Indulge in the ultimate comfort food with this Steakhouse Creamed Spinach recipe. It is a rich and effortless side dish. Made with fresh baby spinach, a rich cream sauce and a generous sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, it's a delightful side that perfectly complements any meal.
What is Creamed Spinach?
Creamed spinach is one of all-time favorite restaurant dishes that showcases the natural goodness of fresh leaf spinach or can also be made using frozen spinach. The fresh spinach is cooked either by sautéing or blanching. It is then combined with a rich and creamy sauce made with sautéed onion and garlic, whole milk, half and half, Parmesan cheese or cream cheese. It is a velvety, flavorful side dish that perfectly complements a wide range of main courses.
Best Creamed Spinach Recipe
Creamed spinach often doesn't receive the recognition it deserves! You may have encountered under-seasoned, flavorless versions in the past, but this delicious homemade creamed spinach is a game-changer! It boasts a flawlessly thick, indulgent, and exceptionally creamy texture. The magic lies in the incredibly cheesy cream sauce that generously envelops the spinach, elevating it to new heights of deliciousness!
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Fresh spinach: We like to use fresh baby spinach leaves for this recipe. They cook quickly and have a milder taste compared to mature fresh leaf spinach, making them perfect for creamy dishes like this. If you prefer a stronger spinach flavor, you can use regular fresh spinach leaves as well. Frozen chopped spinach tends to be more watery and can affect the texture of the dish.
- Half and Half or Heavy cream: You can use either half and half or heavy cream, depending on your preference for richness and calorie content.
- Garlic : Fresh garlic will provide the strongest flavor and aroma to enhance the dish. You can mince or finely chop the garlic cloves. Avoid using garlic powder or pre-minced garlic, as they may not deliver the same depth of flavor as fresh garlic.
- Yellow onion: We recommend to use a yellow or white onion. These varieties have a mild and sweet flavor that complements the spinach well without overpowering it.
- Unsalted butter: It adds richness and flavor to the dish, enhancing its taste. It also helps create a creamy texture. However, if you prefer to use oil for dietary or flavor reasons, you can use a neutral-flavored oil like olive oil or canola oil as a substitute. Just keep in mind that using oil may slightly alter the flavor and texture of the dish.
- Parmesan Cheese: Adding grated Parmesan cheese provides an additional layer of flavor and richness. Adjust the amount of Parmesan cheese according to your personal preference.
- Nutmeg, red chili flake ( or cayenne pepper), salt and ground black pepper: Feel free to experiment with other spices or herbs.
How to Make Steakhouse Creamed Spinach
- Blanch spinach: In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil. Add the fresh spinach and cook for approximately 1 minute until it starts to wilt. Transfer the cooked spinach to a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain the spinach afterwards.
- Make Bechamel sauce: Melt butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic to the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes until the onion becomes soft and translucent.
- Add the flour to the skillet and continuously stir for approximately one minute until it becomes foamy.
- Gradually whisk in the half and half ( or heavy cream) and milk. Add the nutmeg, red chili flakes, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes until slightly thickened. For a thinner sauce, gradually add a bit more milk or half and half until you reach the desired consistency.
- Add the spinach and Parmesan cheese to the skillet. Mix and cook for an additional minute to heat everything through.
Serve immediately and enjoy!
- Cheesy Creamed Spinach: Add cream cheese, Mozzarella cheese or Gruyere for an extra layer of flavor and creaminess.
- Creamed Spinach with Bacon: Cook crispy bacon separately, crumble it, and then sprinkle it over the creamed spinach for added texture and smoky flavor.
- Creamed Spinach with Mushrooms: Sauté sliced mushrooms along with the onions and garlic.
- Vegan Creamed Spinach: Substitute dairy products with plant-based alternatives like coconut milk or cashew cream. Use vegan butter or oil instead of dairy butter.
- Indian-Inspired Creamed Spinach: Use Indian spices such as cumin, coriander, turmeric, and garam masala to give this steakhouse creamed spinach an exotic flavor profile.
- Store: We recommend to consume this delicious steakhouse creamed spinach within 3 days. To keep it fresh, transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate.
- Freeze: Place the leftover creamed spinach in an airtight container and freeze it for up to 3 months. When you're ready to enjoy it, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight.
- Before reheating, make sure to drain any excess water that may accumulate on top.
Reheating Steakhouse Creamed Spinach
- Skillet: Place the leftover steakhouse creamed spinach in a skillet over low-medium heat. Heat it until it becomes hot and starts to bubble, stirring occasionally.
- Microwave: Divide it into individual portions and place them in a microwave-safe dish. Reheat in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until thoroughly reheated.
- As a Side Dish: Serve alongside your favorite main dishes such as steak, roasted chicken, grilled fish, or seared pork chops. It adds a flavorful and creamy element to the plate.
- With Pasta or Rice: Mix it into cooked pasta or serve it over a bed of rice for a satisfying and creamy vegetarian meal.
- Topped on Toast or Crostini: Spread it on toasted bread or crostini for a tasty appetizer or light snack.
- Stuffed in Poultry or Vegetables: Use it as a filling for stuffed chicken breasts, mushrooms, bell peppers, or zucchini boats. Bake until the filling is heated through and serve warm!
- In Quiches or Frittatas: Incorporate it into quiches or frittatas for a flavorful and creamy breakfast or brunch option.
- As a Spinach Dip: Warm it up and serve it as a dip with tortilla chips, pita bread, or vegetable crudités.
Frequently Asked Questions
Fresh spinach is indeed a highly nutritious vegetable, rich in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as minerals like calcium, folate, and potassium. It is also a good source of dietary fiber. Cooking spinach can actually increase its dietary fiber content, making it beneficial for digestion and overall health. Therefore, creamed spinach, when prepared in a healthy manner, can be a great way to incorporate these nutritional elements into your diet.
All the servings are richly filled with vitamin B and folate, with excellent sources of potassium and calcium.
Creamed spinach is a wonderful side dish that pairs perfectly with steaks, chicken, and fish. It also complements roast chicken beautifully. Additionally, you can incorporate it into pasta dishes such as spaghetti or macaroni and cheese for a flavorful twist. It blends well with other vegetables, making it a great companion for dishes featuring potatoes, parsnips, and more.
Yes, you can make this creamed spinach in advance. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days, and reheat before serving.
To make creamed spinach healthier, consider using low-fat milk or Greek yogurt instead of heavy cream and reduce the amount of butter.
Use plant-based alternatives like almond milk, coconut milk, or cashew cream and vegan cheese as a substitute for the dairy ingredients.
More great spinach recipes you'll love!
- Spinach Cottage Cheese Curry-Delicious and nutritious Palak Paneer recipe featuring baby spinach and paneer cheese. A classic Indian dish packed with flavors and protein.
- Spinach Hummus-Made with fresh baby spinach leaves, chickpeas, and flavorful spices, it's a vibrant and nutrient-packed dip that's perfect for snacking or parties.
- Sautéed Spinach-Fresh spinach leaves cooked to perfection with garlic and olive oil, creating a quick and nutritious side dish.
- Spinach Stuffed Meatloaf-A hearty and comforting dish that's perfect for dinner.
- Spinach Mashed Potatoes-This delectable side dish combines fluffy mashed potatoes with nutritious spinach, creating a vibrant and flavorful twist.
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