Creamed spinach is a super easy and delicious vegetarian side dish often served in top restaurants. In under 30 minutes, you can have your own restaurant-quality creamed spinach.
However, there’s only one way to cook this steakhouse style creamed spinach. The great news is that it only requires 1-pot!
What you will learn in this post
Why this recipe is the best? Which type of spinach to use for creamed spinach?
What do you eat with creamed spinach? How many calories in spinach? How to make this recipe Keto or Vegan friendly?
And much, much more.
Spinach is a healthy green leafy flowering plant of the Amaranth family rich in nutrients and low in calories. It is native to western Asia originating from Ancient Persia.
To this day the regional cuisines of the Middle East, Western and Eastern Asia are packet full of recipes using spinach.
The rest of the world use it in abundance for various dishes. Ranging from simple leafy salads to main courses. Dishes like baked spinach and feta pie and snacks like creamed spinach and artichoke dip.
Although spinach is 90% water, it contains 4% carbohydrates and 3% protein. Not enough to make you as strong as Popeye.
Spinach is very healthy as it only contains 23 calories per 100g portion. It comes packed with the following nutrients.
Raw spinach is known to contain high levels of oxalates. Oxalates may block absorption of calcium and iron.
Cooking spinach by steaming or blanching however, has lower levels of oxalates and are much easier to digest.
Probably why Popeye eats tinned spinach and not a bag full of raw salad.
Health benefits of spinach
Where to start and where to end? Here you can read a bit more but, it’s good for you so eat it!
Good for everything from your eyesight to your heart. Also helps your blood carry oxygen to all the cells of your body because of the high iron content.
I just remembered this is a food website.
Let’s get back to it.
Why this recipe is the best
If you never tried real steakhouse creamed spinach or you do not like creamed spinach then you just haven’t had it cooked well yet.
This recipe is a real crowd-pleaser. It goes with any main meal you could think of. I wouldn't be surprised if kids love it too.
This creamed spinach can also be tweaked to accommodate various diets like Keto, Paleo, Vegan, Lactose or Gluten-free.
I used fresh young spinach in this recipe but you could also use frozen, large spinach or baby spinach. Don't use tinned spinach.
Tinned spinach had the life cooked out of it and you would essentially just be consuming a nutritious free substance with inferior taste and quality.
Stay away from the tinned spinach. Leave that for Popeye.
First we have to pick the leaves of the spinach stalks and give it a very good wash.
Spinach is a sandy bastard and failing to wash it properly will result in a no-result. So wash it good and proper with some normal clean tap water only.
Secondly, we will chop up some shallots and garlic. Here is a small tutorial on if you want to know how to chop shallots properly.
Next we will sweat it down in a pan or pot with some butter and olive oil until soft, sweet and translucent.
** note: If you do not have shallots or can’t find them just substitute for normal onion.
** Pro Tip
Add the salt halfway through cooking.
Salt draws out moisture which prevents the shallots from caramelising before it’s cooked. We want the onions to stay blonde.
Had we made caramelised shallots, we would have added the salt at the very end to ensure no water hinders caramelisation.
While the shallots are slowly cooking. Steam the spinach. If you do not have a steamer basket there are a few other ways to go about cooking the spinach.
You could blanch it, microwave it or chop it up and put it straight into the pan. Just remember that spinach is bulky in terms of volume but when it cooks it shrinks a lot.
Keep that in mind when deciding how to cook the spinach. I steamed mine in three batches for 1 minute each time or just until it starts wilting.
The next best way is to cook it in a microwave. Use a microwave-safe bowl or container. Add the washed and picked spinach to it and cover with either plastic wrap or a lid. Microwave on high until the spinach is wilted.
Add the flour and cook for 30 seconds more. Next add the milk, cream, nutmeg, pepper and chopped parsley. Bring all of that to the simmer while mixing, making sure the flour is cooked and the mix is homogenous(Big word alert).
Remove from the heat and let it just chillax for a bit while you deal with Don Spinaci.
Once cooked the spinach will still have plenty of water in it. I prefer squeezing out as much water as possible and then using that water later on to adjust the consistency of the creamed spinach. When squeezed out chop it up roughly.
If you skip this step you will end up with long strands of cooked spinach which will most likely force you to perform the Heimlich manoeuvre on someone or someone on you. Not pleasant, so chop it into something manageable.
Finally, add the spinach, give it a good roughening-up-mix-through to make sure it is, big-word-alert – homogenous. Adjust the seasoning if you want and serve straight away.
Creamed spinach bon appétit!
** Pro Tip
Add a splash of lemon juice at the end to lift the flavour to a whole new level.
Even though this is the best recipe for creamed spinach and it is already pretty healthy there are still some diets that it does not accommodate without a few tweaks.
Let’s tweak then.
· For Keto creamed spinach - Remove the flour and make sure the spinach is squeezed extra dry. Replace the milk part with cream and reduce until desired consistency is achieved. Voila! Keto creamed spinach!
· Vegan creamed spinach – Replace the milk with oat milk and remove the cream. Reduce the flour to 10 grams. Voila! Vegan!
- As a dip - for example with some toasted rye sourdough bread or flax wholemeal sourdough. Add some cooked marinated artichokes for a creamed spinach and artichoke dip.
- Seared salmon fillet – This combo is amazing and here you can see how to properly pan sear salmon fillet. Alternatively have it cold on some toasted Borodinsky bread and home-cured salmon gravlax.
- Creamed spinach soup - ( Add some vegetable or chicken stock, blend and adjust consistency, even add some blue cheese if you like).
- Vegetarian meal - Stir through some homemade pasta(or store-bought) for a simple and quick vegetarian meal. Serve alongside this whole roasted cauliflower or these roasted carrots for a delicious vegetarian feast.
- Side dish for meat or fish - Not called steakhouse style creamed spinach for nothing. Perfect with grilled or pan-fried steak, lamb koftas, Crispy pork belly or grilled angelfish. And don't forget this family recipe for roasted leg of lamb.
Other side dishes
Serve these alongside this creamed spinach or just add to your recipe book for future reference.
- Mashed potatoes - The creamiest fluffiest mashed potatoes ever.
- Couscous - Perfectly cooked and spiced with cumin for a Moroccan touch.
- Pea, Feta and mint dip - a Dip for pita bread, chips and bruschetta topping. Perfect for a party snack. Serve alongside the creamed spinach and you have 2 tasty and healthy vegetarian party dips.
- Steamed rice - If you have trouble cooking rice that's fluffy and not gummy then check this out.
- 8 Ways to cook broccoli - Might as well know them all so choose your favourite method.
- Bok choy - another healthy delicious green that often gets forgotten.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS :
Can I use frozen spinach?
Yes, Just make sure to squeeze out as much water as possible and reserving that water for later in case you need it to adjust the consistency.
Is creamed spinach keto?
Provided you do not use flour, yes.
How many calories in creamed spinach?
100g grams of this recipe contains only 90 calories
Can you freeze creamed spinach?
Yes, by storing in a vacuum pack bag or air tight container for up to 6 months.
How many carbs in creamed spinach?
100g grams of this recipe contains only 19 grams of carbohydrates of which 4 grams is fibre.
Can you freeze raw spinach?
Freezing raw spinach is easy and an effective way to reduce to space fresh spinach takes up. In order to freeze raw spinach place in a vacuum bag and vacuum fully. Store in the freezer for up to a year. Alternatively, store in an airtight container packet tightly.
How long does creamed spinach last in the fridge?
For up to four days covered airtight.
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