Friday, June 17, 2011

Popeye's Secret...Creamed Spinach

Creamed Spinach is a nutritious, yummy side dish that you can make ahead and freeze for your convenience.  I used to buy up the Green Giant version of Creamed Spinach like it was going out of style until I discovered how super fast & easy it is to make from scratch!  Here's how:


3 Packages Loose Leaf Spinach
2 Cups Milk
1 Stick Butter
1/2 C Flour
1/4 C Olive Oil
3 T Minced Garlic
1 t each Salt & Pepper

You will need 2 pots - one for the "Cream" and one to wilt the spinach.

Let's start with the "Cream."  First, melt the butter in your pot on med-high heat.  With a whisk, quickly add (and keep stirring) the flour - this is called making a roux and it will thicken any liquid added to it.  When the flour is well incorporated into the butter, add the milk.  Keep whisking and you will see the mixture thicken quickly.  Add salt & pepper.  When it's the consistency of gravy, take it off the heat and set aside.

For the Spinach.  In a large pot, add the Olive Oil and Garlic. Over medium heat, add a handful of spinach at a time.  As the spinach begins to wilt, add more until all of the spinach has wilted.

Finally, stir the "Cream" into the spinach and allow to cool.

I devised this ingenious way of spooning the Creamed Spinach into freezer bags!

Separate the mixture into three freezer bags, label and freeze for up to 1 year.  When you're ready to use it as your side dish, simply microwave for about 3 minutes in a microwave safe dish.

Fake-It Yourself Breakdown:

Homemade Creamed Spinach - 3 Family Sides (Fresh Spinach $5.07, Butter $0.67, other ingredients negligible)

Total Fake-It Yourself Cost:  $5.74

Green Giant Frozen Creamed Spinach ($2.39 Each)

Total Fake-It Yourself Savings:  $1.43


  1. I love creamed spinach. I think it's a great idea to freeze it.

  2. How long have you been able to freeze this? My hubby loves creamed spinach over dumplings, but I don't care for it. This would be a great thing to freeze for him while I'm on maternity leave.

    1. It should last at least 6 months in the freezer. Congratulations!

  3. Just a thought.......but why not use the boxes of frozen chopped spinach? They're less than $1.00/box. Just thaw and squeeze dry. Saute' your fresh garlic in olive oil for a minute or two, then stir into the spinach, add the cream and voila! - creamed spinach. You can then separate your batch into freezer bags and use as you suggested but it would be a much less expensive option than buying those bags of fresh spinach that you're just going to wilt and freeze anyway.

  4. Or, in the spring, grow your own spinach, or, go to a farmers market and by spinach in bulk.. prep, freeze until needed.


    I LOVE spinach... sadly, I'm the only one in my family...

    Hey, I wonder how a bit of Parmesan would taste sprinkled on top? (or, some cheese.. isn't there a cheesy/creamy creamed spinach?)

    In any case, GREAT recipe.. thanks for sharing!!!!


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