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Creamy Artichoke Casserole with Spinach, Lentils, and Paprika

(Vegetarian, One-Pot Recipe)

Written By: Byron | December 17, 2023
A pan of creamy artichoke casserole with spinach and paprika.

This creamy artichoke casserole with spinach, lentils, and paprika is the ultimate comfort food that’s loaded with a velvety creamy sofrito sauce. This easy one-pot recipe uses lentils to bulk up and add a delicious rich flavor, along with lots of sweet paprika. It’s a skillet casserole so it is made on the stovetop and is ready in around 40 minutes.

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Serving:

Main for 4

Ready in:

40 minutes

Skill level:

Easy

Serve with:

Bread, mash potato, steamed rice, or alone

Watch step-by-step recipe video

If you’re looking for this recipe’s video and many other great recipe ideas, why not check out our Spanish Radish YouTube Channel? We’ve got everything from quick and easy tapas recipes, delicious main meals, and incredible Spanish dessert options too.

How to Make Creamy Artichoke Casserole with Spinach, Lentils, and Paprika

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 30-35 minutes
  • Ready in: 40 minutes

Ingredients 

(Serves 4 as a main meal)

  • 1.5 cups of vegetable stock
  • 7 oz (200g) frozen spinach (or fresh, if you choose)
  • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 onion, diced fine
  • 2 tomatoes, grated and skin removed
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of ground white pepper
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 1 cup brown or red lentils
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 17 oz (500g) artichoke hearts (canned in water) drained
  • ¼ cup of freshly grated Manchego (or other hard cheese), plus more for serving
  • Fresh chopped parsley (for serving) 

For serving

Fresh bread, mash potato, or steamed rice

Equipment needed

      Ingredients for making creamy artichoke and spinach casserole sit on a counter.

      Instructions

      Step 1 – Prepare the Veg and Sauce

      • Heat stock and keep it handy for use later. 
      • Thaw the spinach before cooking with it and be sure to squeeze out any excess moisture. 
      • Heat some oil on medium-high heat and fry the diced onion until golden. Add the grated tomato and stir through. Make a small well and drizzle a little more oil in the well and add the garlic. Cook for a minute or until fragrant then mix into the tomato and onion. 
      • Add the paprika and white pepper and season to taste with salt (we used around ¼ teaspoon of salt). 

      Step 2 – Add lentils and simmer

      • Add the lentils and around half of the stock and stir through. (Aim for around ½ inch/1cm of liquid above the lentils). 
      • Simmer on low for around 20 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated. 
      • Add a few ladles of stock and then add the spinach and stir through. 
      • Add the artichoke pieces (be careful not to break up the artichoke pieces too much). 
      • Add the cream and gently stir into the other ingredients. 

      Step 3 – Simmer, and serve

      • Give everything a good stir, add half the grated cheese, and simmer on low heat for around 10 minutes. 
      • Right before serving, remove from the heat and sprinkle the rest of the grated cheese over the top along with a little paprika for color. 
      • Garnish with some fresh chopped parsley and serve alongside plenty of fresh bread, mashed potato, or steamed rice.

      About this Recipe

      Loaded with rich creamy goodness and lots of soft simmered down veg, this is a perfect comfort food recipe that’s perfect for the cooler months. This vegetarian recipe is an adaption of our delicious artichoke chicken recipe. With no skimping on flavor, we created this recipe for our vegetarian friends to enjoy since the chicken version turned out so well. 

      As the name suggests, this creamy artichoke casserole with spinach is very rich (we used heavy cream) and filling thanks to the brown lentils and veg. Use a veggie-friendly hard cheese and give this recipe plenty of time to simmer down (we suggest at least 30 minutes for the lentils to soften). 

      This recipe is best served with some fresh bread, mash potatoes, or rice.

      Ingredient Substitutions

      Paprika

      We opted for sweet paprika for this recipe, but you could add plenty of smoky flavor by using smoked paprika. Read our article on the differences between the various types of Spanish paprika to learn more. And why not learn about spices used in Spanish cooking? Another common spice is cayenne pepper, which you can also add to this recipe for some heat.

      Fresh or Tinned Artichokes?

      We opted for tinned artichoke hearts as they are much easier to use and require no extra preparation. Fresh artichokes can be used, but you’ll need to prepare the artichokes first and cook them. Learn how to cook artichokes in the microwave, by steaming, or by grilling them. 

      Spinach 

      We used frozen spinach, but fresh spinach can be used. Use around 3 cups of fresh spinach for this recipe. If you’re not a fan of spinach, opt for any other leafy green veg such as silverbeet, Swiss chard, or watercress. 

      Lentils

      We used brown lentils, but any type of lentil will work just fine, be sure to check cooking instructions so you give the lentils enough time to soften. If you feel like an extra creamy version, use cooked chickpeas and adjust the cooking time to around 15 minutes. Once they’re done, they should be soft and almost falling apart. 

      Manchego Cheese

      Manchego is a type of Spanish cheese that’s made from sheep milk. If you can’t find it, you can just use your favorite hard cheese.

      A pan of creamy artichoke casserole with spinach and paprika.

      Nutrition Facts

      Serving size: 250g

      Servings: 4

      Amount per serving

       

      Calories

      363

      % Daily Value*

      Total Fat 18.1g

      23%

      Saturated Fat 7.6g

      38%

      Cholesterol 34mg

      11%

      Sodium 444mg

      19%

      Total Carbohydrate 38.9g

      14%

      Dietary Fiber 18.5g

      66%

      Total Sugars 4.9g

       

      Protein 17.8g

       

      Vitamin D 10mcg

      52%

      Calcium 209mg

      16%

      Iron 4mg

      24%

      Potassium 1019mg

      22%

      *The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

      A pan of creamy artichoke casserole with spinach and paprika.

      Creamy Artichoke Casserole with Spinach, Lentils, and Paprika (Vegetarian)

      Byron
      This creamy artichoke casserole with spinach, lentils, and paprika is the ultimate comfort food that’s loaded with a velvety creamy sofrito sauce. This easy one-pot recipe uses lentils to bulk up and add a delicious rich flavor, along with lots of sweet paprika. It’s a skillet casserole so it is made on the stovetop and is ready in around 40 minutes.
      5 from 1 vote
      Prep Time 5 minutes
      Cook Time 35 minutes
      Total Time 40 minutes
      Course dinner, Main Course, vegetarian
      Cuisine American, Authentic Spanish recipe, Mediterranean, Spain, vegetarian
      Servings 4 main
      Calories 363 kcal

      Equipment

      • 1 large 30cm / 12-inch skillet with deep sides
      • Cooking Tongs
      • Sharp kitchen knife and Cutting board
      • Ladle
      • Wooden spoon or spatula
      • Box grater

      Ingredients

      • 1.5 cups of vegetable stock
      • 7 oz 200g frozen spinach (or fresh, if you choose)
      • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
      • 1 onion diced fine
      • 2 tomatoes grated and skin removed
      • 4 cloves garlic minced
      • 1 heaped teaspoon of sweet paprika
      • 1 teaspoon of ground white pepper
      • Salt to taste
      • 1 cup brown or red lentils
      • 1 cup of heavy cream
      • 17 oz 500g artichoke hearts (canned in water) drained
      • ¼ cup of freshly grated Manchego or other hard cheese, plus more for serving
      • Fresh chopped parsley for serving

      Instructions
       

      Step 1 - Prepare the Veg and Sauce

      • Heat stock and keep it handy for use later.
        1.5 cups of vegetable stock
      • Thaw the spinach before cooking with it and be sure to squeeze out any excess moisture.
        7 oz 200g frozen spinach (or fresh, if you choose)
      • Heat some oil on medium-high heat and fry the diced onion until golden. Add the grated tomato and stir through. Make a small well and drizzle a little more oil in the well and add the garlic. Cook for a minute or until fragrant then mix into the tomato and onion.
        3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, 1 onion, 2 tomatoes, 4 cloves garlic minced
      • Add the paprika and white pepper and season to taste with salt (we used around ¼ teaspoon of salt).
        1 heaped teaspoon of sweet paprika, 1 teaspoon of ground white pepper, Salt

      Step 2 - Add lentils and simmer

      • Add the lentils and around half of the stock and stir through. (Aim for around ½ inch/1cm of liquid above the lentils).
        1 cup brown or red lentils
      • Simmer on low for around 20 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated.
      • Add a few ladles of stock and then add the spinach and stir through.
      • Add the artichoke pieces (be careful not to break up the artichoke pieces too much).
        17 oz 500g artichoke hearts (canned in water) drained
      • Add the cream and gently stir into the other ingredients.
        1 cup of heavy cream

      Step 3 - Simmer, and serve

      • Give everything a good stir, add half the grated cheese, and simmer on low heat for around 10 minutes.
        ¼ cup of freshly grated Manchego
      • Right before serving, remove from the heat and sprinkle the rest of the grated cheese over the top along with a little paprika for color.
      • Garnish with some fresh chopped parsley and serve alongside plenty of fresh bread, mashed potato, or steamed rice.
        Fresh chopped parsley

      Video

      Notes

      For serving

      Fresh bread, mash potato, or steamed rice

      Nutrition

      Serving: 250gCalories: 363kcalCarbohydrates: 38.9gProtein: 17.8gFat: 18.1gSaturated Fat: 7.6gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 444mgPotassium: 1019mgFiber: 18.5gSugar: 4.9gCalcium: 209mgIron: 4mg
      Keyword 1 hours recipe, artichoke, Casserole, creamy, paprika, spinach, sweet paprika
      A pan of creamy artichoke casserole with spinach and paprika.