This fresh, super-flavorful keto creamed spinach (a.k.a. creamy cheesy spinach) ticks all the boxes and then some. It's rich and satisfying but still feels veggie-forward. Plus, it's ready in a flash. Here's how to make it and how to serve it. (Psst...if you're looking for a more traditional version of steakhouse creamed spinach, I've got that too.)
Why we love this recipe
What's not to love about a big spoonful of creamy, cheesy spinach? This keto-friendly take on an American classic:
- Strikes just the right balance between highlighting beautiful fresh baby spinach and blanketing it in rich, velvety sauce
- Packs a full pound of spinach, which is a great vegetarian source of iron — indulgence never felt so strong
- Is quick to make
- Pairs well with a variety of meals, from breakfast to dinner
What you'll need
Here's a glance at the ingredients you'll need to make this recipe.
- I like to use a really good cultured, salted butter (Kerrygold or similar), here and pretty much everywhere.
- Use a nice firm, small yellow onion and dice it very small. I sometimes use a medium-sized shallot instead — this is a great substitution if you've got one.
- There's plenty of garlic in this recipe. You can adjust it to your taste, but I think it adds a lot.
- The volume of baby spinach you'll start out with is huge, but it cooks down quickly.
- Salt, nutmeg, red pepper flakes, and freshly ground black pepper easily bring out the best qualities in the spinach.
- Stirring in heavy cream, room-temperature cream cheese (so it mixes easily), and some good-quality parmesan toward the end of cooking makes the magic happen.
How to make it
Here's an overview of how to make a great batch of creamy, cheesy spinach. You can see the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details in the recipe card below.
- Sauté the onion and garlic in the butter.
- Add the spinach by the handful, cooking it down and adding more as it fits in the pan. Stir in the salt, nutmeg, and cayenne during this process.
- Cook briefly, until all the spinach is incorporated and wilted but still bright green. If there's any liquid in the pan after the spinach has cooked, tip it out and discard.
- Stir in the heavy cream, cream cheese, and parmesan, and simmer for a couple of minutes to thicken the sauce slightly and warm through. The sauce will thicken up a bit as it cools. Grind in some pepper to taste. That's it!
Expert tips and FAQs
Baby spinach varies greatly in how much moisture it releases when cooked. If there's liquid in the pan after sautéing the spinach, drain it off before proceeding with the recipe. You can simply tip it out of the pan, or you can transfer the cooked spinach to a colander, let it cool a bit, and then squeeze out as much moisture as you like by hand. I don't normally do this — and the baby spinach I buy doesn't seem to release much moisture — but you're welcome to take this step if you like.
You can make this dish earlier in the day and reheat it gently, either in the pan or at half power in the microwave.
Leftovers keep well, tightly sealed in the fridge, for up do a week. Don't freeze them, since dairy really doesn't like to be frozen.
How to serve it
My two favorite ways to serve keto creamed spinach are for breakfast with a fried egg on top, or for dinner with:
- Mashed cauliflower
- Sautéed mushrooms
- A great steak: Try this one (you can sub some compound butter for the pan sauce if you like), or learn to reverse sear. Or a great pork chop!
- And, hey, maybe a couple of fingers of bourbon
A few great keto-friendly appetizers, just for fun
- 2 tablespoons (28 grams) butter
- 1 small yellow onion, minced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 16 ounces (454 grams) baby spinach
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup (60 ml) heavy cream
- 4 ounces (113 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
- ½ cup (50 grams) grated parmesan cheese
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Melt butter in a 12-inch frying pan — the bigger the better since raw spinach is huuuuuge — over medium heat.
- Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes.
- Add spinach by the handful, letting it wilt just enough to make room before adding more.
- Cook, stirring almost constantly, until all spinach is wilted. If there is any liquid in the pan at this point, tip it out and discard.
- Stir in salt, nutmeg, red pepper flakes, heavy cream, cream cheese, parmesan, and pepper to taste.
- Simmer briefly to heat through, and serve.
- Baby spinach varies greatly in how much moisture it releases when cooked. If there's liquid in the pan after sautéing the spinach, drain it off before proceeding with the recipe. You can simply tip it out of the pan, or you can transfer the cooked spinach to a colander, let it cool a bit, and then squeeze out as much moisture as you like by hand. I don't normally do this — and the baby spinach I buy doesn't seem to release much moisture — but you're welcome to take this step if you like.
- You can make this recipe in advance if you like. Cook it anytime on serving day and reheat it gently in the pan or in the microwave before serving.
- Leftovers keep well tightly sealed in the fridge for up to a week. Don't freeze them, since dairy doesn't do well in the freezer.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 239Total Fat: 21.4gCarbohydrates: 8.8gFiber: 2.9gProtein: 5.9g