This Asiago Creamed Spinach is a creamy delicious side dish that pairs well with just about anything.
Sauteed sweet shallots, garlic, and fresh spinach are coated with a creamy asiago cheese sauce creating the perfect side dish.
If you are looking for more easy side dishes you might want to try this Cacio e Pepe Casserole, Kohlrabi Fries, Roasted Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad, Provel Macaroni and Cheese, Kale and Apple Salad or this Grilled Marinated Bok Choy.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Asiago Creamed Spinach is so with just a couple of ingredients and a ten-minute cook time.
- This is one of my family's favorite sides and a delicious way to get our toddler to eat some creamy spinach.
You will need the following ingredients to make this rich and creamy Asiago Creamed Spinach.
Red Pepper Flakes: Just a pinch of red pepper flakes adds a little heat. Feel free to skip this ingredient if you do not like spicy food.
Heavy Cream or Heavy Whipping Cream: Don't try to substitute milk it won't be as creamy.
Cream Cheese: Full-fat cream cheese is preferred. Cream cheese adds just a hint of tang and helps to thicken the sauce.
Fresh Baby Spinach: This recipe can be made with fresh or thawed frozen chopped spinach. It may seem like this recipe uses a ton of spinach but as it cooks spinach wilts to a fraction of its original volume.
Do you love spinach? Try this Spinach Pesto
Lemon Juice: A splash of acidic lemon juice just before serving helps to brighten the flavor of the dish.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
Substitutions and Variations
Butter: If you don't want to use butter you could substitute an equal amount of olive oil.
Shallots: If you don't have shallots you could substitute an equal amount of yellow onion.
Asiago Cheese: Asiago is creamier than Parmesan cheese and also has a slightly nutty-salty flavor. If you can't find Asiago cheese you can substitute Parmesan cheese or Pecorino Romano cheese.
Step by Step Directions
Step 1: In a large pot or large skillet, melt the butter over medium-low heat.
Add the shallots and saute for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften. Do not let them brown.
Add the chopped garlic and red pepper flakes and saute for an additional minute until the garlic becomes fragrant.
Step 2: Slowly pour in the heavy cream and add the cream cheese. Stir until the cream cheese has melted. I use a spoon to break the cream cheese into smaller pieces to help it melt faster. The cream cheese should take about 8 minutes to melt.
Step 3: Add the Asiago cheese and nutmeg. Stir to combine.
Step 4: Stir in the spinach breaking up any clumps of spinach.
Tip: Depending on the size of your pan you may need to add the spinach in batches. As the spinach cooks it will shrink allowing you to add additional spinach.
Step 5: Let the spinach cook for 2-3 minutes until it is heated through.
Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Sprinkle with additional Asiago cheese and a splash of lemon juice.
While technically a side dish you could also serve this easy creamed spinach recipe as a delicious spinach dip alongside some crackers and fresh vegetables.
Frequently Asked Questions
For this recipe yes. There is a lot of excess liquid in frozen spinach. It is important to thaw and squeeze all of the extra moisture out of the spinach before adding it to the recipe.
If you are making a different recipe that won't be affected by additional moisture then you can probably skip thawing the spinach first.
Frozen spinach can be thawed in the refrigerator overnight. If you need to defrost the spinach quicker, remove the spinach from the box and place it in a microwave-safe container. Heat on high for one minute and then stir. Continue heating for one-minute increments stirring in between until the spinach is completely thawed.
I wouldn't canned spinach tends to have more sodium which might make this recipe too salty.
Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days.
Freezing creamed spinach is not recommended as it may cause the cream to split.
Reheat in a saucepan on the stove. You may need to add an additional splash of cream.
- If using frozen spinach, you will want to defrost the spinach and then squeeze out as much excess water as you can. If you want to you can use a paper towel to blot away the extra moisture. If you don't the sauce will become watery.
- Don't try to use additional milk instead of heavy cream. Milk is more likely to separate and won't give you the same creamy consistency.
- Don't use pre-shredded cheese shred your own. Shredded cheese often has additives that can prohibit melting and make the sauce clumpy.
- For a looser consistency, add a little more heavy cream.
- For some extra crunch, saute panko bread crumbs in a little butter and sprinkle them on top of the dish before serving.
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Asiago Creamed Spinach
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup finely chopped shallot about 1 large shallot
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 ounces softened cream cheese
- ½ cup Asiago cheese grated
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 12 ounces of baby spinach
- lemon juice for serving
- In a large pot or large saucepan, melt the 2 tablespoons unsalted butter over medium-low heat.
- Add the ½ cup finely chopped shallot and sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften. Do not let them brown.
- Add the chopped 2 garlic cloves and 1 pinch of red pepper flakes and sauté for an additional minute until the garlic becomes fragrant.
- Slowly pour in the 1 cup heavy cream and add the 4 ounces softened cream cheese. Stir until the cream cheese has melted. I use a spoon to break the cream cheese into smaller pieces to help it melt faster. The cream cheese should take about 8 minutes to melt.
- Add the ½ cup Asiago cheese and ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg. Stir to combine.
- Stir in the 12 ounces of baby spinach breaking up any clumps of spinach.
- Let the spinach cook for 6 minutes until it is heated through.
- Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- Sprinkle with additional Asiago cheese and a splash of lemon juice.
- Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days.
- Freezing creamed spinach is not recommended as it may cause the cream to split.
- Reheat in a saucepan on the stove. You may need to add an additional splash of cream.