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PointsPlus Spinach with Parmesan Breadcrumbs Recipe

PointsPlus Spinach with Parmesan Breadcrumbs Recipe


  • 1 1/4 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup coarse fresh breadcrumbs, preferably from crustless French or Italian bread
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 pound fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs and cook until golden, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the Parmesan. Spoon the breadcrumbs into a small bowl and set aside.

Heat remaining oil in the same skillet. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, stirring, about 30 seconds. Gradually add ½ of the spinach to the skillet, tossing the mixture and adding more spinach as some of it cooks down.

Continue cooking and tossing, until the spinach is wilted and tender, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the skillet and repeat with the remaining spinach.

Return the cooked spinach to the skillet and add the salt and toss over low heat. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs. (Or toss with ½ of the breadcrumbs and sprinkle the remaining breadcrumbs over each serving.)

Nutritional Facts


Calories Per Serving83

Folate equivalent (total)349µg87%

Riboflavin (B2)0.4mg20.7%

Recipe Summary

  • 2 (10 ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 2 cups Italian-style seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 4 small green onion, finely chopped
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

In a medium bowl, mix the frozen chopped spinach, Italian-style seasoned bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, butter, green onion, eggs, salt and pepper. Shape the mixture into 1 inch balls.

Arrange the balls in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven 10 to 15 minutes, until lightly browned.

Sautéed Green Beans and Spinach With Bread Crumbs

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 20 M
  • Serves 4

Ingredients US Metric

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 anchovy fillets
  • 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 4 garlic cloves (2 grated or minced and 2 smashed)
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon, preferably organic
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes, or more to taste
  • Sea salt
  • 12 ounces summer beans, thick ones halved lengthwise
  • 1 bunch or bag (5 to 10 oz) spinach
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Lemon wedges, for serving (optional)


In a large skillet over medium heat, warm 3 tablespoons of the oil. Add the anchovies and cook, stirring frequently, until the anchovies dissolve, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the bread crumbs and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the crumbs are golden, 3 to 5 minutes more.

Stir in the grated or minced garlic, lemon zest, and up to the full amount of chile flakes and cook, still stirring quite a lot, for 1 minute.

Transfer the vegetables to a bowl and season them ever so slightly with salt. Wipe out the skillet.

Return the skillet to medium-high heat. Add the remaining 2 1/2 tablespoons oil and the smashed garlic. Add the beans and cook, stirring frequently, until still a little crisp but almost tender, 2 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the beans to a large platter.

Add the spinach to the skillet, and cook, stirring frequently, until bright green and just wilted, about 1 minute.

Transfer the spinach to the platter with the beans and top with the bread crumbs and cheese. If desired, serve with lemon wedges on the side for squeezing.

Recipe Testers' Reviews

Anna Scott

This summer salad was fantastic! Not only was the flavor well balanced but we got to combine two veggies from our garden into one impressive side dish. The addition of the crunchy pangrattato on top of the spinach and bean saute was both unique and super flavorful.

I love using anchovies in dishes because they give such a depth of flavor and a perfect saltiness to whatever is on hand. My only comment is I thought it needed a touch of liquid in the pan to help nudge the beans along to crisp-tender. I would suggest adding 1/3 cup of stock, water, or wine to the pan after you’ve sauteed the beans for the recommended 2 minutes and then cook them for another couple of minutes.

In terms of the recipe itself, my lemon was large so my grated zest measured in at 2 tablespoons. I used green beans from my garden, which were a bit larger than haricots verts, so I did cut them in half lengthwise. (I love the idea of using a mixture of yellow wax beans and green beans in this salad for color, but alas, I couldn't get my hands on wax beans.)

I used 10 ounces of fresh spinach and it wilted down nicely.

Overall, we loved the different textures of this salad and the flavors. The anchovy-infused bread crumbs were a lovely touch, and the Parmesan, chile, flakes, and lemon zest really rounded out the flavors of the entire dish.

Dawn C.

Oh my gosh, what a wonderful side dish using fresh summer produce! The taste was so yummy that after finishing my first serving, I went back for a second serving.

The only thing I would change is to make less bread crumb mixture (try cutting by half) as I felt it was too much.

The grated zest from the smaller sized lemon I had on hand was 1 teaspoon. I grated as much as I could (without cutting up my hands) of the 2 cloves that need to be grated and then finely diced the remainder of these cloves.

I used a combination of wax beans and green beans.

I didn't season the bread crumbs with salt as I’m being careful with my salt intake. The beans were bright and crisp-tender after cooking for 2 minutes. The spinach was wilted but not totally cooked at 1 minute. I did season the vegetables with salt and pepper after cooking.

This makes 4 nice-size side dish servings along with baked salmon.


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  • 12 oysters, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 cups baby spinach (5 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped seeded red jalapeño pepper
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs, preferably whole-wheat
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground pepper
  • Lemon wedges for serving

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with rock salt or balls of foil to cradle the oysters.

To shuck oysters, place flat-side up and grip with a towel or gloved hand, leaving the hinged end exposed. Push the tip of an oyster knife between the top and bottom shells just adjacent to the hinge. Twist the knife until the top shell releases. (Keep the oyster level so the briny liquor stays inside the bottom shell.) Gently slide the knife along the inside of the upper shell, disconnecting the oyster from the shell discard the top shells. Arrange the shucked oysters in their bottom shells on the prepared pan.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add spinach and cook until wilted, about 1 minute. Transfer to a colander and press to remove excess water, then transfer to a clean cutting board and finely chop.

Add butter and garlic to the pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until soft and fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the spinach and jalapeño stir to coat. Remove from heat.

Combine Parmesan, panko and ground pepper in a small bowl. Spread a heaping teaspoon of the spinach mixture over each oyster. Sprinkle with about 1 teaspoon of the Parmesan mixture.

Bake until the oysters are cooked and the tops are golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. If desired, turn on the broiler for the last 2 minutes to brown the tops. Serve with lemon wedges.

Few Tips & Tricks

  • Make sure your cauliflower florets are similar in size to ensure an even bake.
  • Drain cooked cauliflower really well. It’s important for the cauliflower to be as dry as possible before baking, otherwise, it can water down the sauce. You can even pat dry the cauliflower with a few sheets of paper towels.
  • The key to creamy and thick sauce is low heat. At no point, do you want the milk at a rolling boil.
  • If you use frozen spinach, make sure to drain it and squeeze out the extra water.
  • Do not overcrowd the baking dish too much. Both cauliflower and spinach are high in water content, therefore, you want to give them plenty of room to steam out. A square 10 X 10 baking dish is a great size for this recipe.


  • Set an oven rack 6 inches from the top element and heat the broiler to high. Completely remove the mushroom stems thinly slice the stems. Set the mushroom caps stem side up on a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with 1-1/2 Tbs. of the oil, and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. salt and a few grinds of pepper. Broil until the mushrooms are brown and completely tender, 6 to 7 minutes.
  • Pulse the bread in a food processor until it forms uniform crumbs. In a large, heavy sauté pan, heat 2 Tbs. of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the breadcrumbs and 1/4 tsp. salt, and cook, stirring constantly, until the breadcrumbs crisp and turn light brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and wipe the pan clean. Return the pan to high heat, add the remaining 1-1/2 Tbs. oil and the scallions, and sauté until browned and softened, about 2 minutes. Add the mushroom stems and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring, until the stems soften and brown, about 3 minutes. Add the sherry and cook until almost evaporated, 30 to 60 seconds. Add the spinach and stir until it wilts, about 1 minute. Add the cream and 1/3 cup Parmigiano, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the cream reduces slightly, about 2 minutes. Taste for salt and pepper let cool.
  • Discard any liquid that may have accumulated in the mushroom caps. Mound the spinach mixture into the caps top with the breadcrumbs (press them into the filling) and the remaining 1 Tbs. Parmigiano.
  • Heat the broiler to high. Broil the caps until the breadcrumbs brown a little more and the mushrooms heat through, 1 to 3 minutes. Squeeze the lemon half over the caps. Serve immediately.

Make Ahead Tips

The mushrooms can be broiled and stuffed up to two days ahead and refrigerated, covered. When ready to serve, bring to room temperature and then broil as directed above until the breadcrumbs are browned and the mushrooms are heated through.

In a large pot of lightly salted water, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside, reserving about 1 cup of the pasta water.

In a medium sauté pan, heat olive oil over low heat and cook garlic until golden, about 2 minutes. Add spinach, and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes while stirring. Add red pepper flakes and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add pasta to the pan, along with a few spoonfuls of pasta water, and drizzle with olive oil. Simmerover low to medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes while stirring. Finally, add breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese toss all ingredients and plate. Serve immediately.

Spinach Pie

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This streamlined version of classic Greek spanakopita calls for frozen chopped spinach and frozen filo dough, so active prep is at a minimum. You begin by making the filling, sautéeing onion in butter, then adding eggs, Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, and seasonings. Add the squeezed, defrosted spinach and crumbled feta. Then layer thin sheets of filo dough in a baking dish, remembering to brush each layer with melted butter. The filling goes in a single layer in the middle, under more layers of buttery filo. Bake, cool slightly, and cut into squares or triangles.


  1. 1 Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a large frying pan over medium heat, melt the 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the onions and a large pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
  2. 2 Add the eggs, Parmesan, bread crumbs, nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper to the bowl with the onions and whisk to combine.
  3. 3 Add the defrosted spinach to a colander and press out as much liquid as possible. Transfer the spinach to the bowl with the onion mixture, add the feta, and gently mix with your hands to combine.
  4. 4 Butter a 9-inch pie dish. Line the pie dish with filo, brushing each sheet with melted butter. The ends should hang over the sides.
  5. 5 Spoon the spinach mixture into the middle of the filo. Fold the edges up and over the top to seal in the filling. Brush or drizzle the top with melted butter.
  6. 6 Bake until golden brown and the filling is set, about 1 hour. Let cool to room temperature before serving.

  • 12 ounces fresh spinach, (see Note)
  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese, or low-fat cottage cheese
  • ½ cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Pulse spinach in three batches in a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add ricotta (or cottage cheese), Parmesan, eggs, garlic, salt and pepper stir to combine.

Coat 8 cups of the muffin pan with cooking spray. Divide the spinach mixture among the 8 cups (they will be very full).

Bake the spinach cakes until set, about 20 minutes. Let stand in the pan for 5 minutes. Loosen the edges with a knife and turn out onto a clean cutting board or large plate. Serve warm, sprinkled with more Parmesan, if desired.

Equipment: Muffin pan with 12 (1/2-cup) muffin cups

Note: Baby spinach is immature or young spinach--it's harvested earlier than large-leaved mature spinach. We like the sturdy texture of mature spinach in cooked dishes and serve tender, mild-flavored baby spinach raw or lightly wilted. Baby and mature spinach can be used interchangeably in these recipes (yields may vary slightly) be sure to remove the tough stems from mature spinach before using.

Weights & Measures
10 ounces trimmed mature spinach=about 10 cups raw
10 ounces baby spinach=about 8 cups raw

Garlicky Rigatoni Pasta with Spinach and Toasted Breadcrumbs

Eating less meat is one of the things I’m striving for this year. And this garlicky rigatoni tossed with spinach and toasted breadcrumbs makes it easy. It’s the latest addition to our weeknight dinner rotation and I don’t see it going anywhere anytime soon. It’s just too quick and simple to pass up! Not to mention the fact that we always have the ingredients on hand. (You probably do, too.) With minimal effort, this hearty rigatoni pasta can be on your plate in 20 minutes. And since it’s free of meat, it’s the perfect Meatless Monday feast.

Rigatoni pasta is perfect for this dish.

The word rigatoni is derived from the Italian word rigato, which means “ridged” or “lined”, hence the ridges on the pasta. These ridges make for a clingy surface, allowing things like sauces and cheeses to stick to them much better than smoother pastas, like ziti. Here, the robust clingy rigatoni picks up all of that garlicky goodness, cooked spinach, and toast-y breadcrumbs for a delectable mouthful. You can use any pasta shape you’d like, though. I’m just here to tell you rigatoni is the best choice )

This dish was inspired by spaghetti aglio e olio, which is what I meant to make the night this recipe was born. But I decided to change things up at the last minute when I noticed we had an abundance of rigatoni in our pantry. We also had a fair amount of baby spinach in our fridge that was going to quit at life in a day or two, lol.

How to make this recipe.

While the rigatoni cooks, heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic. Stirring often, let the garlic simmer for about a minute, until aromatic. Scoop 1 cup of pasta water from your boiling rigatoni and add it to the skillet, then add the spinach. Keep tossing and stirring it around in the hot pan until all of it has wilted down, about 5-7 minutes.

Finally, stir in the chili flakes, salt, and pepper. Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside.

Heat a small dry saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, dump the Italian breadcrumbs into the pan and let them toast for about 3 minutes or until golden brown and aromatic. Be sure to shake the pan often to prevent burning.

When the rigatoni is done, drain it and transfer it to the skillet with the garlic and spinach. Add half of the toasted breadcrumbs and give it a good toss. Add the parmesan and the rest of the breadcrumbs, and stir again. (Adding the toasted breadcrumbs in two segments prevents clumping and gives better coverage.) Season to taste, and dig in!

I hope you dig this simple pasta dish as much as we do. And if you’re looking to fill your Meatless Mondays with more delicious pasta recipes, check out my Lazy Skillet Lasagna or my Instant Pot Pasta Primavera.

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