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Delicious and Easy Creamed Spinach Recipe

Looking for a delicious and easy side dish to accompany your next steak dinner? Look no further than this creamy and flavorful creamed spinach recipe. This recipe is sure to impress your dinner guests and become a staple in your meal rotation.

creamed spinach in a skillet

Why Creamed Spinach?

Creamed spinach is a classic side dish that pairs perfectly with a variety of main courses. Its creamy texture and rich flavor make it a popular choice at steakhouses and fine dining restaurants. 

If you need a simple side dish or want to use up spinach that’s about to go bad, try making creamed spinach. This is my go-to method for turning leafy greens into a delectable side, especially for some tasty steak. You can have this ready in no time and with ingredients at hand too!

This creamed spinach recipe is one of the different & versatile ways I enjoy spinach apart from making my delicious Spinach Stew or even my Blackened Salmon with Sauteed Spinach and Mushrooms. This recipe is rich, creamy, and super delicious. You can enjoy this during the holidays or just when you want to throw a quick dinner together for the family. 

Easy to Make

Despite its fancy reputation, creamed spinach is actually quite simple to make. With just a few ingredients and a little bit of time, you can create a delicious and impressive side dish that will have your guests asking for seconds.

Choosing the Right Ingredients

Opt for fresh, vibrant, green spinach leaves. Both baby spinach and mature spinach work well, but the baby spinach offers a tender texture that’s hard to beat. When it comes to the cream, full-fat heavy cream offers the richest flavor, but for a lighter version, half-and-half or even whole milk can be used. The choice of cheese can vary from Parmesan for a bit of umami to cream cheese for extra creaminess.

Preparing your spinach 

You need clean spinach for this recipe. To get this, remove any yellow leaves and tough stems from your spinach. It’s important to clean it thoroughly to remove all the dirt and grit. Make sure to rinse it in multiple changes of cool water until there is no grit left at the bottom of the bowl.

Ingredients for making creamed spinach

  • Fresh Spinach: This is the main ingredient in creamed spinach. You can use baby spinach or flat leaf spinach as desired.
  • Onions & Garlic: These are often used in creamed spinach to add flavor and depth. They are sautéed together before adding spinach and cream.
  • Heavy cream & Milk: These are commonly used in creamed spinach to create a rich and creamy sauce. You can decide to use the two or just heavy cream.
  • Grated Parmesan: Add this to enhance its flavor and create a cheesy, creamy texture. 
  • Unsalted Butter: Using this helps to regulate the level of salt that goes into this recipe. This is to sauté and make the base of the recipe. 
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Nutmeg Powder: This gives the recipe some warmth and added depth of flavors. 
  • Cayenne pepper: This is optional. You can add this in if you need a little bit of spice. 

How to make creamed spinach

  • Rinse, dry, and chop spinach.
  • Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat and sauté onions and garlic until translucent.
  • Add spinach and cook until wilted and water is released.
  • Pour in milk and heavy cream and stir, then bring to a simmer and stir frequently.
  • Add nutmeg and cayenne pepper (optional) and mix.
  • Add parmesan and cook until melted.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve hot as a side dish.

Variations and Additions

While this creamed spinach recipe is delicious on its own, you can customize it with a few variations and additions.

Add Some Heat

For those who enjoy a little bit of spice, try adding some red chili flakes or diced jalapenos to the creamed spinach. This will give it a nice kick and add some depth to the flavor.

Add Some Cheese

For an extra indulgent version, try adding some shredded cheese to the creamed spinach. Cheddar, parmesan, or gruyere are all great options that will add a rich and creamy texture to the dish.

Make it Vegan

For a vegan version of this creamed spinach recipe, simply substitute the butter for plant-based butter and the heavy cream for a non-dairy alternative such as coconut cream or cashew cream. You can also use gluten-free flour to make this dish gluten-free.

Frequently asked Questions

What does creamed spinach taste like?

Creamed spinach tastes creamy and rich, with a subtle spinach flavor. The addition of cheese, cream, and spices, such as cayenne pepper, can enhance the flavor and give it a slightly savory and spicy taste.

What does creamed spinach go well with?

Creamed spinach goes well with a variety of meals, but for the best combinations, pair it with steak! Pan-seared steak, juicy grilled steak, steak bites, garlic butter roast chicken, pan-seared salmon, or even carne asada are great pairings. These combinations are super delicious and will satisfy everyone in the family! 

Can I make this recipe ahead?

Yes, creamed spinach is a dish that can be made ahead of time. I suggest making it up to a day ahead of time and storing it in the refrigerator until ready to reheat and serve. 

Do I blanch spinach before using it for creamed spinach?

Yes, blanching spinach is a common step before making creamed spinach. This involves briefly cooking the spinach in boiling water and then immediately transferring it to ice water to stop the cooking process. 

Can I freeze creamed spinach? 

Yes, creamed spinach can be frozen. It’s best to freeze it in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 2-3 months. 

What is the best way to reheat creamed spinach?

When reheating, I recommend that you thaw the creamed spinach in the refrigerator overnight and then reheat it on the stove over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until heated through. Alternatively, it can be reheated in the microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until heated through.

Other healthy and delicious meals to try

creamed spinach in a skillet

Creamed Spinach

This creamy spinach recipe is one of the best ways of adding more vegetables to your dinner while satisfying even the pickiest eaters in your household. All you need is 20 minutes of your time to get this ready!
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 356.2kcal

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces fresh spinach
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion finely Chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic Minced
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 cup heavy Cream or full cream milk
  • 3 tablespoons Parmesan grated
  • pinch cayenne pepper optional
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Rinse and clean the spinach leaves and pat it dry
  • Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for a couple of minutes until it turns light golden.
  • Add the onion and cook until it becomes transparent (about 2-3 minutes), then add the garlic and cook until it becomes fragrant (about 30 seconds).
  • Pour the milk and whisk it constantly until it thickens – about 5 minutes. Then, add salt, pepper, nutmeg and cayenne (if using) to season it. If the sauce is too thick, you can add another 1/4 cup of milk to it and whisk it through until it reaches your desired thickness.
  • Melt the remaining butter in a separate pan. Then, add the spinach in batches, wilting each batch before adding the next until all the spinach is wilted. If the pan gets too dry, add a small spoon of water. Alternatively, you can cook the spinach in a pot of boiling water for just one minute. After that, immerse it in a cold water bath to stop the cooking process and squeeze out any excess water from the leaves.
  • Add the wilted spinach into the creamed sauce, add the cayenne pepper (if using) and season with salt and black pepper. Stir to combine and leave to simmer for about 2 more minutes.
  • Sprinkle with some more parmesan cheese if desired and serve immediately.

Nutrition

Calories: 356.2kcal | Carbohydrates: 10.4g | Protein: 4.3g | Fat: 33.9g | Saturated Fat: 21.5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8.7g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 99.9mg | Sodium: 89.4mg | Potassium: 133.1mg | Fiber: 0.8g | Sugar: 3.4g | Vitamin A: 1254.8IU | Vitamin C: 3.8mg | Calcium: 100.6mg | Iron: 0.5mg

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