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Italian Spinach Braid

“I've been making this recipe for over 25 years. It's how I got my kids to eat spinach when they were little. This is the dish I'm asked to make the most.” Pat Jasper — Northlake, Illinois
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. + rising Bake: 20 min.
  • Makes
    6 servings


  • 1 loaf (1 pound) frozen whole wheat bread dough, thawed
  • 1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 2/3 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons grated Romano cheese
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried minced garlic
  • 3/4 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • Pizza sauce, optional


  • Roll dough into a 12x9-in. rectangle. Transfer to a 15x10x1-in. baking pan coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Transfer to a large bowl; add the spinach, cheeses, garlic, fennel seed, oregano and salt.
  • Spread beef mixture lengthwise down the center of dough. On each long side, cut 1-in.-wide strips 3 in. into center.
  • Starting at one end, fold alternating strips at an angle across filling. Pinch ends to seal. Brush with egg white. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with pizza sauce if desired.
Nutrition Facts
1 piece: 366 calories, 12g fat (4g saturated fat), 57mg cholesterol, 709mg sodium, 38g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 6g fiber), 30g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 2-1/2 starch.

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  • proudgrandmaof2
    Mar 28, 2012

    My husband and I love this. It is a great recipe to adapt it to your own personal tastes. We use 1/2 sausage half ground beef, add onion and mushrooms. Use more cheese. Instead of raising dough then filling cook the meats then roll bread then add meats to bread then raise for 1hr. 15 minutes. When brushing with egg whites sprinkle with garlic and Parmesan cheese before baking..

  • Tree_Hugger_8700
    Feb 2, 2012

    I couldn't find the frozen bread dough in my grocery store, so I used crescent rolls from the tube and it turned out excellent!

  • Blanketbox
    Jan 8, 2012

    Would not use whole wheat bread dough and would add more cheese. My choices.

  • marcellatp
    Apr 20, 2011

    Really wonderful. We've made this several times already. Great for a crowd too!

  • MTuggle
    Dec 16, 2010

    This quickly became one of my family's favorites!