Steakhouse creamed spinach has loads of flavor from a rich cream sauce. Make this recipe for a hearty side dish for beef, chicken, or pork!
It’s actually very simple to make your favorite restaurant dishes at home, and this creamed spinach recipe is a perfect example.
All you need to do is make a bechamel sauce, add a bit of cheese, and stir in the cooked greens. Plus, it’s easy to double the amount to feed a crowd or just have extra for leftovers.
What’s in the steakhouse creamed spinach?
Blanched and wilted spinach leaves added to a flavorful sauce made with onions, garlic, cream, and cheese.
The secret ingredient is nutmeg, which adds extra warmth and enhances the nuttiness of the Parmesan.
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
Note: This is just a partial list of ingredients. For the full ingredient list, see the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Spinach – You can use either fresh or frozen, whichever is easiest. Using a bagged variety as opposed to a bunch will save you from extra washing and chopping.
Meanwhile, frozen spinach is already blanched, so you’ll be able to skip that step entirely. Just be sure to thaw the frozen greens first to remove excess liquid.
- Half and half – This is a popular American dairy product that is simply an equal blend of milk and heavy cream. You can find it in the dairy case or make homemade half and half.
For a thinner sauce, you can use all milk but stick with whole instead of low-fat. Or, use all heavy cream for an extra rich dish.
- Parmesan cheese – Buy a wedge and grate it yourself. As a result, you’ll have better flavor and a smoother sauce. Pre-bagged shreds contain a preservative that gives them a waxy texture to prevent clumping, but it also prevents the cheese from melting well.
How to make creamed spinach
If you’ll be using thawed frozen spinach, you can skip the blanching step and proceed with the rest of the recipe. Be sure to still squeeze out any excess liquid so it doesn’t make the sauce too watery.
Blanch the spinach
- First, clean the leaves if you’ll be using a fresh bunch. Then, add to a pot of salted boiling water.
- Cook just until the spinach starts to wilt, about a minute.
- Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Grab handfuls and squeeze out any excess water.
- Next, chop each large handful into strips with a sharp knife.
Make the sauce
- On the stove, melt together the butter, garlic, and chopped onions. Cook until the onions are softened and no longer opaque.
- Whisk in the flour, salt, and pepper to make a roux, letting it bubble and brown slightly. Then, stir in the half and half and bring it to a boil.
- Cut the cream cheese into chunks and stir into the pan until melted.
Finish and serve
- Finally, stir in the wilted spinach along with the grated Parmesan and nutmeg until well combined.
- Spoon onto plates or transfer to a casserole dish for easier serving.
- Make ahead of time – If you’ll be making this creamed spinach recipe for a holiday meal, you can make the sauce a day in advance and refrigerate in a sealed container. Then, warm on the stove and add in the spinach and cheese just before serving.
- Storage – Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Or, transfer to storage bags and freeze for several months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating with an extra splash of half and half.
- Reheating – It’s easiest to reheat any leftovers on the stove. Just add a serving to a wide skillet and stir occasionally until it warms through. To prevent the dairy from separating or curdling, use low heat.
Steakhouse Creamed Spinach
- 2 lbs fresh leaf spinach or 1 lb frozen (thawed)
- 2 tsp salt
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1 medium yellow onion minced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tsp salt divided
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup flour
- 3 1/2 cups half and half
- 8 oz cream cheese (cut into 8 chunks, room temp)
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- Season a large pot of water with the 2 teaspoons of salt and bring to a boil. Add the spinach and cook just until wilted, about 1 minute.
- Drain the spinach in a strainer or colander. Rinse with cold water until cool and squeeze the water from spinach. Chop the spinach into a 3/4 inch width.
- In a large skillet over medium heat melt the butter with the garlic and onions. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until the onions are translucent.
- Season with the salt, black pepper and add the flour. Mix over low heat and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the half an half and cook until boiling. Add in the cream cheese, stirring to melt and incorporate, about 6-8 minutes or until the mixture has thickened.
- Add in the spinach, Parmesan cheese and nutmeg. Stir to combine, serve hot.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.