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Creamed Spinach with Croutons Finished in Platter

Creamed Spinach with Croutons

This Creamed Spinach with Croutons is way better than any steakhouse side you’ve ever had! Perfect for your next holiday or special occasion meal, or any weeknight for that matter, this recipe is a simple yet elegant vegetable side dish that can be made mostly in advance, with little effort. And, if I do say so myself, the Croutons make this dish! Not only to they make it a bit rustic, they add leaps-and-bounds in both flavor and texture to the finished product. You are going to have to trust me on this one!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine French
Servings 8 servings


For the Croutons:

  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp granulated garlic or garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3-1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3-4 cups day-old Italian bread, cut into ¾ to 1-inch cubes (about 3 to 4 slices)

For the Creamed Spinach:

  • 2 Tbsp salt for water
  • 2 1/2 pounds baby spinach (See NOTE about regular spinach.)
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • To taste salt and black pepper


  • Gather and prep all ingredients according to specifications above.
  • Bring a large pot (5 to 6 quarts) of water to a boil.⁠
  • Meanwhile, make the croutons: Mix spices together in large bowl and set it aside. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add bread cubes to pan, toss them with oil to coat, then spread them out into a single layer in skillet. Brown bread cubes, rotating and browning on multiple sides. Do this in batches, if necessary. Transfer crispy fried bread to bowl with the spice mixture. Toss quickly so that croutons are well coated in mixture. Then, place croutons on a paper towel in a single layer to drain. You can make these croutons 3 to 4 hours in advance and hold them, uncovered, at room temperature.
  • Once the water comes to a boil, add salt, then the baby spinach and stir. Do this in batches if necessary. The baby spinach will only take 1 to 2 minutes to wilt. Once wilted, immediately remove all spinach from the pot using a colander or spider and transfer it to a separate bowl, squeezing out as much liquid as possible. (See NOTE below about shocking the spinach in ice water.)
  • While waiting for the water to boil, melt the butter in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-low heat, the add the garlic and sauté until it becomes fragrant and lightly browned.
  • Add the blanched and drained spinach to the butter and garlic and stir it to coat. Increase the heat to medium/medium-high and let any residual water evaporate, stirring regularly.
  • Then, sprinkle the flour evenly over the spinach and stir well. Add the cream and stir again. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer the spinach for about 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cream has reduced a bit and thickened. Season lightly to taste with salt and pepper, keeping in mind that the croutons have already been salted.
  • Remove the Creamed Spinach from heat and transfer it to a serving bowl. Top with croutons and place the extra croutons on the side for all that want more! Buon Appetito!


  • If you prefer to use regular (not baby) spinach in this recipe, you may need to purchase slightly more than 2 ½ pounds to account for some of the stems that will need to be trimmed.
  • The spinach can be blanched and held in the refrigerator for a couple of days before sautéing it. If you plan on doing this, immediately immerse the blanched spinach in a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process and retain its beautiful green color. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible, then place it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
  • While I really encourage you to use fresh spinach for this recipe, you can use thawed frozen whole or cut leaf spinach in a pinch if necessary. (Do not use frozen chopped spinach as the texture will not be appealing.) Fully defrost the frozen spinach, then squeeze out as much liquid as possible. You will need about 3 ½ cups thawed, drained spinach for this recipe.
  • The Creamed Spinach can be made up to two days in advance and held in an airtight container in the refrigerator. However, the Croutons should be made on the day that it will be served. To reheat the Creamed Spinach, place it in a pan with a bit of water and heat it slowly, covered, over low heat, stirring occasionally until heated. Alternatively, placed the Creamed Spinach in a baking dish with a little water and cover it with foil. Heat it in a 350°F oven for about 15 to 20 minutes or until heated through.
  • Leftover Creamed Spinach can be held in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
Recipe by Mangia With Michele. Please visit my site for more great cooking inspiration!
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