Beef Florentine Casserole

Beef Florentine Casserole – layers of homemade Italian meat sauce, spinach, ricotta, and mozzarella cheese. Comfort food at its best! Super easy to make and tastes great! Ground beef, garlic, onion, tomato sauce, tomato paste, basil, oregano, sugar, salt, pepper, spinach, ricotta, and mozzarella cheese. Can make in advance and refrigerate or freeze for later. This is sure to become a family favorite!

spoonful of spinach ricotta and meat sauce casserole

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Layers of Spinach, Spiced Ground Beef & Cheese

This Beef Florentine Casserole is sure to become a family favorite. Homemade Italian meat sauce baked with spinach, ricotta, and mozzarella cheese. YUM! The recipe came from a Plain Chicken reader. It is super easy to make and tastes fantastic. This reminded me of spinach lasagna without the pasta. Whip up a salad and some garlic bread and you are set!

cheesy casserole in baking dish

How to Make Beef Florentine Casserole

This casserole is super easy to make. Start with cooking some ground beef. Add onion, garlic, basil, oregano, sugar, salt, pepper, tomato sauce, and tomato paste. Simmer the meat sauce for about 10 minutes. Transfer the sauce to a baking dish. Top the sauce with some mozzarella cheese. Combine spinach and ricotta cheese and add to the baking dish. Top with more mozzarella cheese and bake.

Tips and Frequently Asked Questions

  • You can substitute ground turkey or pork sausage for the ground beef.
  • Sometimes I add a jar of mushrooms to the casserole.
  • Make sure to drain the spinach really well before adding it to the dish. I squeeze it with a dish towel or paper towels until all the water is gone.
  • Love spinach? Feel free to double up on the spinach in the casserole. I used one package of frozen spinach and it was more than enough for us.
  • Can I add pasta to the casserole? Yes! You can add any shape pasta that you enjoy to the dish. I would use 8 to 10-oz of cooked pasta and add it to the meat sauce layer.
  • Is Beef Florentine Casserole low carb? Most tomato sauces and tomato pastes are made with added sugars making them not suitable for a low carb/keto diet.
    • To make this as low carb as possible, omit the sugar from the homemade sauce and look for zero added sugar tomato sauce and tomato paste.
    • Muri Glen has zero added sugar in their tomato products. I find them at Target.
  • Can Beef Florentine Casserole be made in advance? Yes! You can assemble the recipe ahead of time and refrigerate it overnight. You may need to add a few minutes to the cooking time if baking straight from the refrigerator.
  • Can Beef Florentine Casserole be frozen? Yes! Assemble the casserole, cover the dish with plastic wrap and aluminum foil, and freeze. When ready to bake the casserole, thaw, and bake as directed.
plate of italian spinach and ricotta casserole

What to Serve with Italian Beef & Spinach Casserole

This casserole is comfort food at its best. This makes a lot of food. If you don’t need to feed a crowd, you can cut the recipe in half and keep the cooking time the same. You can also make the whole recipe and divide it between two pans. Bake one now and freeze one for later.

We usually serve this with a salad and some garlic bread. This is also great some over pasta, rice, or polenta. Here are a few of our favorite recipes from the blog that go great with this Italian casserole:

Creamy Italiano Salad

Creamy Italiano Salad – our favorite salad!!! Romaine, tomatoes, thinly sliced seedless cucumbers, sliced banana peppers, croutons, parmesan cheese, and…

Italian Green Bean Salad

Italian Green Bean Salad – quick and delicious side dish! Green beans, tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, prosciutto, and mozzarella tossed…

Garlic Parmesan Skillet Bread

Garlic Parmesan Skillet Bread – refrigerated biscuits chopped and tossed in butter, garlic, italian seasoning and parmesan cheese. Baked in…

spoonful of spinach ricotta and meat sauce casserole

Beef Florentine Casserole

Yield: 8 people
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Beef Florentine Casserole – layers of homemade Italian meat sauce, spinach, ricotta, and mozzarella cheese. Comfort food at its best! Super easy to make and tastes great! Ground beef, garlic, onion, tomato sauce, tomato paste, basil, oregano, sugar, salt, pepper, spinach, ricotta, and mozzarella cheese. Can make in advance and refrigerate or freeze for later. This is sure to become a family favorite!

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp dried minced onion
  • 2 (8-oz) cans tomato sauce
  • 2 (6-oz) cans tomato paste
  • 2 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano leaves
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste
  • ¼ tsp pepper, or to taste
  • 1 (10-oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed & drained
  • 1 (15-oz) container ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 375ºF. Lightly spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  • In a large skillet over med-high heat, cook ground beef until meat is browned. Drain fat.
  • Add garlic to the skillet and cook for 30 seconds. Add dried onion, tomato sauce, tomato paste, sugar, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, until thickened.
  • Combine spinach and ricotta. Set aside.
  • Spoon meat sauce into prepared pan. Top with 1 cup of mozzarella cheese.
  • Spread spinach and ricotta mixture over mozzarella.
  • Top with the remaining 1 cup of mozzarella cheese.
  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until bubbly and the cheese is melted.

Notes:

  • You can substitute ground turkey or pork sausage for the ground beef.
  • Sometimes I add a jar of mushrooms to the casserole.
  • Make sure to drain the spinach really well before adding it to the dish. I squeeze it with a dish towel or paper towels until all the water is gone.
  • Love spinach? Feel free to double up on the spinach in the casserole. I used one package of frozen spinach and it was more than enough for us.
  • Can I add pasta to the casserole? Yes! You can add any shape pasta that you enjoy to the dish. I would use 8 to 10-oz of cooked pasta and add it to the meat sauce layer.
  • Is Beef Florentine Casserole low carb? Most tomato sauces and tomato pastes are made with added sugars making them not suitable for a low carb/keto diet.
    • To make this as low carb as possible, omit the sugar from the homemade sauce and look for zero added sugar tomato sauce and tomato paste.
    • Muri Glen has zero added sugar in their tomato products. I find them at Target.
  • Can Beef Florentine Casserole be made in advance? Yes! You can assemble the recipe ahead of time and refrigerate it overnight. You may need to add a few minutes to the cooking time if baking straight from the refrigerator.
  • Can Beef Florentine Casserole be frozen? Yes! Assemble the casserole, cover the dish with plastic wrap and aluminum foil, and freeze. When ready to bake the casserole, thaw, and bake as directed.

Steph

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plate of spinach ricotta and meat sauce casserole
spoonful of spinach ricotta and meat sauce casserole

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Comments

  1. This looks great and low carb! When you add the ricotta and spinach do you spread it on or more of a dollop?
    Thanks for your great recipes!

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