Spinach Béchamel, spinach stirred in a thick and luscious white sauce, a perfect side in spring.
Spinach in Bechamel Sauce
This Spinach Béchamel makes one of my favorite side dishes. It is tasty and has that comfort feature that we all love when it comes to food.
Spinach in white sauce is something that my aunt Geta cooks often and it is in her house that I have tasted it for the first time. My aunt Geta is my second greatest source of Romanian recipes you will find on this blog.
First of all my grandmother of course. I grew up on her cooking and I managed to get most of her recipes before she got too old and too sick to remember them. But if I ever miss a recipe I always turn to Geta, she knows all of them and even if she might have changed some of them to suit her family’s taste or because she is slightly more adventurous in the kitchen than my grandma ever was, the principles are the same.
And as a bonus: she loves to bake, and baking is something my grandmother almost never did, so when it comes to baking Geta is the only one. 🙂 Like in the case of this amazing apple slice.
- I use frozen spinach to make this recipe most of the time.
- Fresh spinach will be fine as well but buy the larger, mature sort, not baby spinach.
- If using fresh, you will need about the double amount.
Bechamel or white sauce:
- All-purpose flour
- Vegetable broth
- Some fresh lemon juice
How to make spinach in white sauce?
- If using frozen, let it thaw first. If you forget to do that in time, place it in a saucepan and let it thaw on low heat, stirring often. Cook the defrosted spinach for 5 minutes, stirring often. Drain in a colander.
- If using fresh, remove the stems and chop the leaves roughly. Wash and place in a large pot without draining very well. Let cook for a few minutes until soft and let drain well in a colander.
- Heat the milk until lukewarm in a jug pan. Or heat it in a regular pan, then pour it into a jug.
- Melt the butter in a non-stick pan.
- Sprinkle the flour on top and let it get slightly golden while stirring all the time, about 1 minute.
- Slowly and gradually whisk in the milk. Whisk very well to avoid any clumps.
- Slowly add the stock as well.
- Bring to a boil and let the sauce thicken on very low heat for about 5 minutes. Stir very often.
- You will know that the bechamel sauce is ready if it coats the back of a wooden spoon.
- If you still happen to have a few clumps, you can blend the white sauce with an immersion blender.
- Mix with the spinach.
- Add nutmeg, salt, pepper, the grated garlic and lemon juice to taste.
- The fresh garlic and the lemon juice are very important for the flavor, don’t leave them out.
How to serve?
- You can serve as a main dish with pasta, for instance. In this case, it will serve 2 or 3.
- Most commonly, I serve it as a side dish. In this case, it will be enough for 4 servings.
- It is perfect with fried or poached eggs and boiled potatoes, but it also makes a great side dish for lamb, fish or chicken dishes.
More spinach recipes?
Spinach Roll – Delicate spinach roll filled with cheese and herbs, a nice, fresh appetizer for an easy brunch.
Spinach Chicken Curry – A healthier and simplified version of the famous chicken saag, this easy spinach chicken curry will definitely satisfy your curry cravings.
Beef Potato Curry with Spinach – Comforting, easy to make and flavorful beef potato curry with spinach and yogurt.
Spinach Meatball Casserole – A layer of potatoes, one of spinach, meatballs, and cheese: all combined into one dish.
Spaghetti with Spinach – Quick and easy spaghetti with spinach and garlic. A delicious 30-minutes recipe using frozen spinach and other pantry ingredients.
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First published: April 25th, 2017.
Last updated: March 30th, 2020.
Creamy Spinach Béchamel Recipe
- 500 g/ 1.1 lbs frozen spinach See note
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 ½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 250 ml/ 8.5 fl.oz/ 1 cup full-fat milk
- 250 ml/ 8.5 fl.oz/ 1 cup vegetable broth or use only milk
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice more or less to taste
- some nutmeg
- fine sea salt and pepper
- If using frozen spinach place it in a pot, add about ¼ cup water and let it thaw slowly on low heat. Or you can leave the spinach to thaw before you start cooking. Stir from time to time. When thawed continue cooking for about 5 minutes or until the spinach is soft. Let drain in a colander.
- If using fresh spinach, remove the stems and chop the spinach very roughly. Wash it and place it in a large pot, let wilt and cook for a few minutes until soft. Let drain in a colander.
- In the meantime make the Béchamel sauce. Heat the milk slightly in a heatproof jug (or heat in a saucepan and pour in a jug).
- Melt the butter in a non-stick saucepan. Sprinkle the flour on top and let it get slightly golden while stirring all the time, about 1-2 minutes. Slowly start adding the milk, while whisking continuously. Add the vegetable broth slowly as well and keep whisking.
- Bring to a simmer and let the sauce thicken on low heat, this will take about 5 minutes, continue to stir. The sauce should be thick and coat the back of a wooden spoon. Add some nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.
- Mix the drained spinach and the Béchamel sauce together. Add the lemon juice and the finely grated garlic cloves. Stir well and adjust the taste again with salt, pepper, nutmeg and lemon juice. Serve hot as suggested above.