Creamed spinach is one of those dishes that sounded a little old-fashioned to me even when I was a kid. We didn’t eat it at home, but my mom had a soft spot for it—as she did, and still does, for most classic comfort fare—and so I tasted it a few times when she ordered it at restaurants. I always loved it, which surprised me, since spinach is not my favorite green. If you make anything creamy enough, there’s a good chance I’ll eat it 🙂
This year, I got to thinking about a simple vegetable side that I could make for mom and me at Christmas. I always get a kick out of preparing dishes for her that I know she’ll love, and especially those that carry nostalgic appeal. Having never made creamed spinach before, I wasn’t sure how it would turn out—especially since I kept the recipe very, very simple. I’m happy to say that it turned out—well, maybe not perfectly, since I’m not exactly sure what a perfect creamed spinach is supposed to be—but really, really good.
The creamy texture here is all thanks to the magic of silken tofu. I love silken tofu as a means of adding richness to vegan recipes: it’s authentic, and it does the job of creating creaminess while simultaneously being low in fat and rich in protein. Along with anti-inflammatory soy isoflavones, calcium, and other nutrient richness.
My go-to Silken Tofu is Nasoya’s. I’ve relied on it for years in dressings, dips, vegan sour cream, soups, and more. It’s easy to blend, neutrally flavored, and silky smooth. In this recipe, it gets blended with lemon, garlic powder, salt, and some nutritional yeast, then poured into a hot pan of crispy shallots and chopped spinach.
At that point, you simply heat and stir, and voila—a wonderful batch of vegan creamed spinach. Perfect to serve as a side dish, but thick and rich enough to serve with toast points or wedges, as a warm dip.
And super party-friendly either way.
You could dress the recipe up with extra fried shallots or caramelized onions, hot, pan-fried bread crumbs, the addition of white beans or shredded vegan cheese—plenty of things. But for me, a lot of this recipe’s success lies in its simple, straightforward preparation, as well as the fact that it’s a nutritious spin on comfort spoon. Maybe you’ll try it along with me and my mom this Christmas?
Simple Vegan Creamed Spinach
- 1 16- ounce container Nasoya Organic Silken Tofu
- 2-3 tablespoons nutritional yeast (adjust based on how "cheesy" you'd like the creamed spinach to taste—for me, more nutritional yeast is always better!)
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 10- ounce or 1 16-ounce packages frozen, chopped spinach
- 2 teaspoons olive oil*
- 2 shallots, very thinly sliced
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Heat the frozen spinach according to package instructions. Press it firmly through a colander to remove as much moisture as you can. Set the spinach aside.
- Place the tofu, nutritional yeast, salt, garlic and onion powder, and lemon juice in a blender and blend till smooth.
- Heat the oil over medium in a large skillet. Add the shallots and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring often, or until they're gently browning. Add the spinach and the blended tofu mixture. Heat, stirring as you go, until the ingredients are mixed and warm through. Taste and add extra salt and/or freshly ground pepper to taste. Serve hot.
I love serving this with pita wedges (entertaining aside, it’s also a super nutritious and protein-rich snack), but I also served it with cauliflower steaks and quinoa pilaf last weekend, which was a nicely balanced, satisfying meal. A possible Christmas contender, too!
No matter how you choose to serve it, I hope you’ll enjoy it, either for the holidays or whenever a touch of culinary nostalgia comes calling.
And hope you enjoy the start to your weekend, too. Till Sunday, friends.
This post is sponsored by Nasoya. All opinions are my own, and I love this go-to brand of tofu and other creative soy products! Thanks for your support.