Steakhouse creamed spinach with delicious cream cheese and the lovely flavors of Parmesan cheese, is an uncommon side dish but a truly loved old fashioned favorite. Whipped up incredibly easily in a cast iron pan, creamed spinach takes just about 15 minutes, making it also one of the quickest sides to enjoy in a pinch.
Perfect with steak or chicken, there is a reason that flavorful and creamy spinach is one of the main sides offered in fancy restaurants.
This really easy spinach side dish takes it up a notch with creamy, rich cream cheese and because its low carb and keto (as long as you skip the bread crumb toppings), stays within most nutritional diets that your picky eaters may have.
- white onion & minced garlic – as with most dishes, onion and garlic bring the most flavor and really enhance the vegetable
- frozen spinach – thawed and drained of excess moisture, using frozen spinach keeps this dish as simple and as quick as possible
- cream cheese – melted right in the pan, cream cheese gives the best creamy and rich tasting texture out of all of the options.
- grated Parmesan cheese – while it may be tempting to use shaved or shredded Parmesan cheese, it melts differently and will add a cheese pull to your spinach versus just a nice creamy topping. Adding a real heavy cheese like shaved cheese basically turns the cream sauce into cheese sauce, so while it tastes great, it’s a lot harder to stir and will alter the recipe.
- heavy whipping cream – whole milk or even half and half could be used in a pinch, both of those ingredients are a lot thinner than whipping cream. Heavy whipping cream is worth the extra thick texture that it adds to the creamed spinach.
- salt & pepper – Never skip the salt and pepper on the green vegetable side.
How to make Creamed Spinach
Step 1: To get started, first put 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil in a pan and heat up with white onions and minced garlic. Sauté for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, till fragrant and cooked.
Step 2: Add thawed and drained spinach to cast iron pan and stir. Heat pan on Medium heat, with lid on pan, for just about 6 minutes – stirring occasionally.
Step 3: Tear up creamed cheese and place around the pan on top of spinach. Pour in heavy whipping cream, grated Parmesan cheese, sugar, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine all ingredients.
Step 4: Incorporate all ingredients by mixing well and melting cream cheese, taking care to make sure there are no lumps, which takes about 5-7 minutes. Remove from the pan and serve.
Frozen vs. Fresh Spinach: Creamed spinach CAN be made with fresh spinach over frozen as well. There are two ways to really handle fresh spinach leaves.
- Remove stems and chop down any excessively large leaves. Add a bit of butter into the pan and then cook spinach down, which takes about 3-4 minutes. Proceed with the rest of the recipe as is.
- The other way is to add about a pan of spinach leaves into a pan with onion, garlic and butter and then proceed with adding the creamed cheese directly, cooking the leaves as you go.
Both of these require more work than just using frozen spinach. Please note that fresh spinach cooks down a LOT smaller than you believe it will be, so while a pound of spinach may seem like a lot, it cooks down the same as frozen.
Spices – If you are cooking creamed spinach for the fall holiday season, add just a pinch of nutmeg to the dish.
Pasta – Add cooked warm penne to this dish for a great warm spinach pasta side.
Yes, spinach is a great option for keto and low carb dieters. Adding onions, garlic, creamed cheese and heavy whipping cream are all still safe on keto, making this recipe a great choice for those watching their weight. However, the option crunchy onion topping is NOT keto and contains carbs.
The most common main course with spinach is steak.
Yes it can, however cream cheese will solidify back in the fridge, therefore it needs to be heated properly again prior to serving.
This recipe is a bit more simple. However, if you want to achieve the Morton’s steakhouse creamed spinach, be sure to use fresh spinach and add a cup of mozzarella to melt down as well.
Add Fried Onions or Panko Bread crumbs to the top before serving for a bit more crunch and flavor. This will alter the carb count, so pay attention to the servings on the back of the bag.
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- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup diced white onion
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 24 oz. frozen spinach - thawed and drained
- 1 block 8 oz. creamed cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 tablespoons of whipping cream
- salt & pepper
- Dice down 1/2 cup of white onion.
- Put 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil in a pan and heat up with white onions and minced garlic.
- Sauté garlic and onions together for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, till fragrant and cooked.
- Add thawed and drained spinach to cast iron pan and stir to combine all ingredients.
- Continue to heat on Medium heat, with lid on top of pan, for about 6 minutes - stirring everything together occasionally to avoid burning.
- Tear up creamed cheese into a few separate, smaller pieces and place around pan.
- Add 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream, grated Parmesan cheese, sugar, salt, and pepper.
- Stir all ingredients together.
- Continue to heat while cream cheese melts, stirring as it goes to remove any lumps left in pan. This process takes about 5-7 minutes.
- Remove creamed spinach from pan and serve while hot and melty.
Is Creamed Spinach Keto?
Yes, creamed spinach is both low carb and keto friendly.
What is the best topping?
I like to add French's green onions to creamed spinach for a bit of crunch. Note that adding this topping is NOT keto.
Can fresh spinach be used over frozen?
Creamed spinach CAN be made with fresh spinach over frozen as well.
- Remove stems and chop down any excessively large leaves of spinach Add a bit of butter into the pan and then cook spinach down, which takes about 3-4 minutes. Proceed with the rest of the recipe as is. It would take about 2 pounds of fresh spinach to reach the same 24 oz. of frozen spinach quantity. These measurements are approximate.
How to make Morton's Creamed Spinach
There is no doubt that the famous Morton's Steakhouse has the most well known spinach. The main difference is that Morton's adds 1 cup of Mozzarella cheese (melted in the pan) and 1/2 tsp. of nutmeg spice. Add the mozzarella at the same time as the cream cheese.
How to thin creamed spinach
Occasionally liquids burn off too quickly. If that happens, just add a bit more heavy whipping cream in small increments.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 122Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 257mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gProtein: 6g
Nutritional information is automatically calculated with ingredients and serving size and may not be accurate. Please always double check with your own nutritional apps as well.