour, cover and keep chilled until ready to use.
      Sauce
      1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour until combined. Slowly add 1 cup of hot milk and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Repeat with remaining milk, adding it gradually and stirring until smooth after each addition. Once all the milk has been added, bring to a gentle simmer to ensure flour has thickened to its capacity. Continue to cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
      2. While the sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a simmer and preheat oven to 350°F.
      3. Remove the sauce from heat and stir in half of the Gruyere cheese, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Once the cheese has melted stir in spinach and chopped artichokes.
      4. Gently add gnocchi to the simmering water. Cook until all the gnocchi float to the surface which will only take a few minutes. Remove with a slotted scoop to a towel-lined tray to remove excess moisture. Immediately add gnocchi to the sauce and stir gently to combine.
      5. Divide between 4 oven-safe individual cocotte dishes or ramekins that will hold a minimum of 1 1/2 cups. Divide remaining Gruyere cheese evenly over tops and place on a foil-lined baking tray. Bake for 25-30 minutes until bubbly. Turn oven to broil to lightly brown the tops for about 2 minutes.
      6. Remove from oven and allow to rest for a few minutes before serving as they are very hot.
      Recipe Notes

      A single casserole dish can be used instead of individual cocotte dishes if desired.

      It's important to add the cooked gnocchi immediately to the sauce as they will start to stick together if left to sit for too long.

       

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      Tuna Noodle Casserole

      Tuna Noodle Casserole

      Tuna Noodle Casserole

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      Baked golden Tuna Noodle Casserole in a yellow serving dish on a wooden trivet.

      Tuna Noodle Casserole is one of my favourite family casseroles.  It has just the right ratio of noodles to sauce and is topped with buttery panko breadcrumbs. It’s also cheesy, hearty and comforting and a one scoop meal with the peas baked right in. It does take a little extra time to make the sauce, cook the noodles and bake, so I would say it’s a nice weekend casserole.  The recipe is simple and uses everyday ingredients, which means there are no unnecessary trips to the grocery store.  The kids will love it and you’ll likely get leftovers as it makes a 9”x13” pan. 

      Cheese sauce in a stainless steel saucepan with a metal whisk in preparation for Tuna Noodle Casserole.

      Be sure not to overcook the noodles as they will continue to cook slightly while baking in the sauce. I will generally cook them a minute or two less than the package instructions. To save time and be efficient, I like to start cooking the sauce while the water comes to a boil and the noodles cook. Get the kids helping by grating cheese and flaking the tuna. Enjoy!

      Tuna Noodle Casserole served on a glass plate with a wooden fork on a wooden surface.

      Author:  Compelled to Cook, adapted from Food Wishes

       

      Baked golden Tuna Noodle Casserole in a yellow serving dish on a wooden trivet.
      Tuna Noodle Casserole
      Print Recipe
        Servings Prep Time
        6-8 people 30-35 minutes
        Cook Time
        35-40 minutes
        Servings Prep Time
        6-8 people 30-35 minutes
        Cook Time
        35-40 minutes
        Baked golden Tuna Noodle Casserole in a yellow serving dish on a wooden trivet.
        Tuna Noodle Casserole
        Print Recipe
          Servings Prep Time
          6-8 people 30-35 minutes
          Cook Time
          35-40 minutes
          Servings Prep Time
          6-8 people 30-35 minutes
          Cook Time
          35-40 minutes
          Ingredients
          Servings: people
          Instructions
          1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
          2. Cook noodles for slightly less time than package instructions so they are al dente (firm to the bite). Drain well.
          3. While noodles are cooking, melt the 1/4 cup of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour until combined. Slowly add a cup of hot milk whisking constantly until the mixture is smooth and starts to bubble. Continue adding hot milk and whisking until all the milk has been added and the mixture is smooth. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, whisking often.
          4. Remove sauce from heat and whisk in mushroom soup, 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Stir in half of the cheddar cheese, tuna, and peas until combined. Add drained noodles and stir to evenly coat.
          5. Spray a 9"x13" casserole dish with non-stick spray and pour casserole into the dish, spreading out evenly. Top with remaining cheddar cheese.
          6. Stir together breadcrumbs, melted butter, parsley and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Spread evenly over casserole and bake on the centre rack for 35-40 minutes until bubbly and the top is golden. Remove from oven and serve immediately.

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          Turkey Pot Pie with Puff Pastry

          Turkey Pot Pie with Puff Pastry

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          Turkey Pot Pie with Puff Pastry baked golden in a green casserole dish and garnished with fresh thyme.

          I don’t know about you, but I think leftovers make some of the very best meals. Not only does leftover turkey taste amazing smothered in cream sauce all nestled up against veggies and potatoes, but it ensures that you’ve made the best of your bird with little waste. 

          Groceries are expensive and we all work hard to feed our families well, which is another reason I’m a fan of leftovers.  They’re great for repurposing into inexpensive meals.  Turkey Pot Pie with Puff Pastry is a great way to use up extra vegetables in your fridge, along with the leftover turkey.  Feel free to substitute the puff pastry for pie crust dough too.  They’re both great options, I just happen to choose puff pastry for this post. 

          Puff pastry sprinkled with flour and ready to be rolled with fresh vegetables and diced turkey in the background for Turkey Pot Pie with Puff Pastry.

          I’ve made this Turkey Pot Pie with Puff Pastry as a one-pan family-style meal.  It bakes up golden with bubbling hot goodness beneath.  It smells amazing and is homey and comforting.  As a child, I ate frozen pot pies, usually when my dad was away to give my mom a break from cooking.  While they’re no comparison to homemade, they emanated what I love about a pot pie and I secretly enjoyed them. I didn’t know any better and I had nothing to compare the frozen version to, so for me, it was comfort food heaven in a little foil dish. Nowadays I opt to make homemade and I hope your family enjoys it as much as I do, but whatever your homey, comfort food is, enjoy it!
           

          A scoop of Turkey Pot Pie with Puff Pastry from a green casserole dish with serving bowls in the background.

          A scoop of Turkey Pot Pie with Puff Pastry from a green casserole dish with serving bowls in the background.
          Turkey Pot Pie with Puff Pastry
          Print Recipe
            Servings Prep Time
            6-8 people 35-40 minutes
            Cook Time
            30-35 minutes
            Servings Prep Time
            6-8 people 35-40 minutes
            Cook Time
            30-35 minutes
            A scoop of Turkey Pot Pie with Puff Pastry from a green casserole dish with serving bowls in the background.
            Turkey Pot Pie with Puff Pastry
            Print Recipe
              Servings Prep Time
              6-8 people 35-40 minutes
              Cook Time
              30-35 minutes
              Servings Prep Time
              6-8 people 35-40 minutes
              Cook Time
              30-35 minutes
              Ingredients
              Servings: people
              Instructions
              1. Melt butter in a large pot or Dutch oven until foamy. Stir in carrots, celery and onions. Sauté for 5 minutes until starting to soften.
              2. Sprinkle in flour and stir to coat all the vegetables. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring often.
              3. Over medium heat, slowly add one cup of hot chicken broth stirring constantly until mixture comes to a boil (mixture will be very thick).
              4. Add another cup of broth and stir until smooth and the mixture comes to a simmer. Repeat with remaining broth.
              5. Reduce heat to low and add potatoes, herbs, salt and pepper. Simmer, partially covered for 10-12 minutes until potatoes are almost tender (this will depend on the size of your diced potatoes).
              6. Preheat oven to 425°F.
              7. Meanwhile prep the puff pastry dough if you have purchased unrolled. Dust your work surface with flour and roll pastry to 13"x9" rectangle or large enough to overhang your casserole dish. Dough should be 1/8"-1/4" thick.
              8. Stir turkey and peas into the stew and adjust to taste with salt and pepper. Pour mixture into a greased 12"x8" or 2-quart equivalent casserole dish.
              9. Drape rolled puff pastry over the casserole, pressing the overhang onto the edge of the dish.
              10. Whisk egg and cream together in a small bowl and brush evenly over puff pastry.
              11. Cut 6-8 slits in the puff pastry to allow steam to escape. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden and pastry is cooked through. Remove from oven and serve immediately.
              Recipe Notes

              -It's important to use hot chicken or turkey broth.  Pouring cold liquid into the hot flour mixture will cause the flour to congeal and you will have lumps in your sauce.  Using hot broth maintains a steady temperature of the mixture allowing all flour particles to become incorporated before the flour cooks.

              -Flour does not reach its full thickening capacity until it comes to a full boil.

              -Use pre-rolled puff pastry dough for more convenience.

              -Be sure to leave an overhang of puff pastry.  If you don't the stew will bubble up over the pastry, preventing it from cooking properly.

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              Stroganoff Meatballs

              Stroganoff Meatballs

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              Stroganoff Meatballs in a red casserole dish resting on a wooden tray lined with a white kitchen towel.

              This a casserole that I’ve made time and time again. I love it because it makes enough for six people or provides plenty of leftovers, which is important for me as a shift worker. It’s also a comforting, family-style meal that is fantastic served over mashed potatoes. Stroganoff Meatballs is a great fall/winter recipe that you’ll want to make over and over.

              Raw beef meatballs rolled and arranged on a baking tray in preparation for Stroganoff Meatballs.

              For this recipe, you’ll notice that I insist you use a beef soup base such as Knorr OXO Beef in a Mug and not regular beef bouillon powder. This is not a sponsored post, but I’ve tried both beef bouillon cubes and regular beef bouillon powder. They just don’t have the same beef flavour that the soup base does, and it makes all the difference. I do hate to be so particular on an ingredient, but for this recipe I must insist that you use beef soup base such as Knorr OXO Beef in a Mug.  It’s worth the little bit of fuss, enjoy!

              Ingredients for Stroganoff Meatballs arranged on a small wooden board on a white kitchen towel.

              Author: Compelled to Cook, adapted from Companys Coming Casseroles cookbook 1985.

              Stroganoff Meatballs
              Print Recipe
              Servings Prep Time
              6 people 55-60 minutes
              Cook Time
              35 minutes
              Servings Prep Time
              6 people 55-60 minutes
              Cook Time
              35 minutes
              Stroganoff Meatballs
              Print Recipe
              Servings Prep Time
              6 people 55-60 minutes
              Cook Time
              35 minutes
              Servings Prep Time
              6 people 55-60 minutes
              Cook Time
              35 minutes
              Ingredients
              Beef Meatballs
              Stroganoff Sauce
              Servings: people
              Instructions
              Beef Meatballs
              1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
              2. In a large bowl combine all ingredients and mix until incorporated. Roll into 1-ounce meatballs (about 2 tbsp each) and arrange on a large baking tray lined with parchment. Will yield about 38 meatballs.
              3. Bake for 15 minutes and remove from oven. Reduce heat to 350°F.
              Stroganoff Sauce
              1. While meatballs are cooking, heat oil in a large dutch oven. Add sliced mushrooms and sauté until most of the liquid has evaporated and starting to brown.
              2. Add 2 cups water and OXO soup base and heat to a simmer, stirring to dissolve. Whisk together the cornstarch and 1/4 cup cold water. Add to pot, whisking constantly until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat and whisk in mushroom soup until smoothed out. Stir in sour cream, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, paprika and pepper.
              3. Add meatballs to the sauce and stir gently to coat with sauce. Cover and bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven and serve immediately over noodles, rice or potatoes.
              Recipe Notes

              -It is a must to use beef soup base (preferably Knorr OXO Beef in a Mug)  I have tried to use regular beef bouillon cubes and powder, however, they do not have the same level of beef flavour and are not recommended for this recipe.

              -Meatballs can be made and cooked up to a day ahead.  Keep covered and chilled until ready to use.  Cook casserole for 40-45 minutes if using cold meatballs.

               

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              Meaty Baked Pasta

              Meaty Baked Pasta

              Well, baked pasta is far from anything new.  This little version is my own yet very similar to many that are out there.  It’s more of a reminder of how wonderful a baked pasta can be.  There are a few steps involved so I wouldn’t call it the best weeknight meal.  However, Meaty Baked Pasta is just what the family calls for on the weekend.  

              With this pasta casserole, you will find a meaty sauce that includes ground beef and Italian sausage, a light and creamy ricotta cheese layer that helps to balance the acid in the tomato sauce.  More sauce hugged pasta with chunks of tomato that is broiled oozy with mozzarella and parmesan.  It’s the kind of dish you know you should stop eating, but just can’t.

              It serves many with even a few leftovers.  If planning ahead, you may want to assemble in two casserole dishes, bake one and freeze the other for a later meal when time is not your friend. 

              Meaty Baked Pasta is homey, satisfying and best of all cheesy!  It’s not diet friendly, so I won’t pretend that it is.  Everything in moderation, right?  Enjoy!

              Meaty Baked Pasta is hot and cheesy from the oven in a blue casserole dish with handles. There is a serving spoon half tucked into the pasta. The dish rests on a cork pot holder that is draped with a white and navy towel. Fresh basil sits in the background.
              Meaty Baked Pasta
              Print Recipe
                Servings Prep Time
                8-10 people 40 minutes
                Cook Time Passive Time
                40 minutes 5 minutes
                Servings Prep Time
                8-10 people 40 minutes
                Cook Time Passive Time
                40 minutes 5 minutes
                Meaty Baked Pasta is hot and cheesy from the oven in a blue casserole dish with handles. There is a serving spoon half tucked into the pasta. The dish rests on a cork pot holder that is draped with a white and navy towel. Fresh basil sits in the background.
                Meaty Baked Pasta
                Print Recipe
                  Servings Prep Time
                  8-10 people 40 minutes
                  Cook Time Passive Time
                  40 minutes 5 minutes
                  Servings Prep Time
                  8-10 people 40 minutes
                  Cook Time Passive Time
                  40 minutes 5 minutes
                  Ingredients
                  Servings: people
                  Instructions
                  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes until starting to soften, stirring often.
                  2. Add ground beef and Italian sausage. Cook until browned and no longer pink, breaking apart any large chunks and stirring often. Dab out any excess fat with a paper towel.
                  3. To the meat add marinara sauce, diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and chili flakes.
                  4. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat, cover and cook, stirring occasionally for 20- 25 minutes to meld flavours.
                  5. While meat sauce is simmering, cook pasta according to package directions using well-salted water. (about 1 tbsp regular salt to 4 litres of water). Drain pasta and set aside.
                  6. Preheat oven to 350℉.
                  7. In a small bowl stir together ricotta, half of the mozzarella, half of the parmesan, dried basil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
                  8. Lightly spray a 9"x13" casserole dish with non stick spray. Add half the cooked pasta and half of the meat sauce to the casserole dish. Stir to combine. Spread with ricotta cheese mixture.
                  9. To the pot with the remaining pasta add remaining meat sauce. Stir to combine and pour over ricotta cheese layer. Top with remaining half of mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
                  10. Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes until bubbly. Broil for 2-3 to blister the cheese. Remove and allow to rest 3-5 minutes prior to serving.

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                  Savory Mushroom Bread Pudding

                  Savory Mushroom Bread Pudding

                  As much as I’m gonna miss summer, I can’t help but be happy about cooking up warm casseroles, holiday squares and hearty soups.  This golden and eggy Savory Mushroom Bread Pudding, with its flecks of vegetables and herbs is EXACTLY why I love the fall.  I could go on about brightly coloured fall leaves, pumpkins, and apple desserts, but in the end, this glorious casserole wins my heart this fall. 

                  It’s a dish I’ve made plenty of times, always with great results and never disappointing. The only sad thing is, it makes quite a lot, feeding 10-12 people.  Sad only because the only time I make it, is when I have enough company to warrant a casserole of this size.  So, with that being said, it’s perfect for a crowd, and can be prepped up to one day ahead, helping you manage your time when feeding a small army. 

                  If you’ve never had a savory bread pudding, you must give this glorious Savory Mushroom Bread Pudding a try.  It takes a bit of time to prepare, but worth every minute.  Enjoy!

                  Recipe source for Savory Mushroom Bread Pudding:  Adapted from Epicurious Savory Bread Pudding with Mushrooms and Parmesan Cheese

                  Savory Mushroom Bread Pudding
                  Print Recipe
                    Servings
                    10-12 people
                    Cook Time Passive Time
                    60 minutes 70-75 minutes
                    Servings
                    10-12 people
                    Cook Time Passive Time
                    60 minutes 70-75 minutes
                    Savory Mushroom Bread Pudding
                    Print Recipe
                      Servings
                      10-12 people
                      Cook Time Passive Time
                      60 minutes 70-75 minutes
                      Servings
                      10-12 people
                      Cook Time Passive Time
                      60 minutes 70-75 minutes
                      Ingredients
                      Servings: people
                      Instructions
                      1. Preheat oven to 375℉ and butter a 13"x9"x2" casserole dish. Slice crust from bread and cut into 1" cubes to yield 10 cups loosely packed cubes. In a large bowl, toss bread with olive oil, thyme, garlic and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Spread evenly in a single layer on a large baking tray and bake for 18-20 minutes until golden, turning once or twice. Remove from oven and return bread cubes to same large bowl.
                      2. Heat butter in a large skillet until foamy. Add celery, onions, green pepper, and mushrooms. Sauté until softened and most of the moisture has been cooked out, about 15 minutes. While vegetables are cooking, whisk together eggs, cream, spinach, salt and pepper.
                      3. Pour egg mixture over toasted bread cubes, add sauteed vegetables, parsley and gouda, stir to combine well. Pour into prepared dish, spreading out evenly. Top with grated parmesan cheese, cover and chill for at least an hour (up to one day ahead) to allow bread to absorb the custard.
                      4. Preheat oven to 350℉. Bake uncovered for about 60 minutes until set and golden. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10-15 before serving.