This gourmet Steakhouse Creamed Spinach is a classic dish with a creamy flavor and texture, and it’s really 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.
Easy Creamed Spinach Recipe
If you think of creamed spinach and envision mushy greens floating in a watery sauce, well, you will have to 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. The luscious texture and taste of perfectly wilted spinach in its dreamy, melty, wonderfully flavored sauce can almost outshine the entree for me!
Creamed Spinach Ingredients
- 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 adds flavor to the dish.
How to Make Creamed Spinach
- 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 cooking 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. Then, transfer the cooked spinach to a cutting board; once it is cool enough to handle, chop it up. Set aside. Wipe down the saucepan.
- Melt the Butter and Cook the Onions. Set the saucepan back over medium heat. 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. Add the milk slowly while whisking until 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
- Don’t Skip the Nutmeg: I know you might be skeptical about the nutmeg in this recipe, but don’t underestimate the special zing that nutmeg brings to creamed spinach.
- 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 use regular spinach, 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 good quality almond, cashew, soy, or oat milk.
What Goes with Creamed Spinach?
- Steak: Whether you go with a classic Ribeye Steak Dinner, Grilled Flank Steak, or Steak Bites with Potatoes, you’re looking at a real good, filling meal.
- Chicken Breast: The creamy richness of this dish works really nicely alongside Balsamic Marinated Chicken Breasts.
- Pork: My easy Pork Loin Roast with Vegetables is a beautiful and delicious lean entree that goes perfectly with creamy spinach!
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
- To store leftovers, place them in airtight containers or spoon them into zip-top bags. Leftover creamed spinach will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator and 3 months in the freezer.
- To reheat, 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.
More Side Dishes to Try
- Easy Sauteed Garlic Broccolini
- Parmesan Crusted Potatoes
- Romano Beans
- Garlic Butter Roasted Asparagus
Steakhouse Creamed Spinach
- Heat olive oil in a saucepan or large skillet set over medium-high heat.
- Add the spinach to the heated oil and cook for 2 minutes or until wilted, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and transfer the spinach to a cutting board; once it is cool enough to handle, chop it up. Set aside.
- Wipe down the saucepan and set it 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 the 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 to the pan, 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 combine the spinach with the sauce completely.
- Remove from heat. Taste for salt and pepper, and adjust accordingly.
- Spinach: I recommend baby spinach because the leaves are small, tender, and easier to eat. You can, however, use regular spinach, too. Also, 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.
- Milk: If you’d like a creamier texture, use Half-And-Half, or skip the dairy entirely and use almond, cashew, soy, or oat milk.
- Storage: Store creamed spinach in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for 3 days or in the freezer for 3 months.