Sunday, December 1, 2013

Fish Florentine Casserole (Perfect for Christmas Eve!)

It's December 1st, which in the life of this Kitchen Witch, means the Christmas season has officially begun! For me, Christmas isn't a day, it's a feeling I nourish and watch grow from the first weekend in December when our tree and decorations go up.

In the evenings I look forward to walking the dog past the many homes with beautiful light displays, reflecting on all of the things I have to be grateful for, and pondering the recipes and ideas I wish to share with friends and readers via this blog.

For the entire month of December I will be featuring recipes I've developed with the holiday season in mind, and if you're looking for something specific, make sure to visit my recipe index page: Holidays and Special Occasions because all of my tried and true recipes for the holidays can be found there!

To kick things off this season, I thought I'd begin with a wonderfully luscious make ahead casserole featuring fish.

 White fish filets are baked with tender baby spinach, a luxurious creamy lemon herb sauce, and topped with golden, fluffy, mashed potatoes making this the perfect casserole after a long day of Christmas shopping or the Christmas Eve table for families who observe the Catholic tradition of eating fish on that wonderful night.

Light hints of lemon and thyme hit all the right notes and I promise, it's a recipe everyone is going to just love!

If you visit this blog, please, don't be a stranger. Leave me a comment to let me know you've been by. Better still, if you try this recipe, let me know how it turned out for you.

Visit the printable recipe here: Creamy Fish Florentine Casserole

Please enjoy my easy to follow How To video!

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 45 minutes
Yield: Makes 6 4x4 slices

  • 4 large white fish filets like halibut, haddock, Pacific cod, catfish, or basa
  • 2 tsp lemon herb salt, divided (Visit recipe here: Lemon Herb Salt )
  • 1/2 tsp pepper 
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme 
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup low sodium chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • 6 cups raw spinach cooked and well drained
  • 6 medium russet potatoes (about 2 lbs)
  • 3 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 large egg yolk

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Combine the lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, and chicken stock in a medium sauce pan and heat almost to the boil. Add the cup of cream cheese and stir to make a cream sauce. Stir in the fresh thyme. Set aside.
  3. Boil the potatoes until they’re soft and tender.
  4. Lightly mash and add the butter, milk, and 1 tsp of lemon herb salt. Let cool slightly and then add the egg yolk. Continue to mash until they are completely fluffy with no lumps (I use my immersion blender with the whipper attachment).
  5. Arrange the fish filets in the bottom of a 2 quart rectangular baking dish that has been coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle the fish with the second tsp of the lemon herb salt and 1 tsp of pepper. 
  6. Cover with the spinach and pour the lemon cream sauce over all. 
  7. Spoon the mashed potato mixture over the top and spread evenly with a fork. Use the tines to make a pattern in the top. (Note: the recipe can be covered and stored in the refrigerator at this point for up to 8 hours. Make certain if not baking right away that the cream sauce and potatoes are completely cooled).
  8. Bake uncovered 45 minutes until bubbly and lightly browned.
  9. Cover with tinfoil and let rest 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
*Cook's Note: If you do not have a 2 quart rectangular casserole dish, an 8x8 square pan will also work just fine.



Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, and a website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.

Visit her daily on her blog, The Kitchen Witch or on her YouTube Channel, CHARMED With The Kitchen Witch.

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  1. Love fish any time of the day! This recipe looks really lovely. Tasty, easy, lush!

    1. Thanks Val :-) I just love this recipe - as does my husband. The light taste of lemon is just beautiful. Have a wonderful Monday!

  2. Do you think goat cheese would be too overpowering to substitute for the cream cheese? A weekend of making cream cheese icing has severely depleted my stock...

    1. I would sub in a half cup of plain yogurt, sour cream, or pureed cottage cheese for the cream cheese. The goat cheese might be a bit too strong a flavour.