What are your favorite Thanksgiving foods? When Jack was growing up, his mom would always make her famous creamed spinach, so this year, I wanted to make a riff on her traditional recipe.
My new creamed spinach recipe is totally dairy-free – I use coconut milk instead of cream – and it’s filled with savory umami flavor and tons of fresh greens. It requires just 10 ingredients and less than 30 minutes to make…are you thinking what I’m thinking? Yup, creamed spinach is a new Thanksgiving tradition around here.
Best Creamed Spinach Recipe Ingredients
To make my spin on creamed spinach ultra flavorful, I used a few unconventional ingredients. Together, this combination of savory, fresh, creamy, and crunchy components yields the best creamed spinach recipe you’ll find:
- Coconut milk takes the place of cream. Not only does its rich texture make this side dish just as luscious and creamy as the traditional version, but its coconutty flavor adds a little sweetness. Dijon mustard and lemon give the creamy base a little tang, too.
- Shiitake mushrooms add a punch of umami flavor. They’re savory and hearty (not to mention super nutritious!), and they go perfectly with the coconut base.
- A full pound of spinach makes this recipe super green!
- And crispy fried shallots add the perfect crunchy contrast to the rich, creamy texture of the veggies & coconut milk.
This recipe would be a great choice if you’re cooking for someone who’s vegan or gluten-free. However, my meat-eating family devoured it all – it’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser for a group with any diet. Try it for Thanksgiving or make it as an side dish for any dinner. If you try it, let me know how it turns out for you in the comments!
If you love this creamed spinach recipe…
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound spinach (or mix of baby greens)
- 1 cup full fat coconut milk
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- Sea salt and fresh black pepper
- 3 shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon corn starch
- ½ cup canola oil for frying
- Sea salt
- In a large skillet, heat ½ tablespoon olive oil, add the spinach, a few pinches of salt, and cook until just wilted. (You may have to let some cook down before you can fit more into the pan, or add & remove it in batches - just don't overcook it). Turn off the heat, and place spinach in a colander to drain.
- Once it's cool to the touch, press out as much liquid as you can. And then press out some more. Don't skip this step or you will have watery creamed spinach.
- Make the fried shallots: In a separate smaller skillet, heat your fry oil. Toss shallots together with the cornstarch until they're fully coated. Test fry a shallot, making sure your oil is at the right temp (they should become golden brown in about 30 seconds). Fry the rest in batches, drain on paper towels and sprinkle with a few pinches of salt. Set aside.
- Whisk together the coconut milk, Dijon mustard, a pinch of salt, and corn starch. Set aside.
- Wipe out the skillet you used for the spinach and heat ½ tablespoon more oil. Add the chopped shallot, mushrooms, garlic, and pinches of salt and pepper, and cook for a few minutes, until soft. Squeeze lemon into the pan, give it a stir, and turn heat to low. Add half the coconut milk mixture and stir.
- Add the spinach back to the pan. Pour in the rest of the coconut milk mixture and stir just until the spinach and coconut milk are warmed through. (You want to cook the spinach as little as possible so it doesn't lose it's vibrant green color and become mushy). Remove from heat and pour into a serving platter.
- Top with the fried shallots just as you're ready to serve so they stay crispy.