Creamed Spinach with Bacon

Side DishSpinachVegetables

Love spinach? So do we! This easy side dish is made with BACON and a creamy béchamel sauce. This makes a great side with roast chicken, seared fish, or a holiday dinner.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

If you’ve been reading this site for a while you’ll know that we are big spinach fans here. We get spinach fresh from the farmers market every Saturday morning, and it disappears quickly.

Here is a creamed spinach dish that my father made for dinner the other night inspired from a recipe he found in the Sacramento Bee.

Creamy Sauce without the Cream!

The spinach gets its creaminess from a béchamel sauce based on a flour and butter roux. There’s actually no cream in the spinach, it uses milk instead.

The bacon adds wonderful flavor, but you can easily skip it if you are so inclined.

How to Make Creamed Spinach with Bacon

How to Clean Fresh Spinach

If you are using fresh mature spinach (not cleaned baby spinach), you’ll need to clean it thoroughly.

Cut off the thick stems of the spinach and discard. Clean the spinach by filling up your sink with water and soaking the spinach to loosen any sand or dirt. Drain the spinach and then repeat soaking and draining.

More Great Recipes with Spinach!

Updated November 16, 2018 : We spiffed up this post a little to make it sparkle! No changes to the recipe.

Creamed Spinach with Bacon Recipe

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  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

If you are using fresh mature spinach (not cleaned baby spinach), you'll need to clean it thoroughly. Cut off the thick stems of the spinach and discard. Clean the spinach by filling up your sink with water and soaking the spinach to loosen any sand or dirt. Drain the spinach and then repeat soaking and draining.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh spinach, about 2 large bunches, thoroughly cleaned
  • 3 to 4 strips of bacon, uncooked, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped (about 1 teaspoon)
  • A pinch of nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the béchamel cream sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk

Method

1 Blanch and chop the spinach: Blanch the spinach in a pot of boiling water until the spinach is wilted, about 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water to stop the spinach from cooking further.

Squeeze the spinach to remove all the moisture possible. Chop the spinach and set aside.

2 Sauté the bacon, onions, garlic: Heat a large skillet on medium high. Add the chopped bacon and sauté until the bacon begins to render some of its fat.

Add the chopped onion and garlic. Sauté until onions are translucent.

3 Make the béchamel sauce: Melt the butter in a small saucepan on medium/low heat until it just starts to bubble. Add the flour and cook, stirring until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Slowly add the milk, whisking continuously, cooking until thick.

4 Finish the dish and serve: Combine spinach, bacon and onion mixture, and béchamel sauce into one pan. Add nutmeg, salt, and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer, remove from heat and serve.

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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21 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Cindy

    It was absolutely amazing…this will always be my way of making spinach from now on .

  • Betina

    Don’t have fresh spinach. Can canned spinach be used?

  • Lee

    Pretty good but needs a little tweaking. Better to brown the bacon more before adding onion and garlic; the bacon was not cooked to my liking but had to take it off because the onions were getting too dark. I would up picking up some of the fattier pieces out since they were still a bit rubbery. Would have been helpful if the recipe had specified *lean* bacon. Also, a cup of milk turned out to be a bit soupy; 1/2 or 3/4 cup would have done. Not bad overall but will make changes next time.

  • Kristen Kennedy

    With a grilled steak, this meal rivals any you’ll find at a steak house. It’s so delicious you’ll forget how good it is for you!

  • GaNeane

    I’ve never really liked creamed spinach. Makes me think of school cafeterias…THANK YOU for changing my mind! This was DELICIOUS!! The only thing I changed was I used mace instead of nutmeg because I didn’t realize I was out of nutmeg!

    xxxxxyyyyy

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