Do you love creamy, decadent dishes? If you answered yes, then creamed spinach with cream cheese is a dish you'll want to try. This classic side dish is made with simple ingredients, but it's packed with flavor. You can serve creamed spinach as a side dish at your next dinner party, potluck, or holiday celebration and watch it disappear!
Do you love creamy, decadent dishes? If you answered yes, then creamed spinach with cream cheese is a dish you'll want to try.
The cream cheese takes things to the next level, giving it an even more creamy texture than your classic steakhouse creamed spinach.
Give this simple recipe a try, and let me know your thoughts.
Ingredients for Making Creamed Spinach
- Spinach: I used fresh baby spinach, but you could also use regular spinach leaves. The baby spinach leaves are more delicate and will cook down quickly.
- Butter: Unsalted butter is my preferred type in this recipe, but you could also use salted butter. If you use salted butter, you may want to reduce the additional teaspoon of salt in the recipe.
- Onion: I used a small yellow onion, but you could also use a white onion or even a sweet onion.
- Garlic: I love the garlic flavor in this dish, so I used two teaspoons of minced garlic. If you're not a fan of garlic, you could reduce the amount to 1 teaspoon or even omit it altogether.
- Salt: I used a teaspoon of sea salt in this recipe, but you could also use regular table salt.
- Cayenne Pepper: This ingredient is optional, but I like just a little heat in my creamed spinach. If you don't like spice, feel free to omit the cayenne pepper.
- Half and Half: This is a dairy product that's a mixture of milk and cream. It's rich and creamy and gives the dish a beautiful texture. This recipe could also use whole milk, heavy cream, or even evaporated milk.
- Cream Cheese: I used 8 ounces of cream cheese which is equal to 1 cup. The cream cheese adds a delicious richness to the dish.
- Parmesan Cheese: This is optional for topping this cream cheese creamed spinach recipe. I like to use freshly grated Parmesan cheese, but you could also use the pre-grated variety that comes in a can.
Tips & Tricks
- Wash the spinach thoroughly: This is an essential step because you don't want there to be any dirt or sand in your creamed spinach. I like to place the spinach in a colander and then rinse with cold water.
- Remove as much water from the spinach as possible: After you've washed the spinach, it's essential to remove as much water from it as possible. I like to do this by placing the spinach in a clean kitchen towel and wringing out the water. If you have a salad spinner, that works well here.
- Don't overcook the spinach: You want it to be cooked, but you don't want it to be mushy. It should still have some texture to it. I cook the spinach for just 3-4 minutes.
- Use fresh Parmesan cheese: If you have the option, use fresh Parmesan cheese instead of the pre-grated kind that comes in a can. The flavor of this spinach side dish will be so much better!
- Serve immediately: Creamed spinach is best when served immediately. If you have leftovers, they can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave, oven, or on the stovetop before serving.
Easy creamed spinach with cream cheese is a delicious side dish that goes well with various main courses. Here are some of my favorite ideas:
- Roasted chicken
- Air Fryer Turkey Breast
- Pork chops
- Blackstone Steak, Grilled Filet, or Ninja Foodi Grill Steak
- Blackstone Salmon or Ninja Foodi Grill Salmon
- Instant Pot Jasmine Rice
- Blackstone Potatoes or Ninja Foodi Grill Potatoes
Frequently Asked Questions
There are several ways to thicken creamed spinach. One way is to cook it down until most of the liquid has evaporated. Another way is to add a thickening agent such as cornstarch, flour, or arrowroot powder.
Or you can do what we do here in this creamy spinach recipe with cream cheese! Cream cheese is a wonderful thickener.
You can make this low-carb creamed spinach ahead of time, but it's best to reheat it just before serving. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
The best way to make spinach less watery is to cook it down until most of the liquid has evaporated.
You can also remove as much water from the spinach as possible by wringing it out in a clean kitchen towel or using a salad spinner.
Yes, most creamed spinach recipes do contain dairy. This recipe uses half and half cream cheese and parmesan.
If you're looking for a dairy-free option, you could try using coconut milk or almond milk in place of the half and half.
You could also omit the cream cheese or use a dairy-free alternative.
Yes, if you don’t have fresh spinach, frozen works great. Just make sure to defrost it completely.
This is a tricky question because it depends on how you define "healthy." This recipe does contain some "unhealthy" ingredients, such as cream and cheese. (Which are considered "healthy" on a keto diet.)
However, it also contains spinach which is a nutrient-rich leafy green vegetable.
So I would say that this dish falls somewhere in the middle.
Tools Needed to Make This Easy Creamed Spinach Recipe with Cream Cheese
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Leftovers can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave, oven, or on the stovetop before serving.
Can You Freeze Creamed Spinach?
You can, but you can expect a texture deterioration due to the cream and cream cheese. It will still taste good and is perfectly safe to eat.
How to Make Creamed Spinach with Cream Cheese
First, start by rinsing the spinach well and adding it to a large pan over medium-high heat. You will need to work in batches for this.
Cover and steam for 3 minutes. Transfer to a colander and repeat with the remaining spinach.
Next, when all of the spinach is cool enough to handle, place it in a clean dish towel and press to remove as much water as possible.
Transfer the spinach to a cutting board and chop.
Now, melt the butter over medium heat in a saucepan. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes.
Next, add the garlic, salt, and cayenne pepper and stir for 1 minute longer.
Pour in the half and half and cook for 3 more minutes.
Finally, add the diced cream cheese, and cook until the cream cheese melts, about 6 minutes, whisking often.
Return the spinach to the pan with the sauce.. Cook for 2 minutes and then taste. Season with salt and pepper as needed.
Creamed Spinach with Cream Cheese
- 2 pounds baby spinach
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- ¼ cup diced onion
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 cups half and half
- 8 ounces cream cheese diced
- For topping: grated parmesan cheese fresh ground black pepper
- In batches, rinse the spinach well and add to a large pan over medium-high heat.
- Cover and steam for 3 minutes. Transfer to a colander and repeat with the remaining spinach.
- When all of the spinach is cool enough to handle, place in a clean dish towel and press to remove as much water as possible.
- Transfer to a cutting board and chop.
- Melt the butter over medium heat in a saucepan.
- Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes.
- Next, add the garlic, salt, and cayenne pepper and cook for 1 minute longer.
- Pour in the half and half and cook for 3 more minutes.
- Add the diced cream cheese, and cook until the cream cheese melts, about 6 minutes, whisking often.
- Return the spinach to the pan. Cook for 2 minutes and then taste. Adjust the seasonings to your liking.
- Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.