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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.
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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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Loved the creamed spinach recipe. Also used as a dip at a party!
This is a great side, great taste and really delicious. Love that it’s so easy to make.
So excited to try this! My husband mentioned years ago when he was on a work trip that he had the best creamed spinach (I have never heard those words from him – he’s a Doritos and Oreos kind of guy!!) and this looks really close to what he had tried to explain.
I love Spinash this was great recipe! Thanks Mary
Excellent hearty side dish – Because of where we live I use mostly frozen veggies, I love how this turned out…smooth and creamy. Reminds me of my moms creamed spinach. My husband is not a big fan of the Italian seasoning, next time I will leave it out and increase the nutmeg a little.
I’ve never made this, but it sounds and looks delicious. I think it would be a good side dish with steak, chicken, or pork chops.
I am going to have to experiment to make this recipe safe for my family. I can substitute ghee for the butter, but cannot use coconut or almond for the cream.(too many allergies). Any suggestions? Dairy free, soy free, corn free, gluten free, coconut free, banana free..I am exhausted.
Maya | Wholesome Yum0
Hi Elaine, Wow, that sounds hard, I can see why you’re exhausted from this. You can replace the butter with oil (though it will be different and I’d probably use less) and replace the cream cheese with a dairy-free alternative. Coconut cream or full-fat coconut milk would be the closest substitute for heavy cream, but since you can’t have those either, you could try using a different milk that works for you (maybe hemp milk?). It won’t thicken the way heavy cream does, so you’d probably need to compensate by using less of the milk and adding more of the cream cheese substitute. Hope this helps!
I haven’t tried the recipe yet, but it sounds so yummy! I love recipes with cream cheese!
I will def be trying this recipe. My family loves creamed spinach and the frozen, packaged ones aren’t the best ingredients. I’m so glad I subscribe to this page, and that you gave us, what sounds like its delish. I will post pix over the weekend after making it!!!
Love the recipe. I just left the Italian seasoning out.
This was super easy and very tasty. However, being new to keto the quantity of cream and cream cheese is a bit overwhelming.
Do you happen to have a creamed spinach recipe without cream cheese?
Wholesome Yum D0
Hi Georgia, No, I don’t currently have a recipe like that.
Oh my goodness, this is incredible! I used fresh spinach as I prefer a bit of firmness. I omitted the nutmeg, personal preference.
I discovered this terrific recipe a while back and have made it several times. My husband is not a fan of Italian seasoning, but it is great without it!
I love a good creamed spinach. So many of the store bought ones are just ok. This one looks like it will have real flavor.
WOW! The guys loved this creamed spinach. Doubled the reciepe, ZERO left overs. It went great with the baked chicken & no one asked for potatoes instead. Usually they refuse to eat low carb, it’s our secret.
I have made this before and the whole family loved it – creamy and delicious. Thanks, Maya for all your hard work and for sharing recipes.
I am not a cooked spinach lover but with the cheesy sauce I may give it a try.
Mary Ellen Smith0
This looks incredible!! So easy and way better than the frozen versions we had as kids.
Love this recipe! So rich and creamy! I like to stir in a bit of feta cheese at the end. Feta is pretty salty, so I don’t add the salt in the recipe. So easy and tasty! We had it with roast beef, and your cranberry sauce. So delish!
This is delicious, fixed it alongside the juicy baked chicken recipe that’s on here. I’ve never cared for spinach before but this is a winner
Made this dish during Thanksgiving! To say it was a hit is an understatement! Thanks for sharing another great recipe!
My husband and I both love creamed spinach, but I have not made any for a very long time partially because of my gluten intolerance. This recipe looks delicious and I am hopeful that we can once again have creamed spinach!
I made this tonight for my crew. They all loved it. Not only is it simple to make, but also delicious. I did add the onion as mentioned as an option.
I have not made this recipe yet, but it sounds delicious.
This is one of my favorite recipes. I do make a couple small changes – I always add extra garlic (just because I can) and I replace the Italian Seasoning with Greek Seasoning. It’s so easy and tasty!
I’ve actually never tried creamed spinach but have been wanting to try it. I imagine it would taste great as an alternative to hollandaise on some poached eggs and biscuits
I simply love creamed spinach. I can no longer find any in the frozen section in my towns 3 grocery stores, and I need a no- to low- carb recipe. I will be trying this very soon!
What would be a good meat to serve this with?
Wholesome Yum D0
Hi Lori, I would definitely suggest beef tenderloin to accompany this creamed spinach.
I made this for dinner tonight and it smells delicious. The ingredients were in my fridge and everything is coming together well. My kids don’t like veggies but they were excited to eat this recipe.
This was a very good recipe.
I was hesitant to try, as I do not like cook, spinach, but this was absolutely fantastic. Even my husband liked it! Easy to make and delicious.
I would make this as a side with my turkey dinner at Christmas.
Excellent side dish.
Sounds delish! Can’t wait to try it!
I grow our spinach in the house since we are seniors and use it on sandwiches, salad. This will be a nice side with chicken breast.
I have never made creamed spinach but I am definitely going to give this a try. I will use the fresh first time I make it then I will try the frozen spinach version. Curious to see which works best for me. Hoping that I can freeze individual portions for future use since I will be the only one eating this. Need to keep this recipe for next spring when I will be growing my own spinach. 🙂
I will update this post as soon as I get the dish made.
I made this dish last night. I only made a half batch. DELICIOUS!!!!!
I will be making this dish frequently. Highly recommend.
I love creamed spinach but it’s not always keto friendly. I can’t wait to try this recipe and add the diced onion
you need a dash of nutmeg to make it great!!
Such an easy and flavorful side dish recipe! Thanks for sharing. It is one of our new favorites!
Journa Liz Ramirez0
This a very healthy yet tasty recipe for spinach. The kids loved it and surely make it again.
Mmmm. Even my husband loved this creamed spinach.
We had some extra spinach leftover from another meal and I didn’t want it to go to waste. While making this started as a way to just use up spinach, we will definitely be making it again- it is so delicious!
Easy and delicious!!!
Thank u for this great recipe. I truly enjoy reading well prepared side dishes, That taste great and are good for u.
Excellent recipe. However, my one modification is that I add a pinch of cayenne pepper and a pinch of nutmeg along with the Italian seasoning. Adds a bit of depth and flavor. I like a small amount of heat but if you don’t you can still add the cayenne pepper but use less (say 1/8 to 1/4 tsp per bag of spinach)… The nutmeg I add is in the 1/2 tsp range (I don’t actually measure, just eyeball it… But it’s always about 1/2 tsp per bag of spinach. Thank you for sharing this recipe. It’s one of our favorites!
Can this recipe be made with frozen spinach?
Wholesome Yum D0
Hi Joyce, There is a whole section in the post about using frozen spinach.
This was divine, just delicious. I used whipped cream cheese because that’s what I had, omitted Italian seasoning because I didn’t have, and swapped one tbs butter for one tbs garlic-infused olive oil. Will absolutely make again! Thank you!
I’m curious….lacking the Italian seasoning, what herbs did you use instead?
Delicious! This is a great recipe, coming from a girl who thought the idea of creamed spinach was unappetizing and that spinach was fine in its natural form. I have made it several times, sometimes using light cream cheese or half and half, and still delicious. Thank you!
Wholesome Yum A0
I’ve always made creamed spinach this way, and it’s unbelievably easy and delicious! I’ve used it to stuff chicken, mushrooms, and fish, and on its own as a side. My husband went Keto just before his birthday, and I’ve been panicking, thinking I’d have to scramble to learn how to cook for him, so I was psyched to find out that my favorite side to make fits in his new lifestyle! And it’ll go GREAT with his steak dinner!
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