Creamed Spinach with Bacon

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.

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


  • 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


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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  • Malebabo Khomoaleburu

    It looks delicious…


  • 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?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Betina, I don’t see why not. You’ll need about a cup cooked spinach to add in the last step.

  • 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!


  • Nahara

    I found this page yesterday while looking for some simple vegetables recipies & loved your page

    I decided to make this recipe today & it was delicious! My Dad loved it too. So easy to make too!

    I added a little bit of lime juice & the result was very nice, you should try it..


    Greetings from Mexico.


  • gwen

    I made this for my boyfriend, and he loved it… I was afraid he wouldn’t like it or that it wouldn’t be creamy enough, but it was very creamy. The bechamel took a while to thicken up, I turned the stove up to medium heat and that helped. And of course, what guy can refuse bacon?


  • cappy

    I made this recipe (creamed spinach with bacon) last night and it was delicious. I didn’t have fresh spinach so I used a bag of commercially frozen spinach, blanced and drained, and it turned out well. My family loved it.


  • 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!

  • Bill

    I recently found out that spinach is a great food for those suffering from inflamation. I tried it for a week and the inflamation in my legs is gone. The creamy spinach, however can cause problems with a film on your teeth.
    I have not tried it so I don’t really know how bad it is. I just love spinach with sauteed garlic and bacon. Cook the spinach for one minute in (3) bacon grease covered, then mix again and cover for another minute. Fantastic.

  • Jennifer

    This look gorgeous!

    Do you think it would work with skim milk?

  • Russell

    Since eating fresh spinach for the first time several (10+) years ago, I have rarely if ever ate frozen or canned spinach. This recipe looks like something I should try sometime.

    I agree with the suggestion made in another comment of using the rendered bacon fat for the roux. I realize this may not make a true bechamél in the traditional sense, but I would think using that instead would cover the salt content needed for the recipe as well as add a different flavor element to the dish.

    As for the nutmeg, I have seen Rachel Ray use it constantly with greens. For those who use it, what exactly does it add to the flavor of your greens? Is it similar to the idea of adding a dash of cayenne to a cheese sauce?

  • The Impecunious Gourmet

    If I were to use frozen spinach what amount would you recommend (ie what does 2 large bunches of spinach (sans thick white stalks) weigh after it has been blanched and drained? Fresh is relatively expensive here in Australia due to the long drought (& now the floods!) that I haven’t cooked a Palak Panir (our favourite spinach dish) or a spinach & ricotta quiche or crepes using fresh spinach for YEARS (I make my own ricotta, panir, pastry & crepes & buy my spices in bulk so that part of the meal cost next to nothing). Cheers.

  • myprivate

    I recently saw a pizza recipe that uses mozzarella and mushrooms with creamed spinach as a “base” on the dough. Could I use this this creamed spinach recipe here?

    Can’t see why not. ~Elise

    • Louise

      Best to bake the pizza dough without toppings first. The high heat for baking a pizza will burn the creamed spinach. Bake for about 10 minutes, then add the toppings. Continue to bake 10-15 minutes to get the spinach hot and to melt the cheese.

  • Andi

    This turned out fairly tasty, despite my mishaps with the bechamél. (I was doing well with the roux but everything went awry when I added the milk – I clearly need some more practice). But between the bacon and onions we ate every bite. Next time I’ll just be a little more patient with the sauce!

  • bonzi

    Ah, almost exactly like my personal recipe (I don’t sauté garlic, but squeeze it in a press and add it fresh to finished dish – I like strong, sharp taste and aroma it adds this way).

  • Eric

    Instead of making the roux with butter- why not use rendered bacon fat (maybe even add more bacon!) and add the flour, etc to that? More bacon flavor, and in the end, maybe a little less added fat. More bacon…. Yum!

  • michelle

    My mom’s recipe was similar……except she would saute garlic w/ the butter/oil before adding the flour (and no nutmeg or bacon). My favorite!

  • Julee

    I’ve never rally thought much of ceamed spinach though I love greens, but this recipe sounds so good. Im on a very specific diet though and I’m wondering if I could use turkey bacon and substitute the flour for whole wheat flour.

    Sure, why not? ~Elise

  • ejm

    We often have Indian-style spinach and cheese (palak paneer) but it never occurred to me to make creamed spinach with bacon and nutmeg! This sounds delicious.

    We like to skip the blanching step by generously salting just washed spinach, leaving it in a colander for around 30 minutes and then squeezing out the moisture. Just before adding it to whatever has spinach in it, we rinse the spinach to take away excess salt and then squeeze it out again to remove new excess water.


  • Emily

    Would this recipe work if I used skim milk or even 2% instead of whole?

    Yes, it would work fine. ~Elise