Day 185: Healthy Creamed Spinach ♥

Healthy Creamed Spinach, another healthy recipe makeover ♥
graphic button small size size 10 Creamed spinach is such a favorite vegetable side dish! But my recipe for Creamed Spinach is not the "heart attack on a plate" that you find at a steak house. In fact, let's just go ahead and be honest: my recipe is for healthy creamed spinach, heavy on the spinach, low in fat and still absolutely delicious. It's more "spinachy" than "creamy" which to my taste, means it's perfectly balanced. So for those of us who adore spinach and other bitter greens, put this recipe high on your "make asap" list! Year-Round Kitchen Staple. Great for Meal Prep. Low Carb. Low Fat. Weight Watchers Friendly & Freestyle Friendly. Vegetarian. graphic button small size size 10

In our home, Healthy Creamed Spinach is a such long-time favorite recipe, one served in all four seasons, on weeknights and weekends, for kids and grown-ups, for just-family and company alike. Gosh, I love this recipe! One year, I even made Creamed Spinach four times in two weeks, twice with fresh spinach and twice with frozen spinach. Creamed Spinach is a favorite because:

graphic button small size size 10 It's remarkably healthful and reliably delicious.
graphic button small size size 10 It makes up without fuss and uses inexpensive ingredients that are often on hand.
graphic button small size size 10 It works with lots of proteins but especially steak, pork, chicken and lamb.
graphic button small size size 10 It makes a great base for a vegetarian warm salad supper, topped with grilled or roasted vegetables.
graphic button small size size 10 Most of all, however, I like how it can be made a half hour or an hour ahead of time and it'll hold – including the bright green color – while I finish the rest of dinner, ever-so-versatile when timing is a question!

Besides, exactly how healthy is my Healthy Creamed Spinach versus a popular recipe from another food blogger? Just check the nutrition comparisons, below. Wow, what a difference.

"... it was awesome." ~ TaraTot


Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 15 minutes
Serves 4

1 pound (450g) fresh spinach, preferably not baby spinach, or 1 pound (450g) frozen spinach

1 tablespoon butter
1 medium onion or shallot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg (don't skip!)
1 cup milk (skim works fine, so does 1%, 2% and whole)
2 tablespoons (.5oz/15g) grated Parmesan or smalls chunk of feta cheese
Additional salt and pepper to taste

For fresh spinach, wash it very well, remove and discard the stems, then chop roughly. Bring a small amount of water to a boil in a large pot, just enough to come to the bottom of a vegetable steamer. Add the spinach (in batches if needed), cover and lightly steam just until tender.

For frozen spinach, defrost the spinach in the microwave. If it's watery, press the spinach through a colander (or in batches through your hands) to remove the excess liquid.

Meanwhile, in a large, deep skillet, melt the butter over MEDIUM HIGH. Add the onion and sauté until soft and fully cooked. (Be sure to cook the onion all the way through.) Stir in the flour, salt and nutmeg until smooth. Reduce the heat to MEDIUM. Add a tablespoon of milk and stir until the milk is smoothly incorporated into the flour. Repeat until all the milk is used. (You're making what's called a white sauce. If you add all the milk, or too much of the milk at one time, the sauce will contain unsavory lumps of flour.) Let the mixture cook, stirring all the while, for a minute, then stir in the Parmesan or feta. Add the spinach to the sauce and stir well, then let cook for a couple of minutes for the flavors to meld.

Taste and adjust the seasonings. Serve immediately or, to hold for serving in 30 – 60 minutes, reduce heat to LOW and cover.

FROZEN SPINACH While Creamed Spinach is "pretty good" when made with frozen spinach, it's out-of-this-world delicious when made with fresh spinach. I've tried to just dump still-frozen spinach into the sauce and it just doesn't work. The spinach does need cooking, not just reheating, to taste good. Also, frozen spinach often comes in 10-ounce and 12-ounce packages, be sure to scale the other ingredients.
FRESH SPINACH I don't recommend bags of baby spinach, however, for the leaves are so tender, they don't stand up to the sauce. Instead, gather fresh spinach leaves, wash them very well, cut off the stems and the center core, then chop roughly. Just wonderful!
DOUBLE THE SPINACH Believe it or not, I some times double the spinach (either fresh or frozen) but not the rest of the recipe. It's even "more" healthful and can easily serve 8. I might even recommend doubling fresh spinach, since even if you start off with a pound of spinach, once you remove the ribs and stems, you can lose up to 45% of the weight. So if you start off with two pounds of fresh spinach, you'll end up with a generous pound of edible leaves.
OTHER BITTER GREENS Once, I experimented with a mix of fresh spinach and fresh broccoli raab (also called broccoli rabe or rapini). This batch was extra good! Broccoli raab has just an extra bit bitterness that adds a welcome note to the creaminess of the sauce. Very good!

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Still Hungry?




~ Lasagna Soup with Fresh Spinach ~
~ Orzo with Spinach ~
~ Spinach & Artichoke Gratin ~
~ more spinach recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture

~ Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing ~
~ Spinach Soup with Perfect Hard-Cooked Eggs ~
~ Bacon & Egg Breakfast Bake ~
~ more spinach recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column


Healthy Creamed Spinach (<<< year-round staple) Squash Pizza Secret-Ingredient Chocolate Cake Broccoli with Garlic Oyster Sauce Whole Grain Bread (<<< a simplification is the bread I make every week!) Radish D’Avignon Sandwich Salad with Japanese Turnip Spicy Thai Noodle Salad Microwave Acorn Squash Peperonata with Potatoes How to Roast Garlic Stuffed Pumpkin with Apple & Cranberry Roasted Delicata Squash Fried Zucchini Sticks vs Baked Zucchini Sticks Raw Brussels Sprouts Salad Pumpkin Smoothies “Soul Food” Sweet Potato Soup with Chicken, Kale & Coconut Milk

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the
famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2005, 2008 (repub), 2010 & 2018

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Hi-I found your site while looking for interesting veggie ideas-looking forward to creamed spinach-Have you tried Rice Bran Oil-I made homemade, yukon gold fries with this great oil-smoke point 490-kids couldn't get enough.

  2. I've been holding onto this recipe for awhile, waiting for a nice night to make it. I made it last night and it was awesome. Spinach is my favorite veg and this was so tasty. I served it over whole grain pasta, with some red pepper flakes because I'm hooked on heat right now. Thanks for sharing!

  3. i love spinach and often do a version of this. i like your idea of mixing frozen and fresh. perfect with a bit of baguette i'd say!

  4. DH went to a meeting recently and, for lunch, ordered creamed spinach. When he told me that, I just looked at him and shook my head. How can you live with a man for 23 yrs. (!) and not know he likes creamed spinach? Easy if you've never made creamed spinach I guess. I've never known how to make it. Darn you, Alanna!

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna