Nothing says holiday dinner like comforting homestyle sides. Keto Creamed Spinach combines a produce powerhouse with not just cream, and not just cheese, but cream cheese too, for a decadent dish that packs in the flavor. No starchy thickeners required!
I don’t know about you, but this time of year I swear, I can actually feel myself start gaining weight just thinking about the food I will make and consume over the holidays. Cookies and cocktails and canapés, oh my!
If you’ve followed me for a while, you know that come January, I do a Whole30 reset each year. But from Halloween until then, not gonna lie, it’s an absolute full-body free-for-all. And know what? I do it all with zero guilt because life is just too short. Especially this year.
Now before you get judgy, I do alleviate the guilt with a few simple healthy habits that require relatively little lifestyle disruption:
- Good Hydrations. Unless it’s a special occasion drink – think Egg Nog – I try to stay away from beverages other than water, tea, and my usual morning coffee.
- Skip the snacks. Once the leftover candy is gone, I generally avoid keeping packaged “treats” in the house. (Unless it’s something I know will result in a temper tantrum from one of the kiddos.)
- Suggested Servings. I make sure that come hell or high water, I consume my recommended daily servings of fruits and veggies. Bonus vitamins for flu season and lots of natural fiber to keep things moving.
Speaking of guilt alleviation and veggies, this is a great time to remind you that cream and cheese do not negate the nutrients in your vegetables. So, take something like spinach, which, in case you didn’t know is a great source of *ahem* Vitamins A, C, and K; Folic Acid; Iron; Calcium; Fiber; Protein (?!); and more! Add lots of dreamy dairy and now it’s a keto-friendly comfort dish that will seriously make you feel like you’re at Cracker Barrel with your MeeMaw.
Nothing to feel guilty about here…
What Makes This Recipe Keto?
Instead of using a traditional, flour-based roux, you’ll thicken by melting together cream, cream cheese, and parmesan over low heat. Trust me – you won’t miss the starch.
How to Make Keto Creamed Spinach
A deep skillet or a dutch oven works best for this one-pot side dish. Be sure to check the recipe card for detailed instructions and step-by-step photos!
- Wilt fresh spinach, then arranged on a paper towel lined baking sheet to air dry while you prepare the cream sauce.
- Sauté onions and garlic in butter until soft.
- Make the cream sauce. Add cream cheese and heavy cream to create the cream sauce base, then simmer until slightly thickened.
- Add finely grated parmesan cheese in batches, then season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
- Fold the wilted spinach into the sauce and serve warm.
Tips for Making This Recipe Perfectly
- If you have it, freshly ground nutmeg makes a world of difference! Otherwise regular ground nutmeg is perfectly fine – just be sure your spices are fresh.
- If the spinach isn’t dry enough after air drying, gently squeeze a handful of spinach to release more liquid before adding to the sauce. You want the spinach to feel a bit “squeaky” before adding to the sauce; excess moisture will thin the sauce too much.
- Make this recipe is a dutch oven or 2″+ deep skillet – you’ll have plenty of room for tossing the spinach.
Can I Use Frozen Spinach?
Yes – a 10-oz package of frozen spinach can be substituted for the fresh spinach. Defrost in the fridge overnight or in a colander under cool running water. Thoroughly wring out the spinach in a kitchen towel. Alternatively, squeeze a handful of spinach to wring out the excess water, then arrange on a towel-lined baking sheet to further air dry.
What to Serve with Creamed Spinach
This dish is RICH. If it’s a go-big-or-go-home meal like Thanksgiving dinner, fuggedaboutit and enjoy yourself.
If you’re keeping it keto, serve with a lighter protein: pair it with your favorite pork chop recipe; pan sear firm-textured fish fillets, like halibut or rockfish; or tackle a Whole Roasted Chicken for an added wow factor.
More Keto Recipes You’ll Enjoy
- Maryland Style Hot Crab Dip
- Keto Ground Beef Tacos
- Bacon Coleslaw
- Mexican Stuffed Peppers
- Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Did you make this Keto Creamed Spinach? I’d love to know how it turned out! Leave a comment and a rating below.
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- 3 6-oz bags fresh baby spinach, or frozen, see notes
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1 white onion, thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ c heavy cream
- 4 oz cream cheese, cut into small pieces
- 1 oz finely grated parmesan cheese, about ½ cup heaping
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp cracked pepper
- Line a baking sheet with 2 layers of paper towels. Heat a large deep skillet or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add 1 bag of spinach plus 1 tbsp water and cook, tossing frequently, until the volume is reduced by half; add the second bag of spinach and again cook and toss frequently until the volume is reduced; add the third bag of spinach and continue cooking until all the spinach is wilted.
- Remove the spinach using tongs, then spread over the prepared baking sheet. Place another layer of paper towels on top of the spinach to help wick any excess moisture.
- Add the butter to the dutch oven and heat until it melts then foams. Add the onions, toss to coat in fat and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent and soft, 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more.
- Add the heavy cream and cream cheese. Whisk until the mixture is smooth, slightly thickened, and barely simmering.
- Add the grated parmesan in batches, stirring after each addition, until smooth. Season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper and stir once more.
- Add the baby spinach to the pot and gently fold into the cheese sauce. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper as needed. Serve immediately.
- If the spinach isn’t dry enough, gently squeeze a handful at a time before transferring to the cream sauce. The spinach should feel “squeaky” dry.
- Substitute 10-oz frozen spinach; defrost and thoroughly dry before adding to the sauce.
- Leftovers: store leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in-between.