Classic Creamed Spinach Recipe

If you're looking for a veggie side dish that is on the fancier side, then this classic creamed spinach is for you. It's creamy and savory with a fresh lemon tang. Wellness coach and recipe developer Miriam Hahn brings us this recipe for classic creamed spinach. She shares, "I love spinach and use it weekly for different recipes. This particular recipe is nice for entertaining when you want something a little extra special without taking too much time."

This isn't just any boring side dish, and Hahn explains that "The addition of cream cheese here adds to the creaminess and thickens up the mixture." If you follow a dairy-free diet and wish you could enjoy this rich dish, Hahn adds, "If you are serving this dish to someone with dietary restrictions, you can also make this dairy-free by using unsweetened coconut milk, dairy-free butter, and dairy-free cream cheese." Read on to learn how to make this creamy classic recipe.

Gather the ingredients for creamed spinach

To make this recipe you need some spinach, of course. "I like to use baby spinach here because it's a little more delicate than regular spinach" Hahn shares. "I typically buy spinach pre-washed which is a big time-saver here because it can take some time to dry spinach after washing," Hahn goes on to note. 

You'll need a few other items from the produce aisle: a shallot, garlic, and a lemon. To make the creamed spinach extra creamy, you'll need cream, softened cream cheese, and butter. Finally, all-purpose flour, salt, pepper, and nutmeg are pantry basics you probably have on hand.

Prep the shallot, garlic, and spinach

Grab a large cutting board and a knife for this step. Remove the large spinach stems and discard. Then chop the spinach into ½-inch slivers. This will ensure that the creamed spinach is smooth and easy to eat. Next, go ahead and dice the shallot and garlic.

Saute the vegetables

Pull out a large frying pan and add the butter. Bring the heat to medium-high and add the shallots and garlic. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes stirring frequently. Add the chopped spinach, lemon zest, and lemon juice, then cover and cook on low until the spinach wilts. It should take about 5 minutes. "Make sure to use the largest frying pan in your cabinet. Although we all know spinach shrinks down when cooked, it does take up quite a bit of room when it starts out raw," Hahn advises.

Add the final ingredients and serve

While the vegetables are cooking, take out a small bowl and combine the flour and cream with a whisk. Add this mixture to the pan along with the cream cheese, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Put the lid on and simmer the contents for 10 minutes. 

Garnish the final dish with fresh lemon juice and slices if desired. This classic creamed spinach is ready to serve. We'd love to pair this versatile side dish with Mediterranean grilled chicken or flank steak, but it's just as great served with a simple burger or sandwich. You can also make it in advance and reheat it on the stove or microwave if desired. Hahn notes that leftovers will last up to 3 days in a sealed container in the fridge.

Classic Creamed Spinach Recipe
5 from 48 ratings
Classic creamed spinach is a steakhouse favorite but you don't need to wait for the restaurant to enjoy it. Whip up this easy recipe for a versatile side dish.
Prep Time
Cook Time
creamed spinach in frying pan
Total time: 29 minutes
  • 16 ounces baby spinach
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 lemon, zest
  • juice from ½ lemon + more to serve
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cream
  • ¼ cup cream cheese, softened
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
Optional Ingredients
  • lemon slices, to serve
  1. Remove the large stems from the spinach and chop the leaves into ½-inch slivers.
  2. Dice the shallot and garlic.
  3. Add the butter to a large frying pan and raise the heat to medium-high.
  4. Drop in the diced shallot and garlic and cook for 4 to 5 minutes stirring frequently.
  5. Add the spinach, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
  6. Cover and cook on low for about 5 minutes until the spinach wilts.
  7. In a small bowl, combine the flour and cream with a whisk.
  8. Add this mixture to the pan along with the cream cheese, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
  9. Place the lid on the pan and simmer for 10 minutes.
  10. Garnish with fresh lemon juice.
Calories per Serving 380
Total Fat 33.4 g
Saturated Fat 20.3 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 112.7 mg
Total Carbohydrates 17.5 g
Dietary Fiber 3.9 g
Total Sugars 4.4 g
Sodium 459.3 mg
Protein 6.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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