Creamed spinach is a rich, creamy, and delicious side dish to make this fall. Fresh spinach is blanched and then tossed into a buttery garlicky creamy sauce with sautéed onions and Parmesan cheese. This fancy side dish is quick to make in under 20 minutes, easy to make ahead and reheats well — perfect for your Thanksgiving holiday dinner or any time of year. You can also serve it over rice, mix into pasta, or pair with roast chicken to give any simple meal a kick of creamy green goodness.
Why You'll Love Creamed Spinach
- An upgrade from steamed spinach. Steamed spinach is one of my favorite sides, but I can’t lie: it’s sometimes not that exciting. This creamed spinach adds creaminess, the best texture, and extra flavor to a classic side of spinach.
- It’s total comfort food. With butter, heavy cream, and Parmesan cheese, this creamed spinach is packed with cheesy, milky goodness. It’s indulgent, creamy, and delicious! Just how comfort food side dishes should be.
- It’s perfect with rice or pasta. Creamed spinach pairs great with simple plain staples like rice and pasta. The creamy sauce can spill over and flavor other parts of your meal—and you’ll love it!
- It’s incredibly easy to make. Creamed spinach is fast and easy. You just need 20 minutes and a little extra effort to make this rich side. It's seriously the best creamed spinach recipe.
Ingredients and Substitutions
To make this delicious creamed spinach, you will need the following ingredients (full quantities in recipe card below):
- spinach - I used fresh spinach, but you can also substitute with baby spinach leaves or a 24 ounce package of frozen spinach. Just allow it to thaw first, and then squeeze it dry before adding it to the sauce.
- all-purpose flour - you can also substitute this for cornstarch. These both act to thicken the sauce.
- heavy cream
- Parmesan cheese - I recommend using freshly grated Parmesan cheese for the best flavor. You could also use pre-grated Parmesan cheese if it's more convenient.
- salt and pepper
How to Make the Best Creamed Spinach
- Prepare spinach.Cut fresh spinach in half and cook in a large pot of boiling water for 30 seconds until wilted. Rinse the spinach under running cold water until cool to handle. Drain it in a colander and squeeze out excess water. Set aside.
- Sauté aromatics. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat until melted butter turns bubbly, about 1-2 minutes. Sauté onion and garlic until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Make the sauce. Add flour and stir well to combine. Whisk in heavy cream and Parmesan. Stir constantly and turn the heat down to medium. Bring the mixture to a simmer until smooth and thickened, about 4-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add spinach. Stir in spinach and toss well to coat. Cook for 1 -2 minutes until heated through. Serve warm with extra Parmesan on top, if desired.
How to Serve
Creamed spinach can make any dinner exciting. It's a favorite on our Thanksgiving dinner table, but you can make it any time of the year. Some other meals I like to pair it with include:
- Dutch Oven Whole Roast Chicken
- Greek Salmon
- Ribeye Steak
- Honey Glazed Roast Pork
- Cacio e Pepe
- One Pot Rice Pilaf with Carrots
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Blanching spinach: It’s important to be precise when blanching the spinach. Rinsing with cold water halts the cooking process, which is essential to avoid overcooked spinach.
- How to store: Keep leftover creamed spinach in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.
- How to freeze: Let the creamed spinach cool down to room temperature and then transfer to an airtight container or freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to reheat, allow it to thaw overnight in the refrigerator first.
- How to reheat: Reheat leftovers in the microwave covered on a low setting or reheat in a pan on the stovetop over low heat for a few minutes until warmed through. You may need to add a splash of water if it has become too thick.
More Spinach Recipes
- Spinach and Feta Quiche with Cauliflower Crust
- Baked Spinach Dip
- Spinach and Feta Turkey Burgers
- Spinach Tomato and Prosciutto Pizza
- Creamy Spinach and Tomato Vegetarian Lasagna
- Mushroom and Spinach Flatbread
Did you make this recipe? I would greatly appreciate a comment and rating below, letting me know what you thought of the recipe. You can also snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.