Garlic Sauteed Spinach

The best sautéed spinach! In less than 10 minutes you can transform a large bundle of spinach into wilted, garlicky, flavorful leaves. It makes for the perfect side dish and it’s welcomed as a “super greens” addition in all sorts of meals and recipes.

A white bowl with garlic sauteed spinach with a spoon.

Sautéed spinach is hands down one of my favorite side dishes. It’s incredibly easy to make, and nutrient-packed! And when you add minced garlic, a drizzle of olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt it becomes this delicate, savory side dish that’s also extremely versatile.

If you’re a spinach lover like me, you’re likely a pro at adding it to recipes. You can sneak it into a green smoothie, bake it into a spinach artichoke dip, create a base for a spinach berry salad, or fold it into egg muffins. But don’t forget to enjoy it on it’s own, by quickly sautéing it in a pan. It’s the perfect side dish that’ll spruce up your favorite weeknight dinner recipes.

Impressive Spinach Benefits

Popeye was definitely on to something! These little leaves are a nutritional powerhouse that boasts tons of health benefits.

  • Loaded with nutrients. Including Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Folic Acid, Iron, Calcium and more.
  • Powerful anti-inflammatory benefits. That’s why spinach is one of my favorite anti-inflammatory foods! It’s rich in antioxidants and alkalizing to the body.
  • Great for eye, heart, and muscle health. This is all thanks to the numerous vitamins and minerals.

Ingredients for garlic sauteed spinach.

Sautéed Spinach Ingredients

For this recipe, we’re creating a garlic-infused oil to coat the spinach and help it wilt down.

  • Baby Spinach: You can use bundles of fresh spinach or pre-washed packages of baby spinach.
  • Olive Oil: A drizzle of olive oil is my go-to, but you can also swap one tablespoon of oil for butter or ghee for a more buttery flavor.
  • Garlic: I’m using 3 garlic cloves for just the right amount of garlicky goodness. But feel free to use more or less!
  • Salt and Pepper: A sprinkle of seasoning ties all the flavors together.

Find the printable recipe with measurements below.

How To Sauté Spinach

Make sure to give your leaves a good wash if you’re using a fresh bundle. But if you’re using it straight out of the box, there’s no need to re-wash.

  • Sauté the garlic. Drizzle oil in a pan and sauté the garlic for about 30 seconds. Just make sure to not overcook the garlic.
  • Sauté the spinach. Use tongs to flip the spinach so all sides are coated in oil and garlic. Then cover the pan, let it steam for a minute or so, then stir again. After a few minutes it should be completely wilted.
  • Season and serve. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then serve it up with a few tasty options listed below!

Making garlic sauteed spinach in a pan.

A Few Questions Answered

  • Why does spinach shrink so much? Spinach contains about 90% water, causing it to wilt down as it cooks. So when you think you’re cooking up a large batch, keep remember that it will reduce drastically in size!
  • Is boxed baby spinach or fresh spinach bundles better? Both are great for sautéing. But if you want bigger leaves for a side dish, fresh bundles are a better choice. Just make sure to trim the stems before cooking.
  • Can you use frozen spinach? While I personally prefer fresh spinach, you can certainly use frozen in a pinch. Just make sure to defrost and thoroughly drain it before sautéing.

Spruce Up Your Sautéed Spinach

Garlic is a mainstay when it comes to cooking up leafy greens. But here’s a few ways to incorporate different flavors and textures.

  • Spice it up. Add a sprinkle of chili pepper flakes or diced red peppers.
  • Make it zesty. Squeeze in lemon juice as it’s wilting and give it all a stir.
  • Beef it up. Sauté it with small bacon pieces, chopped onions, bell peppers, or mushrooms.
  • Add toppings. Sprinkle on grated parmesan cheese or toasted pine nuts.

Ways To Serve Or Use Sautéed Spinach

A pan with garlic sauteed spinach on a table.

Storing And Reheating

While this is best served fresh, you can also store and reheat leftovers.

  • How to store leftovers. Keep them in an airtight container and store in the fridge for 2-3 days.
  • How to reheat sautéed spinach. Simply microwave it for 30 seconds, or until warmed through.

More Sautéed Recipes

Quick and easy weeknight dinners means more sautéed recipes. It’s such a quick-cooking method!

Sautéed Spinach Recipe Video

While this recipe is easy to make, it always helps to watch a quick video!

If you make this recipe, let me know how it turned out! I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below.

Garlic Sautéed Spinach

5 from 11 votes
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 10 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan
Garlic sautéed spinach transforms bundles of spinach into an easy, healthy and flavorful side dish that's made in just 10 minutes! Watch the video above to see how I make it.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions 

  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the minced garlic and saute for 30 seconds. You don't want the garlic browning too much.
    Heating garlic and oil in a pan for garlic sauteed spinach.
  • Add the baby spinach to the pan. It will be a big mound, and you can use your hands to pack it in. Use tongs or a spatula to carefully flip the spinach over, so that all of the pieces get covered in oil and garlic.
  • Cover the pan for a minute to let it steam, then stir again. Repeat this process until the spinach is wilted down, about 5 minutes later.
    Covering a pan of garlic sauteed spinach for steaming.
  • Season with salt and pepper, then serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 91kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 90mg, Potassium: 642mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 10633IU, Vitamin C: 33mg, Calcium: 116mg, Iron: 3mg
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: garlic sauteed spinach, sauteed spinach, spinach recipe
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29 comments on “Garlic Sauteed Spinach”

  1. Such an easy and flavorful side dish. I loved that the texture to the spinach was so soft. Thanks Lisa for always finding the best tricks to make food so delicious ;-)5 stars

  2. So easy and so good!5 stars

  3. After a lifetime of leaving on packaged foods, I am trying to get into eating healthier and cooking, so excuse me for these stupid questions but:

    1. can frozen spinach be used?
    2. will this turn out still if you can’t cover the skillet? I cannot find a lid to fit mine properly.

    This looks so delicious and easy though, and would be PERFECT for me to start eating more vegetables.

    • Hi Lis – yes, you can use frozen spinach, as well as a pan without a lid. Just make sure to toss it around as it cooks.

  4. DELICIOUS sautéed spinach! So quick and easy for a side. 100 percent recommend! 5 stars

  5. Made with your juicy baked chicken recipe. Such an easy and yummy side. 5 stars

  6. Can you do french onion soup please

  7. This looks so great!! Simple way to use up spinach and goes great with every meal too. Thank you Lisa~ I always love your recipes and posts :)

  8. This is absolutely delicious! I love that it’s such a crowd pleaser for the whole family5 stars

  9. Made this and had it with your garlic butter shrimp recipe and it was amazing, thank you!!5 stars

  10. Love that this is made in 10 minutes!!!5 stars

  11. I love spinach and could eat it all day! This sounds like such a quick and tasty way to enjoy it!5 stars

  12. I just love simple side dishes like this! Looks delicious. :)5 stars

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