My sauteed spinach recipe is packed full of goodness without skipping the flavor. This is the quickest, easiest way to get your greens.
Take a lesson from Popeye – spinach is the fuel of life. Though the idea of cooking spinach might turn a few stomachs, I’m here to show that your greens can be tasty, easy to make, AND good for you. Sauteed spinach is ready in just a matter of minutes and remains one of the easiest ways to cook spinach.
It’s also such a versatile ingredient; you can use it as a side dish or incorporate it into salads, sandwiches, and pasta. There’s no easier way to get your five a day than with an easy spinach recipe packed full of flavor. Plus, it can be easily hidden in other dishes for any fussy eaters in your life.
My easy sauteed spinach is a great immunity booster for the winter months. This recipe is packed with goodness, including large amounts of antioxidants, vitamins A, C, and K, Iron, Calcium, and fiber. This leafy green should be an essential part of our diets – so knowing how to cook it well is a must.
Sauteed Spinach Ingredients
There are only a few ingredients for this sautéed spinach recipe:
- Raw spinach: I prefer using the baby variety, though you can use any kind you prefer.
- Butter and olive oil: You can use plant-based alternatives and any other vegetable oil with some flavoring in it, though it will change the taste of the pan-fried spinach as it’s cooking.
- Garlic: Minced for the best garlicky flavor.
- Salt and pepper: To taste.
- Fresh lemon juice: You can use lime juice in a pinch or wine vinegar. The acid helps to brighten the garlic sautéed spinach.
How to Saute Spinach
For my quick spinach recipe, you first need to wash the leaves well and pat them dry. Don’t worry about getting them completely dry – a little moisture will help to create the best sauteed spinach by steaming it as it cooks.
Then, mince the garlic.
Next, add the butter and olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for about a minute – until it starts to turn yellow.
Add the leaves, stir, cover, and cook for 3-4 minutes to wilt the spinach. Remove the lid, then cook for a further one minute to evaporate any excess moisture. The wilted spinach will be much smaller than the amount first put in!
How long to cook spinach will depend on the amount and size you use, so you may have to adjust your timings based on your serving size.
Finally, add the salt and pepper to taste and stir with a squeeze of lemon juice.
Can You Saute Spinach with Stems?
Yes! Stems won’t even change how to cook fresh spinach. If you’re using long-stemmed, cut them off the bunch and fry them first with a little oil until they wilt. Then, add the rest of the leaves and cook to upgrade this recipe even more.
What to Serve with Sautéed Spinach
How does one improve the best spinach recipe? They serve it with something else! For being such a versatile ingredient, this classic side dish goes with plenty of dinner table favorites:
- Pair this recipe with a classic roasted chicken, baked salmon, or some vegetarian-friendly dishes.
- Sauteed spinach is a fantastic way to add nutrients to your favorite pasta dishes. Incorporate it into a comforting veggie lasagna, pasta bake, or your favorite pasta recipe.
- Of course, it also blends well with various other side dishes – it’s easily incorporated buffet-style or as part of a filling plate. Try it with mashed potatoes and brown or jasmine rice. Or, pair it with your favorite roasted or sauteed veggies.
It’s best to cook it quickly over high heat. Make sure to stir frequently so that the water evaporates faster. That way the spinach leaves will cook in dry heat.
Usually, large dark spinach leaves have a higher concentration of oxalic acid which can taste bitter. That’s why it’s better to use tender younger leaves (baby spinach). Also, overcooking it can cause a bitter taste as well.
Keep it in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days.
More Sauteed Recipes
- Sauteed Arugula Recipe
- Simple Sauteed Swiss Chard
- The Perfect Sauteed Asparagus
- 5 Minute Sautéed Sugar Snap Peas
And check out what else is in season in March!
If you try this cooked spinach recipe, let me know how it goes in the comments below. I’d appreciate a recipe card rating and would love to see your recipe recreations – tag me on Instagram @Alphafoodie!
Easy Garlic Sauteed Spinach
- Wash the spinach leaves well and pat them dry. But don't worry about getting them completely dry. Also, mince the garlic (if you need help, check my how to cut garlic tutorial).
- Add the butter and olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Add the garlic and cook for about a minute – until it starts to turn yellow.
- Add the spinach leaves, stir, cover, and cook for 3-4 minutes until they are wilted. Based on their size and how much you are cooking, adjust the timing if needed.
- Remove the lid and cook for a further 1-2 minutes to evaporate any excess moisture.
- Add the salt and pepper to taste and stir with a squeeze of lemon juice. Serve hot.
- If using long-stemmed spinach, cut the stems off the bunch and fry them with butter and oil until they wilt. Then, continue with sauteeing the spinach leaves.
- If you prefer to keep the spinach from being watery, cook it quickly over high heat. Make sure to stir frequently so that the water evaporates faster. That way the spinach leaves will cook in dry heat.