All you need is five simple ingredients and time for cream to reduce with savory Parmesan cheese for a restaurant-style creamed spinach cooked right on the stovetop.
Easy Creamed Spinach Recipe
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. Sure I like turkey, but it’s the variety of different side dishes mingling together on my plate that I love most.
Today I’m sharing with you one of my favorite side dishes that adds a little extra oompah to the table: Creamed spinach. This easy side dish recipe tastes so much like a classic steakhouse creamed spinach—creamy but not cloying, fresh instead of stringy. Yet another reason to love side dishes.
What’s in This Creamed Spinach?
This easy creamed spinach recipe uses just 5 ingredients and won’t clog up your oven since it’s made on the stove top. 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, there’s a serious need for order of the oven if Thanksgiving dinner is ever to get to the table.
Here’s what I used in this easy, streamlined stovetop creamed spinach:
- Spinach leaves
- Heavy cream
- Parmesan cheese
- Kosher salt and pepper
How to Make Creamed Spinach
Melt the butter in a skillet, then add the garlic, then the cream. Cook the cream at a slow boil until reduced by half (this process takes about 25 minutes).
Then it’s time to pile on the spinach. Do this step in batches and watch as a 1 pound tub of spinach wilts down to a mere 3 cups of creamy, vitamin-dense deliciousness. Once all the spinach has been cooked down, stir in the grated Parmesan and season with kosher salt and pepper.
Should I Use Fresh or Frozen Spinach?
This creamed spinach 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, go further, and taste more tender in both its leaves and stems than frozen. Go fresh, you’ll thank me later.
Is There a Heavy Cream Substitute I Can Use?
Not in this recipe. Heavy cream is a must if you’re looking to make the best creamed spinach. Substitutes like whole milk are too runny and won’t thicken up enough.
Tips for Making the Best Creamed Spinach
The longer the spinach cooks on the stovetop, the more liquid will emit from the spinach, thus 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 the stovetop creamed spinach to a baking dish, sprinkle with additional cheese and some panko bread crumbs, then cook at 350°F 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.
More Classic Thanksgiving Sides to Master
- The Best Easy Stuffing Recipe
- Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta
- My Favorite Ambrosia Salad
- Easy Creamy Au Gratin Potatoes
- Green Bean Casserole with Onion Rings
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
Stovetop Creamed Spinach
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 clove garlic pressed or minced
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 pounds fresh spinach leaves
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- In a large sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds or until it becomes fragrant. Add the cream and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and cook the cream at a slow boil, stirring occasionally until the cream has thickened and reduced by half, about 25 minutes. Season with kosher salt, black pepper and the nutmeg.
- Working in batches, add the spinach to the cream sauce, tossing to coat as the spinach cooks down. Repeat in batches until the last batch is just beginning to wilt, then add the Parmesan cheese and toss with the spinach leaves and cook until the last batch is just barely done. The spinach will continue to cook once it's removed from the heat. Sprinkle with more Parmesan cheese as desired and serve warm.
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