Clove

Better Than Creamed Spinach with Yogurt

by:
March  7, 2010
4 Stars
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

When I remember eating spinach as a child, it was always creamy and delicious. It is a steakhouse favorite and ranks at the top of the comfort food list. Here is my take on creamed spinach without the fat laden cream. I sub greek yogurt (my new favorite ingredient) which results in the same delicious creaminess without all of the guilt! —Plum Pie

Test Kitchen Notes

"This is a good recipe. The flavors of the onion, garlic, chili and tomato are subtle but definitely present and the Greek yogurt lends a lovely creaminess without being decadent. The recipe doesn't specify whether or not to seed the pepper: I did, but I would leave the seeds in if you're looking to really taste the spice. Sprinkling just a little bit of coarse sea salt, black pepper, and organic sugar over the finished dish made me love it just a little bit more, and maybe I can eat more spinach than most people, but I think this amount realistically only serves 1-2 people." –WinnieAb

"When I think about weeknight side dishes, I tend to forget about spinach, that vitamin-packed super vegetable that is rendered delicious with the addition of a little cream, bacon or what have you. But my new favorite spinach dish is Better Than Creamed Spinach Spinach, which combines the heft of the green with the savory kick of onion and a slightly-decadent addition of Greek yogurt–and provides an exciting little tang to offset your vegetable’s shrubbery-y vim.

People, take some advice from mother. As soon as you arrive home from work, get that onion going in the pan before you take your coat off, before you ponder your protein, before you answer the question, 'What is that water all over the floor of the basement?' Your onions will benefit from a nice sauté, and as such, so will your spinach.

Next comes your pepper, which is optional (a dash of red pepper flakes will also do) and your garlic, then a bit later, some tomato paste. You now have a happy, flavorful allium bed on which your spinach may now settle down, probably in batches unless you have a big-ass pan.

When it is all cooked up nicely, add the yogurt one tablespoon at a time until it has the consistency you crave. Tell someone to bring you plates. Hopefully you’ve got some chicken or something to serve with this." –Jestei

—The Editors

  • Cook time 15 minutes
  • Serves 2
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red chile or jalepeno, diced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 12 ounces of fresh spinach (two 6-oz bag)
  • 1/2 teaspoon flour
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 garlic clove, diced
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy pan.
  2. Add half of a yellow onion that has been diced. Saute until translucent, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add diced chile/jalapeno and saute for 1 minute. Add diced garlic clove.
  4. Add 1/2 tablespoon tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Add spinach in 3 batches. Cook spinach until it wilts and then add next batch until all 3 batches have wilted.
  6. While spinach cooks, mix 1/2 teaspoon flour with the greek yogurt until smooth. When spinach has wilted, mix greek yogurt into the spinach. Cook 1 minute. Season to taste and serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Leigh
    Leigh
  • Adrienne Lopata
    Adrienne Lopata
  • JHuggins
    JHuggins
  • Caroline Cooks
    Caroline Cooks
  • erinrae
    erinrae

26 Reviews

Leigh February 3, 2021
It's just kinda......... sour but not in a way that is good for my taste buds. And upon as gently a reheating as I could manage, it became wet. Sour spinach in a puddle of curdled yogurt. I very rarely throw out food, and I love all the ingredients! Just not together unfortunately. I think I'll stop looking for creamed greens shortcuts. It takes less time to make a little bechamel that it does for the greens to cook. But I might see how some lemon zest works, flavor but not sourness.
 
Leigh February 3, 2021
please delete this comment, it is a duplicate.

guys, I'm so sorry, there was an error in submitting.
 
Leigh February 3, 2021
It's just kinda......... sour but not in a way that is good for my taste buds. And upon as gently a reheating as I could manage, it became wet. Sour spinach in a puddle of curdled yogurt. I very rarely throw out food, and I love all the ingredients! Just not together unfortunately. I think I'll stop looking for creamed greens shortcuts. It takes less time to make a little bechamel that it does for the greens to cook. But I might see how some lemon zest works, flavor but not sourness.
 
Leigh February 3, 2021
please delete this comment, it is a duplicate.
 
Leigh February 3, 2021
It's just kinda......... sour but not in a way that is good for my taste buds. And upon as gently a reheating as I could manage, it became wet. Sour spinach in a puddle of curdled yogurt. I very rarely throw out food, and I love all the ingredients! Just not together unfortunately. I think I'll stop looking for creamed greens shortcuts. It takes less time to make a little bechamel that it does for the greens to cook.
 
witloof June 3, 2020
I was looking at two bunches of spinach and wondering what to do with them when I remembered reading this recipe, had a hazy memory, and just decided to wing it. I wound up sautéing some garlic in olive oil, adding the spinach, then when it was wilted pushing it to the side of the pan and adding a heaping spoonful of tomato paste and cooking it for a minute or two until it started to brown. I took the pan off the heat, added a big blob of Greek yogurt, salt, and pepper, and stirred. Even though this was a highly simplified version it was delicious!
 
Adrienne L. May 13, 2018
So tasty! I subbed in red pepper flakes and sour cream for the chile and yogurt, and it turned out great. Definitely will make this again!
 
Natalie R. October 16, 2016
Just made this, and my Greek yogurt also curdled, although I'm not skilled at tempering. I attempted to use a 10 oz package of frozen spinach, which by weight is the correct conversion. It came out a bit too wet. If you try to use frozen, thaw and squeeze it to remove excess liquid. I think it would be fine that way. The flavors in this are alright overall - not underwhelming and not so complex that you can't use it as a base for added herbs, etc. I ate it with ground beef patties mixed with lots (like 1/2 cup per lb) of fresh oregano, 1/8 cup fresh thyme, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. The spinach was a nice bed and complemented it well.

Thanks for making this recipe!
 
Lola January 5, 2016
It's ok and fairly quick and easy, since the ingredients were all in my pantry.
 
JHuggins March 11, 2015
I made this last night, and I am sorry to say that it is NOT better than creamed spinach. It is different, and it is fine, but it's not better. Just my and my family's opinions.
 
Caroline C. September 29, 2014
Awesome, loved it. Great way to use a lot of greens from the CSA box. I added some kale.
 
dinaofdoom August 22, 2014
wondering if an alternative would work, like arrowroot powder, for those of us who don't/can't partake of flour.
 
erinrae November 27, 2013
Brilliant! I made this with salmon broiled with a dijon rosemary crust--it was fantastic! So easy, and so much lighter than the traditional version.
 
Sabine G. August 17, 2013
LOVED this recipe! Thank you for sharing! I took note from the other reviews and tempered my yogurt with spinach before adding. I also let the yogurt sit at room temperature for 30 minutes so it would not be super cold. This recipe was so easy and delicious. My husband absolutely loved it and it's a great side for many dishes!
 
Cranky50guy July 7, 2013
Good recipe but I wish it included temperatures. That last minute is tricky and the difference between curds and whey and cream sauce!
 
aword June 11, 2013
Loved it, but I'm wondering about the amount of spinach? I made a half-recipe and stopped at adding ~4oz. It was A LOT for the amount of yogurt this recipe calls for. (Even adding less, mine did not turn out with nearly the amount of sauce pictured.)

Even so, I can't wait to make this again! I used 0% Fage Greek Yogurt and per aimeebama's comment, tempered the yogurt with some hot spinach before adding it to the pan. I also removed the pan from heat before adding the yogurt. No curdling!

I served it with grated parm, black pepper and crushed red pepper on top. One of my new favorite ways to eat spinach!
 
Mike L. March 24, 2013
I'm gonna try with Dinosaur Kale and add some bits of crispy bacon bits.
 
Pat B. March 19, 2013
Great recipe. I finished mine off with a dusting of grated Parmesan and some parsley to make it look good.

Might I inquire why I have to expand the comments by A&M and the author? Seems like you would want everyone to see what you have to say up front!
 
Christina D. March 18, 2013
my yogurt curdled.
 
Author Comment
Plum P. March 18, 2013
Hmm - did you mix the flour with the yogurt until smooth before adding to the spinach?
 
Christina D. March 18, 2013
yup. i'm still eating it....just sayin'!
 
Samantha.chu March 22, 2013
Not sure if you used Greek yogurt, but I used regular yogurt and mine also curdled even after mixing flour until smooth. Don't want to waste nutritious food so I'm still eating mine as well. :)
 
aimeebama April 24, 2013
I used the high-fat Greek yogurt and I tempered it before combining everything : a little hot spinach added to the bowl of flour/yogurt, then a little bit more, then I dumped the whole thing into the pan and no curdling.
 
aimeebama April 24, 2013
Also, for tomato paste I just used ketchup (less hassle) and the final result was super-delicious.
 
nagem March 18, 2013
I think the word "flour" is missing from step 6. This recipe sounds great, though. Trying it out as soon as the garden gives me my first batch of spinach.
 
Duygu A. March 18, 2013
This is exactly how we make spinach in Turkey traditionally. We also use purslane for the same recipe. And as a dressing plain yogurt (not strained) with minced garlic in it. Sprinkling red pepper and dried mint on top of the yogurt gives it a great flavor and look.