Lightened up Creamed Spinach

Lightened up Creamed Spinach

A creamy blend of sautéed onions, pepper jack cheese, and milk, this lightened up creamed spinach makes the perfect side dish. Bring this steak house staple to your kitchen table in just twenty quick minutes. Pairs wonderfully with filets (hence the steak house favorite), pork and chicken. 

Every Thanksgiving growing up, my mom made Spinach Madeleine from the Junior League of Baton Rouge River Road Recipes Cookbook. If you’re from Louisiana, you’ll know that this cookbook is pretty much the Encyclopedia for Creole & Cajun cuisine. Forget about the turkey & homemade gravy or the oyster stuffing, Spinach Madeleine was always the most coveted dish at our Thanksgivings. Everyone would ask for the recipe. I continued the tradition and have made this meal for my husband’s family for several years now. The dish is a hit in North Carolina as well!

As yummy as Spinach Madeleine is, it is not the cleanest recipe (think Velveta Cheese, Evaporated milk…you get the picture). In taking inspiration from this amazing dish, I wanted to come up with a lightened up creamed spinach to whip up on a weeknight a long side a simple protein. The results were just as delicious without the heaviness and cream overload. I actually prefer this healthier version and plan to make it this Thanksgiving. 

How to lighten up a traditional creamed spinach

  • Sub milk for cream or evaporated milk. Use 2% milk for the healthiest option. I would not use nonfat.
  • Cut the butter in half. I used 2 tbsp, just enough to saute the onions in.
  • Find a good quality cheese to add texture & flavor (I used pepper jack). This well help to thicken the consistency and give your dish an extra kick. You won’t miss the cream at all!

Lightened up Creamed Spinach

August 4, 2019
: 5 min
: 15 min
: 20 min
: Easy


  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • 16 oz bag frozen chopped spinach (cooked according to directions)
  • 1 1/2 cups of 2% milk
  • 1/4 cup reserved spinach liquid,3 oz pepper jack cheese, cubed (about 1/3 of a standard 8oz. block of cheese). Can substitute cheese of your preference.
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • Salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
  • Step 1 Melt 2 tbsp. butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.
  • Step 2 Add in the diced onions, and cook until transluscent.
  • Step 3 Sprinkle the tablespoon of flour over the onion and butter mixture, stirring until well blended.
  • Step 4 Cook the spinach according to directions (I used the microwave)
  • Step 5 Drain the spinach, reserving 1/4 cup of the liquid.
  • Step 6 Add in the frozen spinach and stir.
  • Step 7 Add in the cubed cheese, and allow to melt. Stir to combine.
  • Step 8 Pour in the milk & 1/4 cup reserved spinach liquid and stir for 30 seconds to avoid any lumps.
  • Step 9 Add the Worcestershire, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
  • Step 10 Reduce the heat to low and cook for 15-20 minutes.