Ina Garten’s Baked Spinach and Zucchini

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ina garten baked spinach zucchini recipe 921
Quentin Bacon/Cook Like a Pro

Baked spinach and zucchini are anything but a snooze-fest when Ina Garten gets her hands on them. Why? The Barefoot Contessa adds basmati rice and two different types of cheese. Genius.

In Cook Like a Pro: Recipes and Tips for Home Cooks, Garten explains her inspiration for the dish: “No one taught me more about cooking than my late dear friend Anna Pump, who wrote many wonderful cookbooks [and owned the Hamptons-based specialty food shop Loaves & Fishes]. I think of her often, but always when I’m making a dish inspired by her, such as this easy spinach and zucchini gratin.”

Some final parting wisdom from the queen herself: Make sure you’re getting true aged Parmesan from Italy and grate it yourself. Pre-grated cheeses, even from a specialty food store, are often made from lesser Parmesan. And no one wants that. 


4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted, divided

Good olive oil

6 scallions, white and green parts, sliced ¼ inch across

1 pound small zucchini, sliced into ¼-inch-thick rounds (4 zucchini)

1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)

Two 10-ounce packages frozen chopped spinach, defrosted

1 cup cooked basmati rice

¼ cup chopped fresh basil leaves

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 extra-large eggs

¾ cup heavy cream

¼ cup freshly grated Italian Parmesan cheese, plus extra

2 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-by-14-by-2-inch oval baking dish with 2 tablespoons of the melted butter and set aside.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium-high heat. Add the scallions and zucchini, and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Lightly press most of the water out of the spinach and add it to the pan. Add the rice, basil, parsley, nutmeg, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper; toss well. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, the remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter and the ¼ cup Parmesan. Pour the mixture over the spinach and zucchini; smooth the top. Sprinkle with some extra Parmesan and the Gruyère. Bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 30 minutes.

Nutrition Facts
  • 400 calories

  • 32g fat

  • 17g carbs

  • 15g protein

  • 4g sugars

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Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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