Growing and Cooking Your Own Food

Creamed Spinach & Fennel-Seared Scallops

Creamed spinach is a classic at Steakhouses and it lends itself well to low carb or keto lifestyles. It is a great side dish to most proteins, including these fennel-seared scallops. While the cream, butter and cheese certainly doesn’t scream low calorie, this low carb creamed spinach is a delight of a healthy side dish and won’t spike blood sugar.

Low carb creamed spinach
Low Carb Creamed Spinach on a bed of Seared Scallops

Tips for Making an Awesome Low Carb Creamed Spinach

  • Use heavy whipping cream or creme fraiche and reduce it by half
  • Add a touch of spice (I used smoked paprika)
  • Parmesan cheese adds a lot of “umami” flavor; you could use cheddar or other cheese if you prefer
  • Use fresh nutmeg and grate it with a microplane
  • If cooking over high heat, opt for “refined” olive oil rather than extra virgin. Extra virgin has a low smoke point and quickly turns rancid. Refined olive oil is also known as “lite” olive oil and it has a much higher smoke point.
  • While this recipe is a side dish to seared scallops, creamed spinach is a classic with steak and also goes well with pork chops.
Low Carb Creamed Spinach
Low Carb Creamed Spinach

Tips for the best Seared Scallops

  • Get the oil in the skillet quite hot (you should see some smoke) to get a good sear
  • Get the scallop as dry as possible before seasoning. Drain them and pat them dry with paper towels. The drier the better.
  • Scallops cook very quickly. They only need a couple of minutes on the first side and a minute on the flip side after turning.
Low Carb Creamed Spinach
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Low Carb Creamed Spinach with Seared Scallops

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Servings: 4
Calories: 512kcal
Author: dorothy stainbrook


  • 2 lbs large scallops drained and patted dry
  • 20 oz frozen spinach 2 bags
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil divided
  • 1 med onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg grated
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 Tbsp parmesan grated
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp ground fennel


  • Drain frozen scallops thoroughly and lay out on paper towells to dry further
  • Place frozen spinach in a bowl and microwave until slightly cooked and thoroughly thawed
  • Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a skillet and saute chopped onion until golden and caramelized (about 5 min).
  • Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add paprika, zest, salt, and nutmeg and stir together. Add heavy cream to skillet and cook over medium heat until reduced by half and fairly thick.
  • Lower heat and add spinach and heat through (about 3-5 minutes). Set aside
  • In another skillet, heat 2 Tbsp oil until smoking (very hot). Make sure scallops are as dry as possible and season with salt, pepper and ground fennel
  • Place scallops in skillet in a circular pattern starting at bottom of skillet (so you know where you started). Sear for a couple of minute (peak at one of them to make sure the bottom side is brown and seared). With tongs, turn them over in the same pattern as you laid them down.
  • Cook for only a minute on the flip side and remove to a platter. Serve with still-warm creamed spinach.


Serving: 4g | Calories: 512kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 34g | Sugar: 2g

For two other recipes that use scallops in delicious, unique ways, check out Seared Scallops in Grapefruit Butter, or Scallop Ceviche.

1 Comment

  1. […] more delicious scallop recipes? Click here for a low carb, fennel-crusted scallop dinner with creamed spinach. […]

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