spinach and smoked salmon crepes + lemon garlic cream sauce

by Brittney

These delicious crepes are filled with sauteed spinach and smoked salmon and then topped with a creamy lemon garlic sauce! Easily customizable and quick to make, savory crepes are perfect for breakfast, brunch or even a light dinner!

In Russia, the arrival of spring and the days leading up to Lent are celebrated with a weeklong festival called maslenitsa (масленица). The holiday is marked by eating mountains of crepes or blini (блины), both sweet and savory, which are said to symbolize the sun and bring warmth. We spent last year celebrating with friends and enjoying a make-your-own crepe bar and, although it’ll just be the two of us this year, we’re starting the festivities a few weeks early with these spinach and smoked salmon crepes!

plate of smoked salmon crepes with drizzle of cream sauce

making crepes

If you’ve never made crepes before, it’s actually easier than you might think! Here are a few tips to help you get perfect crepes from your first batch:

  • Always make sure your pan is hot before adding the batter — it should be close to the smoking point of butter.
  • Use the first crepe to test the temperature and batter. Adjust accordingly.
  • Crepes cook fast, especially after they are flipped. They only take about a minute and a half on one side and 30-40 seconds on the other. If your crepes are cooking slower than this, you may be adding too much batter to the pan (you only need 3-4 tablespoons) or your pan may not be hot enough.

smoked salmon and spinach filling

While Viktor tends to prefer sweet fillings for his crepes, I almost always crave something savory. We often compromise by eating a few of the first crepes with a bit of jam and then serving a savory brunch with the remaining stack. And then of course maybe a few leftover crepes with berries and homemade whipped cream for dessert!

One of our favorite options (and one of the easiest!) for a savory crepe is simply baby spinach and sliced smoked salmon. For the spinach portion, saute the fresh spinach with a bit of olive oil and garlic until wilted and tender. Then just slice your smoked salmon and layer it onto the crepes along with the spinach. And that’s really all there is to it!

If you’re cooking for a crowd, you might want to make your crepes and fillings ahead of time. To serve them warm, I would recommend assembling the crepes right before eating and then reheating them briefly in a dry skillet. This option is especially wonderful if you want to add something like cheese, which is best when slightly melty and gooey!

And while these crepes are definitely hearty enough to serve alone, I would be remiss if I didn’t suggest adding a fried egg with a runny yolk to round out the dish!

spinach crepes with cream sauce and egg

lemon garlic cream sauce

Because our crepe filling was so simple, we wanted to add a little something extra to really bring the dish together. And what better way to greet spring than with a bright and lemony garlic sauce! It’s an optional addition, but it only takes about 10 minutes to whip up and I highly recommend it if you have the ingredients on hand.

To make the cream sauce, first melt a bit of butter in a small saucepan. Add a few cloves of minced garlic and then stir in a tablespoon of flour to help thicken the sauce. Make sure to fully incorporate the flour into the butter and stir for several minutes before moving onto the next step — this will make sure you can’t taste the flour in the final sauce. Then pour in the heavy cream, bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickens. Finish the sauce by adding a bit of lemon juice and zest along with a pinch of fresh thyme. Other than garlic, these are the main flavorings of the sauce so feel free to add more or less to taste!

Finally, drizzle your lemon garlic cream sauce over the finished crepes, garnish with extra fresh thyme and enjoy!

plate of crepes with egg and lemon garlic cream sauce

For more delicious breakfast ideas, check out these recipes!

plate of smoked salmon crepes with drizzle of cream sauce

spinach and smoked salmon crepes + lemon garlic cream sauce

serves: 12 crepes prep time: cook time:
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )

ingredients

crepes
  • flour 1⅓ c (150 g)
  • sugar 2 tbsp
  • salt ½ tsp
  • baking soda ¼ tsp
  • milk 2 c (500 ml)
  • egg 1 large
  • butter for cooking
lemon garlic cream sauce
  • butter 1 tbsp (15 g)
  • minced garlic 2 cloves
  • flour 1 tbsp
  • heavy cream 1 c (250 ml)
  • lemon juice 2 tbsp
  • lemon zest ½ tsp
  • fresh thyme ½ tbsp
  • salt and pepper to taste
smoked salmon and spinach filling
  • smoked salmon 6 oz (170 g)
  • olive oil 1 tbsp
  • minced garlic 1 clove
  • baby spinach 8 oz (230 g)
  • salt to taste

instructions

crepes
  1. To make the crepe batter, combine flour, salt, sugar and baking soda in a bowl. Add milk and stir until mixed. Add an egg and continue stirring until combined.
  2. Warm a flat-bottomed pan over medium heat. Brush a tiny amount of butter on the pan (about ¼ tsp). You have the right temperature when the butter immediately bubbles up on the pan but does not produce smoke.
  3. Pour a ladle of batter in the middle of the pan and swirl it around to cover the entire bottom of the pan. Fry for 1-2 minutes or until the bottom is golden and there is no wet batter on the top.
  4. Flip over and fry for another 30-60 seconds or until golden brown on both sides.*
lemon garlic cream sauce
  1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for one minute.
  2. Add the flour and continue cooking an additional two minutes, stirring continuously.
  3. Whisk in the heavy cream until fully incorporated. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickens slightly.
  4. Stir in the lemon juice, zest and thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
smoked salmon and spinach filling + assembly
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook for one minute.
  2. Add the spinach and stir to coat with the oil. Cook until the spinach is wilted. Season with salt to taste.
  3. Fill each crepe with sauteed spinach and slices of smoked salmon. Drizzle with lemon garlic sauce.

notes

    First crepe: Use the first crepe to practice and adjust the temperature, amount of batter and taste as needed. If the crepe tears too easily try adding a little more flour or an extra egg.


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