Months ago, I bought a Prevention grocery aisle cookbook that showcased meals that were under 500 calories. I admit I am such a sucker for grocery aisle cookbooks and I have been better about resisting them, but in this case I am so glad that I didn’t. I went home and tore out almost all of the pages to file away for future meal ideas. I have made a few so far but this has been my favorite. It’s quick, substantial and surprisingly healthy. You could say that I adapted it but actually I just screwed up one of the steps. We’ll call it a happy accident.

Gnocchi and Spinach Casserole

3/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

1/4 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced

2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

1 egg, lightly beaten

3 cups jarred marinara sauce

1 pkg potato gnocchi

2 cups fresh spinach, thinly sliced

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat a square casserole dish with cooking spray.
  2. Combine ricotta, basil, mozzarella, parmesan and egg.
    *This was my ‘happy accident.’ Apparently, I was not supposed to add all the mozzarella cheese at once but I did and loved it. If you want to follow the rules, then only add only 1/4 cup of mozzarella and spread remaining 1/2 cup on the top of casserole.
  3. Spread thin layer of marinara on bottom of pan. Layer half of the gnochhi and cover with 1/3 of cheese mixture. Top with Spinach.
  4. Repeat layers.
  5. Cover with another layer of sauce and remaining cheese mixture.

  6. Bake 40 minutes or until top is bubbly. Let stand for 15 minutes.
    *We were starving so we just ate it and it held together surprisingly well. 

Recipe Review:

Even though the spinach got a little crispy on top, the taste was awesome. Even Manatee, my pasta-hating husband, loved it. We will definitely keep this in rotation as a regular meal.

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