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Aunt Bee’s cheesy spinach squares are a delicious make ahead appetizer to serve at your upcoming holiday party! They are the perfect bite-size finger food, but they work equally well as a weeknight side dish. Cheesy, easy, and just 10 minutes of prep!

Easy Cheesy Spinach Squares stacked on a plate with text overlay
Table of Contents
  1. Why You’ll Love these Spinach Squares
  2. Ingredients
  3. How to Make Spinach Squares
  4. Serving Suggestions for Spinach Cheese Squares
  5. Preparation and Storage Tips
  6. Recipe Variations
  7. Tips for the Best Spinach Squares Recipe
  8. Aunt Bee’s Cheesy Spinach Squares Recipe

If you’re looking for even more easy appetizers, be sure to try my mom’s candied pecans, these classic stuffed mushrooms, this 10-minute crab dip, and our favorite pimento cheese spread, too!

When Aunt Bee originally sent me the handwritten index card with this recipe on it, the title was called “Spinach Brownies.” I immediately envisioned some weird concoction of chocolate and leafy greens, but boy was I wrong! This is a recipe that dates back to the days when it was not en vogue to hide your veggies in dessert treats, or to lighten up a dish with “secret” ingredients like chickpeas or kale.

Instead, I suppose they were called “brownies” because you can bake them in a square pan and slice them just like you would a more traditional brownie. But the similarities stop there (fortunately!).

Instead of some odd chocolate-spinach blend, these are actually just a very simple savory recipe for spinach and cheese squares.

Plate of easy appetizers called cheesy spinach squares

Why You’ll Love these Spinach Squares

  • Quick and easy. These bars come together with simple ingredients in a matter of minutes.
  • Affordable. You don’t need any pricey crab or fancy cheese. Just some humble, basic components come together in a delicious, budget-friendly way.
  • Make-Ahead. You can bake these in advance and just reheat them when you’re ready to serve them. They’re great served warm or even at room temperature.
  • Finger-friendly. These make ahead hors d’oeuvres can be sliced into very small bite-size squares, they don’t make a mess, and they don’t require any utensils. The perfect finger food for a party buffet!
Ingredients for spinach squares in glass mixing bowl

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for Aunt Bee’s spinach bars. As always, specific measurements and step-by-step cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • All-purpose flour: the base of the dough.
  • Salt: to enhance the other ingredients.
  • Baking powder: the leavening agent that gives the bars a little bit of “puff.”
  • Milk: the liquid that binds the dough together.
  • Cheddar cheese: for great flavor. Feel free to use other good melting cheeses of your choice. For instance, some crumbled feta, Monterey Jack, mozzarella, Colby, Colby Jack, Parmesan cheese, or Pepper Jack cheese would all be great.
  • Eggs: give the bars structure.
  • Butter: for rich flavor. I prefer salted butter.
  • Frozen chopped spinach: cooked (in the microwave for about 5 minutes is easiest) and squeezed very dry.
Spinach squares in white baking dish before oven

How to Make Spinach Squares

This is SO simple, y’all! It’s really just a matter of stirring together a few ingredients and baking them in the oven. That’s it! You’ll find detailed directions in the recipe card below, but here’s the quick version:

  • Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Place the spinach mixture in a greased pan.
  • Bake, cool slightly, and cut into squares.
Cheesy Spinach Squares on a blue and white appetizer plate

Serving Suggestions for Spinach Cheese Squares

These little cheesy spinach squares pair perfectly with a cold beverage, a glass of wine, or your favorite cocktail for snack time perfection!

They’re a nice addition to a charcuterie board when served with nuts, fresh or dried fruit (such as grapes, figs, or dried apricots), pimento cheese and crackersdeviled eggsshrimp cocktailstuffed mushrooms, or Italian pinwheels.

Preparation and Storage Tips

  • Make Ahead: Bake the spinach squares in advance. Let cool completely. Wrap tightly and store in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
  • Storage: Leftover baked squares will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
  • How to Reheat: To reheat frozen spinach squares, place the frozen squares in a 400°F oven for about 20 minutes. If the squares are thawed at room temperature or in the refrigerator, they will only need about 10 minutes to warm in the oven.
Plate of easy make ahead appetizers called spinach squares

Recipe Variations

  • To serve a larger group, double all of the ingredients and bake the squares in a 9 x 13-inch dish.
  • Try a variety of cheeses, such as crumbled feta cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, Pepper Jack cheese, Parmesan cheese, or mozzarella cheese.
  • Make the spinach bars spicy by adding a dash of cayenne to the mixture. For a mild pop of color and sweet flavor, you might like to stir in some diced pimentos.
  • For even more flavor, add garlic powder or onion powder.
  • Want to use fresh spinach instead of frozen chopped spinach? I have never prepared the recipe with fresh spinach myself, but a reader has tested it and commented below. See her note if you’d like to give it a try!

Tips for the Best Spinach Squares Recipe

  • Squeeze the spinach very dry before adding it to the rest of the ingredients. To do so, I like to place the cooked spinach in a dish towel and wring it out over the sink. You’ll be amazed by how much water comes out!
  • Grate the cheese by hand, rather than purchasing a package of pre-shredded cheese. This extra step is worth the effort, since the hand-grated cheese melts better (and tastes better)!
  • If freezing the squares, be sure to allow them to cool completely before wrapping.
  • The spinach squares are delicious served warm or at room temperature, so they’re great for setting out at a party. You don’t have to worry about keeping them warm, and they’re not messy or hard to eat.
Hand picking up spinach square from a plate

More Easy Appetizer Recipes

Side shot of a plate of cheesy spinach squares.

Aunt Bee’s Cheesy Spinach Squares

4.75 from 12 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Cooling Time 30 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings 16 people
Calories 114 kcal
An easy make-ahead appetizer for your next party!

Ingredients
  

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch square baking dish.
  • Stir together all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
    Ingredients for spinach squares in a glass mixing bowl.
  • Transfer the spinach mixture to the prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
    Process shot showing how to make spinach squares.
  • Loosen the edges from the sides of the pan with a knife as soon as they are removed from the oven. Cool slightly before cutting into squares. Serve warm, or freeze to use later.
    Side shot of a plate of spinach cheese squares.

Notes

  • Squeeze the spinach very dry before adding it to the rest of the ingredients. To do so, I like to place the cooked spinach in a dish towel and wring it out over the sink. You’ll be amazed by how much water comes out!
  • Grate the cheese by hand, rather than purchasing a package of pre-shredded cheese. This extra step is worth the effort, since the hand-grated cheese melts better (and tastes better)!
  • If freezing the squares, be sure to allow them to cool completely before wrapping.
  • The spinach squares are delicious served warm or at room temperature, so they’re great for setting out at a party. You don’t have to worry about keeping them warm, and they’re not messy or hard to eat.

Nutrition

Serving: 1spinach squareCalories: 114kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 5gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 262mgPotassium: 130mgVitamin A: 2125IUVitamin C: 0.9mgCalcium: 132mgIron: 0.8mg
Keyword: cheese squares, recipes with chopped spinach, spinach squares
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan

This post was originally published in November, 2014. It was updated in November, 2018.

blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Gosh, these little squares of spinach and cheese look just delightful! What’s more, we know very well that if something comes from Aunt Bee there is no other way! Thanks for sharing these, now if I could just bite into one!

    1. Hey, Jen! I used a low-fat milk (1 or 2%) since that’s what I typically have on hand. You could probably use skim or whole with good results, too. I have not tried a non-dairy milk such as almond or soy milk, so I can’t speak for those. Enjoy! 🙂

    2. Just wondering about pan size. No matter what recipe amount that is chosen, 1x,2x, or 3x the pan size is 9” square. Would you choose the 3x’s for a 9×13 pan?

      1. Hi, Pam! Yes, I think that tool only works to increase the ingredient quantities. I would double the recipe for a 13 x 9-inch pan. Hope you enjoy!

  2. I have a lot of fresh spinach to use instead of frozen. Have you tried using fresh spinach? do I need to cook it first, or just use it raw in the recipe? Thanks

    1. Hi, Kelly! No, I have never tried it with fresh spinach. I’m sure that it would work fine, but you just need a lot of fresh spinach to equal the amount that you would get in a frozen box. You’ll want to cook the spinach first, and wring it out to make sure that you remove most of the liquid. Let me know if you give it a try! 🙂

    2. Hi Blair! I only ever use fresh spinach when making these squares and I just toss it right into the mix – no pre-cooking required! I usually use almost an entire plastic carton of the organic baby spinach and I find that works just perfectly.

    3. What size squares do you cut when using a nine inch square baking dish? (For calorie purposes. These look so good I think I’d be tempted to cut FOUR squares and just go crazy!)

      1. Hi, Jacky! The nutrition information is automatically calculated based on 16 squares (so a 4 x 4 grid). If you adjust the sizes of the squares, the nutrition info will change accordingly. Hope that helps, and enjoy!

  3. Have you ever made this with fresh spinach? I have a lot to use, but not sure if I should cook it first or use it raw in the recipe.

  4. How are these at room temperature? I need to make this and ay in advance for an appetizers and dessert party I won’t be able to rehear for the party. Will they be edible at room temp?

      1. 5 stars
        Theses spinach squares are the best. I have been making them for 25 years. Everyone loves them, including me. Warm, cold or room temperature. They are delicious. I bring them to all the parties. Put them on a dish & reheat in the microwave before you put them out for your guests.

    1. Hi, Caryn! I think they should be fine if left out on the counter overnight! I’d just stick them in the refrigerator today until you’re ready to enjoy them. 🙂

  5. Always best to go adjust to your own taste. The second t8me I made them, I included a much stronger mix of cheese (with Asiago). Delicious! Plus I used broccoli stems and cauliflower leaves, chopped up in the food processor and then drained through a sieve to get rid of the excess water. Just as yummy as the spinach, and that’s saying something! Loved the recipe and the flexibility of it. Thanks!

  6. 5 stars
    Made a tray of these! Smelled so yummy I simply couldn’t resist and ate most of the tray to myself! I froze what was left over and they ended up being an amazing treat for hot days like today. Thanks Blair!

  7. I have this recipe but using 4 cups cheese and twice the amount of spinach (and 3 instead of 2 eggs). I think that is a better ratio to the cup of flour.

    1. Hi, Fran! Yes — I think that should work fine. If you have a lot of them to reheat, I would recommend using the oven. If you’re just trying to warm up one or two, then the microwave is the way to go. Enjoy!

  8. 2 stars
    Made Xmas morning. Very disappointed. All you could taste was the Flour. Would definitely recommend using no more than 1/2 cup. I would use some Colby Jack or something to spice it up with as well,…. next time.

  9. 5 stars
    This is the exact recipe my Grandmother used when I was growing up, I could not find it in my cards and tried this one because I had to bring them, they tasted so similar I hunted my recipe card down for days and viola! The same measurements! Classic.

  10. 5 stars
    I’m excited to try these as my favorite vegetable is spinach. I couldn’t help myself and added some granulated garlic, onion and dried thyme. I also warmed and added four ounces of cream cheese and replaced half the milk with heavy cream. I wish I could post a picture as I used souffle cups to cook these in. I’m expecting raves….. Thank you for this wonderful recipe…..

    1. Hi, Marie! I’m not sure, since I’ve never baked with gluten-free ingredients or alternate flours like that. I would think the recipe will work fine if you use a 1:1 gluten-free substitute.

  11. I love this recipe!!! I use heavy cream, 3 eggs, dash of nutmeg, Monterey Jack cheese and bake these in mini muffin tins until they “test done”. I cater lots of gatherings and to have everything “bite sized” & “pre-portioned” is a huge time saver for me.

    Also, if I omit the cheese and use coconut cream instead of milk, I am making an easy version of Palusami which is an amazing Polynesian dish (can add curry powder and it’s fantastic)!!!

    If a

  12. 5 stars
    Delicious! I had to stop myself from eating the whole lot in one go! Think I’ll try adding a little spice next time.