Lightened-Up Creamed Spinach au Gratin

4.67 from 3 votes
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Since it’s February, #SundaySupper is celebrating Heart Health Month with a menu of dishes that your ticker and tastebuds will thank you for. I know we all love rich and creamy, hearty foods, but our heart will love us back if we make a vegetable side dish that is just as creamy and delicious as the original, but lighter and healthier, like my Lightened-Up Creamed Spinach.

Lightened-Up Creamed Spinach

Lightened Up Creamed Spinach au Gratin - a quick, easy, and healthy version of the classic steakhouse side dish that's still creamy and delicious | cupcakesandkalechips.com | gluten free, vegetarian<

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Heart health is an important thing to me. My dad had a heart attack at a young age. My aunt needed quadruple bypass in her late forties. We pretty much all have high cholesterol. Yes, even me. I was about 25 years old when I found out I had high cholesterol – a thin twenty-something who worked out regularly, ate pretty decently, never had more than a few glasses of wine a week, and has never so much as taken one puff of a cigarette. I tried to get it down without medication, and it didn’t budge one point.

So I try my best to ensure that my family has pretty good eating habits, because clearly genetics aren’t working in our favor. No, we aren’t perfect. I loves me some ice cream, we order pizza, the boys do get cookies as a treat. In general, though, I think we do OK.

However, the funny thing about being a food blogger is that so many times you think you need to come up with something new and amazing, and occasionally over-the-top. But that’s not really how we eat everyday. There are a bunch of things that I don’t really have a recipe for that I’ve made over and over for years, but because it’s such a staple I’ve never deemed it “blog-worthy”. It’s just “Tuesday night dinner”. Every once in awhile, it dawns on me that you might like to know one of my simple staples. You know, things like Salsa Egg Tacos and Hawaiian Scrambled Eggs and Slow Cooker Lemon Herb Roast Chicken that make frequent appearances on our dinner table.

And these…

Lightened Up Creamed Spinach au Gratin - a quick, easy, and healthy version of the classic steakhouse side dish that's still creamy and delicious | cupcakesandkalechips.com | gluten free, vegetarian

Lightened-Up Creamed Spinach au Gratin is my quickie version of the decadent steakhouse side that requires just a few basic ingredients and a few minutes to make a delicious side dish that’s so much lighter than the original. My “tricks” – a little light cream cheese and really good quality parmesan cheese, so flavorful that you only need a little to pack a big punch – make it so creamy and cheesy that it even gets The Hubby and boys to happily munch down their dark leafy greens. That’s a win for this mom!

Lightened Up Creamed Spinach au Gratin - a quick, easy, and healthy version of the classic steakhouse side dish that's still creamy and delicious | cupcakesandkalechips.com | gluten free, vegetarian

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And get the rest of today’s Heart Healthy menu at the bottom of this post!

Lightened Up Creamed Spinach au Gratin - a quick, easy, and healthy version of the classic steakhouse side dish that's still creamy and delicious | cupcakesandkalechips.com | gluten free, vegetarian

What are some of your dinnertime staples?

4.7 from 3 votes

Lightened-Up Creamed Spinach au Gratin

A quick, healthier version of the decadent steakhouse side dish that's just as creamy and delicious.
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 6 mins
Total: 16 mins
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil plus additional for ramekins or casserole dish
  • 8 cups baby spinach Two 6 oz. bags
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg ground or freshly grated
  • 2 oz light cream cheese or regular
  • 3 Tablespoons parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F or light your broiler. Coat four small ramekins or one 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, a few grinds of pepper, nutmeg, and cream cheese, and top with the remaining spinach.
  • Cover and allow 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
Lightened-Up Creamed Spinach au Gratin
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 66 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 2g10%
Cholesterol 10mg3%
Sodium 464mg19%
Potassium 369mg11%
Carbohydrates 3g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 5735IU115%
Vitamin C 16.8mg20%
Calcium 125mg13%
Iron 1.6mg9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Enjoy!

Here’s a few more of my family favorite simple sides…

Browned-Butter-Whipped-Butternut-Squash-Cupcakes-Kale-Chips-2013-2-title-wm.jpg Roasted-Cauliflower-3-title.jpg Herbes-de-Provence-Baked-Sweet-Potato-Fries-2-title-wm.jpg

And the rest of today’s Heart Healthy #SundaySupper recipes…

Better for you breakfasts:

Jump start your health with these appetizers and snacks:

Soups that’ll win your heart:

Veggies, Sides, & Salads your heart will thank you for:

Healthy is the center of attention in these main courses:

Staying healthy doesn’t mean giving up desserts!

We heart wine.

Lightened Up Creamed Spinach au Gratin - a quick, easy, and healthy version of the classic steakhouse side dish that's still creamy and delicious | cupcakesandkalechips.com | gluten free, vegetarian

25 Comments
  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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