Remember my cauliflower puree made with almond milk instead of cream?  In that post I mentioned another recipe from Food and Wine that uses almond milk: a creamed spinach finished in the oven with a coating of bread crumbs and Marcona almonds.  Of course, right after publishing that post, Marcona almonds were nowhere to be found…  Apparently there has been a shortage of these almonds in Spain, so if you happen to find them where you live, act fast.   Our Dillon’s store got a shipment last month, and I grabbed a bag faster than Buck catches a cookie in mid-air.

Almond Milk Creamed Spinach

(from Food and Wine magazine)

Four 5-ounce bags baby spinach
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 shallots, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup grated Cotija cheese
Freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
2 tablespoons finely chopped marcona almonds

Preheat the oven to 425°. In a large saucepan, heat 1 inch of water. Add the spinach by the handful; allow each handful to wilt before adding more. When the spinach is wilted, drain it, pressing out as much water as possible. Wipe out the pot.
Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in the pot. Add the shallots; cook over moderate heat until softened. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the almond milk and simmer until very thick, whisking occasionally, 5 minutes. Stir in the cheese and spinach. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon into a baking dish.
In a small bowl, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Stir in the panko and almonds and sprinkle over the creamed spinach. Bake for 15 minutes, until golden.


to print the recipe, click here


Comments:  My Mom used to make creamed spinach the old-fashioned way, basically a bechamel-sauce into which some sautéed spinach was mixed in. Much to her despair, I never touched it.  I actually never touched spinach in any type of recipe, raw, cooked, even a ravioli with spinach filling was not welcome on my plate. But, of course I wised up at some point and to quote my virtual friend Sawsan“I made peace with spinach”.  😉

When I made this recipe, I did not think it would have a happy ending.  The key point is to have the right proportion of almond cream to spinach, and that’s not very easy to achieve.  I  printed the recipe exactly as published in Food and Wine, but I halved it.   To do so, I needed only 10 ounces of spinach, but more spinach would have been better.  I advise you to made the almond cream, wilt all the spinach you have and then hold back some of the cream. You want the spinach to be  nicely coated by cream, but not swimming in it.   I did not add melted butter to the Panko, just sprinkled all over the dish and half way through baking I softly pressed the coating into the cream. Since my concoction already seemed to have too high a cream to spinach ratio, I thought the melted butter would complicate matters further.  So, to summarize, I think this recipe has potential, but it needs some tweaking.

Creamed spinach goes very well with fish, so I served it with grilled salmon & white rice.  Simple, but very tasty. Almonds and spinach make a very nice combination. If you don’t like almond milk, a regular bechamel sauce like my Mom used to make, decorated with toasted slivered almonds would be a nice dish too.



  1. Although I am unlikely to use the almond milk, a creamed spinach (I love spinach by the way) dish would be a great accompaniment to the side of salmon currently defrosting in my fridge. Thank you for the idea. I’ve never heard of Marcona almonds though.


    • Ha, can you believe I was not going to publish this post? I forgot to remove it from the queue, and you may have noticed that there is no printable version for the recipe…

      oh, well – I better get to work and made the PDF sometime this morning.

      I was saving this post as a back-up if I ran out of stuff to publish… but completely forgot I had scheduled it…

      Marcona almonds are absolutely spectacular – my only problem is making sure we don’t snack on them before I have a chance to actually COOK with them


  2. This sounds so yum! We are off to our “farewell” dinner at my grandmother’s house, and you can be sure that she will have no part in anything to do with almond milk. I, however, think this sounds just perfect and way healthier than the usual choice. We are living with two of our best friends- that makes THREE baseball players and moi- so I’ll be sure to try this out on them!!


    • I think people either love or hate almond milk, but when used in cooking, I think it is easier to enjoy it. I happen to be a fan, enjoy drinking a little bit each day straight from the fridge 😉


    • Serendipity! I thought you did not care for almond milk, but I bet the home made version is superior – in fact, I also have a recipe to make it at home I’ve been thinking to try…. so many recipes, so little time!


  3. SOooo, how fast can Buck catch a cookie and why haven’t we seen a video of this? –Just for educational purposes if we need to rush for almonds. I just read NotQuiteNigella’s almond milk recipe and I’m ready to try this dish.

    Sadly OUR Costco isn’t yet open. It’s got four walls and a roof and maybe come May I will be able to shop there. Once they’re open, I’ll see everyone in a week. It takes time to get my inner American on when shopping.

    I have always liked spinach but that’s the only greens I have ‘made peace with’. This creamed spinach with almond milk sounds very good with fish.


    • Note to self: make video of Buck in cookie-action 😉
      for educational purposes. Yeah…

      Phil made fun of this post, actually, saying that having creamed spinach on the front page of my blog would cost me many readers! 😉


  4. I just found your blog and already the first thing I see looks great! I NEVER use full fat items in my cooking, so milk is what I usually use instead of half and half or heavy cream. Almond milk sounds yummy with creamed spinach!


  5. I bet this is fabulous with salmon! I love the sounds of this dish Sally. It has great flavor and textures. Like you, I never would have touched spinach in a million years, but now, I too have made peace with it. One of many veggies I’ve made peace with since I was younger. 🙂 And I’m always looking for new ways to use almond milk. I just love it! Thanks Sally!


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