Garlic Sauteed Spinach


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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 to a variety 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. Plus, 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, use it as 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.

Ingredients for garlic sauteed spinach.

Sautéed Spinach Ingredients

For this recipe, we’re creating a garlic-infused oil to coat the spinach, which also helps 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.
Sauteing garlic in a pan.
  • Sauté the spinach. Use tongs to flip the spinach so all sides are coated in oil and garlic.
Baby spinach in a pan.
  • Steam. Then cover the pan, let it steam for a minute or so, then stir again. After a few minutes it should be completely wilted.
Wilting spinach in a pan.
  • Season and serve. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then serve it up with a few tasty options listed below!
Sauteed spinach in a pan.

Common Questions

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, just remember that it will reduce drastically in size!

Is boxed baby spinach or fresh 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 spinach in a pinch. Just make sure to defrost and thoroughly drain it before sautéing.

How 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 3 to 4 days.
  • How to reheat sautéed spinach. Simply microwave it for 30 seconds, or until it’s warmed through.

More Sautéed Recipes

Quick and easy weeknight dinners rely on sautéed veggies. It’s such a quick-cooking method!

I hope you enjoy this garlic sauteed spinach. 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 21 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan


Garlic sautéed spinach transforms bundles of baby spinach into an easy, healthy and flavorful side dish that's made in just 10 minutes! Watch the video below to see how I make it in my kitchen!



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


  • 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.


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
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

Recipe originally published January 2021, but updated to include new information for your benefit!

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Great easy recipe. I followed the ingredients for frozen chopped spinach and it turned out fantastic! Thanks5 stars

  2. Easy and delicious. I added about 1/4 cup of water to aid in the spinach wilting. This not not alter taste since water evaporates. 5 stars

  3. New to this green life so had to look this up because i need more iron. Thank you for the recipe! I can eat it just like that without any staples5 stars

  4. Since I found your videos I cant stop cooking. My family eating all food what I prepare from your blog. Thank You so much for all recipe, they are all delicious. Plus I try today first time in my life meditation from your blog aswell. Is amazing, I feel like dance today all day. 🤗😍5 stars

  5. 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

  6. 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.

    1. 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.

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