Creamed Spinach with bacon is so sinfully good you’ll never go back to regular veggies again! It’s the perfect side to make for any occasion!
Are you ready for the most decadent vegetable dish around? When it comes to special family dinners, I have a tendency to make side dishes or entrees that are a little fancy or indulgent. It’s fun to let go a little are go full food nerd sometimes. That’s where this creamed spinach recipe comes into play. It’s everything I never know I could love about cooked spinach.
Normally I’d save this spinach to have with our Thanksgiving turkey, but I was jonesing for it the other night. I made a half recipe to have with the chicken cordon bleu I made, and OMG it was fantastic! Dinner win all night long!
Why We Love Creamed Spinach
- Spinach is one of my go-to veggies when I’m trying to get my family on the healthy eating train. That being said, let’s be honest about this recipe. This is not one of those “Yay I ate my veggies!” recipes. This is a “Damn the was good! I may have gained 5 pounds, but it was so worth it!” dish. So grab your fat pants, and let’s do this!
- Creamed veggie side dishes are a thing of beauty. Maybe it was growing up with a Southern grandma that started my love for butter and bacon. Maybe it was a natural calling… But what it really comes down to is that I love getting naughty with some side dishes!
- Creamed spinach is so simple to make there’s no reason you can’t make it for date night at home. Or because your kids are asking for the 15th time if you’ll make the best creamed spinach recipe around to go with dinner.
Ingredients You’ll Need to Make Creamed Spinach
SPINACH: Be sure to use fresh baby spinach for this recipe. Frozen spinach won’t work. You need 24 ounces of spinach total. I usually use the prepared, bagged spinach and get four 6-ounce bags (or three 8-ounces bags).
SAUCE: The sauce for this recipe is a standard bechamel sauce (AKA white sauce) that has sauteed onions and garlic added in.
BACON: Okay, bacon isn’t part of creamed spinach normally, but holy cow is it delicious! I highly highly recommend stirring crispy bits of salty bacon happiness into your creamed spinach. Bonus: You can cook the onions and garlic in the bacon fat once it’s done cooking!
How to Make Creamed SpinachJump to Recipe
If you’re using bacon, cook the bacon in a large pot over medium-high heat until it’s nice and crispy. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Leave the bacon grease in the pot. If you’re skipping the bacon (crazy person) see the recipe tips below.
STEP 1 Add 1/4 cup of butter to the bacon grease and stir until melted. Then add in the flour and stir to make a roux. Cook this for 1 minute. Then add in the onions and garlic and cook for another minute.
STEP 2 Slowly pour in the milk and cream while whisking. This will help prevent lumps from forming. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring often.
STEP 3 Melt 1/4 cup of butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the spinach and cover the pot. Cook until the spinach is wilted, stirring occasionally. (See recipe tips below if using a skillet.)
STEP 3 Add the spinach to the sauce and stir to combine. Then add in the cooked bacon and stir once more. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then dig in!
Tips & Tricks
- If you’re using a large skillet instead of a pot, or a pot that’s not super huge, you will have to add the spinach in batches. Press down on the spinach already in the pot and then add more. Fold the hot spinach on top of the uncooked spinach to help distribute the heat and make it wilt faster. I’ve totally had to do this before, it’ll work just fine.
- If you prefer to leave the bacon out of this recipe, use 6 tablespoons of butter instead of 1/4 cup to make the roux.
- If you’re buying bunches of spinach isntead of the prepared bagged stuff, be sure to thoroughly wash and clean the leaves. No one likes gritty spinach. You’ll also need to trim the stems WAY down before cooking.
Creamed Spinach FAQ
What is creamed spinach?
Creamed spinach (or any other creamed vegetable) is a basic white sauce with onions, garlic, and spinach. The bechamel sauce gives the spinach a rich, creamy taste that’s pretty freaking amazing!
How long does creamed spinach last?
This spinach will keep for 3 to 5 days in the fridge in an airtight container.
Is creamed spinach keto?
The way this recipe is made, it’s not very keto-friendly due to the flour. However, you can substitute the flour for unflavored whey protein. You’ll use the bacon grease, 1/4 cup butter, and 1/3 cup of whey protein for the roux. This post explains more if you have questions about the whey protein and swapping out for almond and coconut flour as well.
What goes with creamed spinach?
So many things you guys! My family loves having creamed spinach with all these meals, but it’s especially great for the holidays.
Other Recipes You May like
- Spinach & Chicken Alfredo Ravioli Bake
- Crock Pot Spinach & Bacon Queso Dip
- Spinach Dip Stuffed Pork Loin
- Spinach and Bacon Quiche
Creamed Spinach with Bacon
- 5 strips bacon diced
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 yellow onion peeled and diced
- 3 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 1 1/2 cups 2% milk (or whole milk)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 24 ounces fresh baby spinach
- Parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)
- In a large pot over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until crispy, about 8 minutes. Remove from the pot and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
- To the bacon fat still in the pot, add 1/4 cup butter and melt completely. Whisk in the flour until well combined. Cook for 2 minutes to remove the raw flour taste. Add the onion and garlic. Stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute.
- Slowly whisk in the milk and cream to prevent lumps from forming. Reduce heat to medium and cook until thickened, about 10 to 15 minutes, whisking often.
- Season the sauce with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add more of each seasoning to taste. Reduce heat to medium-low to keep warm, stirring occasionally.
- While the sauce is cooking, melt 1/4 cup butter over medium-high heat in a large pot. Add the spinach and cover. Cook until wilted. (see note if using a skillet) Carefully drain off any excess liquid in the bottom of the pot.
- Add the spinach to the sauce and stir until well combined. Add the bacon to the spinach and stir to combine.
- Transfer to a serving bowl and top with more bacon and parmesan if desired. Serve warm.
- I like to use the prepared, bagged spinach as a timesaver for this recipe. You’ll need either three 8-ounce bags of spinach or four 6-ounces bags.
- If you’re using a large skillet instead of a pot, or a pot that’s not super huge, you will have to add the spinach in batches. Press down on the spinach already in the pot and then add more. Fold the hot spinach on top of the uncooked spinach to help distribute the heat.
- Want to skip the bacon? Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a skillet before adding the flour, and then proceed as directed.
Set your holiday table with even more yummy side dishes that are sure to fill bellies and put smiles on faces!