This creamed spinach is fresh sauteed spinach leaves in a flavorful cream sauce with parmesan cheese. A classic side dish that’s easy to make and pairs perfectly with chicken, beef and pork.
Whenever I go to my local steakhouse, I always order the creamed spinach. It’s the absolute best way to eat your greens! I’ve since learned how to make this dish at home, and it’s actually quick and easy to prepare.
How do you make creamed spinach?
Start by cooking your spinach in butter until it’s wilted. Be sure to drain off any excess liquid from the pan to prevent the finished dish from getting watery. Saute onions and garlic in a pan with butter, then add flour to make a roux thickener. Pour half and half into the pan, and stir to combine. Bring the sauce to a simmer, then cook until just thickened. Stir in seasonings, along with parmesan cheese. Add the spinach back to the pan, and stir it into the sauce. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Tips for the perfect side dish
- I find that this dish has the best flavor and texture when made with fresh spinach. That being said, you can use frozen spinach in a pinch. Be sure to thoroughly thaw and squeeze any excess water out of frozen spinach before you add it to the recipe.
- I like to use baby spinach leaves, it eliminates any need to chop them and the stems are more tender. If you have standard spinach leaves, you can coarsely chop them and remove any tough stems.
- Don’t omit the pinch of nutmeg! It may sound like an odd addition, but nutmeg pairs beautifully with spinach. It’s even better if you use freshly grated nutmeg.
- Use freshly grated parmesan cheese if you can, it has the best flavor and also melts more smoothly.
Can you prepare creamed spinach in advance?
Creamed spinach can be prepared up to 24 hours before you plan to serve it. Store the cooked spinach in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to serve, place the spinach in a pan over low heat on the stove top, and cook for 5-8 minutes or until warmed through.
This spinach is delicious as-is, but you can absolutely add other ingredients to the dish to customize it to your tastes.
- Greens: Instead of spinach, try kale for a different flavor and texture.
- Toppings: Add some fun toppings to your spinach such as sun dried tomatoes, bacon, pine nuts, french fried onions or sauteed mushrooms.
- Flavorings: Kick up your spinach with some spices such as crushed red pepper flakes, smoked paprika, Cajun seasoning or Italian seasoning. Fresh herbs such as parsley or dill are also a great addition.
Skip the steakhouse and make your own creamed spinach, you definitely won’t be disappointed!
More fabulous side dishes
- Bacon Baked Beans
- Baked Potato Wedges
- Sauteed Brussels Sprouts
- Honey Roasted Carrots
- Baked Mac and Cheese
Creamed Spinach Video
- 1 pound baby spinach leaves
- 6 tablespoons butter divided use
- 1/2 cup onion finely diced
- 2 teaspoons garlic minced
- 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups half and half
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- pinch ground nutmeg
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Heat a large pan over medium heat. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the pan.
- Add 1/3 of the spinach to the pan, cook until wilted, then add another 1/3 of the spinach. Repeat the process until all of the spinach is wilted. Drain off any excess liquid.
- Remove the spinach from the pan and cover to keep warm. Wipe out the pan with a paper towel.
- Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter in the pan.
- Add the onion to the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Gradually add the half and half, whisking after each addition. Bring to a simmer.
- Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until just thickened. Stir in the salt, pepper and nutmeg.
- Add the parmesan cheese and stir until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth.
- Place the cooked spinach in the sauce and toss gently to coat. Add more salt and pepper if desired. Serve immediately.