Recipe by Kimke
If you live in Knoxville or have ever visited and eaten at Calhoun's, you surely love Spinach Maria. It is WONDERFUL!! It is a great side dish but you can also use this as an appetizer or party food. It is like a cheesy spinach dip. SO YUMMY!!!!! The recipe was printed in the Knoxville paper. You can also scale it down if you don't want such a large amount--but it is great leftover!!
Top Review by shimmerchk
This was awesome! I halved the recipe and added a little freshly grated nutmeg into the seasoned milk mixture but otherwise followed the directions exactly. You could really diry up some pots and pans with this recipe, but I used the same pot for sauteeing the onions and making the roux and added the milk mixture into that same pot. I think adding the grated montery jack on top is a little overkill for out tastes, but not a big deal to omit that in the future. This was certainly a crowd pleaser at Christmas dinner and was surprisingly a hit with the kids as well. Must be all that cheese! This dish will certainly be a keeper and we thank you for sharing it.
- 5 (10 ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach
- 4 1⁄2 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
- 1⁄2 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 5 tablespoons melted butter
- 6 tablespoons flour
- 8 ounces Velveeta cheese (cubed)
- 8 ounces cheddar cheese (cubed)
- 4 ounces monterey jack cheese (cubed)
- 1 1⁄2 cups grated monterey jack cheese, for topping
Directions See How It's Made
- Thaw spinach.
- Squeeze as much excess water as possible from spinach.
- Heat milk and spices in a 4 qt.
- saucepan on medium heat to just below a boil.
- Reduce and simmer.
- Saute chopped onion in 1 TBSP butter on medium heat for 5-8 minutes.
- Add onion to saucepan.
- Combine the 5 TBSP melted butter with the flour in a small saucepan.
- Mix until completely blended.
- Cook on low heat 2-3 minutes.
- Add to milk in saucepan and mix.
- Continue to cook until sauce thickens.
- Cut cheeses into small cubes and add to saucepan.
- Continue to mix until all the cheese is completely melted and blended into the sauce.
- Be CAREFUL not to BURN the sauce while cheese is melting.
- Remove from heat.
- Allow to cool for 15 minutes.
- Add drained spinach to cheese sauce and mix till completely blended.
- Spoon into a 11x9x2 or large casserole and top with grated Monterey jack cheese.
- Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes, until hot and bubbly.
- This can be served as a side dish or as an appetizer with tortilla chips.