German Style Creamed Spinach

This is my grandmother’s German style creamed spinach recipe. This comforting holiday side dish turns out so creamy and flavorful that you will want it even when the holidays pass. It’s delicious and can be on the table in less than ten minutes.

A spoonful of spinach held over a white bowl of it

My grandmother Bena was of German descent and this is one of the dishes she made. I could eat a whole pan of this creamy side dish. I could literally sit on the floor with a pan of this creamed spinach in my lap and shovel it in my mouth, smiling the whole time with my spinach-coated teeth.

I would put Popeye to shame.

It’s been a while since I’ve made this side dish, probably because of how much I would eat if I did. And oh, have I missed it!

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Helpful tips

  • I’ve only made this recipe using frozen spinach but it can also be made with fresh. Using fresh is a little more work because you need to cut the spinach. You also need to replace the water you would have gotten from defrosting the frozen spinach.
  • You will also have to cook it if you use fresh spinach. Add 1/8 – 1/4 cup water to the spinach and heat until wilted. Start with 1/8 cup and add more later if you find you need it in the roux.
  • Defrost frozen spinach by taking it out of the freezer one hour before you start the recipe. Unwrap the packages of spinach and place them in a medium saucepan so they defrost easily.
  • If you don’t want to wait the hour to defrost the spinach, just turn the heat on medium under the saucepan and heat until hot.
  • If you prefer, you can place spinach in a microwave safe bowl and cook for 1 – 2 minutes until hot.
  • Do NOT discard the water from the pan! You will need this to thin out the roux.
  • My grandmother used Crisco shortening and flour to make a roux, but I use butter and flour in this recipe.

Ingredients and substitutions

  • Spinach – frozen chopped spinach makes this dish quick and easy. You can use fresh spinach but you’ll have to chop it in medium-to-small pieces.
  • Butter – organic and grass-fed if I can get it. You can also use Crisco shortening or margarine, but I like pure butter since there aren’t any additives.
  • Flour – organic all-purpose white flour.
  • Salt – sea salt.

How to make German style creamed spinach

Pre-step

Take out frozen spinach at least an hour before you start the recipe. Unwrap the packages and dump the spinach in a medium saucepan. Do NOT discard the water that results from defrosting.

Add salt and set aside.

See helpful tips above for alternative defrosting methods.

Step one

Gather the ingredients – 2 packages frozen spinach, flour, butter and salt.

Frozen spinach for Bena's German style creamed spinich

Step two

Unwrap the spinach and place it in a medium saucepan, turn the heat to medium and bring it to a slight boil, Then lower it to a simmer.

Step three

Add butter to a medium sauté pan.

Butter in a pan and flour in the background

Step four

Turn the heat to medium under the butter. Once it melts, add the flour and use a whisk to combine them. Continue until the mixture browns and thickens.

You can see it bubbling away on the stove in the photo below.

Butter and flour made in a roux in a cast iron pan

Step five

Transfer the roux to the spinach and stir. Turn up the heat and bring to another light boil. Remove from heat and transfer spinach to a serving bowl.

A big white bowl of creamed spinach with fresh spinach in the background

Let’s see an old photo with the spinach playing its part by being the best side dish ever. On the plate with the spinach is roasted leg of lamb and mashed celery.

A white plate with spinach, mashed celery and lamb

Yum!

I hope you enjoyed this German style creamed spinach recipe! I certainly do!

And as always, may all your dishes be delish!

If you’ve tried this I’d love the hear what you thought about it in the comments below. I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM and PINTEREST  to see more of my delicious food and delightful cocktails!

A spoonful of creamed spinach

German Style Creamed Spinach

A creamy and delicious spinach side dish that can be on your table in less than 10 minutes!
5 from 18 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Side Dish
Keyword: creamed spinach, german creamed spinach, german style creamed spinach, spinach side dish
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 8 minutes
Servings: 3 cups
Calories: 275kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 packages spinach (I use frozen, but thaw them in a pan)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Unwrap spinach, transfer to saucepan and either let it thaw in the pan or turn the heat to medium low to help it along
  • Take a medium sauté pan and heat it on medium. Add butter and once it has melted, add flour and whisk it together until creamy
  • Salt the spinach and add the crisco/flour mixture until you like the consistency, the creamier the better
  • Transfer to a serving dish
  • Eat
  • Smile
  • Enjoy

Equipment

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Notes

Helpful Tips
  • I’ve only made this recipe using frozen spinach but it can also be made with fresh. Using fresh is a little more work because you need to cut the spinach. You also need to replace the water you would have gotten from defrosting the frozen spinach.
  • You will also have to cook it if you use fresh spinach. Add 1/8 – 1/4 cup water to the spinach and heat until wilted. Start with 1/8 cup and add more later if you find you need it in the roux.
  • Defrost frozen spinach by taking it out of the freezer one hour before you start the recipe. Unwrap the packages of spinach and place them in a medium saucepan so they defrost easily.
  • If you don’t want to wait the hour to defrost the spinach, just turn the heat on medium under the saucepan and heat until hot.
  • If you prefer, you can place spinach in a microwave safe bowl and cook for 1 – 2 minutes until hot.
  • Do NOT discard the water from the pan! You will need this to thin out the roux.
  • My grandmother used Crisco shortening and flour to make a roux, but I use butter and flour in this recipe.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 275kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 808mg | Potassium: 1079mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 18699IU | Vitamin C: 53mg | Calcium: 197mg | Iron: 6mg
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Originally published December of 2016.

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54 Comments

  1. Love a good family recipe! This spinach looks way better than what I cook up. I definitely think you should share Bena’s peas too!

  2. I am a huge fan of spinach, and could probably eat a whole pan of this, too! Sounds delicious!

    1. Hi Lisa,

      That’s awesome that you lived in Heidelberg! I wish I could live in a foreign country sometimes.

  3. Wow, this is almost exactly my German grandmother’s recipe. The only difference is that she kept stirring the shortening/flour mixture until it reached a rich golden brown color, then mixed into the spinach. Yum!

    1. Thanks for commenting Tracy!! It’s the best, isn’t it? Did your grandmother make the German style peas too? The spinach is my favorite, but the peas are a close second.

    2. Almost identical to my mother’s recipe. Only difference back the, she used shortening and not butter. My favorite recipe. She also stirred the flour/shortening until a golden brown. She made a rue.

      1. How fun!! My grandmother made it that way, Sharon and so does my sister. But I prefer butter myself. Thanks for your comment.

  4. Creamed Spinach is a must for the holidays! This looks so much like my mothers-in-law’s version. I’m totally craving a huge scoop of that right now! Yours looks so luscious and creamy!

  5. This is so easy and so good. I am going to add it to my holiday table this year. I’m guessing it will be a hit.

  6. I’m sure my wife will going to love this German style creamed spinach recipe so much. Looks really scrumptious. Thanks for sharing!

  7. OMG! This creamed spinach looks amazing! I can definitely see this being a great appetizer for the Holidays with crackers or tortillas.

  8. I’ve been making this recipe for years and I didn’t know it had a “German” origin. Well, it doesn’t matter where it started, all I know is that it ends deliciously in my tummy. A great recipe even for those who turn up their noses at spinach.

    1. Thanks Marisa! My grandmother used to call it German style . . . but I really don’t know the origin. I’m going to have to look that up!

  9. WOW! It looks really delicious! I never tried a German style spinach before, but sure my hubby will looove it (as he is half German)! Saving the recipe!

  10. I absolutely LOVE creamed spinach! This recipe looks so creamy and inviting. I want huge bowl of it right in front of me! So delicious!

  11. So simple and so delicious looking Elaine! This recipe went straight to my pinterest make-now board! Perfect for game day.

  12. I always look for healthy recipes especially when the new year is almost there. This creamed spinach fits my palate perfectly.

  13. Oooh that looks soooo good! Absolutely love creamed spinach. It’s so simple to make and so delicious! Love it with roasted meat, so yum!

  14. This looks delicious and a perfect addition to the holiday table! I love recipes handed down from generation to generation. My grandma was Polish and some of her recipes were just delicious. Hope you had a lovely break and wishing you a very happy New Year!

    1. Thanks Katerina! I wish I had more of my grandmother’s recipes but they are lost. And I wish you a happy New Year as well! 🙂

  15. 4 ingredients and a hearty bowl of creamed spinach is everything I could ask for! I love how this is a German style way of making it!