Creamed Spinach

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
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This 5-star recipe for cheesy steakhouse-style creamed spinach recipe only takes 20 minutes to make for an easy weeknight side dish. It is a tried and true family favorite and I guarantee you will love it!

Why This Is The Best Creamed Spinach Recipe

This creamed spinach is a year-round side dish that’ll be gobbled up before the main dish reaches the table.

  • Steakhouse Style: This thick, creamy and cheesy creamed spinach is just like the one you get at your favorite steakhouse alongside a juicy steak.
  • Easy: Made with simple ingredients and frozen spinach, you only need about 20 minutes and one skillet to whip this easy side dish together.
  • Make Ahead: Prepare this creamed spinach recipe up to a day ahead and re-heat it when ready to serve. It will taste just as good as the day you made it!

Looking for a baked spinach casserole style dish instead? Try my spinach gratin!

Ingredients for Creamed Spinach.

What You’ll Need

Heavy cream and different kinds of melty, savory cheeses make this a gold-star recipe. Check the recipe card at the bottom of the post for exact amounts.

  • Spinach: I prefer frozen spinach, read my notes below for why. If you use fresh, you can use regular or baby spinach.
  • Butter: Reduce the salt in the rest of the recipe if you use salted butter.
  • Yellow Onion: White onion is a good swap.
  • Garlic: Feel free to use garlic powder or onion powder.
  • Cream Cheese: You can use full-fat or low-fat cream cheese.
  • Heavy Cream: Half-and-half works too.
  • Mozzarella Cheese: I use pre-shredded mozzarella in this recipe, shredded fresh mozzarella is a tad too soft.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Use freshly grated parmesan, not the salty stuff in a bottle.
  • Nutmeg: While completely optional, a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg adds just a bit of warmth and depth.
  • Salt and Pepper: I prefer kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper.

Fresh vs Frozen Spinach for Creamed Spinach

I’m team frozen spinach all the way! While you can technically use both, fresh spinach takes longer to cook down and prepare. You also need a much larger amount of fresh spinach just to get the same amount of frozen spinach, which doesn’t reduce as much. Frozen spinach is also more convenient because it’s something you can always keep in the freezer and doesn’t go bad.

Close-up of the best creamed spinach in a skillet with a serving spoon scooping out a serving.

How to Make Creamed Spinach

Technically you can add the cream cheese, heavy cream, and cheeses all at the same time and just stir until melted. Check the recipe card at the bottom of the post for more detailed instructions.

  • Spinach: Prepare the spinach according to package instructions and squeeze out all the excess moisture. This step is important so it doesn’t water-down your recipe.
  • Onion: Add the butter to a skillet. Add the onion and garlic, cooking until softened.
  • Cream: Add the cream cheese and heavy cream. Stir until completely smooth and melted.
  • Cheese: Mix in the mozzarella and parmesan. Season with salt, pepper and optional nutmeg.
  • Combine: Add the spinach and stir to combine the cream sauce and spinach together until warm. Serve and enjoy!
A spoonful of creamy spinach with parmesan.

Tips for Success and Variations

We have been making this easy creamed spinach recipe for years and years, here are a few tips to help guarantee it turns out perfect!

  • Strain: It is *VERY* important to strain the excess water out of the spinach to ensure your creamed spinach is not runny. I recommend using cheese cloth, or a fine mesh sieve and a spoon, to squeeze the moisture out.
  • Spicy: Sprinkle in a little crushed red pepper flakes, or cayenne pepper, for a kick of heat.
  • Use A Roux: If you’re out of heavy cream, whisk 1 tablespoon of cornstarch into 4 tablespoons of milk. Once fully combined, add it to the pot with the onions and let it cook for 2 minutes, until thickened. Pour in 3/4 cup more of milk and continue with the recipe as usual.
  • Smoky: If you want to add a smokey flavor, try using shredded smoked provolone or smoked gouda cheese in place of the mozzarella.
Bowl of creamy spinach in a white sauce.

Serving Suggestions

Not sure what to serve alongside the best creamed spinach? Just about anything! Here are a few of our favorite pairings:

A bowl of creamed spinach with fresh grated parmesan on top with a serving spoon.

How to Store & Reheat Leftovers

Refrigerate the cooled leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave for 30 seconds, stir, and then microwave another 30 seconds. You can also heat it in a pan over medium-low heat for 6 to 8 minutes.

Can I Freeze Creamed Spinach?

Freeze leftover creamed spinach in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

For best results, thaw it overnight in the fridge before reheating as usual. However, if you are in a rush, you can reheat it in the microwave straight from frozen. Place the spinach in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of water. Heat it for 1 minute at a time, until softened and warm.

Landscape photo of creamed spinach.
4.4 from 754 votes
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Yield: 8 servings

Best Creamed Spinach Recipe

This 5-star rated recipe for my favorite steakhouse style, extra creamy, Creamed Spinach recipe is so easy only 20 minutes to make. It is a tried and true family favorite and I guarantee you will love it!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 (10 oz) bags frozen chopped spinach
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1 cup heavy cream, or half and half
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg, optional
  • salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste

Instructions 

  • Cook spinach in microwave according to package directions. Remove excess water (squeeze carefully using cheese cloth, a tea towel, a fine mesh sieve, or a colander) and set aside.
  • In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt the butter. Add onion and sauté until translucent. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Add cream cheese and cook, stirring, until melted. Add heavy cream and cook for 2 minutes. Add mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, optional nutmeg, salt and pepper. Stir until combined.
  • Fold the drained spinach into the cream sauce and cook for an additional minute to reheat the spinach. Serve immediately!

Video

Notes

Storage: Refrigerate the cooled leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave for 30 seconds, stir, and then microwave another 30 seconds. You can also heat it in a pan over medium-low heat for 6 to 8 minutes. 
Freeze: Freeze leftover creamed spinach in an airtight container for up to 3 months. For best results, thaw it overnight in the fridge before reheating as usual. However, if you are in a rush, you can reheat it in the microwave straight from frozen. Place the spinach in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of water. Heat it for 1 minute at a time, until softened and warm.
Can I Use Frozen Spinach? While you can technically use both, fresh spinach takes longer to cook down and prepare. You also need a much larger amount of fresh spinach just to get the same amount of frozen spinach, which doesn’t reduce as much. Frozen spinach is also more convenient because it’s something you can always keep in the freezer and doesn’t go bad.
Strain: It is *VERY* important to strain the excess water out of the spinach to ensure your creamed spinach is not runny. I recommend using cheese cloth, or a fine mesh sieve and a spoon, to squeeze the moisture out.
Spicy: Sprinkle in a little crushed red pepper flakes, or cayenne pepper, for a kick of heat.
Use A Roux: If you’re out of heavy cream, whisk 1 tablespoon of cornstarch into 4 tablespoons of milk. Once fully combined, add it to the pot with the onions and let it cook for 2 minutes, until thickened. Pour in 3/4 cup more of milk and continue with the recipe as usual.
Smoky: If you want to add a smokey flavor, try using shredded smoked provolone or smoked gouda cheese in place of the mozzarella.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 serving, Calories: 285kcal, Carbohydrates: 9g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 24g, Saturated Fat: 14g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 72mg, Sodium: 352mg, Potassium: 467mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 13330IU, Vitamin C: 8mg, Calcium: 305mg, Iron: 2mg

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Jessica
For the past 15 years, Jorge & Jessica have loved getting to share their families' favorite recipes with all of you. They live in Florida with their 3 kids.