I went to a new restaurant this weekend, and I was blown away by their offering of gluten free and low carb menu options. One of the dishes that absolutely blew me away was their Mexican spinach side, which was this incredible combination of cheese, spinach and red peppers that left me itching to get into the kitchen and try it myself. These are the results, and when all was said and done, this was better than theirs. I couldn’t have asked for it to turn out any better than it did.
Do you have family members who hate spinach? They won’t even hate this. It’s ultra smokey, just a little bit spicy (and I mean just a little– no glass of water needed!) and the flavors, oh man– the flavors! I added crispy bacon into the mix. Everything is better with it, right? Of course it is.
This dish is the quintessential ketogenic diet dish. It’s got lots of healthy fat with moderate protein, and of course, it’s low in carbs with just 2g net per serving. It’s gorgeous, too, so it’s great for company. Give it a try!
Cheesy Chipotle Spinach Bacon Casserole
Makes about 12 servings. 2g net carbs each.
- 3 bags (30 oz. total) fresh baby spinach, chopped
- 3/4 medium red onion, finely diced
- 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
- 6 strips crisply cooked chopped bacon
- 8 oz. fresh sliced mushrooms
- 2 T butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 tsp. garlic powder)
- 2 1/2 tsp. seasoned salt or Adobo seasoning
- 2 small chipotle peppers in adobo, finely chopped (find this in the Hispanic food section in a can)
- 1/2 C heavy cream (or half & half)
- 1 1/2 C shredded whole milk mozzarella cheese OR shredded chihuahua cheese
- 6 oz. cream cheese, cubed
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large pot, place all spinach and heat over medium heat until it's wilted down, but still nice and green. You may have to repeat this if all your spinach doesn't fit in the pot.
- Place cooked spinach in a colander and drain the water from it by pressing it firmly with paper towels. Set aside.
- In the pot, melt the butter and add in the bacon, bell pepper, onion, garlic, mushrooms, seasoned salt, and chipotle peppers. Heat all on medium heat until onions are translucent and peppers and mushrooms are tender (about 10 minutes).
- Add in the cream cheese and stir well over medium heat until the cream cheese is completely melted and coating everything in the pan.
- Add in the cream and mozzarella or chihuahua cheese and mix until it's all melted and creamy.
- Stir in the cooked spinach until everything is evenly mixed.
- Place the mixture into a greased baking dish and top with a bit more mozzarella or chihuahua cheese. Bake on the middle rack for about 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
- Let stand for about 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
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