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The ultimate Creamed Spinach recipe! It’s made over-the-top delicious with fresh spinach, vibrant shallot and garlic, rich heavy cream, cream cheese and parmesan cheese. It’s supremely creamy and perfectly flavorful!
What is Creamed Spinach?
Creamed spinach is a popular recipe in the Unite states that’s commonly served at steakhouses. It is made with an abundance of cooked wilted spinach that’s coated in a cream based béchamel sauce and often includes flavorings such as onions and cheese.
It is served as a side dish and can be made with fresh or frozen spinach.
Here we went with all the best upgrades including sticking to fresh spinach for the freshest flavor, and using two kinds of cheese along with a fair dose of cream and butter.
It’s very easy to make and one of the best ways to use up an abundance of spinach! It’s elegant enough for a holiday gathering yet easy enough for a weeknight meal.
Who knew spinach could be this good?
Creamed Spinach Recipe Ingredients and Substitutes
- Unsalted butter: Salted butter will be fine too.
- Shallot: For a substitute try 3/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion.
- Garlic: Fresh garlic is best. In a pinch bottled will work.
- Baby spinach: Mature full grown spinach will work as well the flavor just won’t be quite as sweet and mild, and a little more earthy.
- All-purpose flour: This is used to thicken the recipe. If needed you could try a gluten-free blend.
- Heavy cream: To lighten a little half and half could be used.
- Nutmeg: This ingredient is optional, you can omit if preferred. It doesn’t add a very noticeable flavor.
- Salt and pepper: Season with this to taste. Note that the cream cheese and parmesan cheese will add some saltiness.
- Cream cheese: Neufchatel cheese will work as well.
- Parmesan cheese: In a pinch Romano cheese will work as well.
How to Make Creamed Spinach
- Saute aromatics: Melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Add shallot and saute 2 to 3 minutes, add garlic and saute 30 seconds longer.
- Saute spinach: Add spinach in four batches, tossing between each until spinach is just nearly wilted each time.
- Thicken with flour: Sprinkle in flour and cook and toss for 1 minute.
- Add cream, and season: While stirring pour in heavy cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste and nutmeg. Cook and stir until mixture is thickened, about 1 minute.
- Melt in cheeses: Reduce heat to low then add cream cheese and parmesan cheese and stir until cheeses are melted. Transfer to a serving dish so spinach doesn’t continue to cook and serve warm.
- Frozen spinach: This should work with frozen spinach though it won’t taste as fresh of course. If using thaw and squeeze some of the excess moisture out (use a little more weight than that listed here to make up for drained liquid).
- Make it cheesier: You could also include 1 cup shredded mozzarella for an extra cheesy spinach side dish.
- Artichokes: If you love spinach artichoke dip try replacing some of the spinach with canned chopped artichoke hearts (that haven squeezed dry).
- Finely chop shallot (or onion) so it cooks quickly and isn’t crunchy in the sauce.
- Cook spinach just until it wilts otherwise it can get mushy when over-cooked.
- Be sure to soften the cream cheese first because it will melt faster and smoother into the sauce. Soften in the microwave on a microwave safe dish for about 20 to 30 seconds.
- I recommend using a zester to grate the parmesan cheese so it melts quick and smooth as well, when measuring pack slightly. Another option is to place chunks of Parmigiano Reggiano in a food processor and pulse to finely grind, use 1/2 cup if grated this way.
Is creamed spinach healthy?
- That really depends on the recipe. Most creamed spinach recipes won’t be healthy, though they include nutrient dense spinach they also include saturated fat from heavy cream and butter.
- Here you can modify the recipe to be healthier (just keep in mind it will lack the same flavor and richness).
- To make it healthier: replace heavy cream with 1/2 cup 2% milk. Use Neufchatel cheese in place of cream cheese, and reduce parmesan to 1/4 cup. Use olive oil in place of butter.
Can you freeze cream spinach?
- You can freeze it, but the texture will change of both the spinach and the cream sauce when frozen.
- The taste will remain the same but just keep in mind it will be runnier and may separate slightly.
- It can freeze up to 3 months in an airtight container.
What to serve with it?
- For a main course I recommend serving with a protein such as steak or beef roast, chicken, or ham.
- Then another side, something starchy such as baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, rice, or pasta.
How to reheat it?
- To rewarm heat in a skillet or medium-low heat stirring frequently, until heated through.
- Or rewarm in the microwave in a microwave safe dish, stirring occasionally, until heated through.
More Tasty Spinach Recipes to Try
- Chicken Florentine
- Creamy Parmesan Spinach and Shrimp
- Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Shells
- Spinach Artichoke Dip
- Stuffed Mushrooms
Follow Cooking Classy
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1-Tbsp pieces
- 1/2 cup finely chopped shallot
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- 2 lbs baby spinach
- 2 1/2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 2 pinches nutmeg (preferably freshly grated) optional
- Salt and black pepper
- 4 oz. cream cheese, cut into small cubes and softened
- 3/4 cup (1.5 oz) finely shredded parmesan cheese
- Melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Add shallot and saute until softened and lightly deepening in color, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and saute 30 seconds longer.
- Add spinach in four batches, tossing between each until spinach is nearly wilted each time.
- Sprinkle in flour and cook and toss for 1 minute.
- While stirring pour in heavy cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste and nutmeg. Cook and stir until mixture is thickened, about 1 minute.
- Reduce heat to low then add cream cheese and parmesan cheese and stir until cheeses are melted. Transfer to a serving dish so spinach doesn't continue to cook and serve warm.