Creamed spinach will make even the most reluctant vegetable eater agree that green leafy vegetables can, in fact, be very tasty!
I go to steakhouses often. I tend to focus on the steak (ribeye is my favorite) and ignore the tempting starches on the menu. But I do like to share a side of veggies with my husband. We almost always opt for spinach or for sautéed mushrooms.
I'm always amazed when I order creamed spinach at a restaurant. Made with what must be more butter and cream than actual spinach, it is so incredibly delicious. In this homemade version, made with frozen spinach, I tried to keep the amounts of creamy stuff reasonable. It's delicious!
The ingredients needed to make this recipe
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make creamed spinach. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Frozen chopped spinach: I haven't tried making this dish with fresh spinach. Frozen is easy and convenient, although admittedly fresh will likely taste better.
Butter: I love using creamy European butter, but any butter will be great in this recipe as long as it's real butter.
Minced garlic: Mince it yourself, or use the stuff that comes in a jar. Both work. I'm lazy, so I tend to use jarred garlic.
Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use, or the dish could end up too salty.
Ground nutmeg: Make sure it's fresh - a stale spice can easily ruin a dish. And if you happen to be someone who's not a fan of nutmeg, it's fine to just skip it, as I do in the video below.
Heavy cream: I tried making this recipe with half-and-half and it wasn't as good. Heavy cream is definitely the way to go. Start with ¼ cup, and if the spinach seems a bit dry, add up to ¼ more.
Parmesan cheese: Make sure you use finely grated parmesan and not coarsely shredded cheese. There's a difference.
How to make creamed spinach
It's actually very easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the details. Here are the basic steps:
1. Start by defrosting the frozen spinach in the microwave and then removing as much liquid as possible.
2. Cook the garlic in butter. Stir in the spinach, spices, cream, and Parmesan. Cook, stirring, just until heated through, then serve.
Tips for making this recipe a success
That's easy! You use lots of butter and cream. 🙂 But seriously, when I make it at home, I try to use more reasonable amounts of those so that the vegetable will remain the star of the show.
But I must confess: if you want this dish to taste good, you can't skimp too much on the butter and cream.
Two more ingredients that make this dish taste amazing are garlic and grated Parmesan cheese. Both add a ton of flavor. And just a little ground nutmeg adds wonderful richness and warmth.
Some recipes call for onion, but I'm not a big fan of it in this recipe. I feel that it's overpowering.
What to serve with creamed spinach?
It pairs well with any meat, and especially with steak (including lamb steak). It's also good with baked salmon or with smoked paprika roasted salmon. But you can truly serve it with any main dish you'd like. It's quite versatile.
Can I make it in advance?
Yes, absolutely. You can make this recipe the day before, then cover and refrigerate. The next day mix it again and reheat very gently.
You can reheat it on the stove on low heat; in the microwave, covered, on 50% power; or in a 250 degrees F oven.
How long can I keep the leftovers?
As with most leftovers, you can keep leftover creamed spinach in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Just make sure to give it a good stir before reheating and serving, and reheat very gently.
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- 1 lb. frozen chopped spinach
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
- ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ cup heavy cream plus up to ¼ cup more if needed
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Place the frozen spinach in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover and microwave on high just until thawed, about 4 minutes. Place the spinach in a colander and press on it to get out as much liquid as possible.
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Stir in the spinach, salt, pepper, nutmeg, heavy cream and Parmesan. Cook, stirring, just until heated through, 1-2 minutes, then serve.