Appetizers/ Holiday Food/ Side Dishes/ Southern Recipes/ Thanksgiving/ Vegetables

Creamed Spinach

The best Creamed Spinach in a delicious rich cream sauce. Made in a skillet with fresh baby spinach, butter, cream, freshly shredded mozzarella cheese, garlic, salt, and pepper. A classic side dish spinach recipe with deep flavors that’s perfect to pair with HoneyBaked Ham, a classic Roast Turkey, easy Oven Roasted Carrots, and flavorful ranch Roasted Brussels Sprouts.

Best Creamed Spinach - Creamed Spinach served in a gray pottery bowl on a wooden tray with a checker black and white napkin. The dish features a thick white cream sauce with wilted green spinach and a gold serving spoon in the center.

You’ll love this quick and easy 22-minute Creamed Spinach recipe that’s known for its classic rich taste and buttery smooth texture. Made with fresh spinach and rich dairy ingredients, you’ll be serving this cheesy vegetable dish weekly at your dinner table and on your next holiday party menu.

Making creamed spinach is super easy. It doesn’t require any fancy ingredients or long cooking time. In fact, combining a handful of full fat dairy ingredients and spinach to the skillet gives this dish its signature velvety smooth and thick cream sauce.

Creamed spinach is a famous side dish served at steakhouses like Ruth’s Chris, and Morton’s Steakhouse. Commonly served during holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter Day, this decadent and luxurious spinach dish will leave guests asking for the recipe.

Easy Creamed Spinach - Creamy green spinach in a white cream sauce with a gold spoon in the center. Served in a white casserole dish on a wooden tray.

CREAMED SPINACH INGREDIENTS

■ SPINACH: Fresh baby spinach is the optimal choice in this recipe. TIP: However, if using frozen spinach to make creamed spinach, be sure to defrost it in the microwave or on the stovetop in a separate pan and then wring out excess liquid before adding it to the skillet.

■ BUTTER: Creamed spinach needs butter. Using a good quality butter to make this vegetable dish makes all the difference and you’ll taste it, too.

■ CREAM: Heavy whipping cream is my choice of cream to making an ultra rich and thickened cream sauce. Skip using half & half or whole milk.

■ CHEESE: Freshly grated mozzarella cheese or freshly grated parmesan cheese are my top choices. If using parmesan cheese, reduce the amount of salt since this cheese packs plenty of it. Other cheeses that taste wonderful include gruyere cheese, and brie cheese.

■ SEASONING: You’ll love the addition of minced garlic, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes in this dish.

Southern Creamed Spinach Recipe - A skillet on a wooden board with a checker napkin. The skillet features green cooked spinach in a thick white cream sauce.

HOW TO MAKE CREAMED SPINACH

  1. Melt butter in skillet.
  2. Cook spinach until wilted and greatly reduced in size.
  3. Stir in heavy cream and cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Add garlic, salt, pepper, garlic, red pepper flakes.
  5. Stir in mozzarella cheese until smooth.

HOW TO SERVE CREAMED SPINACH

  • Serve as a side dish or appetizer in a casserole dish.
  • Serve as a dip in a bread bowl or with toasted baguette, crackers, tortilla chips, or vegetables.
  • Serve as a topping to your favorite meals.
Creamed Spinach - An overhead view of green creamed spinach with a golden spoon in the center in a gray bowl. Served on a wooden tray with a white napkin and parsley.

RECIPE QUESTIONS

Can I use frozen spinach? Yes. Be sure to defrost the spinach by heating it in a skillet or microwave until soft. Drain the excess liquid by wringing it in a kitchen towel or between your hands.

I can’t fit all the spinach in my skillet. How can I make this dish? You could cook it in batches but it wilts pretty quickly as the liquid drains from it. Simply allow each addition of spinach to wilt before adding more or cook a batch of spinach and remove it to a bowl while repeating the process.

I want a thicker sauce, what can I do? Allow the ingredients to cook down more or simply stir in a slurry of cornstarch and water to thicken it. In addition, mozzarella cheese will help to thicken it, too.

FLAVORFUL VARIATIONS AND ADDITIONS: Southern creamed spinach is known for its thick cream sauce and perfectly cooked spinach. Other recipes may include crispy crumbled bacon, toasted breadcrumbs, pinenuts, mushrooms, and garnishes such as parsley or chives, and even cream cheese, but I would skip using cream cheese as this dish is heavy on the sauce.

RECIPES TO PAIR WITH CREAMED SPINACH

Creamed Spinach

The best Creamed Spinach in a delicious rich sauce. Made in a skillet with fresh baby spinach, butter, cream, freshly shredded mozzarella cheese, garlic, salt, and pepper. A classic side dish spinach recipe with deep flavors that's perfect to pair with HoneyBaked Ham, Oven Roasted Carrots, and Roasted Brussels Sprouts.
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Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: creamed spinach
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 220kcal

Ingredients

  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 24 oz baby spinach
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • tsp red pepper flakes
  • 4 oz freshly shredded mozzarella
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp cold water

Instructions

  • In an extra large skillet, melt butter on medium heat.
  • Stir in spinach, allowing it wilt between each 8 oz addition.
  • Stir in pepper, salt, and heavy cream and cook until liquid has reduced; about 10 minutes.
  • Stir in garlic, red pepper flakes, and grated mozzarella cheese until smooth.
  • Mix cornstarch and water. Stir into skillet to thicken sauce if needed.

Nutrition

Calories:220kcal | Carbohydrates:5g | Protein:7g | Fat:20g | Saturated Fat:12g | Trans Fat:1g | Cholesterol:61mg | Sodium:315mg | Potassium:513mg | Fiber:2g | Sugar:1g | Vitamin A:8665IU | Vitamin C:24mg | Calcium:207mg | Iron:2mg
Classic Creamed Spinach - Green creamed spinach in an off white cream sauce. Served in a white crock with a gold spoon dipped in the center. Text in center reads classic creamed spinach in blue box. Second image is an overhead view of creamed spinach in a pottery bowl with a gold spoon in the center. Served on a dark wooden tray with a white and blue napkin.

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