Skinny Creamed Spinach

When I first started going out to “nicer” restaurants after college, it was almost always to steakhouses. I really have no idea why – don’t get me wrong, I like steak, but not enough that it warranted going to a steakhouse every time I wanted to splurge on a meal. Anyway, it was at those steakhouses that I was introduced to creamed spinach. I don’t remember ever having had it while I was growing up, but I was inexplicably obsessed with it during this period. I suspect it was mostly because I felt like I had to order a vegetable (that’s what adults do, right?) and the one drowned in butter, cheese, and heavy cream seemed like the best option!

And just like eating at steakhouses was mostly a passing phase, so was creamed spinach. I can’t recall having ever ordered it at another restaurant, and I’d never made it myself until I came upon this recipe. One of the reasons I’d avoided making it at home was because it’s so indulgent; I was immediately intrigued by the idea of a lightened up version.

Skinny Creamed Spinach

It’s certainly not the most photogenic dish I’ve ever made, but you guys, this creamed spinach is good stuff! And get this – you only need 4 ingredients to make it, it seriously couldn’t be easier. There’s no butter or heavy cream either, the cheesy sauce is made with low-fat milk and Boursin cheese. Unlike in restaurant versions where the spinach is swimming in and overwhelmed by sauce, this dish features a rich, flavorful sauce that coats the spinach, but still allows it to be the star. Each serving is just over 100 calories too so it’s completely guilt-free!

Is spinach a thing on Thanksgiving? Is it one of the side dishes on your table? We’ve never had it, but I think it might be time to start a new tradition! My plate will already be piled high with sides, but there’s always room for one more :)

PS – Last day to enter the Keep It Sweet Desserts giveaway, head on over and check it out if you haven’t already!

Skinny Creamed Spinach
from Comfort Food Makeovers by America’s Test Kitchen

{Note: do not substitute baby spinach in this recipe, it will not work.}

1/4 cup water
3 (10 oz) bags curly-leaf spinach, stems removed and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup low-fat milk (2% preferred)
4 oz (1/2 cup) Boursin garlic and herb cheese

Set a Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add the water. When the pan is warm, add the spinach, a little at a time, and cook for about 1 minute, or until completely wilted, glossy, and tender. Transfer the spinach to a strainer and firmly press to remove the excess liquid (remove as much as you can).

Wipe the Dutch oven with paper towels to dry it out. Set the pot over medium heat and add the milk, then whisk in the Boursin cheese. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until this sauce is slightly thickened – it shouldn’t take long, just a minute or two once it reaches a simmer. Remove the pan from the heat and add the spinach, and stir until coated with the sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then serve.

Serves 4