Summer is so close, we can taste it. And as it turns out, it happens to taste like this cheesy bake. But take note — this isn't your average casserole. It features spiralized zucchini (a type of summer squash) tossed in a rich mixture inspired by spinach artichoke dip, a beloved classic condiment.
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BTW, spiralized zucchini is available at most grocery stores. Alternatively, if you have a spiralizer, you can make it at home. This way, you can prepare the zucchini "noodles" in the thickness of your choice. (We opted for thinner spirals to recreate the texture of angel hair pasta, but you're welcome to make them thicker.) Also, depending on the size of your zucchinis, you'll need two or three in total.
This easy dish can be enjoyed with bread or on its own. That said, one batch yields six to eight servings, depending on how you serve it. Read on for the full recipe.
How to Make Spinach Artichoke Summer Squash Bake
Things You'll Need
3 cups spiralized green and yellow zucchini, plus more as needed
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1/2 cup canned artichokes, drained and chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 ounces cream cheese, softened and cubed
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 shredded Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup water, plus more as needed
1 tablespoon sliced fresh basil, plus more for topping
Olive oil or butter
Before starting, be sure to "sweat" the spiralized zucchini. Place the zucchini in a colander, then put the colander in a bowl. Sprinkle the zucchini with salt, let it sit for at least 20 minutes, and then wrap the zucchini in a clean towel and squeeze out the excess water. Similarly, make sure to squeeze the excess water out of the thawed spinach. This will prevent your final dish from becoming too watery.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a square baking dish with oil or butter. Set aside.
In a large pan over medium heat, warm one tablespoon oil. Sauté the onions for five to seven minutes, or until tender. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
Add the spinach, artichokes, salt, and pepper. Toss well and cook for another five minutes, adding another tablespoon of oil if needed.
Add the cream cheese and 3/4 cup water. Stir well and cook until the cream cheese is fully melted, about five minutes.
For a richer dish, use milk or heavy cream instead of water.
Add one cup mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, and basil. Stir until melted and combined, adding more water to thin out the mixture as needed. Taste and add more salt or pepper, depending on your preference.
Fold in the spiralized summer squash. Start with three cups, then gradually add more if you'd like.
Transfer the mixture to the square baking dish. Top with the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and slightly golden brown. Garnish with fresh basil, if desired.
Let sit for 10 minutes, then serve with pasta or crusty bread. You can also eat it on its own.