German-Style Simmered Spinach

Who doesn’t love spinach? Besides kids, I mean. Actually, funny story, kids are more apt to eat vegetables if they watch Popeye. Personally, I despised it growing up, but now I love spinach in all forms – raw, blanched, or simmered (as in this recipe); it has a mild and unique taste with each preparation.

This recipe is modeled after the German dish Rahmspinat (“creamed spinach”), and it mostly true to the original except for the fact that this particular recipe is dairy-free. So I guess the more appropriate term for this dish would be Spinat. If you’d like to prepare it more true to the original dish, I’ve added instructions below!

serves four

20oz fresh spinach (or two pkgs frozen spinach)
4oz bacon, chopped (3-4 slices)
1 yellow onion, blended
2 cloves garlic, blended w/ onion
1/2 tsp each salt, pepper, ground nutmeg
approx 1 tbsp water or chicken broth (as needed)
1/4 cup cream (optional)
2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced

Your first step is to blanch the spinach. Drop it in boiling water for about 15-20 seconds, then fish it out once it looks softened. Drain and rinse with cold water, then gently squeeze as much liquid as possible out of the little green glob.

Chop your squeezed spinach into 1″ chunks and set aside.

In a skillet, cook the bacon on med/low heat.

Don’t drain the bacon grease as it cooks – we’re going to use it.

Add the blended onion and garlic, stirring everything together.

Add in the salt, pepper, and ground nutmeg, and simmer on med/low heat for about six minutes to sweat some of the onion’s sharp taste out of the dish.

After six minutes it should look much drier and more like a paste.

Stir in the spinach. Add a little water or chicken stock if it looks too dry, maybe 1 tbsp or so. If you are making creamed spinach, this is the time to add 1/4 cup cream. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, the spinach should have darkened and softened a little more. Serve immediately, garnished with boiled egg. This dish is often served with boiled potatoes as well. I made this dish while visiting my friends over at Virginia is for Hunter Gatherers, as an accompaniment to their fantastic Hasenpfeffer recipe.

21 thoughts on “German-Style Simmered Spinach

  1. Looks awesome. Gotta ask about the blended onions though, I’ve seen that in a number of your recent recipes? Any reason why? Or do you really think “onions are gross” as your twitter handle suggests?


      1. I’ve noted this too about you. As a kid none of us kids liked the onions and green peppers our mom put in her meatloaf. So somehow she got the idea to blend them along with the eggs and put them in. Same great flavor, no slimy things we would pick out. We didn’t notice the difference.


  2. Great recipe and your photography is great. I substituted prosciutto I had on hand for the bacon. It was great! I could have made this the main course of my meal!


  3. Mmmmmm, bacon makes everything better !!
    When I was a kid, my favorite hot lunch at grade school was when they served “Spinach.” It was basically just boiled spinach but they salted it to death which is what made it good.
    I’m going to have to put this recipe on my “Food to do list.”


  4. Russ, I was looking for a way to make creamed spinach like my German mom and I thought to myself – ‘hmmm, I wonder how Russ would make it?’ and lo and behold I found your awesome recipe here. I will try your recipe – because every one of your recipes is yummy – but can I ask your advice on making a different style of creamed spinach? My mom’s involves a roux at the butter (bacon grease in your recipe) and onion stage. Every gluten free flour or combo I’ve tried makes a gooey, gummy roux. So I’m thinking about your recommendation for using rice flour for a roux (as per your beef stroganoff recipe). Since the creamed spinach recipe wouldn’t cook long, how would I make sure the starch/grit in the roux is cooked? or am I on the wrong track? By the way, my mom served just about any veggie with a cream sauce using a roux and the vegetable cooking water – she didn’t add milk, just a slice or two of cheese. So if you can help me on this, I will be grateful once again.


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