Creamed Spinach

This creamed spinach is an easy version of the classic, made with fresh spinach and a mascarpone, Parmesan, and cream sauce. Here’s how to make it.

A copper pot filled with creamed spinach.

A steak-house favorite for good reason, creamed spinach is one of the ultimate pairings with grilled beef, a rare case where two rich components serve to enhance each other, with no acidic or sweet elements offering relief. Here, Parmigiano-Reggiano and mascarpone cheese are added for a more complex flavor. This also pairs very well with most fish, poultry, and other meats.–Terrance Brennan

How does this creamed spinach compare to the classic?

Classic creamed spinach this is not. Quite the contrary, actually. Unlike many recipes for creamed spinach, this one doesn’t begin with a roux, which means it’s practically impossible to mess up and contains no gluten. Two darn good reasons to try it right there.

Creamed Spinach

  • Quick Glance
  • (6)
  • 25 M
  • 25 M
  • Serves 4
4.5/5 - 6 reviews
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Pour the 12 cups water into a large pot, add 1 tablespoon salt, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. 

Meanwhile, swirl the spinach in a separate large bowl of cold water, changing the water several times, to remove any sand or grit. Drain the spinach in a colander. Fill the large bowl halfway with ice water.

Add the spinach to the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes.

Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the spinach to the ice water for just a minute or so (this halts the cooking and preserves the vibrant color). Drain the spinach in a colander, squeezing out any excess water. (Seriously. You gotta squeeze that spinach till not a drop of water is left.)

Wipe out the pot and place it over medium heat. Add the butter and heat until it melts. Add the onion and 1 teaspoon salt and cook until the onions are softened but not browned, about 4 minutes. Add the spinach, cream, mascarpone or additional cream, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and nutmeg.

Cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes, until the mixture is warm throughout. Season with salt and 6 grinds white pepper. Serve as soon as you can. (See the Make-Ahead Variations below for tricks on how to save yourself any last-minute fuss.) Originally published October 12, 2013.

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    Make-Ahead Advice

    • To make the creamed spinach up to an hour in advance

    • Keep it warm in the top of a double boiler or in a covered heatproof bowl set over, but not touching, a pan of simmering water.

    • To make the creamed spinach up to a day in advance
    • Let the creamed spinach cool, transfer it to a baking dish, cover, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Reheat in an oven preheated to 300°F (149°C) until the creamed spinach mixture is warmed through, about 15 minutes or so. Serve warm.

    Recipe Testers' Reviews

    This is the best creamed spinach ever! And hello, make-ahead recipe! I ended up doubling the recipe and this easily made 6 plentiful side servings. I did say the words “labor of love” as

    I squeezed out the spinach. It took some time to do this step, but it’s well worth it. I ended up using the mascarpone and the flavor of the resulting creamed spinach was out of this world. It was definitely restaurant quality. My testers noted that the texture was spot-on. Sometimes, other recipes will have spinach in a pool of cream. This sauce had a perfectly thick grip on the spinach and it tasted heavenly.

    It worked wonderfully for a dinner party; I made it in the morning, refrigerated it, and reheated it at 300°F (149°C) for approximately 20 minutes, just as the recipe suggests. I look forward to making this again!

    This is a very easy, straightforward recipe, especially when you cheat and use frozen spinach like I did. The combination of cream and mascarpone adds a nice touch and really makes the spinach creamy. Definitely a keeper of a recipe—and maybe even better when made with fresh spinach, which I'll try next time.


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    1. Best creamed spinach dish that I have tried. Putting it in the over to let it brown on top made this dish even better.

    2. Extraordinarily delicious! I will definitely be making this recipe again soon. Texture and flavoring was perfect.

    3. A bit rushed for time, so just used baby spinach, mascarpone and a spoonful of extra thick double cream at the end to slightly thin the “sauce”. Was absolutely lovely and will make this again (and again) will even try it with the onion next time.

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