This is exactly what it sounds like—easy, simple, virtuous greens that you can serve with any main course. This is how my Mama makes it—no fuss, just simple ingredients—olive oil, salt, pepper, and plenty of garlic are all you need for the absolute best sautéed spinach.
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The Easiest Greens
This is one of those recipes that is so simple and it delivers perfect results every time. When I was a kid, I remember being amazed at how a giant pile of spinach could cook down to nothing. I’ve been making this recipe my whole life, and it still surprises me sometimes.
So don’t be afraid to pile on those leafy greens! I promise they’ll cook down to the perfect side dish. That’s why we don’t skimp on the garlic—there’s a lot more volume to flavor than it seems. With a dish this simple, you can pair it with anything. You could even top your cooked spinach a poached egg and call it breakfast.
In fact, what I serve this garlic spinach with is the only thing that changes about this recipe. Usually, I adapt recipes to fit my lifestyle—this one is perfect exactly how it is. Enjoy! – Linds x
So, How Healthy is Spinach?
- Is sautéed spinach healthy? Yes, sautéed spinach is incredibly healthy. When you sauté this green, it condenses, so you consume significantly more than you would in raw form–meaning, you increase the amount of nutrients consumed when sautéeing spinach. That said, yes, a minimal amount of nutrients die when the spinach is cooked (more on that here).
- Is this recipe keto? Sure is! This keto spinach happens to be one of our family’s favorite ways to eat keto vegetables.
- Does cooking spinach destroy nutrients? There is a minimal effect on the amount of Vitamin C found in cooked spinach (when compared to raw). Again, more details can be found here.
Sautéed Ingredient Notes
This three-ingredient sautéed spinach comes together more easily than most recipes. Here are some ingredient questions you may have before jumping in:
- Baby vs. mature spinach. These are the same, the only difference is that baby spinach is harvested before fully matured. Regular spinach is said to be bolder in taste, and baby spinach is more “mushy” in texture. That said, I use them interchangeably here, and don’t have a personal preference.
- Fresh garlic vs. powdered garlic – Powdered is not a substitute for fresh garlic here. It’s far less flavorful and won’t release the same oils.
- Kosher salt vs. table salt – These measure differently, so use kosher salt, or, check out this conversion table. Essentially, 1 teaspoon of table salt = 1 1/4 teaspoon of kosher.
How to Wash Spinach
How you wash, dry, and prep your spinach will depend on what kind of spinach you buy: baby or regular. Here are a few tips.
- Baby spinach is typically prewashed, and the stems have a mild texture, so I leave them intact. Just read the packaging on the product you buy to ensure it has been washed and you should be good to go.
- Regular spinach has long and stringy stems, I like to remove these before cooking. Spinach leaves have a tendency to hold on to dirt–I like to soak it in a large bowl of cold water, then spin it in a salad spinner before attempting to sauté (otherwise the water will splatter when it comes in contact with hot oil).
How to Cook Spinach
1. Heat garlic in a large skillet, and add the spinach once shimmering.
2. You probably won’t be able to add all the spinach at once. I like to fold the spinach over itself as it begins to soften to ensure even cooking. Then fold in fresh spinach until you’ve added everything.
3. Once the spinach has wilted, add the salt, pepper, and garlic. Sauté until the garlic becomes fragrant.
What to Serve With Sautéed Spinach
Serve this alongside your favorite protein and starch. For protein, I love a good salmon dish (serious extra credit health points)–check out this dijon salmon, or this salmon marinade for some easy weeknight dishes. It’s also great with chicken, like this sheet pan Meditteranean chicken.
Can cooked spinach be reheated?
Totally! Simply reheat your garlic spinach in the microwave before dishing it up.
As with most sautéed veggies, this dish is flexible. Here are some upgrades you can make to your garlic spinach:
- Add more veggies. Think sautéed spinach and mushrooms, red onions, or even bell peppers.
- Add fresh lemon juice for a little zing.
- Add some heat with a generous (or tiny) sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes.
- Finish with butter, just fold it into your warm cooked spinach.
More Veggie Dishes
Sautéed SpinachPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- 11 ounces fresh spinach
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
- Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once shimmering, add the spinach (11 ounces). You'll probably need to do this in batches, I find using tongs to fold the spinach as it cooks is the easiest way to do this. Add fresh spinach and continue to fold in.
- Once the spinach is completely wilted, add the salt (1/2 teaspoon), pepper (1/4 teaspoon), and garlic (2 cloves). Continue to saute until the garlic becomes fragrant–1-2 minutes. Remove from heat, eat immediately, and enjoy.