A Squared: What's For Dinner Wednesday: Creamed Spinach Twice-Baked Potatoes

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

What's For Dinner Wednesday: Creamed Spinach Twice-Baked Potatoes

I realize that Christmas has come and gone and that we are all working on our New Year's resolutions to get healthier now, but I wanted to share a decadent side dish recipe from our Christmas dinner with you here today.

For the past few years, Alex and I have been celebrating a quiet Christmas with each other at our home in Chicago. Even though it is just the two of us, I still like to make a special Christmas dinner for us. This year we decided to do our own spin on a classic steakhouse surf and turf dinner and we both loved it so much, that I think we have found a new tradition. Alex braved the elements on our deck and grilled up two filets and two lobster tails for each of us. FYI, I borrowed the grilled lobster tail recipe from my friend Kat over at A Girl & Her Food-- it's delicious! And meanwhile, I got to work on a few modern steakhouse side dishes.

Since it was just the two of us and we were heading out of town shortly after Christmas, I didn't want to go crazy with tons of side dishes. However, I knew I wanted a classic baked potato and also some rich steakhouse creamed spinach... so I combined them to create these amazing twice-baked potatoes! I feel like I struck some side dish gold with this one, people.

These potatoes are creamy and rich, but also filled with cooked fresh spinach. In my mind, this negates the fatty factor, no? In all seriousness though, I used olive oil and reduced fat milk and cheeses so these potatoes are still significantly lighter than the side dishes you will find at your favorite steakhouse.

In addition to being really tasty, they are pretty simple to make. Don't be intimidated by all of the steps below; it's actually a very easy recipe. I hope you'll enjoy these the next time you're entertaining or looking to impress someone with your skills in the kitchen. This is the perfect side dish for a simple grilled steak or roast.

Oh, and those steakhouse-inspired roasted tomatoes in the photos above? That recipe is coming your way shortly too!


  • 2 large baking potatoes
  • 2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 oz. baby spinach leaves, rough chopped
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • 1/2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup reduced fat cream cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp. white pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella, divided

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Carefully wash and remove excess dirt from exterior of potatoes and pat dry. Puncture each potato 4-5 times with a fork and then evenly coat the exterior of each with 1 Tbs. olive oil. You can do so with a brush, but I think it is easier to rub the oil on with my hands.

Bake potatoes on the center rack of the oven for 45-60 minutes, or until outside is crispy, inside is soft, and a fork can be easily inserted and pulled out. Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes, or until cool enough to handle.

Once cool enough to handle, cut each potato in half lengthwise. Scoop out the insides of each potato half, leaving about 1/4-inch of potato flesh inside each skin. Place the potato flesh that has been scooped out in a large mixing bowl and mash lightly with a fork to break up any large potato chunks. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and saute for 4 minutes, stirring freqently so that they do not brown, and then add garlic. Cook shallots and garlic for 1 more minute. Add the chopped spinach and saute for another 2 minutes until it begins to wilt.

Whisk the milk and flour together in a separate container and pour into the pan. Combine ingredients and continue stirring until the mixture begins to thicken. Stir in cream cheese, salt, pepper, and nutmeg until fully combined and then remove from heat.

Add the creamed spinach mixture and 1/4 cup mozzarella to the potato flesh in the large bowl and stir well to combine. Fill each potato skin equally with the spinach-potato mixture and place on a baking sheet. Top each stuffed potato with the remaining mozzarella cheese and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted, brown, and bubbly.

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