Creamed spinach can go right or wrong, and this creamed spinach recipe is just right. The creaminess comes from cream cheese rather than heavy cream, which offers some delectable tanginess. Fresh baby spinach cooks down in mere minutes, no chopping required, so this recipe is ready in roughly twenty minutes.
Creamed spinach will never be the prettiest menu item on your Thanksgiving table, but the verdant color of freshly cooked spinach will liven up otherwise beige plates. The more greens the better, I say.
I didn’t grow up with creamed spinach at our Thanksgiving suppers. I’ve found it on steakhouse menus while searching for vegetarian options. The name “creamed spinach” doesn’t sound terribly enticing, does it?
I wasn’t sold on the general concept until I realized that it’s almost like spinach dip in side dish form. Creamed spinach earned my full attention in that moment.
After some trial and error, I’m sharing this recipe because I think it’s worthy of your attention, too. It’s delicious, creamy, comforting and just so nice!
How to Make the Best Creamed Spinach
Creamed spinach is easy to make with basic ingredients, yet the end result tastes like more than the sum of its parts. It’s rich and creamy but not over the top. Here’s why this recipe works so well (keep scrolling for the full recipe):
- First, sauté mellow yellow onion in butter and simple seasonings—salt, pepper and an optional pinch of cayenne. This step smells amazing and forms the backbone of flavor for this dish.
- Then, add fresh baby spinach in handfuls, stirring after each. Sometimes I’ll suggest using frozen spinach, but fresh spinach is superior in flavor and texture in this case.
- Once the spinach is wilted, add garlic. We’re adding the garlic later on so it doesn’t have a chance to burn, and we’ll cook it just until it’s fragrant. As always, please use fresh garlic, not store-bought minced garlic.
- Finally, stir in cream cheese until it’s creamy and melted, followed by some Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper until the flavors really sing. You’re done!
Watch How to Make Creamed Spinach
Please let me know how your creamed spinach turns out in the comments. I love hearing from you and hope this recipe makes an appearance at your Thanksgiving meal. For more Thanksgiving-worthy recipes, check out my Thanksgiving roundup.
Fresh Creamed Spinach
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: Side dish
- Method: Cooked
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegetarian
This creamed spinach recipe is made with fresh baby spinach and cream cheese. It’s deliciously rich and creamy, but not over the top. Recipe yields 4 to 6 side servings.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Tiny pinch of cayenne pepper (optional, for subtle heat)
- 16 ounces baby spinach
- 4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 4 ounces cream cheese, cut into 1-inch chunks
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- In a medium Dutch oven over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion, salt, pepper and optional cayenne. Cook until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add the spinach in big handfuls, stirring after each one. Cook until all of the spinach is wilted, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 more minute.
- Add the cream cheese to the pot. Continue cooking and stirring until the cream cheese has completely melted and the mixture is creamy. Add the Parmesan and stir to combine.
- Remove the pot from the heat. Carefully taste, and season with additional salt and pepper, if you’d like. Serve warm.