This gourmet Steakhouse Creamed Spinach is a classic dish with a delightful flavor and texture, and it’s real easy to make! Boldly flavored, perfectly cooked spinach served up in a rich, velvety sauce that you can quickly whip up in just one skillet. You’ll want to make it again and again!
Easy Steakhouse Creamed Spinach
Okay, so I really want to know: how do you feel about creamed spinach? Not everyone loves it, that’s for sure! And, I guess that’s not so surprising, because there are some pretty sub-par versions of it out there.
Thus, if you think of creamed spinach and envision mushy greens floating in a watery sauce, well… just try to erase that thought!
Because what we’re making today is a totally different (and amazing) side dish that’s super-beloved in steakhouses everywhere. That’s right, real creamed spinach, the kind with a bold flavor, thick and creamy sauce, and vibrant baby spinach leaves.
This awesome dish is something I crave! The luscious texture and taste of perfectly wilted spinach in its dreamy, melty, wonderfully flavored sauce can almost outshine the entree, for me!
The ingredients here are pretty basic! You might feel a little iffy about using a whole stick of butter, but in old-fashioned cream sauces like this, butter really does add a lot of flavor and a luxurious feel.
- Olive Oil: For wilting the spinach. You don’t need much—just about a tablespoon of oil will do it.
- Baby Spinach: You’ll need one pound of baby spinach for this dish; spinach cooks down quite a bit!
- Butter: I use a whole stick (8 tablespoons) of unsalted butter here. If you use salted butter, you may need to reduce the salt in the recipe.
- Onion: Finely dice up about ¼ cup of yellow onion. Sweet or white onions will also work here. Just use what you have.
- Flour: You’ll need ¼ cup all-purpose flour to make the creamy sauce.
- Milk: This recipe uses two cups of milk; see below for tips on replacing the milk.
- Salt and Pepper
- Paprika and Nutmeg: Just a little bit of each add a ton of flavor to this yummy dish.
How to Make Creamed Spinach
So how is this recipe made? It’s actually really easy! We’re basically just wilting the spinach and then making a buttery, milky sauce to put it in. If you’re not used to making your own sauces from scratch, this is a great basic one to get you started.
- Wilt the Spinach. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan set over medium-high heat. Add the baby spinach to the heated oil, and cook for 2 minutes, or until wilted, stirring frequently. I advise to cook the spinach in 3 batches – I have YET to find a skillet that can hold up 1 pound of spinach AND cook it evenly, all at once. 😊
- Remove the saucepan from the heat, and transfer the cooked spinach to a cutting board; once it is cool enough to handle, chop up the spinach. Set aside. Wipe down the saucepan.
- Melt the Butter and Cook the Onions. Set the saucepan back over the heat, this time on medium. Add the stick of butter to the pan and melt it. Add the onion, and cook for 2 minutes, or until softened.
- Make the Sauce. Sprinkle the ¼ cup of flour over the onions; cook and whisk for 2 more minutes, or until the flour is lightly browned. Add the milk slowly, pouring it in a slow stream while whisking. Continue to whisk until completely combined and the mixture begins to boil and thicken. Whisk in salt, pepper, paprika, and nutmeg.
- Simmer the Sauce and the Spinach. Reduce the heat to low, and continue to cook the sauce for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Then stir in the chopped spinach and continue to cook for 5 more minutes, stirring frequently. Sauce will be thick.
- Finish the Dish. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Taste for salt and pepper, and adjust accordingly. Transfer to a serving dish.
Tips for Success
Before you get started, I’d like to share some of my top tips for making great creamed spinach. This easy dish is so delicious, I can’t wait for you to try it out! I know you’re going to love this tasty way of enjoying a great, healthy veggie.
- Don’t Skip the Nutmeg: I know you might be skeptical about the nutmeg in this recipe, but trust me! Don’t underestimate the special zing that nutmeg brings to creamed spinach. While the combination may seem a bit odd, you’re going to love it in this dish.
- Choose the Right Spinach: I recommend baby spinach, because the leaves are small, tender, and just right for dressing up in a creamy sauce. You can definitely use regular spinach, though, just make sure to give it a very thorough chop after wilting, because the larger leaves and longer stems can be a bit awkward to eat.
- Substitute Milk: You can use half-and-half if you like, or even go non-dairy with a good quality almond, cashew, soy, or oat milk.
What Goes with Creamed Spinach?
So what should you eat with creamed spinach? What really brings out its delicious flavor and goes well with that creamy texture? Turns out, lots of things! Here are some of my favorite partners for this delicious dish.
- Steak: Of course, I’ve gotta include steak in this list! After all, this is my special steakhouse creamed spinach we’re talking about. Whether you go with a classic Ribeye Steak Dinner, Air Fryer Steak, or Juicy Skillet Steak Bites with Potatoes, you’re looking at a super-scrumptious meal.
- Chicken Breast: The creamy richness of this dish works really nicely alongside juicy chicken breast. I think the strong flavor of these Balsamic Marinated Chicken Breasts make an especially good pairing!
- Pork: My easy Instant Pot Pork Loin is a beautiful and delicious lean entree that goes perfectly with creamy spinach!
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
- To store leftovers, place in airtight containers or spoon into zip-top bags. Leftover creamed spinach will keep for up to three days in the refrigerator.
- To reheat, just warm the leftovers in a covered skillet or saucepan over low heat, until piping hot. You can also place leftovers into an ovenproof dish and bake at 350°F until heated through.
Can I Freeze Extras?
- Yes, you can! You can even double the recipe, so you have a whole batch to freeze and reheat later.
- If you freeze it in an ovenproof baking dish or foil pan, then you can even reheat it in the oven, straight from the freezer.
- Just bake at 350°F until heated through. This recipe will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer.
STEAKHOUSE CREAMED SPINACH
- Heat olive oil in a saucepan or large skillet set over medium-high heat.
- Add spinach to the heated oil and cook for 2 minutes, or until wilted, stirring frequently.I suggest cooking the spinach in 3 batches so it fits comfortably in the skillet, and cooks evenly. Use about a teaspoon of oil with each batch.
- Remove from heat and transfer spinach to a cutting board; once it is cool enough to handle, chop up the spinach. Set aside.
- Wipe down the saucepan.
- Set saucepan over medium heat.
- Add butter to the pan and melt it. Swirl around from time to time to melt nicely and prevent from browning.
- To the melted butter add the onion and cook for 2 minutes, or until just softened.
- Sprinkle flour over the onions; cook and whisk for 2 more minutes, or until lightly browned.
- Add the milk in a slow stream while whisking; whisk until completely combined and the mixture begins to boil and slightly thicken.
- Whisk in salt, pepper, paprika, and nutmeg.
- Reduce heat to low and continue to cook for 5 minutes, whisking frequently.
- Add the chopped spinach; stir to combine and continue to cook for 5 more minutes, stirring frequently, folding in the spinach as you stir. You want to mix and stir to completely combine the spinach with the sauce.
- Remove from heat.
- Taste for salt and pepper, and adjust accordingly.