I love creamed spinach. It’s a classic side dish that goes with just about anything. But I had never made it at home because I could never find a recipe that met all my criteria: it had to be easy to make, use ingredients that I already had on hand, and most importantly, it had to taste good. So I decided to embark on a quest to find the best creamed spinach recipe. Here’s what I came up with.
The first recipe I tried was from Allrecipes.com. This recipe met my criteria of being easy to make; it only required six ingredients that I already had in my kitchen. However, it did not meet my taste criterion. The spinach tasted bland and watery, and the overall dish was just average.
Next, I tried a recipe from Food Network. This recipe was a bit more involved than the first one, requiring me to cook the spinach in two stages and then combine it with a creamy sauce made from scratch. But the effort was worth it; this dish was absolutely delicious! The spinach was flavorful and tender, and the sauce was rich and creamy. This recipe is definitely a keeper.
Finally, I tried a recipe from Martha Stewart. This recipe was similar to the one from Food Network, but it called for frozen spinach instead of fresh. I was intrigued by this idea because frozen spinach is usually more affordable than fresh, and it’s easier to find in stores year-round. Unfortunately, this dish did not meet my expectations. The frozen spinach made the dish watery, and the sauce was too thick and cheesy for my liking.
After trying three different recipes, I can say definitively that the best creamed spinach is made with fresh spinach leaves and a sauce made from scratch. If you’re looking for an easy recipe, Allrecipes.com has a good one; if you’re looking for something more flavorful, go with Food Network. And if you’re looking to save some money, Martha Stewart’s recipe using frozen spinach is a good option—just be sure to add extra seasoning to flavor it up.
Easy Creamed Spinach Recipe
One key to the best creamed spinach recipe is using freshly grated cheese, along with a pinch of the right spices. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Frozen cut leaf spinach: Yep, frozen! Thawed and carefully squeezed dry of all excess liquid. Before you scrunch up your nose, read my notes below. Trust me.
- Onion and Garlic: For wonderful and necessary aromatics and flavor.
- Cream Cheese & Heavy Cream: These two ingredients are what make the dish so creamy, rich, and amazing.
- Parmigiano-Reggiano: Freshly grated parmesan is a must for flavor and so it melts properly.
- Mozzarella cheese: Freshly grated for optimal results and flavor.
- Butter: Used to sauté the onion and garlic. I like to use unsalted butter in this recipe, since the cheeses contribute plenty of salt.
- Salt & Pepper: To round out the flavors, so the overall taste isn’t flat.
- Nutmeg & Cayenne pepper: Just a pinch of these two spices really elevate the dish.