Creamed spinach is a steakhouse favorite side dish that pairs perfectly with any good cut of beef. This recipe is the one made famous by Lawry’s.
My mom has been making Lawry’s Creamed Spinach for Christmas dinner, to go with our prime rib, ever since I can remember. She got the recipe from a little spiral-bound cookbook called, Ford Treasury of Favorite Recipes from Famous Eating Places, published in 1959.
I remember reading that little cookbook as a kid, mostly for the illustrations, which I thought intriguing. When I worked for a British prime rib restaurant in the 80’s, creamed spinach was again the main accompaniment to our prime rib dinners. It was always our most popular side dish! We served Creamed Corn as well. It also goes great with Leg of Lamb or Ham.
This Creamed Spinach is downright sinful, it’s so good. I’ve adjusted and simplified the recipe for the modern cook. The only change I’ve made, is to add 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg, which is an integral component in béchamel, is an excellent companion to spinach, giving it that certain, je ne sais quoi. No matter how much of this creamed spinach we make, it’s never enough.
I’ll hit the fridge for it the next morning and bypass the beef! Make it the day before and reheat if you want to have a fuss-free dinner. It tastes even better the next day!
How to make creamed spinach.
Dice the onions and bacon.
Chop cooked spinach. Use frozen chopped spinach to save a step. Don’t forget to defrost before chopping…of course. A pound looks like a TON of spinach…but you know how spinach cooks down.
Sauté the bacon, onions and chopped spinach. Make the cream sauce in a separate pan. It takes just a few minutes. The cream sauce contains 2 Tablespoons of flour, you can totally substitute gluten free flour with no difference in flavor.
Add the cream sauce to the bacon and spinach.
Give the whole batch a few quick pulses in the food processor to get that “Lawry’s” look.
Lawry's Prime Rib restaurant's creamy spinach recipe from the 50s!
Blanch spinach in batches by cooking it in salted, boiling water for a few seconds, then plunging it in ice water to stop the cooking. (To save time, use frozen, chopped spinach!)
Squeeze out excess liquid and chop.
In a medium-sized skillet over medium heat, saute bacon 2 or 3 minutes. Add diced onion and continue to cook until onion is translucent another 3 or 4 minutes. Add garlic, spinach and seasonings and cook another minute.
In a medium saucepan, heat butter until melted. Add flour, stirring with a spoon until flour is incorporated and begins to turn slightly golden, about 2 minutes. Whisk in milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook until sauce begins to thicken about 3 minutes.
Add cream sauce to the spinach mixture.
In a food processor pulse spinach 3 or 4 times. It should retain its texture. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
Can be made a day ahead of time.