Classic French Spinach Soufflé

Easy Classic French Spinach Soufflé

The Spruce / Julia Estrada

Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Total: 65 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
192 Calories
15g Fat
7g Carbs
8g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 192
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 20%
Saturated Fat 9g 43%
Cholesterol 127mg 42%
Sodium 264mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 3%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 21mg 106%
Calcium 160mg 12%
Iron 3mg 15%
Potassium 521mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Many of us have shied away from making a souffle because of its reputation for being fragile and difficult to make. But with this French spinach souffle, you will discover that it is, in fact, quite easy to prepare. There are a few tips to keep in mind, like having your ingredients at room temperature, that will help with achieving success. This recipe can be made in one large dish (look for a high-sided casserole dish or 1-quart to 1.5-quart souffle dish) or individual ramekins for a fun presentation. Serve this spinach souffle as a side dish or a light main course; it is lovely on its own or with a fresh, green salad.

Ingredients

  • 5 1/2 tablespoons softened unsalted butter, divided

  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1 pound (about 10 cups) stemmed and chopped spinach

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste

  • 1 cup whole milk, room temperature

  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg

  • 3 large room temperature eggs, separated

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Easy Classic French Spinach Soufflé ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  2. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Brush the inside of a 4 to 6-cup soufflé or deep casserole dish with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the softened butter, or grease six (5 to 6-ounce) individual ramekins, dividing the butter evenly. Sprinkle the buttered surface evenly with the grated Parmesan cheese. Set aside while you prepare the filling. 

    Sprinkle the buttered surface evenly with grated Parmesan cheese inside of a souffle ramekin

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  3. Heat a large saucepan over low heat and add the chopped spinach. Sauté until it wilts and the juices have evaporated; keep a close eye on it as the spinach can burn. Let cool, then squeeze out excess liquid. Set aside.

    Gently heat and saute spinach

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  4. In a separate medium saucepan, melt the remaining butter over medium heat and stir in the flour and salt with a wooden spoon. Cook, mixing constantly, for 30 seconds to cook down the flour.

    Melt remaining butter

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  5. Add the milk while whisking vigorously and cook for about 4 minutes, until the mixture thickens. 

    add milk and flour to the butter mixture

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  6. Add the cooked spinach to the white sauce and continue cooking over medium heat for 1 minute. Season the mixture with black pepper, nutmeg and more salt if needed.

    add spinach to the flour mixture

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  7. Place the egg yolks in a bowl and whisk in 1/2 cup of the hot spinach mixture to temper it.

    Whisk hot spinach into the egg yolks

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  8. Add the egg yolk mixture to the pan, stirring to completely incorporate and remove from heat. Do not overheat the mixture or you risk it separating; if this happens, unfortunately, there is no way to fix it. 

    combine the egg yolk and the flour mixtures

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  9. In a scrupulously clean bowl, beat the egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form. (A greasy or dirty bowl will prevent the eggs from stiffening.)

    Beat the egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  10. Gently stir 1/3 of the egg whites into the spinach mixture.

    add some of the egg white mixture to the spinach mixture

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  11. Then fold the remaining egg whites into the mixture.

    add the remaining egg white mixture to the spinach mixture

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  12. Spoon the mixture into the prepared dish(es) and bake for 30 minutes, until the soufflé is puffed up and cooked through. A single souffle may take a few minutes longer.

    Spoon the mixture into the prepared dishes

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  13. Serve immediately and enjoy.

    Easy Classic French Spinach Soufflé

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

How to Fold Egg Whites Into a Soufflé Mixture

The tiny bubbles in the egg whites add air to the soufflé batter, which expand as the soufflé bakes. After lightening the batter with the first one-third of the egg whites, use a spatula to fold in the remaining whites. Draw the spatula through the center of the whites toward you, then flip them over while giving the bowl a quarter turn. Continue gently folding until the whites have almost completely disappeared.

How to Prevent Deflation

There are a few extra measures you can take to prevent the souffle from deflating:

  • When folding in the egg whites, do so very gently, and just until they are combined. Over-mixing will remove some of the air bubbles and cause the souffle to fall.
  • Do not open the oven door until close to the finished cooking time; cold air can make the souffle collapse.
  • Overcooking is also another cause for a souffle to deflate, so make sure to check at the 30-minute mark.
  • Some cooks place a paper collar (a strip of parchment paper) around the top of the dish to assure the souffle will puff up.
  • Make sure to serve the souffle right when it comes out of the oven as it will naturally fall as it sits.

Why Do I Need to Temper?

Tempering—adding a small amount of hot liquid to a cold ingredient—is a technique used to prevent eggs, sour cream, or cream from curdling. It avoids shocking the dairy or eggs and instead creates a gentle method for combining the two ingredients, helping to stabilize them.

What Kind of Baking Dish Is Best for This Soufflé?

While any deep 1 to 1 1/2-quart casserole will work well, a soufflé dish or similar casserole with straight sides is ideal. For a classic soufflé that will rise a bit above the top of the baking dish, use a 1-quart soufflé dish, four 7-ounce to 8-ounce soufflé ramekins, or six 5-ounce to 6-ounce soufflé ramekins.