This keto creamed spinach makes the perfect holiday side dish that just happens to be low carb! Ready in just 10 minutes, it’s a family favorite dish that is SO much better than store bought!
Keto Creamed Spinach
My mom is the queen of holiday side dishes and she never disappoints. The days leading up to Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, she has her lists written out and by the time we sit down to our meal, there are at least 4 or 5 sides to choose from.
Since starting a keto diet, I thought I’d have to miss out on her cooking or have to heavily adapt them myself but that is not the case. Two of my favorite recipe of hers, the green bean casserole and the creamed spinach, was naturally low carb! Since finding out this little gem, I’ve made it myself several times just to be sure and I have no doubt that you will be a fan, too!
Why this keto spinach recipe will have you mesmerized-
- NO flour. Nearly every recipe for creamed spinach will include flour but NOT this one. Flour is not keto friendly, but we found that a substitute wasn’t even needed- It was thick enough as it is!
- Made with cream AND milk. My mom’s secret ingredient has always been to use a mix of heavy cream and milk instead of half and half (most commonly used) and it tastes so much better.
- Ready in 10 minutes. I firmly believe side dishes shouldn’t take longer than 10 minutes to make and this recipe is no different.
- Fresh or frozen spinach. While I prefer fresh baby spinach (straight out of the bag!), frozen spinach can also be used.
What I love about this recipe is that it is a dish you can bring to any event and no one needs to miss out because of dietary restrictions. This is a traditional family favorite recipe and you can bet I’ll be reaching for seconds and thirds!
How do you make creamed spinach?
- Baby spinach– While other kinds of spinach can be used (like English spinach), baby spinach is preferred because it takes seconds to blanch and has a very mild and smooth flavor. You can use frozen spinach, but you will need to squeeze out excess liquid to ensure this dish doesn’t become watery.
- Butter– A much better option than oil to fry the onion and garlic in, especially when the other ingredients include cream and milk!
- Onion and garlic– Adds flavor that works so well with the spinach.
- Heavy cream– The secret ingredient! Heavy cream transforms this from a simple side dish to something quite impressive.
- Milk– Balances out the heavy cream. Any milk will work.
- Cream cheese– Softened to room temperature.
- Salt and pepper– To taste.
- Parmesan cheese– Freshly grated parmesan cheese, NOT the shelf stable kind!
Start by blanching the baby spinach in boiling and salted water. Squeeze out excess liquid and set it aside. Next, add the butter to a large skillet and place it over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until fragrant, before adding the cream, milk, and cream cheese and let it simmer until the cream cheese has melted. Add the salt, pepper, blanched spinach and parmesan cheese and stir to combine.
Now, remove the skillet from the heat, sprinkle with extra parmesan cheese, and serve immediately.
Storing, freezing, and make-ahead tips
- To store: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 5 days.
- To freeze: Place the creamed spinach in an air tight container and store it in the freezer for up to 2 months. You must thaw it completely before reheating.
- Reheating: Either microwave the spinach for 30 seconds or reheat in the oven.
- To make ahead: You can prepare this dish up to 2 days in advance. Simply make this dish as instructed, except for the parmesan cheese, then let it cool completely. Once cooled, refrigerate the skillet, covered. When ready to serve, bring it to room temperature then place the skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the parmesan cheese and serve.
What can I serve with creamed spinach
While this dish tends to make an appearance during Thanksgiving and the holiday season, it’s something we enjoy throughout the year. It makes a decadent and delicious vegetable side dish, and we love pairing it with some other low carb entrees, like crack chicken, meatballs, chicken parmesan, and meatloaf.
More keto side dish recipes to try
Frequently Asked Questions
Creamed spinach can be quite unhealthy, especially if using all cream or half and half. To make it healthier, we use half milk and we reduce the cheese added to it.
You can buy frozen creamed spinach in some grocery stores but they never taste as good as the homemade kind. They tend to be more watery and lack flavor.
This recipe is keto friendly as it has no flour or grains added to it. Each serving yields just 3 grams net carbs.
Keto Creamed Spinach
- 20 oz baby spinach
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 medium onion finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup milk
- 4 oz cream cheese softened
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese freshly grated
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add the baby spinach and blanch for 30 seconds. Drain and place in tap water. Once cooled, squeeze out excess moisture.
- Place a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the butter then the onion and garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the heavy cream, milk, and cream cheese and allow everything to simmer until the cream cheese has melted. Season with salt and pepper. Add the spinach and grated parmesan cheese and stir to combine.
- Remove from the heat and serve immediately.