Creamed Spinach (Paleo, Dairy-Free Recipe)

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Paleo Creamed Spinach - Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free Recipe
Whenever you visit a steak restaurant, you’re guaranteed to find creamed spinach on the menu. Enveloped in luxuriously rich cream, this side dish is a sure winner when it comes to meat and veg pairing. My paleo creamed spinach is dairy-free, and even though it might sound strange to make it with coconut cream, it actually works really well when you add a little spice to it.

Spinach is very high in vitamins A and C, as well as iron and magnesium. Onion and garlic are great sources of prebiotics (a.k.a fuel for your good gut bacteria); and coconut cream contains beneficial lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid that’s easily absorbed and used by the body for energy.
Paleo Creamed Spinach - Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free Recipe
Cook’s notes: In this recipe I am using frozen spinach, which has been defrosted, so it’s a fantastic dish to make on the budget. Coconut cream tip: place a standard 400ml can of full-fat coconut milk in fridge for at least one hour. The cream will separated from the watery liquid and gather at the top of the can. Open the can (standing up the same way up as it was in the fridge) and scoop out the thickened cream from the top. Reserve the rest of the liquid for a smoothie. For AIP, omit the curry powder. Feel free to add a little turmeric and nutmeg powders.

Creamed Spinach (Paleo, Dairy-Free Recipe)

  • Author: Irena Macri
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x



  • 2 cups tightly packed with defrosted spinach, about 450500 g / 0.9 lb.
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 large brown onion, thinly sliced
  • 2/3 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon mild curry powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream (see cook’s notes)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  1. Defrost spinach during the day, or place frozen spinach balls or blocks in a bowl with hot water for about half an hour to an hour. Strain and squeeze some of the excess liquid out with your hands. Spinach doesn’t need to be dry; it can still have some liquid in it, which will add moisture to the sauce. Roughly slice handfuls of spinach in half.
  2. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add coconut oil and bring the heat down to medium. Add the onion and salt and sauté for about 8 minutes, stirring a few times, until softened and golden.
  3. Add spinach, garlic and curry powder and stir through with the onion for about a minute. Use the spatula to break down the clumps of spinach. Then add coconut cream and lemon juice and stir through for another minute until hot and well incorporated. As spinach is already pre-cooked, you only need a couple of minutes to combine and heat everything together. Taste for salt and season with a little extra if needed.
  4. Serve with steak, chicken or fish.

Paleo Creamed Spinach - Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free Recipe


  1. Yum! My favourite side. A lot of the Pacific Islands e.g. Fiji and Vanuatu cook their local spinach in coconut cream and some Indian style spices, which is delicious! Look forward to trying your version.

    1. That’s great to know. I’ve not been to Pacific Islands yet, but I am sure that’s something I’d be ordering 😉

    1. I’m not sure how much it would be in frozen form but when you defrost it, it will expand a little bit, so imagine what would yield about 2 cups of tightly packed spinach. Even if it’s a little less or more, the recipe amounts are pretty forgiving so it should work. Perhaps it says on the packet how much spinach the frozen form will yield.

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