One of the best classic side dishes. This creamed spinach dish is better than the ones you will find at a steakhouse and is easy to make.
Creamed spinach is one of those comfort foods that you cannot get enough of. This is one of those recipes that I would use to convince myself I was being healthy because I was eating a vegetable. Yes, I know that it is loaded with a whole bunch of butter, cheese, and cream but still I was eating healthy well at least in my mind. No matter how healthily I normally eat this is one of those kinds of recipes that you don’t skimp on the ingredients.
In this recipe
One of the things that makes this recipe so tasty is the fact that there is all kinds of creamy fatty goodness. Since this recipe does not rely on a roux for thickening you will need to cook it for a little while.
Nutmeg: this will give a warming sensation and add a slight clove flavor to the dish.
Spinach: fresh spinach is the best, while it will have a higher water content which will increase cooking it will have a next texture and flavor. I use mature spinach leaves are they are more robust however baby spinach works as well.
Heavy cream: this will add richness to the dish
Half and Half: can be substituted with milk.
Cream cheese: this will add creaminess to the dish as well as additional richness.
Cooking the shallots
One of the things you will want to do first to the cook down the shallots. If they are added after or during the spinach cooking they will not get a chance to caramelize. By cooking them first until they are translucent then they will continue to cook and caramelize while all of the spinach wilts and cooks. Only when about half of the spinach has started wilting do you want to add the garlic. Since garlic has a tendency to burn because it cooks so much faster than onions or shallots doing this will help prevent this.
Making creamed spinach
Once all of the spinach has been wilted you will see water in the bottom of the pan. This will cook out as you continue to cook the spinach as well as more will be released. When this happens it is the best time to add the cream cheese as the water will help it coat as much of the spinach as possible because it will thin it out. Then once the cream cheese has completely melted you will want to add the cream and half and half. Make sure to keep stirring the spinach so the cream doesn’t scald.
Tips and tricks
Here are some tips and tricks you can do to make sure cooking goes smoothly.
- Make sure that the cream reduces my at least half before adding the cheese. This will make for a thicker cream sauce at the end.
- If you are going to use frozen spinach make sure it is defrosted and then squeeze out as much water as you can before adding it to the pan.
- If you want you can make this ahead of time and then reheat it when you want to serve it. Add an additional tablespoon or two of cream if the sauce has thickened too much.
Looking for other family style side dishes?
- Sauté pan
- 24 ounces fresh spinach
- ½ cup shallots chopped
- ¾ cup half and half
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese grated
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 ounces cream cheese
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- In a sauté pan on medium high heat melt the butter and add the shallots, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Cook until they are translucent and add the spinach a handful at a time. Cook until they wilt before adding the next batch.
- Continue this process adding the garlic once half of the spinach has been added to the pan.
- Once all of the spinach has been wilted, add the cream cheese and cook until it is melted. Add the half and half and heavy cream and bring to a boil. Stir to keep the milk from scalding. Keep cooking until the milk reduced by half, remove from the heat and add the parmesan cheese stirring to combine until all of the cheese has melted.