I am the first to admit that I am not the biggest fan of traditional creamed spinach.
People either love it or…meh. I’ve always been kind of meh about it. I love all the ingredients, but there’s something about hot, creamy greens that just doesn’t sound great to me. I know I’m not alone.
So! I decided to amp things up a bit. Add a little texture and some more interesting flavors to the mix. I give you Creamed Spinach Gratin with Crispy Onions! Yessss.
It starts with a fairly traditional creamed spinach base, with some extra cheesiness folded in. Then, it gets topped with more cheese, a crispy panko breadcrumb mixture, AND crispy fried onions. Yup, the ones from the can that we all know and love. No shame in my game, people.
The whole situation gets baked until hot, bubbly, and golden-crisp on the top. Swoon.
Now, THAT is a greens side dish I can get excited about.
Bonus, it’s pretty simple to make AND can be prepped ahead of time.
Ingredients You Need for Creamed Spinach Gratin with Crispy Onions:
- Defrosted frozen spinach
- Seasonings – salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, garlic salt, and ground nutmeg
- Heavy cream
- Parmesan and gruyere cheeses
- Panko breadcrumbs
- Store-bought crispy fried onions – yup, the ones from a can! They add amazing flavor and crunch to this dish.
How to Make Creamed Spinach Gratin with Crispy Onions:
- Start with the creamed spinach base by cooking onion, garlic, and seasonings until soft.
- Meanwhile, thoroughly squeeze all the excess water out of your defrosted spinach. This is very important! If your spinach is too wet, the texture of the final dish will be too soupy.
- Add some flour to your onion mixture and create a roux. Add your cream and milk and cook until thickened and creamy.
- Stir in the cheeses and defrosted spinach. Stir to combine and check your mixture for seasoning. Pour the mixture into a baking dish.
- Next, make your gratin topping by combining butter, olive oil, seasonings, and panko breadcrumbs.
- Top your creamed spinach with more gruyere cheese and the breadcrumb topping. Sprinkle over the crispy onions.
- Bake at 425°F until bubbly around the edges and golden-crisp on top.
- Serve while hot.
Tips & Tricks for this Creamed Spinach Gratin with Crispy Onions:
- To make ahead, make the creamed spinach and put in your baking dish. Mix together your breadcrumb topping but keep it separate from the spinach. Cover both and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Remove from the fridge about 30 minutes before baking. Top the spinach with the breadcrumb mixture and then bake as directed.
- Leftovers will keep, well wrapped in the fridge, for up to a week.
- I highly recommend using defrosted frozen spinach for this recipe (and any creamed spinach recipe, for that matter). It would take A LOT of fresh spinach to equal what you get in the frozen packages. It’s a money saver, time saver, and you don’t sacrifice any flavor!
- You can swap up the cheeses, if you prefer, but I think the gruyere and parmesan are perfect here. They add a salty nuttiness to the dish without overpowering the spinach. They also work wonderfully with all the onion flavor we have going on.
These are no ordinary greens. This side dish is oozing flavor and texture. It is creamed spinach on another level, and I am here for it.Print
This Creamed Spinach Gratin with Crispy Onions is anything but your standard, boring dish of creamed spinach. It’s cheesy and topped with an amazing crunchy crust of panko and crispy fried onions! Make this as a side dish for your holiday dinner and it just might steal the show. It’s so darn good and the tastiest way to get in your greens!
For the Creamed Spinach:
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 3/4 cups milk (2% or whole works best)
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup grated gruyere cheese
- 3 (10-oz) packages of frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the Topping:
- 1/2 cup grated gruyere cheese
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup store-bought crispy fried onions
For the Spinach:
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat.
- Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, or until it is beginning to soften.
Stir in the garlic, red pepper flakes, and nutmeg and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle the flour over the onion mixture and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute to get rid of any raw flour taste.
- Slowly stream in the heavy cream and milk, whisking the entire time to incorporate. Bring to just below a simmer, stirring frequently, and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the milk and cream have thickened.
- Stir in the parmesan and gruyere cheeses until they are melted.
- Make sure your spinach is completely defrosted and squeezed dry of excess water. Add the spinach to the cream sauce and stir just to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Carefully transfer the mixture to a buttered baking dish.
For the Topping:
- Sprinkle the gruyere cheese over the top of the creamed spinach in the dish.
- In a bowl, combine the melted butter, olive oil, garlic powder, panko breadcrumbs, and salt. Toss to combine or until the breadcrumbs are evenly coated in the butter.
- Sprinkle the panko all over the top of the gruyere cheese. Sprinkle the crispy onions over top of the panko.
- Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the top is golden and crisp and the edges are bubbly.
- Allow to cool slightly before serving.
Adapted from here.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Category: side dishes
Keywords: creamed spinach gratin, the best creamed spinach, creamed spinach gratin with crispy onions, cheesy creamed spinach gratin