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Try Creamed Spinach the next time you need a quick vegetable side dish! It’s easy, rich, and so flavorful with lots of baby spinach, Parmesan and cream cheeses, and a pinch of nutmeg.
Why This is the Best Creamed Spinach Recipe
- Cuisine Inspiration: American
- Primary Cooking Method: Stovetop, Oven
- Dietary Info: Gluten-free, Vegetarian, Low carb
- Skill Level: Easy
This creamed spinach recipe is my quick version of the decadent steakhouse side, and it needs just a few basic ingredients and minutes to make. Here’s why you’ll love this creamed spinach:
- Restaurant-worthy. If you love the side of creamed spinach that’s served alongside your juicy steak at a steakhouse, you’ll be more than satisfied with my creamed spinach recipe! You can easily make a meal just like you’ll find at your favorite restaurant at home.
- Quick. This simple recipe takes less than 20 minutes to prepare and cook, making it a great fast weeknight option.
- Comforting. I love the blend of two cheeses – cream cheese and Parmesan – that turns vivid green spinach into the ultimate comfort food.
- Naturally gluten free. Unlike other creamed spinach recipes, this one is thick and creamy just from melting the cheese, not from making a flour-based roux. It also doesn’t contain heavy cream making it a lighter option.
What You’ll Need
Here’s a glance at what you’ll need to make creamed spinach. The full ingredient amounts will be found in the recipe card at the end of this post.
- Olive Oil: I like extra virgin olive oil.
- Baby Spinach: Or you can use 1 pound of regular spinach leaves.
- Salt and Pepper: I use kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper in this recipe.
- Nutmeg: You can use ground or freshly grated nutmeg.
- Cream Cheese: Use regular or light (not nonfat) block cream cheese.
- Parmesan Cheese
Can I Use Frozen Spinach?
Yes, you can use frozen spinach to make this creamed spinach recipe. I keep a bag of frozen spinach in the freezer so I have it easily available when I want to make this dish. Choose frozen chopped spinach so that the spinach is already cut up when you buy it. Before adding the spinach to the pan, defrost it in the microwave according to the package directions and drain off any excess water.
How to Make Creamed Spinach
I’ve outlined how to make creamed spinach below. Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions.
- Prepare. Preheat the oven and prepare a pan or four ramekins.
- Add to pan. Place half the spinach plus the salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cream cheese in a skillet, then top it with the remaining spinach. Cover the pan.
- Wilt spinach. Wilt the spinach, then stir and cook for another few minutes to melt the cheese.
- Assemble the dish. Transfer the mixture to a casserole dish or individual ramekins. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
- Bake till golden. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, and bake until the cheese is bubbling.
Tips for Success
This is such a quick and easy dish that is reliably good!
- Use frozen spinach. As noted above, this creamed spinach recipe takes well to frozen spinach. If you use a bag of frozen spinach you’ve already stashed in the freezer you’ll be able to make this recipe without too much pre-planning. I do like to use chopped frozen spinach to save time, although you could use whole spinach leaves as well.
- Add garlic. If you want a bit more flavor, cook 2 cloves of minced garlic in 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat until fragrant, then stir into the spinach mixture.
- Use onion. In addition to or instead of the garlic, you can add an onion to the creamed spinach. I finely chop a small yellow onion and cook it in 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter or olive oil, then stir it into the skillet with the spinach.
- Make it dairy-free. Cheese is a big part of this creamed spinach recipe, but if you need to go dairy-free, you can substitute dairy-free cream cheese and your choice of dairy-free cheese for the Parmesan.
- Go big or small. You can make one big casserole dish and spoon out serving or bake it in individual ramekins so each person can have their own.
How to Store & Reheat Leftovers
You can see my tips for storing and reheating leftover creamed spinach below:
- Fridge – Place leftover, cooled creamed spinach in an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- To Reheat – You can place individual portions of creamed spinach on a microwave-safe plate and microwave them in 30-second intervals until heated through. Or, place the creamed spinach in an oven-safe pan and reheat it at 250°F until hot.
Make It a Meal
Creamed spinach is a versatile side dish that goes wonderfully with steak and roast meat as well as with other vegetables. Here are a few serving suggestions to get you started:
- With steak. This is the classic pairing for creamed spinach! Choose from my Gluten Free Cube Steak with Gravy, Grilled Flat Iron Steak, and Grilled Black and Blue NY Strip Steaks recipes.
- Alongside roast meat. Add creamed spinach to your holiday table! Try it with Herb Roast Turkey, Bottom Round Roast, or Rosemary Balsamic Roast Chicken.
- Other sides. Round out your meal with other heartier side dishes like Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes, Maple Cinnamon Mashed Sweet Potatoes, or Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes.
- Salad. Add a simple side salad like Caprese Zoodles Salad or Easy Greek Salad to balance the rich creamed spinach.
- Preheat oven to 400°F or light your broiler. Coat four small ramekins or one shallow casserole dish with olive oil or cooking spray. Place ramekins or casserole dish on a baking sheet.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add half the spinach, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cream cheese, and top with the remaining spinach.
- Cover the pan and allow the spinach to wilt for 3 to 5 minutes. Uncover, stir to melt and evenly distribute the cream cheese. Cook for another few minutes to allow any excess moisture to evaporate.
- Divide the spinach and creamy sauce between the ramekins or pour into the casserole dish. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and bake at 400°F for 5-7 minutes or broil for 2-3 minutes, or until bubbling and lightly browned.