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Steakhouse Creamed Spinach (Lawry’s copycat)

Steakhouse creamed spinach is smooth and creamy with a hint of sweet, salty and smoky flavor from the bacon. Sauteed with onions and garlic, this incredibly easy one-skillet restaurant-quality recipe is the perfect side to a nice juicy steak made right at home!

Need more ideas for what to serve along side your meal? Find all the SIDE DISH recipes you need here!

With the world being as it is today, everyone is eating at home more often. So why not bring restaurant classics to our own kitchens?! Our steakhouse pan-seared steak is a great option but you also need great steakhouse quality sides like this easy creamed spinach, creamed corn, and of course a Yorkshire pudding!

serving bowl of creamed spinach

This creamed spinach with bacon is subtle and elegant as any side to a juicy prime rib should be, but it’s made with simple ingredients with very little time an effort. It has the potential to be fancy but also a simple comfort side dish.

Lawry’s The Prime Rib is an upscale restaurant in Beverly Hills, CA. Famous for their prime rib (obviously), this creamed spinach recipe is an adaptation to Lawry’s creamed spinach. Each steakhouse has its own unique spin, so I am also sharing how to create a version similar to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and Morton’s Steakhouse. They are all delicious easy creamed spinach sides and so simple and easy to recreate at home!

ingredients to make spinach copycat

Ingredients and Substitutions you can use for Lawry’s Copycat Spinach Recipe

  • Frozen Spinach – This recipe uses frozen spinach because I find it easier to work with and it’s cheaper. It can absolutely be made with fresh spinach too and I’ll share how below.
  • Bacon– I use the thin slices versus the thick-cut because you want the flavor of the bacon but not a thick piece in this recipe.
  • Onions – Minced fine. You can also use 2-3 shallots in place of an onion.
  • Garlic – Minced fine or zested.
  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt – I used Lawry’s Seasoned Salt but any table salt will do.
  • Ground black pepper – Freshly ground if you have it.
  • Nutmeg – The secret ingredient to getting the signature home-style warmth that really brings out the creamy flavor
  • Milk– Whole milk works great but you can sub heavy cream for an even more decadent side dish.

How to Make Creamed Spinach

  • It is absolutely possible to get creamy spinach from frozen spinach. In fact, it may just be the best way! Start by thawing your spinach and then squeezing all the water out. If you don’t, you’ll end up with watered-down spinach which can get soggy (and not in the good creamy kind of way), and also the flavor will be diluted. So, once it’s drained, chop the spinach into fine pieces and set aside.
  • In a small skillet or saucepan saute the bacon until crisp. Once it’s nicely crisped, remove the bacon and set it aside on a side plate to cool before finely chopping it. Save the bacon fat in the skillet.
  • Add onions and garlic to the skillet and saute in the bacon fat until the onion is translucent. Then, add the flour, seasoned salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Whisk together until well combined.
  • Slowly add the milk in while continuing to whisk consistently. You want a smooth consistency, so try and get rid of any lumps. Once all of the milk is in, continue to cook until the entire mixture begins to thicken.
  • If you need to turn up the heat to high you can, but don’t go anywhere. You need to keep an eye on it in case the milk starts to bubble. In this case, turn the heat down a little to stop the milk from boiling over.
  • Once it has thickened, add the chopped spinach and bacon into the skillet and stir to combine. Leave on the heat for a few minutes just so that the spinach is heated through.
  • Serve immediately!
dinner plate with prime rib, potatoes and spinach
Creamed Spinach with Prime Rib

Tips for Making Restaurant Quality Spinach at Home

  • Use a pan/skillet that will eventually hold everything to avoid doing tons of dishes. The entire recipe can be made in one pan!
  • Using the thinner bacon means the bacon will cook more quickly. Be sure and stay close to avoid it burning. You can turn the heat down if it’s browning too quickly.
  • Save those bacon drippings to cook the onion. No added fat and you get all the bacon flavors imparted throughout everything.
  • Chop the onions super fine, you’ll get the flavor of the onions, but not big pieces.
  • I love zesting garlic using this microplane (affiliate). It keeps the garlic nice and thin so there are no big overwhelming flavors in one bite. It works on lemon zest, nutmeg, cinnamon, parmesan cheese, and chocolate. I use it almost daily!
  • The flour acts as a thickener for the milk but you’ll want to cook it for a couple of minutes to let the nutty flavor really come out. Then slowly add the milk while whisking to break up the lumps.
  • Once it thickens, add the spinach and bacon to reheat just before serving.

Can I use fresh spinach instead of frozen spinach? 

Yes, absolutely! This easy creamed spinach can be made with either fresh or frozen spinach.

How to prepare fresh spinach to use in place of frozen spinach

  • Use 2 ½ pounds fresh spinach for 1 pound of frozen. 
  • To prepare the fresh spinach bring a pot of water to boil along with 1 teaspoon of salt.
  • Once boiling, add the spinach and cook for 1 minute, then drain the water by pouring spinach and water into a colander in the sink. 
  • Run cold water over spinach until it is cool enough to handle, then press all water out of it. 
  • Once all the water has been removed, chop finely and use as called for in the recipe.

Morton’s Steakhouse Creamed Spinach Variation

For Morton’s style spinach, you’ll eliminate the bacon and saute the onion and garlic in butter instead of the bacon fat. When you add the spinach into the thickened milk mixture you’ll add ½ cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese to stir in. You can also top with parmesan.

Ruth’s Chris Creamed Spinach at home

For Ruth’s Chris recipe omit the bacon and saute the onion and garlic in butter instead. Also, omit the nutmeg and use ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper for a little heat. (Many of their recipes have a Louisianna influence.) The rest of the recipe is the same.

I don’t know about you, but all of these versions sound AMAZING. It’s probably a good idea to make all of them. You know, for testing’s sake 🙂

More Restaurant Style Recipes you might enjoy 

pinterest image with creamed spinach

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Yield: 10

Steakhouse Creamed Spinach

serving plate of creamed spinach

Steakhouse creamed spinach is smooth and creamy with a hint of sweet, salty, and smoky flavor from the bacon. Sauteed with onions and garlic, this incredibly easy one-skillet restaurant-quality recipe is the perfect side to a nice juicy steak made right at home!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 bags Frozen Spinach (about 20 ounces) see notes if using fresh
  • 4 Slices regular thickness bacon
  • 1 small onion, minced fine
  • 2 cloves garlic, zested or minced very fine
  • 2 Tablespoons All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Lawry's Seasoned Salt (or table salt)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon fresh black pepper ground finely
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • 2 Cups Whole Milk (or heavy cream)

Instructions

  1. Thaw spinach and squeeze out all water. Then chop finely and set aside.
  2. In a small skillet or saucepan that is large enough to eventually hold the spinach and the milk mixture, you'll turn the heat to medium-high. Saute bacon until crisp. Once crisp, remove the bacon to a side plate to cool, then chop finely and set aside. Save the bacon fat in the skillet.
  3. In the pan with the bacon fat add the onions and garlic and saute until the onion is translucent about 5 minutes. Then add the flour, seasoned salt, pepper and nutmeg. Using a whisk stir until well combined.
  4. Once combined, slowly add the milk in while continuously whisking to eliminate lumps. Once all of the milk is in you'll continue to cook until the milk mixture starts to thicken. About 7-9 minutes. You can increase the heat to high, but you must stay right with the pan, and if the milk starts to bubble to high, reduce the heat a little to stop the milk from boiling over.
  5. Once the milk is thickened add back in the chopped spinach and bacon and stir to combine. Heat for 3-5 minutes to reheat the spinach.
  6. Serve immediately.

Notes

If using fresh spinach you'll need to buy 2.5 pounds of it. Bring a pot of water to a boil with 1 teaspoon salt. Add spinach and remove after 1 minute to a colander to be able to strain. Run cold water over the top to cool it enough you can touch it, then squeeze out all of the water and chop it finely. Set aside --

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 61Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 251mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 0gSugar: 3gProtein: 3g

This recipe was calculated using the exact brands and measurements I used to make this recipe. If you are following a strict diet please note changing anything will cause the nutritional info to change. Please calculate your own nutritional information if you want it exact to what you make and use my calculations as a guide only.

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