This amazing vegan creamed spinach recipe is not only easy to make, but you'd never know it was dairy-free! The perfect healthy side dish for the holidays.
Back with another healthy side dish for you and it's a good one! For our traditional Thanksgiving – i.e. Thanksgiving pre-covid – my grandmother always made creamed spinach as a side. It was something I would steer clear of because creamed vegetables in general were just NOT my jam.
But this year my tune has changed. Maybe it's the fact that I'll be missing spending Thanksgiving with my grandmother, or maybe I'm generally just warming up to the idea, but I decided we needed a healthy version of creamed spinach.
So today that's what you're getting. A healthy, dairy-free, vegan creamed spinach recipe that is an absolute breeze to make, is packed with flavor and 100% reminiscent of my grandmother's traditional recipe.
What You Need to Make This Recipe
I emailed my grandmother for her recipe and then adapted mine to be a bit healthier (and simpler). I think you're going to like this ingredient list!
- Frozen spinach: I wanted to maximize the size of this dish, so frozen is the way to go. It's also easier to handle because it's already cooked and chopped. You're going to get way more bang for your buck this way as well. Just make sure to thaw and drain before cooking!
- Garlic: sauteed garlic is one of the secrets to giving this a ton of flavor!
- Shallots: I like using shallots in recipes that have a more delicate flavor like this one because I find them to be a bit sweet and also more tender.
- Cashew cream: I'm full-on obsessed with cashew cream and have been using it so much in my recipes lately!
- Coconut yogurt: this is optional, but I love adding it to savory recipes (like my vegan mushroom stroganoff) because it adds creaminess and some tang. If you don't want to use it, use additional cashew cream and some lemon juice.
- Miso paste: a simple way to add umami flavor to your dish is with miso paste. It's fermented and tangy, but also salty and really helps to round out the flavor of this dish.
And then we just sprinkle in some salt & pepper!
How to Make Vegan Creamed Spinach from Scratch
This recipe couldn't be easier to make and that's one of the reasons why it makes such an awesome holiday side. The less amount of work the better!
STEP ONE: Thaw
Since we're using frozen spinach in this recipe, you'll want to thaw it as much as you can beforehand. And before you add it into the pan, just drain any excess liquid that collects in the bag/bowl.
STEP TWO: Saute
While the spinach is thawing, we'll saute the garlic and shallot. You're looking for the garlic to be golden brown and the shallot to be almost translucent. It should also be quite fragrant!
STEP THREE: Mix
The last step is the add the rest of your ingredients! I like to start with the spinach and make sure that it's full thawed and mixed in, and then add the cream, yogurt, and miso. The miso might take a little bit of time to dissolve, so just continue stirring until everything is fully incorporated.
A Healthy Spin on Creamed Spinach
A lot of people associate creamed vegetables with unhealthy and I get it. Do you really need heavy cream with your vegetables? Probably not.
But this particular version I'm happy to say is quite healthy!
- full of healthy fats from the cashews
- low in saturated fats
- lots of protein (6g per serving!)
- lots of fiber (3g per serving)
- low carb (9g per serving)
So to answer your question, YES! Creamed spinach can totally be healthy – especially when you make it dairy-free!
What To Serve with Vegan Creamed Spinach
I'll admit that creamed spinach is probably not something I will make much outside of the holidays, but it's the absolute perfect dish to serve at Thanksgiving. It's not only a great way to get greens into the spread, but it also pairs really nicely with other traditional thanksgiving recipes. It would pair well with our butternut squash quinoa risotto, easy quinoa stuffing, and maybe my famous vegan cornbread stuffing?!
What You Can Make with Creamed Spinach
The beauty of creamed spinach is that you can also use it for other recipes. Let's say you have some leftovers. Here's what I would make with my vegan creamed spinach:
And it's also delicious on top of a pizza which we made the other night! BUT – my guess is – if you are making this for Thanksgiving, there won't be any leftovers because it's that darn good!
More Healthy Holiday Side Dish recipes:
- One Pot Creamy Mushroom Quinoa
- Best Vegan Mashed Cauliflower
- Roasted Winter Vegetables: 3 Ways
- The Best Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad
- Kale Quinoa Salad with Pomegranates
Best Vegan Creamed Spinach
- Thaw the spinach and press out any excess liquid.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic and shallot and saute until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
- Once the garlic and shallots are cooked, add the spinach and saute until the spinach is warm. Stir in the remaining ingredients and continue to cook until the miso is fully dissolved.
- Season with salt and pepper, taste and adjust your seasonings if needed. Serve warm or allow to cool completely and reheat before serving.