This Creamed Spinach with Crispy Crunchy Topping is a smooth, creamy and decadent way to enjoy fresh baby spinach with a gorgeously golden butter cracker topping to amplify that crunch factor. It’s a comforting side dish recipe that’s an easy make-ahead to serve for Thanksgiving, Christmas or any time in between.
2 cups finely crushed butter crackers (like Ritz), about 2 sleeves
¼ cup melted butter
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp garlic powder
pinch of kosher salt
cracked black pepper
2 lbs fresh spinach (or 4 – 9 oz packages)
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 shallots, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup heavy whipping cream
4 oz cream cheese, cubed, room temp
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
¼ tsp nutmeg
cracked black pepper, to taste
kosher salt, to taste
- Make cracker topping: Preheat the oven to 400 F. Crush cracker crumbs in a food processor or plastic bag. Transfer to a bowl and mix with melted butter, grated cheese, garlic powder, kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste. Transfer to a small sheet pan and bake for 5-10 minutes, or until golden brown and crunchy. Reserve for topping spinach.
- Blanch spinach: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and blanch the spinach for 1 minute. Remove spinach, drain and squeeze out all excess water. Blot dry with a paper towel and roughly chop.
- Saute aromatics: In a medium saute pan set over medium heat, add butter. Once melted, add in shallots and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until translucent. Stir in garlic and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Make cream sauce: Whisk in the heavy whipping cream, cream cheese cubes, grated cheese, nutmeg, a few turns of cracked black pepper and a heavy pinch of kosher salt. Whisk together until smooth and melted, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add spinach and thicken: Add in the spinach and stir together. Cook on medium-low for 5-10 minutes, or until the spinach has creamed together. If spinach is too thick, add in a bit more cream and taste test for salt and pepper.
- Finish with topping: Transfer to a serving bowl. Top with crunchy topping before serving.
Cracker Topping: Prepare as directed. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Blanched Spinach: Prep as directed. Store in a plastic storage bag or airtight container with a few layers of paper towels. The spinach will keep in the fridge for 5-7 days.
Cream Sauce: Make the cream sauce, but do not add the spinach. Cool completely and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Reheat: Warm the cream sauce in a saucepot set over medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent it from burning. Add the spinach and simmer until thickened to your liking. Toast the butter cracker topping on a baking sheet in a 350-degree oven for 5-10 minutes, or until crispy. Serve, sprinkle and enjoy!
Keywords: easy, butter crackers, holiday