Please Note: I received free samples of Progresso Cooking Stock mentioned in this post at no cost. By posting this recipe, I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Progresso Cooking Stock and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time. As always, thank you for your continued support in allowing to share with you products I love!
So let’s continue from yesterday after I found out about the sponsored #progressoeatscontest via the Recipe ReDux, you already know my first thought was using up the sad, soggy butternut squash to create the light and insanely creamy Butternut Pumpkin Squash Soup I shared with you yesterday.
However, I knew immediately I would be making more than one dish because I had to share with you a quinoa recipe. Unless I’m planning to make my quinoa for breakfast, I almost alway make big batches up using cooking broth/stock to give it more flavor.
The number one complaint about quinoa I get from Hungry Hobby clients who want to work quinoa into their diets is that it taste too “earthy.” Now I’m not the best judge because I LOVE quinoa, but Mr. Hungry agreed cooking it with the Progresso stock gave it a rich depth of flavor that was anything but earthy!
No surprise since their stock is made from simmering real bones, vegetables and herbs to bring a flavor as close to homemade as possible to you in a convenient package.
You know I couldn’t stop there! I wanted to see how that flavor translated to a filling meal. I came up with the idea for a Spanakopita Casserole when Mr. Hungry was on his Birthday appetizer extravaganza week.
Do you remember the first time you had a spanakopita? I do (if you don’t, please bookmark this page and immediately drive to your nearest Costco for a family size box, you’re going to need it when you find out how amazing they are).
Anyway, for me, it was almost seven years ago when Mr. Hungry and I started dating, his very first birthday I shared with him at his parent’s house was also full of all his favorite appetizers. What makes a spanakopita special?
It’s the unique Mediterranean flavor bursting through crunchy yet soft layered bites of phyllo dough (or if your Mr. Hungry, anything less than 3 inches is one bite). Is it even possible to mimic something so delicious? Should I dare try? Well, I think the quinoa’s fluffy, light texture is very reminiscent of the traditional puff pastry dough used to wrap decadent fillings of spinach, feta, and red onion, so I gave it a shot!
Instead of using sour cream or cream cheese found in most casserole recipes, I substituted by adding more Progresso chicken stock which allowed me to cut out a large amount of fat and calories. I kept all the cheesy flavor though by topping it with a generous layer of Italian four cheese blend.
The broiled cheese made a beautiful golden buttery crust that crunched just as if you were biting into a real spanakopita. I also added 99% lean ground turkey for protein to make this a one-shot deal for dinner! Of course, you could leave it out and keep it as a vegetarian meal or side dish!
Verdict? Well, you already know I wouldn’t be sharing it if it wasn’t amazing! The truth is I only got to have a few spoonfuls; Mr. Hungry wanted to take it for his lunch all week! I’ve been receiving happy text messages around lunch, silence is the sound of sad salads or lunches out, this week’s text messages were wins all the way around!
[Tweet “#AD: Your favorite appetizer remade into a healthy dinner casserole! via @hungryhobby @Progresso #RecipeReDux #ProgressoEatsContest #glutenfree”]
This casserole is your favorite appetizer remade into a hearty and healthy dinner form. It’s dinner in one pan meal that will feed a crowd or give you lot’s of leftovers; I hope you enjoy it as much as we have!
Spanakopita Turkey Casserole
- 1/2 chopped red onion
- 1 tbsp grapeseed oil
- 1.25 lb ground 99% lean ground turkey
- 3 cups cooked quinoa
- 12 frozen spinach squeezed dry
- 1/4 c chopped parsley
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 3/4 cup chicken stock
- 3/4 cup feta
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup four cheese italian blend
- 1 T garlic
- 1 T italian seasoning blend or 1/4tsp basil, oregano, and thyme
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp white pepper
Preheat oven to 350F.
Cook quinoa according to package directions, substituting the water for chicken broth. (1 cup uncooked should make about 3 cups cooked.) Allow quinoa to cool completely before using in casserole.
Saute red onion in grapeseed oil for 3-4 minutes on medium until translucent. Add in ground turkey and saute until cooked completely (no pink remains).
In a large bowl combine everything (turkey/onion mix, seasonings, feta, eggs, spinach, parsley, and chicken broth) except four cheese blend.
Mix well until mixture looks well combined and transfer into a cooking oil sprayed 9x13 baking dish. Smooth and compact it with the back of a large spoon. Sprinkle four cheese blend over the to pof the casserole. Bake at 350F for 40 minutes until casserole is set and it begins to turn golden brown. Turn broiler on and broil for 3-4 minutes to get a nice crunchy crust.
Let sit 15 minutes before serving.
Can be enjoyed as a side dish or full meal.
This recipe has been amended from original post date to include spinach, which I somehow forgot, definitely need spinach it is a key ingredient.
Don’t forget to check out other contest entries, so many yummy recipes! Thanks to Progresso again for sponsoring the challenge!