Best Healthy Creamed Spinach
Healthy creamed spinach, laced with onion and garlic, is one of the yummiest comfort side dishes ever. Keep it light or make it rich. It's up to you.
Servings (change as needed): 4
- 1 10 oz package chopped frozen spinach (or 15 cups fresh baby spinach, about 1 1/2 lbs or 16 oz,, roughly chopped)
- 3 tablespoon butter and oil, any combination (eg. 2 tbsp butter + 1 tbsp oil)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped green onions or onion (about 1/2 medium onion)
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic - about 1 clove (or 1/4 tsp garlic powder)
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour (or 1 1/2 tablespoons arrowroot flour for gluten free)
- 1 1/4 cups milk (fat free, 2% or whole milk)
- 1/4 cup half and half (10%) cream
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese or more, to taste
COOK SPINACH: Cook frozen spinach in microwave as per package instructions. I add a teaspoon of water and microwave it, covered, for 3 1/2 minutes on High. Drain in strainer, squeezing out as much moisture as possible. It's ok if a little bit remains. Note 1 for using fresh spinach.
MAKE CREAM SAUCE: Heat butter and/or oil on medium heat in a medium saucepan. Add onions and sauté gently for 3 minutes. Add garlic and sauté another 30 seconds. Mix in flour to make a roux. Stir for 2 minutes until it turns pale brown. Don't let it get dark. Add any combination of milk and cream that you like to equal 1 1/2 cups/354 ml. I generally use mostly fat free or 2% milk and about 1/4 cup half and half (10%) cream. Stir until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add salt, black pepper and nutmeg (if using) to your taste.
COMBINE: Stir in cooked well-squeezed-out chopped spinach. Add Parmesan cheese if using. If mixture is too thick, add more milk until desired consistency is reached. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve immediately. Note 3 to make ahead.
Nutrition values include 2% milk and the half and half cream as per recipe - and do not include the optional Parmesan cheese. Calories and fat content will increase if you use more cream, heavy cream and/or Parmesan cheese.
- Two options to cook fresh spinach (instead of frozen):
- Boil: Boil spinach in water for 1-2 minutes, drain and squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Blot well with a paper towel. You can use the same pot to make the cream sauce.
- Microwave: Place fresh spinach in a microwave save bowl, add a tablespoon of water. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Drain and squeeze out most of the moisture.
- Variations for extra richness (for perhaps a holiday dinner):
- Add a bit of cream cheese or sour cream. And use heavy cream (35%) instead of half and half (10%) cream.
Make Ahead: Cooked creamed spinach can be kept in the fridge in an airtight container for 2-3 days and rewarmed on the stove or in the microwave when needed. You may need to add additional milk to thin it to the consistency you like.
Calories: 150kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 408mg | Potassium: 153mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 484IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 115mg | Iron: 1mg