This restaurant-worthy Creamed Spinach is easy to make, is the perfect complement to steak dinners, and is an absolute must for Thanksgiving!
I’ve always enjoyed creamed spinach but was often underwhelmed by recipes that focused too much on the cream and not enough on the spinach.
My recipe aims to mimic the bright green creamed spinach that’s served at one of the most highly regarded steakhouses in the country, Peter Luger.
I always enjoyed the Peter Luger creamed spinach because it has the perfect ratio of cream to spinach which seems a better way to prepare a side that’s accompanying an ultra-rich steak dinner.
My recipe combines fresh baby spinach and shallots in a roux with heavy cream and a touch of nutmeg.
Table of Contents
All ingredients for this recipe are shown in the pic below and special notes are made in this bulleted list to assist you.
- Spinach. This recipe calls for fresh baby spinach – 32 ounces worth. Since spinach is mostly water, as it cooks it condenses and you’re left with a lot less volume. You can also use frozen spinach. Keep in mind that 14 ounces of frozen spinach equals roughly 20 ounces of fresh spinach.
- Shallots. For wonderful flavor, I recommend using shallots. They’re milder than onions with just a hint of garlic.
- Heavy cream. This combined with the roux is what makes this “creamed spinach”. If you’re looking to avoid a heavy, creamy dish, try our recipe for sauteed spinach with garlic.
- Nutmeg. I love adding nutmeg to certain recipes and find it complements the spinach perfectly. Use it sparingly though as it can be overpowering.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
How to make it
- Mince 1 large shallot and set aside. Bring a large pot of salted water (1 tablespoon of kosher salt) to boil and cook 32 ounces of fresh baby spinach for 1-2 minutes. Remove the spinach from the pot and immediately place it in an ice water bath to shock it. Alternatively, you can drain the spinach in a colander while running very cold tap water to halt the cooking process. (Photo #1)
- Place the spinach into a clean kitchen towel and squeeze out as much water as possible. (Photo #2)
- Move the spinach to a cutting board and give it a good chop, then set aside. (Photo #3)
- Heat a large pan to medium heat and add 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter. Add the shallot along with a pinch of salt and saute for 5-6 minutes or until soft. Add 5 teaspoons of all-purpose flour and cook with the butter to create a roux. Stir until no white specks can be seen, about 1-2 minutes. (Photo #4)
- Add 1 cup of heavy cream while whisking and bring to a simmer to thicken, about 2 minutes. (Photo #5)
- Add the spinach to the pan along with 1/4 teaspoon of white pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg. Stir to combine, then taste test. Adjust salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste. If the creamed spinach is too thick, add water, a couple of ounces at a time until the desired consistency is reached (Photo #6). Serve immediately and enjoy!
- Shock the spinach. Shocking the cooked spinach in ice water will stop the cooking process and help the spinach keep a vibrant green color. You can also drain the spinach in a colander and run it under cold water, but if you want it bright green, shocking is better.
- Squeeze the spinach. Be sure to give the spinach a good squeeze in a towel to remove any excess water. This will help prevent watery creamed spinach.
- Serve immediately. While you can certainly prep the spinach ahead of time by boiling, shocking, and squeezing, I recommend waiting until just before dinner to make the roux and cream the spinach. It will taste far better fresh and have a better consistency than if made ahead of time.
More awesome side dishes
Here are a few of our favorite side dishes, many of which are great for the holidays!
- Maple Roasted Carrots – easy and with just a few ingredients.
- Baked Macaroni and Cheese – creamy and cheesy topped with toasty breadcrumbs.
- Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes – smooth and ultra creamy!
If you’ve enjoyed this Creamed Spinach recipe or any recipe on this site, give it a 5-star rating and tell us about it in the comments below.
- 32 ounces baby spinach
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 large shallot minced
- 5 teaspoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt plus more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoons nutmeg plus more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper plus more to taste
- Bring a large pot of salted water (1 tablespoon kosher salt) to boil and cook the spinach for 1 minute. Remove the spinach from the pot and shock in an ice water bath or drain in a colander while running under cold water to stop the cooking.
- Place all of the spinach into a clean kitchen towel and squeeze out as much water as possible. Place the spinach onto a cutting board and chop. Set spinach aside.
- Heat a large pan to medium heat with the butter. Add the shallot along with a pinch of salt and saute until soft (about 5-6 minutes).
- Add the flour and cook until no white specks remain in the pan (1-2 minutes).
- Add the cream while whisking and bring to a simmer for 2-3 minutes to thicken.
- Add the spinach, pepper, and nutmeg and stir to combine. Add salt to taste. If the creamed spinach is too thick, add a couple of ounces of water at a time to loosen it up. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
- Can substitute roughly 14 ounces of frozen spinach to equal 20 ounces of fresh spinach.
- Leftovers can be saved for up to 3 days in the fridge and can be reheated in the microwave or on the stovetop.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.