Food & Cooking Recipes Healthy Recipes Gluten-Free Recipes Easy Creamed Spinach 3.4 (488) 25 Reviews This classic side dish makes any dinner feel special. By Martha Stewart Test Kitchen Martha Stewart Test Kitchen The recipes developed by our test kitchen team have undergone a rigorous process of development and testing, ensuring that every element is optimal, from ingredient amounts to method and cooking time. This process includes triple-testing recipes to ensure they meet our high standards. The many stellar cooks and food editors who have been part of our team include Sarah Carey, Lucinda Scala Quinn, Jennifer Aaronson, Shira Bocar, Anna Kovel, Greg Lofts, Riley Wofford, Lauren Tyrell, and Lindsay Leopold. Editorial Guidelines Updated on June 2, 2023 Print Rate It Share Share Tweet Pin Email Prep Time: 20 mins Total Time: 30 mins Servings: 4 Our easy version of classic creamed spinach makes it simple to serve the beloved side dish for any meal—and it’s too good to save for special occasions. Despite it’s name, creamed spinach is not a dish of spinach and cream. It’s usually blanched spinach in a béchamel or white sauce, perhaps with a little cheese added. Our recipe skips the fussy sauce making; there’s no roux needed to thicken the sauce in this method. Instead, we use one of our favorite shortcut ingredients—cream cheese. Mixed with milk and stirred into sautéed onion and garlic, it creates a creamy foil for the spinach. Spinach Recipes Diana Chistruga What Is Creamed Spinach? Creamed spinach is a classic steakhouse side dish, a staple of the Thanksgiving table, and a much-loved way to get those who don’t always embrace spinach to eat their greens. It’s a comforting, creamy dish that starts with lots of spinach, because spinach wilts when cooked, and its volume reduces dramatically. Typically, creamed spinach is made with cooked spinach and a creamy béchamel sauce, like in this recipe from Martha’s mother, Mrs Kostyra. The spinach is wilted, drained, and any moisture squeezed out. Then it is chopped and stirred into béchamel (what you may know as a white sauce). The sauce is the tricky part of the dish, as adding milk or cream to roux (a cooked mixture of flour and butter) can sometimes result in a lumpy sauce. Some renditions also add onion, shallot, or garlic, some call for bacon. Substitutes for Flat Leaf Spinach Our easy creamed spinach recipe calls for fresh flat-leaf spinach, but you can substitute baby spinach if you like. Frozen spinach will also work, but be sure to defrost the spinach and squeeze out all the moisture before adding it to the cream mixture. Using and Storing Leftovers Store leftover creamed spinach in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat leftover creamed spinach gently over low heat. In addition to enjoying it as a side dish, try leftover creamed spinach stirred into pasta for an instant sauce, or atop a piece of toast for a comforting snack. Preparing the SpinachWhen you're ready to prepare spinach, discard any yellow leaves and tough stems. Spinach can be gritty, so to clean it, swish it around in several changes of cool water until there's no grit left at the bottom of the bowl. Ingredients 3 to 4 bunches (2 1/2 pounds total) flat-leaf spinach, trimmed and cleaned 2 tablespoons butter ½ medium onion, minced 4 garlic cloves, minced 4 ounces bar cream cheese, cut into pieces ½ cup milk pinch ground nutmeg coarse salt and ground pepper Directions Diana Chistruga Cook spinach: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add spinach, and cook just until wilted, about 1 minute. Diana Chistruga Rinse spinach and squeeze: Drain in a colander; rinse with cold water until cool. Squeeze spinach to remove as much liquid as possible. Diana Chistruga Chop spinach: Coarsely chop spinach, then set aside. Diana Chistruga Cook onion and garlic: In a large saucepan, heat butter over medium. Add onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion softens, 3 to 5 minutes. Diana Chistruga Add cream cheese and milk: Add cream cheese and milk; cook, stirring, until cream cheese is melted and smooth. Diana Chistruga Stir in spinach and cook: Stir in spinach. Simmer over medium heat until mixture thickens, 8 to 10 minutes. Diana Chistruga Add nutmeg and serve: Add nutmeg; season with salt and pepper, and serve. Diana Chistruga 13 Quick Vegetable Side Dishes You Can Make in 30 Minutes or Less Diana Chistruga Frequently Asked Questions What to pair with creamed spinach? This classic side dish pairs with almost any entrée. You certainly do not need to cook a steak or roast a turkey to enjoy creamed spinach. Try it with your favorite weeknight chicken cutlets, salmon or cod fillets, or pork chops. Can you make creamed spinach ahead? Creamed spinach can be made ahead, but we think this side is best made on the day you're serving it, especially for a special occasion. To make it ahead, follow the recipe, then transfer the creamed spinach to a bowl and cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming on the surface. Let cool and refrigerate. Be sure to reheat the creamed spinach carefully over low heat. Try These Fresh Spinach Recipes: Creamed Spinach Gratin Sautéed Spinach and Tomatoes Creamed Coconut Spinach Chile Garlic Spinach Béchamel and Greens Steamed Spinach With Lemon Creamy Broccoli and Spinach Dip Rate it Print Updated by Victoria Spencer Victoria Spencer Victoria Spencer is an experienced food editor, writer, and recipe developer. She manages the Martha Stewart recipe archive and is always curious about new ingredients and the best techniques. She has been working in food media for over 20 years.