ArrowDownFill 1arrow-small-lineFill 1Cooking Light - EasyCooking Light - FastCooking Light - So GoodCooking Light - How-ToCooking Light - Staff FaveCooking Light Badge - Wow!GroupClose IconEmailEmpty Star IconLike Cooking Light on FacebookFull Star IconShapePage 1 Copy 3Page 1 Copy 2Grid IconHalf Star IconFollow Cooking Light on InstagramList IconMenu IconPrintSearch IconSpeech BubbleFollow Cooking Light on SnapchatFollow Cooking Light on TwitterWatch Cooking Light on YouTubeplay-iconWatch Cooking Light on Youtube

Creamed Winter Greens

Photo: Jennifer Causey
Active time 30 mins
Total time 30 mins

Serves 8 (serving size: about 1/2 cup)

Two beloved dark leafy greens, spinach and lacinato kale, combine to bring deep, earthy flavor to this updated take on classic creamed spinach. We include a crunchy, oven-crisped chickpea and almond topping that takes this side dish from everyday to special occasion. You can make the chickpea-almond mixture ahead, but cool it completely first and store for up to 3 days in an airtight container. If needed, you can re-crisp the topping in a 300°F oven before adding to the dish. If you happen to have any leftovers of this family favorite, reheat gently in a covered saucepan over low heat, and stir occasionally to prevent the creamy sauce from breaking.


  • 3/4 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons chopped almonds
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil, divided
  • 1 cup sliced leek (about 1 [11-oz.] leek)
  • 2 tablespoons sliced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 3 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
  • 2 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 ounces lacinato kale, stems removed, leaves chopped
  • 14 ounces spinach leaves

Nutrition Information

  • calories 169
  • fat 7.4 g
  • satfat 2.5 g
  • monofat 2.9 g
  • polyfat 1.1 g
  • protein 9 g
  • carbohydrate 19 g
  • fiber 4 g
  • cholesterol 13 mg
  • iron 3 mg
  • sodium 192 mg
  • calcium 241 mg
  • sugars 4 g
  • Est. Added Sugars 0 g

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Spread chickpeas in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet; pat dry with a paper towel. Rub with the palm of your hand to loosen chickpea skins. (Do not remove skins from pan.) Coat chickpeas with cooking spray. Bake at 400°F until almost dry and slightly crunchy, about 20 minutes. Stir in almonds; bake until chickpeas and nuts are toasted and crunchy, about 5 minutes.

  2. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Add leek and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and starting to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add flour, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Stir in milk; bring to a boil, and boil 2 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat. Add cream cheese, mozzarella, and salt; stir until cheeses melt.

  3. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in a Dutch oven over medium. Add kale and spinach to Dutch oven; cover and cook until starting to wilt, about 3 minutes. Add milk mixture to spinach mixture; reduce heat to low, and cook until spinach is wilted, about 3 minutes. Stir just until combined. Transfer to a serving bowl, and top with toasted chickpeas and almonds.