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Creamed Spinach & Spanish Seared Scallops

Creamed Spinach & Spanish Seared Scallops
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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 side dish won’t spike blood sugar.

Jump to: Recipe | Pro Tips: Spinach | Pro Tips: Scallops | Serving Suggestions

Seared scallops on a bed of creamed spinach
Seared scallops on a bed of creamed spinach

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**Pro Tips for Making the Best Creamed Spinach

  • Use heavy whipping cream or creme fraiche and reduce it by half in the skillet
  • 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.

Ingredient List:

Ingredients for creamed spinach and seared scallops
Ingredients for creamed spinach and seared scallops

What to Serve Creamed Spinach with:

Side dish of creamed spinach
Side dish of creamed spinach

While this recipe is a side dish to seared scallops, it is a classic with steak and also goes well with pork chops.

A sparkling wine or a crisp white wine like Riesling or Pinot Grigio would pair nicely with the fat content of the cream in the spinach.

**Pro Tips for the best Seared Scallops

  • Make sure the oil is very hot before placing the scallops in the skillet (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.

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

Recipe for Seared Scallops on Bed of Creamed Spinach

Creamed Spinach with Seared Scallops

Seared scallops on a bed of creamed spinach
Easy, delicious scallops pair with creamed spinach for an elegant weeknight dinner in a flash.
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 384



  • 15-16 Medium scallops thawed, drained and patted dry
  • 20 oz frozen spinach 1-2 bags
  • 4-5 Tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 1 med onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg grated
  • ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 Tablespoon parmesan grated or flaked
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons Spanish paprika you can used smoked paprika, sweet paprika or hot paprika


  • Drain scallops thoroughly and lay out on paper towells to dry further
    15-16 Medium scallops
  • Place frozen spinach in a bowl and microwave until slightly cooked and thoroughly thawed
    20 oz frozen spinach
  • Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a skillet and saute chopped onion until golden and caramelized (about 5 min).
    4-5 Tablespoons olive oil, 1 med onion
  • Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds. 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 (about 3-5 min)
    2 cloves garlic, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Lower heat and add spinach and heat through (about 3-5 minutes). Sprinkle with parmesan and set aside
    1 Tablespoon parmesan
  • In another skillet, heat 2-3 Tbsp oil until smoking (very hot). Make sure scallops are as dry as possible and season with salt, pepper and Spanish paprika
    1 teaspoon salt, 3 teaspoons Spanish paprika
  • 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 (peek 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 (spinach can be reheated if needed).



Serving: 4gCalories: 384kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 14gFat: 32gSaturated Fat: 13gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 75mgSodium: 1528mgPotassium: 725mgFiber: 5gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 17538IUVitamin C: 12mgCalcium: 260mgIron: 3mg
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