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Creamed spinach is one of those love-it-or-hate-it foods. I always thought I fell into the latter category, but when I figured out how to make creamed spinach at home, I discovered it’s absolutely delicious. Although it tastes similar to the creamy stuffing and sauce in spinach stuffed chicken breast or chicken florentine, this easy side also makes a perfect addition to steak dinners, Thanksgiving menus, or Christmas meals. If you or your family are on the fence about it, I hope this easy creamed spinach recipe with cream cheese will convert you, too!
What Is Creamed Spinach?
Creamed spinach is a classic steakhouse side dish that’s also popular for the holidays. The basic ingredients to make easy creamed spinach are spinach and either milk or cream. Other popular additions for creamy spinach include garlic, Parmesan, cream cheese, nutmeg, and various herbs.
What Does Creamed Spinach Taste Like?
The best creamed spinach recipe should taste rich, creamy, and cheesy! Even if you are not a huge fan of spinach, these aspects make it totally delicious.
Why This Is My Best Creamed Spinach Recipe
- Rich, savory flavor
- Creamy texture with tender leaves
- 6 simple ingredients (plus salt & pepper)
- 15 minutes from stove to table
- Low carb, keto, and gluten free
- Healthy side dish for holiday dinners or weeknight meals
Easy Creamed Spinach Ingredients
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for the best creamed spinach recipe, what each one does, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Butter – I prefer grass-fed butter, but any unsalted one works.
- Garlic – Mince it fresh for best flavor, or use jarred minced garlic.
- Baby Spinach – Any fresh spinach will work, but baby spinach leaves will have a more mild flavor and is less bitter than full grown spinach.
- Heavy Cream – Makes up the bulk of the sauce, while keeping it creamy and easy to whisk. Coconut cream can work as a substitute.
- Cream Cheese – Helps thicken the cream sauce. Cut into small pieces and let it come to room temperature for easier blending with the vegetables.
- Italian Seasoning – I prefer to make my own Italian seasoning (takes just a few minutes!), but you can also get a store-bought mix.
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper
- Parmesan Cheese – It’s optional, but adds another savory element for topping. Grate it fresh for the best taste.
VARIATIONS: Add cayenne pepper or onions!
You can saute diced onion before adding the spinach, or add a pinch of cayenne at the end if you like some heat.
How To Make Creamed Spinach With Cream Cheese
This section shows how to make cream spinach, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Saute. Melt butter in a large skillet with tall sides (I used this one). Add garlic and saute until fragrant.
- Wilt. Add spinach and saute until just barely wilted. If you have more spinach than the pan can fit, cover to wilt before stirring and adding more.
- Mix. Add cream, cream cheese, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.
- Cook. Continue cooking until the sauce thickens. Garnish with parmesan cheese (if using) before serving.
How To Make Creamed Spinach From Frozen?
Substitute 10 oz of fresh spinach with 10 oz frozen spinach instead. Thaw and drain well first, and squeeze to get rid of as much water as possible. After that, the saute time after adding the spinach will be shorter, but the time after adding cream will be the same.
Is Creamed Spinach Keto? Healthy?
Yes, the natural ingredients and low carbs in this creamed spinach recipe make it a healthy and keto dish in my book, though it’s definitely not low fat if that’s what you are looking for. Unlike versions that rely on high-carb thickeners like flour or cornstarch, creamed spinach with cream cheese gets thick simply from simmering heavy cream. The cream cheese also acts as a thickener and natural cornstarch substitute.
- Store: Keep creamed spinach in a covered container up to 5 days. It will lose some of its bright color over time, so try to enjoy it sooner than that.
- Meal prep: Make it 1-2 days ahead and keep covered in the refrigerator.
- Reheat: Warm in a pan over low heat, stirring occasionally.
- Freeze: I wouldn’t recommend freezing, as the sauce may separate and become watery, but you can still safely freeze this dish for up to 4 months. Cover tightly and store in a freezer-safe container. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
What To Serve With Creamed Spinach Recipes
Just about anything goes with this easy creamed spinach recipe! Here are some everyday and holiday-inspired recipes to try:
- Holiday Mains – Serve with Thanksgiving turkey, filet mignon, roasted turkey legs, sirloin tip roast, or prime rib roast for a festive meal.
- Easy Chicken Dinners – Try spinach with bacon wrapped chicken breasts, spatchcock chicken, baked chicken thighs, or slow cooker chicken wings.
- Steak – Make sirloin steak in the oven, one-pan steak and potatoes, reverse sear steak, or chuck eye steak to serve with this recipe.
- Homestyle meals – This spinach pairs perfectly with slow cooker pot roast, smothered pork chops from your Dutch oven, or eggplant lasagna.
More Easy Healthy Spinach Recipes
So many ways to enjoy this healthy veggie! Here are some of my favorites:
- Large Cast Iron Skillet – I love making my creamed spinach recipes in cast iron because it heats quickly and evenly, and goes from stovetop to table beautifully. This one ensures lots of room for sauteing the leaves.
- White Serving Platter – Clean and simple for serving creamed spinach and other holiday dishes.
The Best Creamed Spinach Recipe
Creamed Spinach Recipe (Easy In 15 Minutes!)
Learn how to make creamed spinach with cream cheese in minutes! This easy creamed spinach recipe is rich and creamy, with simple ingredients.
Recipe VideoTap on the image below to watch the video.
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Heat butter in a large skillet with tall sides over medium heat. Add minced garlic and saute until fragrant.
Add spinach. Saute for 2 to 4 minutes, until wilted. If the pan is too full to stir or you can't fit all the spinach, add what you can and cover for 1-2 minutes, which will let the spinach at the bottom wilt. Then you can start to stir in a folding motion and add more as needed.
Add heavy cream, cream cheese, sea salt, black pepper, and Italian seasoning. Stir constantly until the cream cheese melts, then cook a few minutes until thickened. (Sauce will thicken more as it cools from hot to warm.)
If desired, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese for serving.
Last Step: Leave A Rating!
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Serving size: 1/2 cup
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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This is first delicious but simple and healthy. Best I have very had. We used this as one of our sides to a steak dinner at home. We will be making this again very soon.
Tried this tonight and it’s an instant hit. Loved it.
Well, this rocked as usual! This is the first creamed spinach recipe I’ve tried at home and liked. Thanks for another success!
Delicious recipe and so easy to make. We’ve been eating it al least twice a week since I found your recipe and my husband never liked cooked spinach. Thank you for sharing.
How many does this recipe serve?
Wholesome Yum M0
Hi, This recipe serves 4. Enjoy!
While you sounded skeptical about creamed spinach, I really enjoy it and am glad for a keto recipe for it. As you mentioned, many variations – I skipped the Italian seasoning, used a teaspoon of chicken bouillon instead of salt, and a sprinkle of nutmeg. Yum! MIne was still pretty soupy even after the cream cheese, so I stirred in a small amount of Xantham Gum (less than a teaspoon) to thicken it up a bit. My soupiness probably due to using fresh spinach and putting in some extra, as it seemed like plenty of sauce to wilt and coat more spinach with basically no extra carbs. Thanks!
Really good and easy, I like sautéing the spinach over boiling. Maybe will add a little more cream cheese next time.
I am terribly allergic to spinach. Can I substitute swiss chard?
Wholesome Yum A0
Hi Barbara, that should work fine but the flavor will certainly be different.
Delicious! Easy! What else is there to say???? Thanks for this recipe, and it will definitely be a frequent side in our family. Gonna put it on our Thanksgiving side dish list for sure!
Oh my! This was so delicious, I could have eaten the whole thing. I have a saying for food that not only tastes good but really hits the spot–“It makes my heart sing.” Well, this creamed spinach made my heart sing.
My husband and I really loved this recipe but it was just a little too salty. Any advice for next time. I definitely plan to cook this again. The cheesy part was great !
Wholesome Yum M0
Hi Christy, You can omit the salt next time around. Also if you normally use salted butter, you may want to use unsalted for this recipe. Enjoy!
SUCH comfort food!! Thank you for such a reliable and yummy recipe!!
Oh yum! Creamed spinach is my favorite and every time there’s creamed spinach, I’ll be the first in line. Glad I can make this at home now.
Mmmm creamed spinach!! I’ve actually been sauteing spinach a lot lately, but creamed spinach would be a fantastic treat!
Love creamed spinach and this looks so perfect!
Sounds like the perfect side for the holidays!
Oh my, so incredibly delicious!!! I should of made 3 batches…Thank you!
Hi having trouble getting it to thicken. Doubled all ingredients for a large group. Any suggestions?
Hi Mary, you could melt in a little more cream cheese. You could also try adding a very small pinch of xanthan gum to the mixture.
This is a great recipe! I made 1 change and added a bit of ground clove. It gave it an awesome after taste. We served it over a center cut pork chop. It was amazing!!
Love this recipe!
Another winner! I use this as a meal hack now. I’ll add different things I have – mushrooms, onions, peppers, a little bacon, chicken, you name it – as a way to up the flavor and keto-value of an otherwise redundant stir fry. I always have spinach, heavy cream, and cream cheese on hand so it’s a no-brainer!
It was delicious. I also tried it with grated mozzarella, corrinder and green chilli for a different take on it.
Ms Emily T Hua0
freakin amazing – thank you! – fit right into my keto plans!
Amber N Boles0
The calorie count is 274 per half cup ?
Very good. I used with canned spinach. Thanks for sharing. I’ll definitely make this again.
This recipe was delicious. I added chopped mushrooms.
Miriam Rosales Hernandez0
Yes I did and it is great! Then you for sharing so many good recipes
How many servings will this recipe feed?
Maya | Wholesome Yum0
Hi Barbara, It makes 4 servings.
Delicious! We loved it! Even my non Keto husband loved it and had seconds!
This is the second time I’ve used this recipe. Easy and delicious! Has anyone tried adding a little nutmeg too it?
This was great— super easy! I made a seasoning change– I didn’t have Italian seasoning, so I used Trader Joe’s Everyday Seasoning blend (Sea salt, mustard seeds, black peppercorns, coriander, onion, garlic, paprika & chili pepper. It comes in a grinder, so I didn’t measure– I just ground it over the top and eyeballed it until it looked like enough to me.
Really good— I’ll make this again. Thanks for posting it
Left out the Italian seasoning, but it was fabulous, and the leftovers would work really well folded into an omelet.
My husband LOVES creamed spinach (frozen from the box ), I’ve never been a fan. This recipe has changed my mind forever!!! I made it last night for his birthday. He was afraid it was going to be watery. Let me tell you, it was creamy, delicious and super fast!!! Try it you won’t regret it!!!
This was easy to make. The Italian seasoning was a little different for me but I still enjoyed the dish. Thank you for sharing this recipe with us and I look forward to trying some others soon.
Another fabulous wholesome yum recipe. Made it exactly as written minus the salt. Served it with that basil pesto butter salmon that comes in Costco’s fresh meat dept in the oven-ready pan. I wasn’t looking forward to tonight’s dinner, because I’m a casserole/lasagna kinda girl and the idea of a chunk of meat on my plate is yuck at best. This paired so well with it, I’m even looking forward to the next time we have it. Thank you!!!
This was incredibly easy and delicious! Better than a steakhouse.
This creamed spinach was sooo yummy – thank you !
This is AMAZING!!! Delicious and soooo filling! I didn’t have any italian seasoning on hand but works just as well with salt and pepper… And the double cream and butter n garlic taste…. Thank you very much for this recipe.
Super super great and super easy! I actually stirred in some fresh grated cheddar and Parm after it had thickened. My fiancé ate the whole pot!
Fabulous, loved it!
This is so good, love it. So easy and tasty.
This is so good! I’m bringing it to Christmas dinner, but made it for the first time today as a trial run. It is creamy and delicious and I love the addition of the Italian spice. I have a feeling this will work it’s way into my regular rotation!
I honestly think the reason I LOVE Keto is getting to have creamed spinach! This is a delicious recipe and is made at least 3 times a month. I even use it in my spinach quiche!
Just WOW! I love this recipe. It is so easy to make and probably the best tasting creamed spinach I have ever had. Way to go!
You will love this idea for vegs that need to be squeezed. I thaw frozen spinach in microwave, pour off what I can, put in French Coffee Press, and press. Voila, nicely separated.
Maya | Wholesome Yum0
Love this! Thank you for sharing, Bonnie!
This creamed-spinach recipe is super scrumptious!!! It’ll be enjoyed by the whole family tomorrow evening. Happy USA Thanksgiving to you and your family!
This looks so rich and creamy without all the guilt!
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