This dairy free creamed spinach gratin is the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving or Sunday dinner. Spinach and onions in a rich sauce are topped with buttery breadcrumbs for a delicious crunch.
But now that dairy is out for us, I wasn’t really sure what to do about creamed spinach. Last year, I just skipped making it, and made a pie and a salad instead. But this year, I wanted to bring it back, so the other day I made a dairy free version that is really tasty, and yes, it is “Darryl approved.”
There’s no reason to avoid making creamed spinach just because you can’t have dairy. There are many great dairy substitutes out there now, and I think you’ll find that this dish tastes very creamy and rich, even though it’s dairy free.
What kind of non-dairy milk should I use in this creamed spinach gratin recipe?
Any neutral tasting non-dairy milk should work well. I used So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk Beverage, and it’s very neutral. Unsweetened soy milk, oat milk, or rice milk could also work.
Can I make this with fresh spinach instead of frozen spinach?
You could! You will need about 2 ½ pounds of fresh spinach to equal 24 ounces of frozen spinach. You can read about substituting fresh spinach for frozen spinach here.
The best part of this dish is the garlicky, buttery breadcrumbs. I prefer to make my own – read my recipe for gluten free breadcrumbs here. If you have a brand of breadcrumbs that is safe for you, you can go ahead and use those.
What gluten free bread should I use to make breadcrumbs?
You will need to find a safe brand of bread for your particular food allergies, but brands to look into are B Free, Canyon Bakehouse, and Schar. I’m sure there are probably other brands out there as well.
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Dairy Free Creamed Spinach Gratin.
Delicious and rich, you'd never guess this creamed spinach gratin is dairy free! This savory side dish is a real crowd pleaser for holiday dinners.
Place the olive oil and chopped onion in a pan, and saute until softened, about five minutes. Add the spinach, and stir until cooked through.
Add the non-dairy milk and stir. Combine the flour and water in a small container with a lid, and shake until the lumps are gone. Drizzle into the spinach mixture and stir until thickened.
Add the buttery spread, garlic salt, and pepper, and stir. Add the Daiya cheese a little at a time, stirring constantly to melt and incorporate.
Make the breadcrumb topping:
Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan. Add the six slices of bread that you have broken into pieces and saute the pieces in the oil. Keep stirring, don’t let them burn! You want them to be golden brown. Season with the garlic salt.
To serve, pour the spinach mixture into a casserole dish or serving dish, and top with garlic buttery breadcrumbs.
Use the bread that works for your diet - could be gluten free, whole grain, or paleo - you choose!
You can also use ready made breadcrumbs. Just use about two cups.
There you go… one of our favorite Thanksgiving side dish, creamed spinach gratin, made allergy friendly. Hooray!
Of course, you can make your own substitutions as needed – if you aren’t gluten free, do regular bread and flour, etc.
This spinach gratin is perfect served with:
- Thanksgiving turkey
- roasted chicken
- salmon or any other fish
What’s your must have Thanksgiving side dish?
This post was originally published in November 2013. It has been updated.