This healthy creamed spinach recipe is an easy & lightened up version of a classic holiday side dish made with just a few simple ingredients.
If you could only have one side dish at Thanksgiving, what would it be? Mine hands down would...not be creamed spinach. It would be stuffing, duh.
But creamed spinach is up there! It's one of my mom's favorites around the holidays, so I lightened it up with my own take on this classic.
What makes this creamed spinach recipe delicious and healthy
- frozen spinach
- plain Greek yogurt
- low-fat milk
- parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper
How to make this healthy creamed spinach recipe
In a large skillet over medium heat, add ½ tablespoon butter. Once melted, add in 1 minced shallot, (or ⅓ finely chopped yellow onion) and 2 minced cloves of garlic, and cook until softened, or about 2 minutes or so. Add in 1 (10 ounce) bag of frozen spinach that has been thawed and drained to the pan. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until warm.
While spinach is cooking, stir together ½ cup plain Greek yogurt, ½ cup low-fat milk (or milk of choice) , ⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese, a pinch of nutmeg, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
*This is the IMPORTANT step! To the yogurt mixture, slowly stir in spoonfuls of spinach until about half of the spinach mixture has been added. This helps temper the yogurt so it doesn't separate when cooking, and is a MUST for this recipe. Once you have added half the spinach to the yogurt, add the entire yogurt mixture back to the pan, and continue cooking on medium low until heated, or about 3-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and sprinkle with additional parmesan cheese if desired before serving.
- DON'T skip the tempering step outline above! This is a must when cooking with yogurt.
- If you want a little creamier, add ¼ cup more milk, yogurt, and parmesan cheese.
My yogurt came out all watery and chunky when I added it to the pan. What happened?
This is why I can't emphasize the tempering part enough. If you don't slowly bring the temperature of the yogurt up, you risk breaking it, which results in a watery, chunky, and totally unappealing mess. Don't skip this step, and continue cooking spinach over a lower heat to help prevent breaking.
Can I use fresh spinach?
Certainly! I used frozen for a budget-friendly and quicker recipe, but you can use fresh baby spinach instead if preferred. I would start with 1 pound of fresh spinach, and cook in the pan with the shallots and garlic. You will probably need to cook it in batches, as all of that spinach won't fit in the pan at once. Continue cooking the rest of the recipe as-is.
My spinach came out super watery. What went wrong?
Make sure you really thawed and drained your frozen spinach before adding to the pan. I usually thaw mine in the fridge overnight, and squeeze it in between my hands to remove all the water. If you find it is watery in the pan, just continue cooking without a lid until water is evaporated before continuing with the rest of the recipe.
Money-Saving Tips for this Healthy Creamed Spinach Recipe
Buy frozen. While you certainly can make this recipe with fresh spinach, using frozen is quicker and more economical.
Buy in bulk. Purchase items like Greek yogurt in bigger containers for a more cost-effective option. That is, only if you use and enjoy them, and the extra won't go to waste!
Chop yourself. Pre-chopped veggies are super convenient, but more expensive. If you have the time, chop your own garlic and shallots for a more affordable option.
more side dish recipes:
Did you make this recipe? Leave me a comment and a rating to let me know how it came out!