Creamed spinach will make even the most reluctant vegetable eater agree that green leafy vegetables can, in fact, be very tasty!
This easy recipe is ready in just 15 minutes. I like to use frozen spinach because I always have it on hand.
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 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 still delicious!
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this easy 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, so that's what I use.
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, although freshly minced does taste better.
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.
Making creamed spinach is easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the details. Here are the basic steps:
You start by defrosting the frozen spinach in the microwave and then removing as much liquid as possible.
Next, cook the garlic in butter. Stir in the spinach, spices, cream, and Parmesan. Cook, stirring, just until heated through, then serve.
While I'm trying to keep the amount of creamy ingredients reasonable, it's not a good idea to skimp on them too much. The butter, cream and parmesan make this dish into the tasty indulgence it is.
Frequently asked questions
Yes! It works very well and it comes out very tasty. Just make sure to completely defrost the spinach - you can do it in the microwave, and then drain it really well.
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°F oven.
While flour acts as an efficient thickener, it's not strictly necessary, and as you can see, I don't use it in this recipe. I would say, however, that the grated parmesan acts as a thickener, so I wouldn't omit it.
I love this recipe as is and almost always make it as written. But in case you'd like to vary the basic recipe, here are a few ideas for you:
- You can add a small amount of onions to this recipe. Try ¼ cup of finely chopped onions, and brown them first, then add the garlic.
- A pinch of cayenne is nice if you like a hint of spice in your food.
- You can use cream cheese instead of heavy cream.
This indulgent side dish pairs well with any meat, and especially with steak (including lamb steak).
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Just make sure to give them a good stir before reheating and serving, and reheat them very gently.
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Creamed Spinach (From Frozen)
- 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 with the back of a large spoon to remove 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.