All you need are five simple ingredients to make the best creamed spinach recipe. It’s cooked right on the stovetop in a creamy, savory Parmesan cheese sauce for a creamed spinach that makes for the perfect Thanksgiving or Christmas side.


If only each meal could be a buffet of flavors like the glorious Thanksgiving dinner. A bite of this, a taste of that. That’s why I’m a big, big fan of Thanksgiving. Sure I love the turkey, but it’s the variety of different side dishes mingling together on my plate that I love most. From cranberry sauce and stuffing to green bean casserole and creamed corn, the Thanksgiving sides always shine.

But there’s another side I always have on the table for Turkey Day. One that lends a little extra oomph to the table: Creamed spinach. This easy side dish recipe tastes so much like a classic steakhouse creamed spinach—creamy but not cloying, fresh instead of stringy. Yet another reason to love side dishes.

This easy creamed spinach recipe uses just 5 ingredients and won’t clog up your oven since it’s made on the stovetop. Why the stovetop? On this one day of the year when my oven’s dance card is more jam-packed than any of the “celebrity” couples on Dancing With the Stars, there’s a serious need for an order of the oven if Thanksgiving dinner is ever to get to the table.

GET THE THANKSGIVING PREP GUIDE: Get your FREE Thanksgiving plan, timeline, recipe, and menu inspiration, plus all the tips & tricks you need to pull off the best Thanksgiving yet. AND! FREE printable. 


What’s in This Creamed Spinach?

This easy creamed spinach recipe uses just 5 ingredients that you likely already have on hand.

Here’s what I used in this easy, streamlined stovetop creamed spinach:

  • Fresh spinach leaves (fresh baby spinach leaves are fine)
  • Butter
  • Heavy cream
  • Garlic
  • Fresh nutmeg
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Tip: If you want to give your creamed spinach a little heat, consider adding some cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes.


How to Make the Best Creamed Spinach Recipe

This side dish couldn’t be simpler to make; it just takes a little time and patience to reduce and thicken the cream.

Here are the instructions for how to make this easy creamed spinach recipe:

Infuse and thicken your cream. Melt the butter in a large skillet, then add the garlic, then the cream. Cook the cream at a slow boil until reduced by half (this process takes about 25 minutes).

Add the spinach. Do this step in batches and watch as a 1-pound tub of spinach wilts down to a mere 3 cups of creamy, vitamin-dense deliciousness.

Stir in the Parmesan. Once all the spinach has been cooked down, stir in the grated Parmesan and season with kosher salt and pepper.

Is Creamed Spinach Good For You?

Spinach is chock-full of iron, vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and calcium, and helps boost your immune system, fights free radicals, and supports cardiovascular health (among many other benefits). It’s also a low-calorie food.

Do I Have to Use Cream in Creamed Spinach?

I prefer cream in this recipe for making the best-creamed spinach. Substitutes like whole milk are too runny and won’t thicken up enough. However, if you don’t care to use cream, you can whisk cream cheese with a bit of chicken stock, as I do in my recipe for creamed Swiss chard.


Does Creamed Spinach Contain Cheese?

Some creamed spinach recipes might not contain cheese, but I love adding freshly grated Parmesan to mine, for a bit of a salty bite and just more flavor.

3 Tips For Making the Best Creamed Spinach

Buy fresh, pre-washed spinach. This creamed spinach recipe calls for a whole lotta spinach, but don’t reach for the frozen stuff. Fresh spinach is definitely going to taste better, go further, and have a more tender texture than frozen spinach. Plus, there’s no need to squeeze it since fresh spinach doesn’t have as much water in it. Go fresh, you’ll thank me later.

I use the pre-bagged triple-washed spinach rather than the fresh spinach still on the stems and bound with wire ties. The ease and convenience of plopping already clean leaves into the pan are well worth the extra dimes it costs me. 

Don’t overcook your spinach. Spinach is delicate and cooks quickly. The longer you leave it on the stovetop, the more liquid will emit from the spinach, thus creating a thinner sauce. So if you like your cream sauce thicker, cook spinach just until al dente and serve immediately.

Consider adding breadcrumbs. If you have room in the oven and crave that baked taste, transfer the stovetop creamed spinach to a baking dish, sprinkle with additional cheese and some panko breadcrumbs, then cook at 350°F for 20 minutes or until golden on top. You’ll have an irresistibly buttery crunch for a nice contrast with the soft, creamy spinach.


What to Serve With Creamed Spinach

If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.


More Classic Thanksgiving Sides to Master

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