Parmesan Creamed Spinach (Ruth’s Chris Creamed Spinach copycat recipe)

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Parmesan Creamed Spinach - the perfect side to a beef roast or steak dinner

It is currently week two of San Diego Restaurant week.  During week one, we had dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in Del Mar and were served an amazing creamed spinach casserole as a side dish, and I thought this would be a great new way to prepare spinach – something different from the spinach sauteed with garlic and olive oil that I normally do.

I found a few recipes online for Ruth’s Chris Creamed Spinach – however, I felt that there were a few strange ingredients listed (like cloves?) and not enough other seasonings to give a good flavor.  I’ve had the dish at Ruth’s Chris… and looking at the bland ingredients… it just didn’t seem right.  (I’m sure the actual recipe is secret, so there must be a few things they are leaving out).  I tweaked the recipe a bit and added Parmesan cheese and nutmeg to increase the flavor.   I also prefer to use unsalted butter – it’s much easier to add salt if needed than potentially start with too much salt.

As it stands, this parmesan creamed spinach makes a wonderful accompaniment to a prime rib roast or steak dinner.  The best part about this dish is that it can be prepared ahead of time and reheated just before serving – which makes it a perfect choice for dinner parties or holiday dinners.  Enjoy!

Parmesan Creamed Spinach:

1 pound fresh baby spinach leaves (16 oz.)

  • 1 lb. baby spinach
  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter
  • 1 large shallot, chopped (or 1/3 c. chopped red onion)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg (& extra for sprinkling)
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 2 c. milk
  • 1 c. grated Parmesan cheese

1.  Microwave the spinach in a large bowl for 4-5 minutes.

2.  Allow to cool, squeeze out the water, and roughly chop.

3.  In a large saute pan (or use a wok, like I did here… hee hee!), melt the butter.

4.  Add the chopped shallot, bay leaf, salt, and nutmeg.  Saute the shallot over medium heat for about 2 minutes (when the shallot becomes translucent).

5.  Stir in the flour to create a roux, and cook for about 1 minute until the mixture is uniform with no lumps.

6.  Slowly add the milk, while stirring to incorporate the roux.

7.  Cook and stir the milk mixture to a gentle boil and the mixture thickens.

8.  Remove the bay leaf.  Turn off the heat, and stir in 3/4 c. Parmesan cheese.  (Reserve 1/4 cup Parmesan for the topping.)

9.  Stir in the chopped spinach, and mix together until combined well.  Pour the mixture into a large casserole dish, and top with the remaining 1/4 c. Parmesan cheese, and a sprinkle of extra nutmeg (optional).  Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.

10.  You can store this in the refrigerator (covered) for up to a day in advance at this point.  Otherwise, you can bake immediately.

11.  To heat, bring the casserole to room temperature first, then bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes until hot and bubbly.  If you plan to bake this immediately (instead of refrigerating overnight), then it will be done after 10-15 minutes in the oven.

Comments

  1. Sherry H. says:

    This. Was. Amazing. Served it for my husband, my mother, MIL, and FIL, with Prime rib and twice baked potatoes for Christmas dinner today, 12/25/2014. Followed the recipe to a tee. Made it the day before, let reach room temperature-ish before baking 25 minutes at 350. The prime rib was cooked perfectly, and still- everyone raved about this creamed spinach! My 17 month old even ate a good bit of it! Hubby and I have had it at Ruth’s Chris, and we both thought it was a dead ringer. I tried the other recipe online for Christmas dinner last year (the one that calls for cloves) and it was “okay” but THIS, this recipe is a keeper!! Thank you so much for posting!

  2. Ashley says:

    In your recipe, you state 1/2 cup butter, but in the picture you used what looks like 1/2 stick of butter. I followed the recipe and used 1/2 cup (which is 1 whole stick) and it was too much, i had to double the flour and milk.

    • Mika Mika says:

      The recipe says 1/2 cup, which is 1 stick… and that’s what is shown in the photo. You can adjust the amount of butter if you think it is too much, but I think it turns out better if you use the entire stick. But feel free to adjust according to your likes/dislikes.

      UPDATE: I just read an article about the shape difference in West Coast vs. East Coast butter sticks… East Coast sticks are long and thin, West Coast sticks are short and fat – both are 1/2 cup. When I first read your comment, I didn’t understand what you were seeing, because the photo looks exactly like a stick of butter (1/2 cup) to me… but if you are used to the long and narrow East Coast sticks of butter, then I can understand the confusion. **I can confirm that I use 1/2 c. of butter in this recipe.**

    • Jackie says:

      It may a Costco stick of butter, which are a bit shorter and thicker than grocery store models. IDK, but I can’t wait to try!

  3. Amanda says:

    I love Ruth’s Chris creamed spinach. But I think I love yours more. I’ve been looking for awhile for something as good (or better) than theirs. I didn’t have any shallots, so I used a sweet onion and garlic and topped it with some seasoned bread crumbs in addition to the Parmesan. I made this tonight and had my 14 yr old son try a bite. He snatched the fork out of my hands and started shoveling it in from the pan. I had to guide him away so that we would have some left for supper. Thanks for a great recipe.

  4. Cary says:

    How many serving do you think this does? Our dinner is for 20 and I have problem making 2 if needed.

    • Mika Mika says:

      Probably about 4-5 side dish servings. If you are having many other side dishes available, then people probably don’t need a full serving, and you could get away with just doubling the recipe. If this is a main side dish, you may want to triple or quadruple.

      • Kathie says:

        This is a true keeper! Just made it for the second time and couldn’t be more pleased with end result. Added artichoke hearts for more volume; the best sauce I’ve ever made! Thank you!

  5. Marilyn Flores says:

    Hello I will be making this tonight and I can not wait. I just have one question. When you microwave the spinach do you add water?

  6. Heidi says:

    Way too much sauce for only one pound of spinach. You show a large dish in your photo and one pound of spinach only fills a small casserole dish. Should the recipe call for more spinach?

    • Mika Mika says:

      Did you actually make the recipe before deciding there is “too much sauce”? I make the recipe exactly as written all of the time, and no, there is not too much sauce in my opinion. Keep in mind this is a “creamed spinach” recipe… NOT a “spinach with cream sauce recipe”. I use 1 lb. of spinach leaves… if you are buying pre-washed bags of spinach, keep in mind many of those are only 6 or 8 oz…
      And the “small casserole dish” you are referring to in my pictures is actually a 9″ X 12″ pyrex dish.

  7. Suzi says:

    Wonderimg if you can use frozen spinach? If yes how many bags? Can u use heavy cream instead of milk?Also do you just sprinkle rest of parm cheese b 4 going in oven? Thx so much!

    • Mika Mika says:

      I’m sure you can… check the oz or lb. measurement on the bag and substitute equal amounts. Just make sure you defrost and drain out the excess moisture first. And yes, sprinkle the remaining 1/4 c. parmesan over the top before baking.

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