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This creamed spinach casserole recipe was handed down to me by my mother-in-law’s friend during a recipe exchange at my bridal shower, and we’re still enjoying the easy side dish 17 years later! Spinach Casserole combines spinach and cheese in a creamy sauce that starts with a can of cream of mushroom soup. Finish the dish with buttered breadcrumbs or crushed Ritz crackers, and serve it alongside a roast chicken, beef tenderloin, or holiday ham.

Overhead shot of serving spoon in a dish of spinach casserole.

Creamed Spinach Casserole

‘Tis the season for cozy, flavorful, and decadent side dish recipes, and this easy spinach casserole does not disappoint! The simple combination of spinach and cheese in a creamy sauce pairs well with a Thanksgiving turkey or Christmas ham, but it also goes nicely with grilled steak, fish, or chicken. The versatile veggie has been a staple on our menu for years and years, and I know that your family will love it, too!

Unlike other spinach casserole recipes that include eggs and are typically served for breakfast or brunch, this dish is egg-free, so it has a softer texture. Its consistency and flavor is exactly like a classic creamed spinach that you would enjoy at a traditional steakhouse. You get the added bonus of a buttery, crunchy topping and the convenience of a make-ahead dish that you can bake in the oven!

Squeezing spinach dry in a dish towel

Ingredients for Spinach Casserole with Cream of Mushroom Soup

This is a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for our favorite spinach casserole. As always, specific measurements and complete cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Frozen, chopped spinach: thawed, cooked and squeezed very dry to wring out as much moisture and excess water as possible. This will prevent the spinach from watering down the casserole.
  • Condensed cream of mushroom soup: the creamy base for the sauce that binds the casserole together.
  • Milk: to thin the cream sauce. You can substitute with heavy cream for an even richer dish.
  • Cheddar cheese: use a block of sharp cheddar that you grate by hand, since it melts smoother than the pre-shredded packaged cheese.
  • Sour cream: for extra flavor and a thick, creamy texture.
  • Butter: for both the filling and the topping.
  • Breadcrumbs or Ritz cracker crumbs: for a crunchy topping.
  • Salt and pepper: to enhance the other flavors in the dish.

Pouring milk into a saucepan.

How to Make Spinach Casserole

This easy version of creamed spinach is actually baked in the oven, rather than cooked in a skillet. The cheesy casserole is a great make-ahead, hands-off option when you don’t want to stand over the stove!

  1. Cook the spinach in the microwave according to the package instructions.
  2. Drain the spinach and squeeze it dry in a dish towel to make sure that you get out as much liquid as possible.
  3. Make the cream sauce by combining the condensed soup, milk, cheese, sour cream, melted butter, salt and pepper in a saucepan. Stir over low heat, just until the mixture is warmed through.
  4. Add the spinach to the cream sauce, transfer to a casserole dish that has been greased with cooking spray, and sprinkle buttered breadcrumbs or buttered cracker crumbs on top.
  5. Bake in a 350°F oven for about 30 minutes, and serve!

Adding topping to spinach casserole.

What to Serve with Spinach Cheese Casserole

This spinach casserole is perfect when paired with any of the following entrées:

Overhead shot of a dish of spinach casserole with crushed Ritz crackers on top.

Make Ahead

Assemble the casserole up to 2 days in advance, but do not add the topping. Cover and refrigerate until ready to bake.

When ready to bake the casserole, allow the dish to sit on the counter and come to room temperature for at least 30-60 minutes. Add the buttered breadcrumbs or crackers, then bake according to the recipe instructions.

Storage

Leftover spinach casserole will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. The topping may become soggy as it sits, though.

I do not recommend freezing this casserole. The spinach mixture may become watery when thawed.

How to Reheat Spinach Casserole

To reheat, place in a small baking dish and heat in a 325°F oven just until warmed through. Cover the top loosely with foil if it starts to get too brown.

Recipe Variations

  • Fresh spinach casserole: if you prefer to use fresh spinach, you will need a lot of the fresh leaves since fresh spinach wilts down significantly when cooked. One package (10 ounces) of frozen spinach leaves yields about 1 ½ cups after cooking. You’ll need about 1 ½ pounds of fresh spinach to equal 1 ½ cups after cooking. Therefore, for this recipe, you would need a total of about 3 pounds of fresh spinach.
  • Instead of the cheddar cheese, try using mozzarella, Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack or even Velveeta! A touch of Parmesan cheese would also be great.
  • Instead of cream of mushroom soup, try cream of celery soup, cream of chicken soup, or another similar flavor.
  • I like buttered Panko breadcrumbs or buttered Ritz cracker crumbs on top of this dish, but you can also substitute with buttered Corn Flakes cereal, buttered stuffing mix, or even slivered almonds.
  • Add a pinch of garlic powder to the cream sauce.
  • Sautéed mushrooms or onions would also be a delicious addition to the casserole.
Creamed spinach casserole recipe on a wooden table with a blue and white cloth napkin nearby.

Tips for the Best Spinach Casserole Recipe

  • Squeeze out as much liquid as possible from the spinach. This will prevent the casserole from becoming watery. Wrapping it in a dish towel works perfectly for this step.
  • Grate the cheese by hand, rather than purchasing a package of pre-shredded cheese. The hand-grated cheese melts smoother into the sauce.
  • Full-fat sour cream and whole milk or 2% milk yield the richest, creamiest, and most flavorful sauce.
  • Start with room temperature milk and sour cream, and warm them gently over very low heat. This will prevent curdling or separating.
  • Add a dash of nutmeg to the cream sauce — a classic component in many cream-based dishes.

Close overhead image of a pan of creamed spinach casserole on a wooden table.

More Spinach Recipes to Try

Overhead shot of serving spoon in a dish of spinach casserole.

Spinach Casserole

5 from 3 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
0 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings 4 - 6 servings
Calories 364 kcal
An easy side dish recipe that's perfect for holiday gatherings or simple weeknight meals!

Ingredients
  

  • 2 packages (9 or 10 ounces each) frozen, chopped spinach
  • ½ of a 10.5 ounce can of condensed cream of mushroom soup, NOT diluted (about ⅔ cup)
  • ¼ cup milk, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) grated cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted, plus additional butter for topping
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs or coarsely crushed Ritz crackers tossed with 1-2 tablespoons melted butter

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 1 ½-quart baking dish; set aside.
  • Cook spinach in microwave according to package instructions. Drain thoroughly by squeezing spinach tightly in a dish towel to wring out the extra liquid.
  • In a medium sauce pan over low heat, combine soup, milk, cheese, sour cream, melted butter, salt, and pepper. Stir until just warmed through and combined. Add spinach and mix well.
  • Transfer spinach mixture to the prepared baking dish. Top with buttered breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs.
  • Bake casserole, uncovered, for 30 minutes, or until heated through and golden brown on top.

Notes

  • Squeeze out as much liquid as possible from the spinach. This will prevent the casserole from becoming watery. Wrapping it in a dish towel works perfectly for this step.
  • Grate the cheese by hand, rather than purchasing a package of pre-shredded cheese. The hand-grated cheese melts smoother into the sauce.
  • Full-fat sour cream and whole milk or 2% milk yield the richest, creamiest, and most flavorful sauce.
  • Start with room temperature milk and sour cream, and warm them gently over very low heat. This will prevent curdling or separating.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/4 of the casseroleCalories: 364kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 16gFat: 26gSaturated Fat: 14gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 63mgSodium: 1034mgPotassium: 645mgFiber: 5gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 17274IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 463mgIron: 4mg
Keyword: baked creamed spinach, creamed spinach, creamed spinach casserole, spinach casserole
Course: Side
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan

This recipe was originally published in October, 2017. The photos were updated in November, 2021.

blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

  1. I often think of side dishes in relation to the holidays, too. It’s the best part of Thanksgiving! I love spinach, especially the creamed kind, but have never made my own before, as I’m picky about it! This sounds wonderful, Blair! I love the breadcrumbs on top!

  2. Hello.

    I laughed so hard when you said, ” Heck, even my three-year-old son (who acts like most vegetables might kill him) enjoyed the creamed spinach.” Lol. I too don’t like spinach. Maybe this recipe is my only hope. Thank you for sharing.

    1. True story, Susie! Spencer makes horrified faces whenever he sees an unrecognizable veggie on his plate. 🙂 This dish passed the 3-year-old test, though!

  3. This looks like the perfect side dish! I might have to try it out at our family dinner this weekend!

  4. Have you by any chance tried making this recipe with fresh spinach or do you think it may work? I struggle with the taste of frozen spinach but love fresh. My boys won’t touch the stuff!

    1. Hi, Stacy! No, I haven’t used fresh spinach in this dish. It would work fine, but it just wouldn’t be very practical (for me) because I would need SO MUCH fresh spinach wilted down in order to equal the amount of frozen spinach. The sheer volume of fresh spinach that you would have to chop and steam would be a ton, so I just go with the frozen every time.

      I will say, though — even my little boys who claim that they don’t like spinach, will eat this dish! 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    There’s nothing like those ‘old recipes’, and this one sounds super delicious! We plan to make this as a ‘side dish’ (for company) this coming weekend. We’ll be grilling Salmon Steaks. We’ll serve it all with a huge tossed Italian salad. Our guests will surely LOVE IT, but I already know that WE WILL.

  6. This looks delicious. I usually have a half container of spinach that goes to waste on any given week. Any chance you think I can sub fresh spinach somehow?

    1. Hi, Ellyn! Yes, you can definitely add in some fresh spinach too. I just wouldn’t try to do the whole casserole with only fresh spinach, because you would need such a HUGE volume of the fresh spinach in order to equal the amount of frozen chopped spinach called for in the recipe. If you’re just trying to use up some leftover fresh spinach in your fridge, I would cook it down (by wilting it for a couple of minutes in a skillet) and then just add that to the rest of the recipe ingredients (including the frozen spinach). Again, the fresh spinach will be such a small amount once it’s wilted down that it shouldn’t impact the rest of the recipe too much. Enjoy!

  7. This sounds so good! I was wondering if I grilled some onion and bacon could I add it to the mix(to jazz it up, plus anything with bacon is 10x’s better lol).

  8. Hi, Blair. This sounds delicious and I’m making it for Christmas dinner. Just wondering, have you ever tried putting this together the day before and then baking it the next day? If so, how did it turn out? Thanks!

    1. Hi, Jennifer! I’m making it for our Christmas dinner too! 🙂

      And yes — you can totally prepare it in advance (that’s what I’ll do). Just leave the topping off until you’re ready to bake it.

    1. Hi, Reyva! Yes, I think that you probably can, but I’ve never tried it so I wouldn’t be able to give you an exact amount to sub with. The beauty of frozen chopped spinach is that it condenses the volume of fresh spinach into a small package. If you use fresh spinach, you’ll need a HUGE amount. I did a Google search and found this information, which should be helpful for you in doing the frozen-fresh conversion: https://www.tasteofhome.com/cooking-tips/vegetables/how-much-spinach