This easy creamed spinach recipe is even better than at the steakhouse! Perfectly seasoned & infused with a hint of garlic & parmesan cheese.

Creamed spinach in a ceramic pot with parmesan cheese.

Today I’m sharing one of my most favorite side dish recipes: creamed spinach!

This dish goes so well with a steak dinner, alongside my crispy oven fries or mashed potatoes.

In fact, it goes well with so many different main courses! It would also be fantastic with roasted turkey, pork Milanese, or lamb chops.

There’s a hint of garlic and a handful of savory parmesan added, so the flavor is wonderfully rich and nutty, plus it’s super-easy to make in just a few minutes!

A forkful of creamed spinach being lifted from the serving dish.

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What is creamed spinach?

Creamed spinach is nothing more than tender spinach leaves, simmered in a rich and creamy sauce.

It sounds simple, and it is!

But the flavors here are perfectly balanced and the dish itself is a little more elevated than your average steamed veggie.

Why this is the best creamed spinach recipe

  1. Tastes amazing: The combination of seasonings, including garlic and parmesan cheese, are so killer!
  2. Few ingredients: You’ll only need a handful of basics to make it.
  3. Easy to make: The whole thing comes together in just one pan, in less than 30 minutes.
  4. Special: This creamed spinach recipe is a little more special than the everyday. It’ll make you feel like you’re in an expensive steak house!

What does it taste like?

Creamed spinach has a very mild flavor but the most luxurious richness on the palate.

It’s savory and cheesy, with a hint of garlic and a slightly sharp, nutty taste from the parmesan cheese.

Ingredients

Ingredients for making creamed spinach, with text labels.

Butter

Everything here begins with butter. It’s the basis for the creamy sauce that envelops every leaf of spinach.

I like to use unsalted butter because it lets me control the amount of salt in the dish. Different brands of butter can contain different amounts of salt, so this way you get a more consistent result.

For a vegan or dairy-free creamed spinach recipe, use a plant-based product that can substitute for dairy butter 1:1.

Onion

Onions add a sweet flavor contrast. I like to use a Vidalia or Maui onion, but any kind of onion will work!

Flour

Flour is used to thicken the sauce.

For a gluten-free option, use half the amount of cornstarch.

Cream

Heavy cream provides the basis of the sauce.

For a lower-calorie option, you can use the same amount of half and half or milk instead.

Spinach

For what you see here, I’ve used frozen cut-leaf spinach. You don’t even have to thaw it out first!

You could also use whole-leaf frozen spinach or chopped frozen spinach.

Or you could use fresh spinach, but if you do, your creamed spinach could come out a little runnier from all the natural juices.

Seasonings

Salt and pepper, of course. I prefer kosher salt and ground black pepper.

We are also going to add a hint of garlic and nutmeg. This may sound odd, but nutmeg is a classic way to enhance any kind of cream sauce, and it really adds something special.

Cheese

Parmigiano Reggiano is my favorite, but really you can use any kind of cheese you like. I think pecorino Romano would also be good, as would feta or even a sharp cheddar cheese!

Special equipment

How to make this creamed spinach recipe

This side dish comes together in 4 simple steps.

Step 1: Saute the onions

Slide a big cube of butter into your skillet and allow it to melt over medium-low heat.

Then toss in your chopped onion.

Sauteeing chopped onion in butter.

Allow them to saute until they’re cooked down, sweet, and tender.

Step 2: Make a roux

Next, sprinkle flour all over the surface.

Sprinkling flour over sauteed onions to make a roux.

Stir it around, continuing to cook, until every bit of onion is coated in the pasty mixture.

This combination of butter and flour is known as “roux” (pronounced ROO) and it is what will create a thick, luxurious sauce that’s never watery or runny.

Step 3: Add cream

After that paste has had a minute or two to cook, whisk in the cream.

Pouring cream into onions and roux to make a cream sauce.

Be sure to whisk well so there are no lumps!

Step 4: Fold in spinach and seasonings

Now just add in the spinach, salt, garlic powder, pepper, nutmeg, and cheese.

Adding spinach, cheese, and seasonings to cream sauce.

Fold everything together smoothly, and allow it to come up to a simmer.

How to serve creamed spinach

Traditionally, cream spinach is served as a side dish, and it’s a terrific way to accompany just about any type of protein and round out your meal with a tasty green vegetable.

But this recipe cooks up so thick and flavorful, I think it could work really well as a dip too. Try hollowing out a bread bowl and filling it up with this cream spinach recipe. The insides of the bread can serve as the dipper!

Expert tips

Cook the onion well: Saute the onion until it starts to look translucent. It should go very soft and sweet.

Whisk out any lumps: Use a whisk to stir in the cream slowly. This will work out any lumps so your sauce is velvety-smooth.

Garnish with more cheese: Transfer the creamed spinach to a serving bowl and top it with an extra pinch of cheese to make it even prettier.

Cream spinach in a small ceramic dish with a copper serving spoon.

Frequently asked questions

Can this be made ahead?

Yes! Creamed spinach will keep in the fridge for several days and it reheats well, either in a pan on the stove or in the microwave.

Can you freeze creamed spinach?

Creamed spinach freezes very well. Place it in an airtight container and it should keep in the freezer for a few months.

Thaw it in the fridge or in the microwave until heated through.

What is the serving size?


This recipe makes enough to serve 6 people as a side dish.

The nutritional information in the recipe card below reflects a serving size of 1/6th the whole batch.

Cream spinach recipe, prepared and presented in a white serving dish with grated parmesan on top.

A few more of my favorite side dish recipes

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Creamed spinach in a ceramic pot with parmesan cheese.
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Creamed Spinach

Servings: 6 people
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
This easy creamed spinach recipe is even better than at the steakhouse! Perfectly seasoned & infused with a hint of garlic & parmesan cheese.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons (28 g) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 (55 g) onion, (large), finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup (31.25 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (238 g) cream
  • 16 ounces (453.59 g) frozen spinach
  • 1/2 cup (50 g) grated parmesan , plus extra for garnish
  • 3/4 teaspoon (4.5 g) kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1.5 g) garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon (0.5 g) ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon (0.5 g) ground nutmeg

Instructions
 

  • Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat (approx. 1 to 2 minutes).
  • Saute the onion in the melted butter until tender and translucent (approx. 5 to 10 minutes).
  • Sprinkle flour over the onion mixture, and continue to cook, stirring, until a thick paste forms.
  • Slowly whisk in the cream and bring the mixture up to a simmer.
  • Fold in the spinach, cheese, salt, garlic, pepper, and nutmeg.
  • Continue to cook until the creamed spinach is simmering, then transfer to a serving dish and garnish with another pinch of parmesan.

Notes

For a gluten-free creamed spinach recipe, eliminate the flour and instead use 2 tablespoons of cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water.
Serving: 1serving, Calories: 249kcal, Carbohydrates: 10g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 62mg, Sodium: 504mg, Potassium: 339mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 9637IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 202mg, Iron: 2mg
Cuisine: American
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
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