Potato Spinach Sausage Casserole

We are constantly trying out new recipes here at Casa Elise, and even jokingly refer to our kitchen as the “test kitchen”. However, many recipes never make it to this site because often they just aren’t good enough. In fact, some are downright awful. When we do find a good one, we declare it a “winner” and often make it again so I can get a good photo. This is one of those recipes. Not a big one for casseroles, I was surprised at how tasty this Potato, Spinach, and Sausage Casserole was. It comes from the charter issue of a new magazine put out by the folks at Cook’s Illustrated, called Cook’s Country, a magazine devoted to home cooking. Our changes were to make the casserole for four people instead of eight and to use both sweet and hot Italian sausage instead of the kind of sausage you slice. If you ever have a hard time convincing a family member to eat their spinach, this would be the recipe to use.

Potato Spinach Sausage Casserole Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra to grease the baking dish
  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil
  • 8 oz fresh spinach, washed, dried, and stemmed
  • 1/2 lb of Italian sausage (we like 1/2 sweet and 1/2 hot Italian sausage), broken out of casing into small pieces
  • 1 large red onion (about 3/4 lb), peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes (about 3 medium sized potatoes), peeled and cut into 1-inch chuncks
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tablespoon cider vinegar
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup of shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese

Method

1 Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter a 6x9 or 8x8 inch baking dish.

2 Heat one of the teaspoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add spinach and cook, stirring often, until wilted, about 3 minutes. Transfer spinach to strainer and drain. When cool, squeeze out liquid and roughly chop the spinach.

3 Wipe skillet clean. Add sausage to skillet and cook over medium-high heat until browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Use slotted spoon to transfer sausage to bowl. Wipe skillet clean. Heat remaining oil in skillet and add onions, cooking until golden, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Scrape mixture into bowl with sausage.

4 Meanwhile, place potatoes in a large pot and add enough water to cover by 1 inch. Bring potatoes to boil over high heat, then lower heat to a simmer. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Drain potatoes, wipe pot dry, put potatoes back into the pot, and mash with butter, cream, vinegar, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Stir in spinach and 1/2 cup of the cheese.

5 Transfer potato-spinach mixture to prepared baking dish. Top with sausage-onion mixture and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup of cheese. Bake until potatoes are very hot and cheese is golden and bubbly, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Serves 4.

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28 Comments

  1. Melissa

    This looks like heaven to a Midwestern gal! I just happen to have some Italian Sausage in the freezer.
    Great site!
    Melissa

  2. Brandon

    Have you ever tried to freeze this? How do potatoes do when frozen (I’ve never attempted it)?

  3. Elise

    Hi Melissa, thank you!

    Hi Brandon, I’ve never tried to freeze this or mashed potatoes. One can always try.

  4. Jim Price

    I just tried this recipe and really enjoyed it. Next time I will use a sweet onion instead of the red onion.

  5. minnie99

    I looked for a recipe to use fresh spinach and Italian sausage and found this one. I thought it was very tasty. I did use a little hot sauce on top. I would make this again.

  6. Tina

    Great recipe, Elise! I made this at home a few nights ago and it was tasty and filling. I only had purple potatoes at home so ended up making purple mashed potatoes! It was a cool layer of blue-purple at the bottom and very yummy.

  7. Renata

    I just made this and am digging into it now. I haven’t made a casserole in this style before, but this is very good. The only change I made was to use kale instead of spinach, since that’s what I had. It cooks a little longer, but it works. I think I’ll be making this again.

  8. Christa

    Have you ever assembled this dish and refrigerated it to bake later? I’m thinking of preparing this at home to take to a friend and am wondering what the best way to transfer it would be?
    1. Assemble and bake at my house and just re-heat in the oven at her place?
    OR
    2. Assemble at my house and deliver to her place with baking instructions?

    Any advice would be appreciated! Also, any ideas for a side dish?
    Thanks!!

  9. Lorraine

    Another home run! I like to make casserole recipes because I work outside of the home and often get home late in the day. I make it in the morning and just heat and serve when I get home. Easy. This dish is delicious. I was a bit hesitant when I saw that vinegar was mixed with mashed potato. This will be a favorite in my house. It is another comfort type food for the cold New England evenings. Hats off!

  10. Amber

    I just made this to bring to a potluck tonight. It looks so great I can’t wait to eat it!

  11. emilie

    I have made this about 5 times and *LOVE* it. It’s one of my family’s favorites. Someone brought it to us when our daughter was born and now we have it all the time. THANK YOU!!

    P.S. I’ve made it ahead and both refrigerated and frozen it, and it seems to do fine with either.

  12. Randi Lynne

    My husband and I really liked this dish! I made it a day ahead and left the skins on (of red potatoes) like I asked you about. Great recipe!

  13. Crash Test Mommy

    Yum. I used tetragonia (New Zealand spinach) and a sweet onion, as that was what was nearby. First recipe I’ve tried from this site… I’m hooked!
    –Kathryn

  14. Sarah

    Elise to the rescue again! I was trying to clean out my pantry and freezer before I went on vacation, and I actually had just about everything on hand to make this! I subbed in some kale for the spinach because that’s what I had – I sauteed it with the garlic and layered it on top of the potatoes rather than mixing them together. Shredded monterey jack went on top, and it was so delicious. We had your chocolate pudding for dessert – another great “clear out the pantry” recipe!

  15. Annie

    Loved the idea but didn’t have many of the ingredients on hand. I mashed Potato with sweet potato and hot milk, sour cream, nutmeg, broth and s&p. Spooned in to casserole then topped with cheese-only had vintage tasty (or cheddar you Americans call it, it’s Tasty in Australia),some parmesan and pepper parmesan, lightly mixed it through. Cooked plain beef sausages (one child and Grandma don’t like pork sausage or anything spicy). Lucky our local butcher does some nice tasting plain beef (no fillers or rubbish in them).Cooked onion, garlic and some green onion tops with the sausage. Cooled and pressed broken up sausage in to the top. Then more cheese on the top. Same but different and it was lovely.
    Thanks for the idea Elise. :D I am gonna have to grow spinach, I LOVE it but it doesn’t keep for long once bought and we always eat it in this house.

  16. Roxanne

    I just made this for dinner tonight. My husband and I and my 1 and 3 year old kids all loved it!

    I didn’t peel the potatoes, I just smashed them with the skins and the recipe ingredients.

    This is a great recipe!

  17. Meaghan

    I made this casserole tonight and it was FANTASTIC. I was a little wary — it wasn’t anything like the casseroles I’m used to making. I was afraid that if it wasn’t good it had the potential to be awful. So for all you out there sitting on the fence, go for it! It’s very tasty. I only wish I had made enough for leftovers.

  18. Melissa

    I’ve had this bookmarked forever and finally got round to making it yesterday…didn’t have any cider vinegar but balsamic worked wonderfully instead. I’m really sad that we only managed one night of leftovers…

  19. Ashley

    Love Love Loved the addition of the apple-cider vinegar to the mashed potatoes, I have never done that (never even heard of that), but it added this layer if flavor that was incredible!!
    ummm I did make some slight adjustments, solely due to the fact that I wanted to use ingredients I had on hand (sorry!) – I used ground turkey (but I know the sausage would have added better flavor) and I used Monterey jack cheese which added a creaminess but lacked that punch that you get with swiss – Great Recipe!

  20. Marisa Rechenberg

    My 2 1/2 y-old isn’t eating chicken. Nor spinach. So let’s put them together, I thought ;)

    I just cooked this casserole and used chicken breast instead of sausages; added the spinach to the cooking potatoes when they’re almost done, then mashed them together.

    He LOVED the dish :)

    Tomorrow I’m gonna try another of your recipes, very inspiring!

  21. Jaime

    Tried this dish last night and OMG I loved it!

  22. E

    Not your typical casserole mush. A very different taste. Good flavor. Next time I will double the recipe.

  23. Karen E

    I made this for my husband and mother in law and both LOVED it. This recipe should not be halved in my house. This is very easy to make and definitely a keeper!

  24. Stephany

    I made this recipe the other day and I wanted to let you know I thought it was SO good! Having the spinach in with the mashed potatoes is WONDERFUL!! It’s loaded with yummy flavor that my kids ate it up even though it had the “green stuff” in it. They even ate the onions which surprised the mess out of me. Those red cooked onions were so good! It was all so good! Thank you!

  25. Rachel R.

    This is rich and sinful. A great comfort food. Loved it!

  26. Chuck

    I surprised my wife with this dish last night when she got home from work. Actually, we were both surprised because I learned that she hates casseroles (she likes everything to be separate on her plate). She agreed to try it and we both loved it. Many thanks for a creative and terrific recipe!

  27. Scott

    We all loved the flavor, but agreed a little more spinach and sausage and a little less mashed potato….still, we will be making this again!

  28. Cristina Robison

    Loved this and it was easy to prepare. There was some time involved in the preparation so it may not be suitable for a super quick meal. But it came out delicious. I did not have nutmeg and I did leave the potatoes peeled and I only used my mexi blend cheese that I had. Also I doubled everything for a 9 1/2 by 11 dish. Will make again.

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