10 Thanksgiving Sides and a Stovetop Creamed Spinach Recipe

by heidi on November 15, 2012

Stovetop Creamed Spinach from foodiecrush.com

It happens every time we go out to eat.

I studiously examine the menu, taking into account the balance of all of the offerings before I can possibly fathom what choice I might make for my meal. Debating. Then deciding. Then debating again. Then re-reading the entire menu once more.

And by the time the waiter rolls around and lets us in on the secret that he’ll be our waiter for the night I’ve more than likely changed my mind again. Hey, I can bash on the server introduction because I used to have the same exact set-up when I was a server, but frankly now that I’m a customer it really doesn’t matter to me about the formal intro.

Stovetop Creamed Spinach from foodiecrush.com

So whether you’re Melissa or James as my server for the night, put aside the formalities because there’s really only one thing I care about hearing from you at this particular moment in time and it’s this: Your recommendation on what’s best on the menu. THAT I must know as my entire dining experience is hanging in the balance.

So I ask, the server lets me know and then I go with what I thought I originally wanted anyway. And then he walks away and I come into yet another state of flux, treating each meal as a death row inmate’s last stand, as if this is the last meal I will ever eat.

It. is. so. annoying.

Stovetop Creamed Spinach from foodiecrush.com

If only each meal could be a buffet of flavors like the glorious Thanksgiving dinner. A bite of this, a taste of that. That’s why I’m a big, big fan of Thanksgiving. It’s the variety, the different dishes that mingle together on my plate.

Today I’m sharing with you some of my favorite side dishes, the dishes that add a little extra oompah to the table, starting with Stovetop Creamed Spinach. Why the stovetop? On this one day of the year when my oven’s dance card is more jam packed than any of the “celebrity” couples on Dancing With the Stars, I realize there is a serious need for order of the oven if this dinner is ever to get to the table.

Stovetop Creamed Spinach from foodiecrush.com

This recipe taste similar to one I had last weekend in Scottsdale, AZ when we had dinner at a steakhouse with the family: Creamy but not cloying, fresh instead of stringy. It’s a steakhouse so that means you gotta have steak, right? Nope. That means you’ve gotta have creamed spinach. Yet another reason to love side dishes.

A few notes about the recipe:

This recipe calls for a whole lotta spinach but don’t be tempted to try the frozen stuff. Fresh spinach is definitely going to taste better and more tender in both it’s leaves and stems than frozen. Go fresh, you’ll thank me later.

The longer the spinach cooks on the stovetop, the more liquid will emit from the spinach creating a thinner sauce. So if you like your sauce thicker, cook spinach just until al dente and serve immediately.

If you have room in the oven and crave that baked taste, transfer to a baking dish, sprinkle with additional cheese and cook at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden on top.

I use the pre-bagged triple washed spinach rather than the fresh spinach still on the stems and bound with wire ties. The ease and convenience of plopping already clean leaves into the pan is well work the extra dimes it costs me.

Stovetop Creamed Spinach

5 minutes

40 minutes

45 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

Stovetop Creamed Spinach

5 simple ingredients and time to reduce cream is all you need to cook restaurant style creamed spinach on the stovetop.


2 pounds fresh spinach leaves
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup cream
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
2 cups freshly ground parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. In a large sauté pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add cream and garlic to butter and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium and cook cream at a slow boil, stirring occasionally until cream has thickened and has reduced by half, about 25 minutes.
  2. Remove garlic from cream and start adding spinach leaves in batches. Cook for 1-2 minutes then stir into cream. Add another batch of fresh spinach and repeat cooking and stirring process. Continue until all of the spinach is cooked in.
  3. Add parmesan cheese and stir to combine then season with kosher salt, pepper and nutmeg. Serve immediately.

And now for more ways to satiate your desire for multiple tastes at the Thanksgiving dinner table, give one or more of these recipes a go. If you can make up your mind which ones to choose.

Carrots with Tarragon from foodiecrush.com

Carrots with Tarragon

Roasted Asparagus with Marcona Almonds from foodiecrush.com

Roasted Asparagus with Browned Butter and Marcona Almonds

Yam Souffle from foodiecrush.com

Yummy Yam Souffle

Green Beans and Mushrooms from foodiecrush.com

Green Beans and Shiitake Mushrooms

Sauteed Corn with Paprika and Bacon from foodiecrush.com

Smokey Corn with Bacon

Maple Chipotle Sweet Potatoes

Balsamic Butter Sugar Snap Peas from foodiecrush.com

Balsamic Butter Glazed Snap Peas

Pancetta and Hazelnut Green Beans from foodiecrush.com

Pancetta and Hazelnut Green Beans

Pumpkin Soup with Crispy Sage

Now let the eating, and shopping, begin. Happy Thanksgiving!

Make sure to subscribe to FoodieCrush for sneak peeks and the first reveal of the Holiday issue. Follow me on TwitterFacebookPinterest and Instagram too.


Posted in: recipes,salads and sides,vegetables and fruits

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Denise | TLT November 15, 2012 at 2:17 am

Nothing beats creamed spinach, but it has to be home made. This one looks absolutely delicious and I agree: using fresh spinach is a must:)


Kathryn November 15, 2012 at 3:17 am

Somehow between now and next week, I need to convince the rest of the UK that we should celebrate Thanksgiving. I’m so unbelievably hungry looking at these!


Liz @ The Lemon Bowl November 15, 2012 at 5:18 am

I want to dive into the corn and bacon!!


Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar November 15, 2012 at 5:54 am

So many delicious sides! Great idea!


Erin November 15, 2012 at 7:55 am

Please tell me you make all of these items for Thanksgiving (because if you did, I think that would be the best darn Thanksgiving ever!)


Bev @ Bev Cooks November 15, 2012 at 8:16 am

I swear you take the BEST photographs in all the lands.


The Contessa November 15, 2012 at 8:26 am

Well, who couldn’t love that spinach. Or should I say cream and cheese sauce with spinach added. No wonder it is served in such small portions. Low carb but rather high fat content!
I love it. Easy to follow directions. Thanks.


Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchen November 15, 2012 at 8:30 am

Woah. These all look so good! I love simple veggie sides like these! Helps me feel like I can overdo it on pies.


Susan November 15, 2012 at 9:44 am

I love seeing all the veggies since our Thanksgiving is sans turkey, these recipe ideas are appreciated. We love creamed spinach; I even add it to my veggie Shepard’s Pie. XOXO


Delishhh November 15, 2012 at 10:07 am

Fabulous sides!!!!


Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes November 15, 2012 at 10:42 am

Thanks for all these ideas! i’m in charge of bringing a side dish so I’ll have to choose from one of these…it won’t be easy :)


Annalise November 15, 2012 at 5:50 pm

That is one gorgeous roundup of recipes. Any way I can make a special order for all of them for next Thursday? :)


Martyna @ Wholesome Cook November 17, 2012 at 2:05 am

All lovely ideas Heidi. I actually have many of the veg in the fridge. that bacon corn will go really well with our baked fish tomorrow night! And love chipotle anything… Sweet potatoes? Yes please!


Kevin (Closet Cooking) November 17, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Nice Thanksgiving sides roundup!


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