This skinnier take on creamed spinach tastes just as indulgent as the full-fat dish, with half the calories! Perfect for the side of a delicious steak dinner.
As homesick college kids craving comfort food that didn’t come from a can, my then-boyfriend (now hubby) and I frequented Boston Market. Our stops there were often after some blistering cold walk through the city, slushing in like wet dogs and stuffing our faces with chicken and cornbread. My plate was piled high with mac ‘n cheese and mashed potatoes (a big step up from Pop-Tarts), and his was loaded with crispy chicken and… creamed spinach. Blegh. I always thought he was being SO healthy!
Little did I know.
Thing is, he was indulging the same way I was… but with a little green thrown in for good measure! Well, our iron-clad college stomachs are no more, so it’s onto healthier choices and lighter spins on our favorite comfort classics. I couldn’t leave this one out!
A typical serving of creamed spinach clocks in at over 200 calories and 12 grams of fat. But this one? For a heaping 2/3 cup serving, you’re having your comfort food and enjoying it, too, at 123 calories and half the fat.
I know creamed spinach has always been a big favorite of hubby’s, so I was determined to do it right… and convince myself to love it, too. With this easy, elegant and absolutely delicious recipe, I managed both!
Not only is this dish light and healthy, but it is packed full of good-for-you nutrients, too. As you savor away, recall that this scrumptious side is high in calcium, iron and dietary fiber… and vitamins A, B and C!
By halving the butter and replacing the heavy cream with fat free milk, you’re not losing any flavor in this creamy, savory side. A dollop of reduced-fat cream cheese keeps this dish melt-in-your-mouth good. And, I’m sorry, but is there any aroma in the world more comforting than onions and butter sizzling on the stovetop? That should be reason enough to cook this up.
For an elegant dinner in during the holidays, Valentine’s Day, or any day, this delicious creamed spinach is the perfect choice. Easy, sophisticated and oh-so scrumptious!
Lighter Creamed Spinach
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup freshly minced onion or shallots
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons flour
- 1 1/2 cups fat free milk
- 2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 4 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese
- 16 oz. bag frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained of all moisture
- In a large sauté pan set to medium heat, melt butter. Add onion and garlic; cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Whisk in flour and cook 1 more minute. Reduce heat to low and whisk in milk, parmesan cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Add cream cheese and mix until smooth. Add spinach and combine well with sauce. Cook 1 minute, until heated through. Adjust seasonings as desired. Serve hot.
So excited to try this! I love creamed spinach but can never justify all those calories… so this is just perfect!!
Ooh! What a great recipe to make lighter! I still love Boston Market! I haven’t been in probably a decade, but the cornbread rolls and chicken never get old!
Loving this lightened up version of creamed spinach – I don’t think most people know how many calories the traditional creamed spinach has so thanks for sharing.
My family loves spinach…even my kids! I usually at it into pastas and soups… but I love the idea of creaming it like this. Looks lovely!
Oh you just created a masterpiece. Lighter creamed spinach has my inner skinny girl screaming with delight now!
What kind of world do we live in where creamed spinach is not healthy? Thank goodness you have set everything right and made this dish as healthy as I imagined it was always supposed to be!
Georgia, it’s like you know me. I adore creamed spinach. We always order it when we go to a steakhouse. I love this lightened up version.
That looks awesome! Thanks for sharing your way to make it lighter :-)
I do love creamed spinach and here you have made it with less guilt! I love it!
Boston Market was a huge guilty pleasure growing up for me too! Sometimes I go over there strictly for the cornbread!
Now this creamed spinach – love the lighter touch! Jason will LOVE this when I make it for him!
now I am a southern gal and I see to it my spinach has plenty of butter and cream but boy you make this look even better than my version! I am going to have to give it a try! really I am! Kudos for taking it lighter but still keeping all the flavor!
Mmm, onion and butter and creamy spinach…this sounds wonderful!
I love this lightened up version! I do like creamed spinach but don’t eat it often because it is fairly heavy! But this … now this I can do!
Hey! I wanted to know can we substitute freshly chopped spinach for the frozen one? If yes, what amount of fresh spinach would go in this?
Hi Ana – I recommend using frozen spinach. Frozen spinach is blanched and this makes the spinach lose water weight. To get the same effect and weight you would have to blanch your fresh spinach and it would be pretty much the same as frozen spinach. If using fresh, though, I would use about 16 oz.
Thanks for this! I love, love, love creamed spinach. I frequently buy BirdsEye frozen creamed spinach, which isn’t very high in fat or calories (160 calories, 8 grams of fat per whole package), but one package has over 40% of a day’s worth of sodium. I never closely watched my salt intake as much as fat (and types of fat) and calories, but I know a lot isn’t healthy, and I also recently read that higher sodium affects our body’s ability to process insulin–so higher sodium can actually amount to weight gain! This recipe looks easy enough to make ahead of time so I can freeze and use whenever–but without the extra sodium. Can’t wait to try it!
I made this tonight and it was delicious! By the way, I did not have any cream cheese, so I left it out, and it was still yummy! Just a tip in case anyone wants to lighten it up a little more.
Thanks for the recipe.
So glad I came across this recipe! I made this last night and it was delicious..very quick too!! Thank you for sharing!
Made this recipe this evening and loved it. Just a couple minor changes, added both onions and shallots. Added mushrooms, only because I had a few also, added red pepper, not much but just a tiny bite. Recipe a definite keeper.
This was dee-lish-ous!! I doubled the recipe, but nearly quadrupled the spinach as I had so much creamed sauce. To simplify things, I made the sauce and then added fresh spinach leaves to the hot sauce. Worked great! Easy and big bang for the buck!
delicious! served on rice with oven baked drumsticks.
Can you make this ahead and freeze?