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 Famous Creamed Spinach
- 1 pound baby spinach (You can substitute frozen spinach)
- 4 slices of bacon diced
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 medium onion diced fine
- 3/4 teaspoon Lawry's seasoned salt
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 Tablespoons flour
- 1 cup milk
- 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.
Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious says
Melissa@ Melissa's Southern Style Kitchen says
Cynthia, I love old cookbooks. Sharing this today. ☺
Terry Hamilton says
John and I will be doing this for Thanksgiving. I love it!
Excellent Terry! Hope you like it!
Heidy L. McCallum says
One of my favorite recipes! Glad to see it again! I adore vintage recipes!
Joanne T Ferguson says
G’day! Love creamed spinach! Reminds me of a dish from childhood!
peter jacjie washburne says
washburne catering we have used this sinach for our guest for 25 years #1
Peter, I agree, it’s the best!
Mary Palmer says
If using frozen chopped spinach …how many packages would you use for this recipe?
Good question Mary, I find with fresh spinach it cooks down so much! I would probably use a pound of frozen, which might end up being more than a pound of fresh. It’s so good, though, you won’t mind having leftovers!
cindy lamantia says
Being married in the 1950’s, my parent’s had a very small home wedding, just my grandparents, aunts, and great grandmothers. For their wedding dinner my mom’s parents took everyone to Lawry’s the Primerib Restaurant. My parents made that their anniversary destination throughout their 60 years together. I still remember the first time my brothers and I were included. At the time it was considered a very fancy restaurant. When I tasted that creamed spinach I thought I had died and gone to heaven! Years later, when Lawry’s opened their California Kitchen, my mom bought a book of Lawry’s recipes…and we’ve been making that creamed spinach for many years. In that recipe it calls for 2 10oz. boxes of frozen spinach. I have made it with fresh and frozen…I find frozen much eaiser to work with when cooking for a large group.
What a wonderful story! I worked in an English restaurant for many years and this was incredibly popular…maybe so many memories attached to the flavor! I agree with the frozen spinach! I’ve made it both ways and you can certainly make a LOT more using frozen spinach.
A pound is a pound no matter whether fresh or frozen. Sheesh
but is it? a bag of frozen spinach might weigh 16 ounces, but how much of that is ice? Regardless, an ounce or two on either side won’t affect the recipe.
Lori Micheli says
Hi- if I plan to make this a day ahead, what is the best way to re-heat?
Hi Laurie, you can make it a day ahead and heat it covered in a low oven until warm.
This looks absolutely delicious, I love it!
This was the only way I liked spinach as a kid– gotta make this!
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What do you do with the bacon grease? Has anyone tried a double batch? I salted the water I boiled the Spinach with the Lawry’s seasoned salt. I’m going to cook the bacon to be crunchy and drain the grease then add the Onion…
I use the bacon grease to saute the onions. I like to add the seasoning at the end because some bacon is saltier than others.
Connie Kenealy says
this is the correct recipe for Lawry’s creamed spinach direct from the site.
Lawry’s Famous Creamed Spinach
Prep Time 20 min Cook Time 20 min Total Time 40 min Servings: 4 -6
Lawry’s Prime Rib restaurant’s creamy spinach.
2 pkgs. (10 oz. each) frozen chopped spinach, thawed
4 slices of bacon diced
2 clove of garlic
1 small onion minced
2 T flour
1 teaspoon Lawry’s seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
2 cup milk
Drain spinach well and squeeze out excess moisture with hands; chop finely and set aside. Fry bacon in heavy skillet until crisp; remove, drain and chop. Sauté onion and garlic in bacon drippings; add flour, Seasoned Salt and pepper and blend thoroughly. Slowly add milk, stirring constantly until thickened. Add spinach and bacon; heat.
As you can tell by the photo in my post, I got the recipe directly from an old cookbook from the 50s. That recipe was from Lawry’s. I’m sure that in subsequent years it was updated for frozen spinach,(which you can see I included as an alternative to fresh).
Michael T Spoehr says
Using this recipe for Valentine’s day dinner. Thanks friend.
Awesome Michael! So rich and delicious! I’m going to come up with a Keto version!
Lisa Henderson says
Just went last night in I saw some little brownish yellowish round seed-like things in the spinach. Could it be mustard seeds?
Hi Lisa, sorry i’m just responding. I was in Europe for 2 weeks. I’m not sure what the yellowish things were on your spinach…Maybe the spinach sprouted?
Yuletime Carole says
Lived in Southern Calif in the early 70’s, just married. Got to go to this FANTASTIC restaurant, Gullivers Prime Rib. Sadly, no longer in business. They ONLY served Prime Rib! Their creamed corn & creamed spinach side dishes – and the Yorkshire pudding – were to die for! This recipe is the closest I’ve gotten to that heavenly dish! THANK YOU SO MUCH! Every year for Solstice I do this traditional dinner. Usually have at least 10 guests for dinner – one year had 18. This year, with COVID, it’ll just be us 2, but I’m making up plates of left overs to take to friends & elderly who won’t be able to enjoy with us this year.
I’m so glad I found this recipe, my past creamed spinach recipes just never made the cut. This one does!
Yes, the English restaurant I worked at in the 80s served the same menu! I think you’ll love it!
I followed all steps. It’s perfection.
Thank you Alex!
t. mindlin says
Delicious! I used turky bacon–still really good– I might even add a fifth piece next time!
I tossed the stemed spinach and the others all into the food processer and mixed it all
So glad you liked it and that the turkey bacon was a good substitute. thank you!
Nancy McPhee says
So glad to find this recipe again. Its the best.
I’m glad you found it too! It’s a family favorite!
Loved the texture and the taste. Best thing on my plate.
so glad! Thank you!
Great Recipe! Mom had this book when I was a kid too. Poured over every recipe and location aplanning to visit every spot when ‘I grew up’. I only got to one I think as most were long gone. Still have the book.
Love it! I still have mine too!