Sautéed Spinach: a versatile, nutritious side dish to make in no time

Total time: 15 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 4 people
By Cookist

Looking for a nutritious side you can whip up in no time? Sautéed spinach is the perfect side recipe for you! Made with just a few ingredients, this healthy, delicious dish is a great way to add more veggies to your diet. Sautéeing the spinach helps preserve nutrients and keeps the spinach's vibrant green color.

With its savory, garlicky flavor and tender leaves, sautéed spinach is a fabulous accompaniment for everything from steaks and roast chicken to vegetarian stews, steamed fish, and more. Everything goes well with sautéed spinach. Serve it with a spritz of lemon juice to give the spinach a tangy pop of acidity for a fantastic side everyone will adore. The best part? It only takes about 10 to 15 minutes to make!

Should You Use Spinach Bunches or Baby Spinach Leaves for Sautéeing?

Either spinach bunches of baby spinach works for sautéeing. Baby spinach is more tender and has a less bitter flavor. Regular spinach bunches have a bolder flavor, so the choice is up to you.

How to Wash and Prepare Spinach

If you're using spinach bunches, cut the stems and wash them under cold water to remove any dirt. Baby spinach can be rinsed in cold water – no need to chop off the stems as they're nice and tender. Before sautéeing the spinach, dry it well. You can use paper towels or a salad spinner to dry the leaves.


How to Sauté Spinach

Anyone can make sautéed spinach. Start by heating oil in a large pan. Sauté the garlic until it becomes fragrant and starts browning. Put all the spinach into the pan, then toss it around to coat the leaves with oil.

Pop the lid on the skillet and sauté the spinach for 1 minute. Turn the spinach over and cook for another minute until wilted. Don't overcook the spinach – this will make it slimy. Only cook it until it's wilted. Take the pan off the heat. Pour off any liquid, season with salt, and a squeeze of lemon juice, if desired, and enjoy!

Tips for the Best Sautéed Spinach

Make sure to wash and dry your spinach well before you cook it. You don't want any dirt winding up on your plate!

If you don't want bitter spinach, use baby spinach or season the spinach with additional ingredients to mask the bitter flavor.

Add seasonings to jazz up your sautéed spinach. Try cooking it with soy sauce, chopped chilis, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, turmeric, mustard seeds, ginger, or chives.

Add cream or plant-based milk to make creamy spinach.

Other great additions include pancetta, onions, bacon, mushrooms, shrimp, green beans, and parmesan cheese.

What to Serve with Sautéed Spinach

Homemade sautéed spinach is a nutritious dish that goes with pretty much everything! Serve it as a side with steaks, pot roasts, roasted chicken, baked chicken, stir-fries, roast potatoes, vegetarian stews, pasta, sheet pan meals, and more.

How to Store Sautéed Spinach

Squeeze out any remaining moisture from the sautéed spinach. Transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 4 days. To reheat it, pop it in the microwave until warmed through or reheat it in a skillet on the stovetop.

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raw spinach, washed and stems removed
2 bunches (about 1 pound)
Extra virgin olive oil
2 to 3 tbsp
garlic, sliced
2 to 3 cloves
kosher salt to taste


Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high. Put the garlic in the oil and cook for 30 to 45 seconds, until the garlic becomes fragrant and starts browning. Put the spinach in the skillet.

Flip with tongs as needed to coat with oil. Place the lid on the skillet, then sauté for 1 minute. Flip the spinach.

Cover and cook for another minute. Take the pan off the heat. Pour off any liquid, season with salt, and serve in a large pot. Enjoy!

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