You'd never guess this luscious creamed spinach was totally vegan! Loaded with flavor, easy to make, and totally dairy-free, it makes a great side for everything from holidays to weeknight dinners.
Creamed spinach was one of my guilty pleasures growing up. It was a favorite side dish from a chain restaurant that shall remain nameless. Whenever my family ate there I had to construct a meal out of sides, but I didn't mind, as long as I could get some creamed spinach!
It just recently occurred to me that creamed spinach would be super easy to veganize. Well it was, and it was just as delicious as I remember!
What You'll Need
- Vegan butter
- All-purpose flour
- Fresh spinach
- Coconut milk (full-fat, from a can!)
- Vegetable broth
- White wine vinegar
- Cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper
- Fresh scallions or chives (totally optional, for serving)
How to Make Vegan Creamed Spinach
The following is a detailed photo tutorial. Scroll to the bottom of this page if you'd prefer to skip right to the recipe.
- Melt your butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Once the butter is hot and bubbly, add diced onion. Cook it for a few minutes, stirring frequently until it softens up a bit. Now add some minced garlic and cook it with the onion for a minute or so more.
- Begin sprinkling in some flour, just a bit at a time. Stir it in to form a paste that coats the onion. Cook everything for about 1 minute.
- Slowly start stirring in the coconut milk. Add just a bit at a time to avoid lumps forming.
- Stir in the vegetable broth.
- Begin adding chopped spinach, stirring in a handful at a time.
- Add more spinach as each handful wilts. Keep going until all the spinach has been added. Now stir in some white wine vinegar, along with a pinch of nutmeg and cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes.
- Let everything simmer for a few minutes, until the spinach is fully wilted and the sauce is nice and thick.
Season your vegan creamed spinach with some salt and pepper. I also like to top mine with scallions or chives. A sprinkle of vegan Parmesan would be nice as well.
Serve and watch it disappear!
Vegan Creamed Spinach Tips & FAQ
- Can this dish be made gluten-free? I haven't tried making a gluten-free version, but I suspect an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend would work.
- Leftovers & storage: Leftover vegan creamed spinach will keep in the fridge for about 3 days, or in the freezer for 3 months.
- Can this dish be made with frozen spinach? Probably, but I haven't tried, so no promises! If you'd like to try it, I'd keep the amount of spinach the same (12 ounces), thaw it, and be sure to squeeze out as much liquid as you can before adding it to the sauce.
- Does this dish taste like coconut? Not to me, but if you hate the taste of coconut you might want to try another non-dairy milk. Stick with something that's pretty rich and unsweetened. Cashew milk would probably work well.
Vegan Creamed Spinach
You'd never guess this luscious creamed spinach was totally vegan! Loaded with flavor, easy to make, and totally free from dairy, it makes a great side for everything from holidays to weeknight dinners.
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup full-fat coconut milk (from a can)
- ¼ cup vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 12 ounces fresh spinach, very finely chopped
- Pinch nutmeg
- Pinch cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Chopped scallions or chives (for serving, optional)
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
Once the butter is melted and bubbling, add the onion. Cook the onion for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent.
Stir in the garlic. Continue cooking and stirring until the garlic becomes very fragrant, about 1 minute.
Begin sprinkling in the flour, a bit at a time, stirring between each addition to form a paste that coats the onions.
Once all of the flour has been added, begin stirring in the coconut milk, a bit at a time. Continue until all of the coconut milk has been added and incorporated with the flour.
Stir in the broth and vinegar.
Begin stirring in the spinach, a handful at a time. Let each handful wilt before adding the next. Stir in the nutmeg and cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes.
Bring the liquid to a boil, lower the heat and let the mixture simmer for 7 to 8 minutes, until the sauce is thick and the spinach is tender.
Remove the skillet from heat and season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
Divide onto plates and serve. Optionally top each serving with scallions or chives.