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.
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.
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!
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
- Serve as an easy side. It tastes great alongside baked chicken breasts, any chicken thigh recipe, prime rib, or seafood such garlic butter shrimp or dijon baked salmon.
- Top it on a warm base. This makes for an easy, savory topping on a bowl of oatmeal with a hard boiled egg. Or a grain bowl with roasted sweet potatoes, roasted broccoli, and a poached egg.
- Sneak it into recipes. With how small it becomes when cooked, it’s great for sneaking into recipes such my green shakshuka, one-pan chicken and rice, zucchini noodles with chicken and parmesan, and tons more!
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
- 1 pound baby spinach
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- salt and 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.
- 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.
- Season with salt and pepper, then serve.
Great recipe and technique! Simple and delicious! :)
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.
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 staples
Spinach is always a great (and easy) way to get more greens in!
I found the spinich to leave a bitter after taste. Did I do something wrong?
Nothing wrong! It will naturally have a slight bitter taste.
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. 🤗😍
very very nice Thank you!
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 ;-)
Glad this post was helpful Babette :)
one pound of spinich? so you use 16 oz?
Yes, around 16oz!
So easy and so good!
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.
Can’t beat this classic side dish :)
DELICIOUS sautéed spinach! So quick and easy for a side. 100 percent recommend!
Happy to hear you enjoyed this spinach recipe Trisha!
very very nice
Made with your juicy baked chicken recipe. Such an easy and yummy side.
Glad you enjoyed both recipes Ashley :)
Can you do french onion soup please
Will keep that in mind!
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 :)
Thanks Stella! Enjoy the recipe :)
This is absolutely delicious! I love that it’s such a crowd pleaser for the whole family
A great way to sneak in more greens for the whole family!
Made this and had it with your garlic butter shrimp recipe and it was amazing, thank you!!
Glad you enjoyed this quick and easy side dish Tawnie :)
Love that this is made in 10 minutes!!!
Can’t beat a quick and easy side dish!
I love spinach and could eat it all day! This sounds like such a quick and tasty way to enjoy it!
You can’t beat a simple sauteed spinach :)
I just love simple side dishes like this! Looks delicious. :)
All you need is some garlic and olive oil to give it life!