Creamed Spinach

4.8 from 6 votes
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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.

A white baking dish set on a white napkin holds creamed spinach, with a spoon digging in to scoop some out.

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.
Three individually sized white oval baking dishes hold creamed spinach topped with parmesan cheese.

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
The ingredients needed to make creamed spinach are shown portioned out on a gray background: baby spinach leaves, cream cheese, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, olive oil, and nutmeg.

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.
A white oval baking dish is shown full of Parmesan-topped creamed spinach, on a white napkin with serving utensils and metal salt and pepper shakers next to it.

Tips for Success

This is such a quick and easy dish that is reliably good!

I’ve included a few tips below to help you make it perfectly:
  • 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.
A serving spoon lifts out cheese-topped cream spinach to show the cooked spinach inside.

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.
An oval white baking dish holds melted cheese-topped creamed spinach with metal salt and pepper shakers to its right.

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:

A white baking dish set on a white napkin holds creamed spinach, with a spoon digging in to scoop some out.
4.8 from 6 votes

Creamed Spinach

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.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 6 minutes
Total: 16 minutes
Servings: 4 servings


  • 1 teaspoon olive oil , plus additional for ramekins or casserole dish
  • 16 ounces baby spinach
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg , ground or freshly grated
  • 4 ounces cream cheese , regular or light (not nonfat)
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese


  • 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.
Nutrition Facts
Creamed Spinach
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 161 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat 13g20%
Saturated Fat 7g35%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 34mg11%
Sodium 579mg24%
Potassium 684mg20%
Carbohydrates 7g2%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 11069IU221%
Vitamin C 32mg39%
Calcium 196mg20%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Disclaimers: Please discuss your individual dietary needs (i.e. gluten free) with a physician. Even when not specified, be sure to verify all ingredients are gluten free, if needed, by reading labels on all packaging and/or confirming with the manufacturer this varies by brand and can change at any time. Nutrition information shown is an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.


  1. Suzanne

    Hello. I have a ton of spinach to use quickly. Do you happen to know if this freezes well? Was looking to make some side dishes ahead of time to make weeknight dinners easier. Thanks!

  2. Joy | The Joyful Foodie

    I’m the same way with a lot of the usual suspects I cook around here. I also have the problem that I don’t usually measure when I cook, and I have to remember to do that before I share a recipe on the blog. 😛 This spinach sounds awesome!

  3. I love, love, love creamed spinach … but I do feel guilty eating it with the mounds of cream and cheese my chef husband adds to his version (it’s so delicious though)! I think you’re lightened up version will be making an appearance in our dinner menu ASAP!

  4. Omg spinach au gratin is one of the most delicious side dishes ever. I never order it at restaurants though because I KNOW it’s going to be extremely caloric. Thanks for the lightened up version, I’ve got to make this!

  5. I’m so glad you finally got an opportunity to share this winner of a recipe! I adore creamed spinach, but also shy away from cream drenched side dishes 🙂 It sounds divine!

  6. I hear ya…I love making fun, creative dishes for the blog, but real life means we’re not eating like that every night, right? I wish! I love this lightened up version of your Spinach Gratin!

  7. This looks delicious. It reminds me of the cheesy spinach that hubby loves to get at the buffets. I love your healthy version! There are some great side dishes this week, can’t wait to try several of them out!

  8. I adore creamed spinach but haven’t made it in years. I’m making this version next time I grill steaks because steaks and creamed spinach go so well together.

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