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This sauteed spinach recipe is a quick and easy way to enjoy this nutrient-rich vegetable — and I’ll show you how to saute spinach so that it gets perfectly tender (never mushy)! Much like sauteed broccoli or sauteed asparagus, it’s easy to cook spinach in a pan in minutes.
This sauteed spinach with garlic uses simple ingredients and makes the perfect healthy side dish to serve with your favorite meal, or as an addition to spinach stuffed chicken breasts and spinach artichoke dip!
Why You’ll Love This Sauteed Spinach Recipe
- Buttery, garlicky flavor
- Soft texture, but never mushy
- Just a few simple ingredients
- Done in 6 minutes
- Easy to pair with lots of dishes
Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for spinach sauteed in garlic, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Olive Oil – Any other neutral cooking oil, such as avocado oil, would work. Ghee would also make a great substitute.
- Garlic – Fresh minced garlic cloves give spinach the best flavor, but you could use jarred minced garlic to save time.
- Fresh Spinach – Look for spinach leaves that are dark green and free from bruising or wilting. Before cooking spinach, make sure any thick stems are removed. You can also saute baby spinach!
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper – For simple flavor.
- Unsalted Butter – Adds so much flavor! This is optional, but I think it really sets this recipe apart from other sauteed spinach recipes. You could substitute butter-flavored coconut oil for a dairy-free option.
- Lemon Wedges – Optional, for serving. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice adds bright flavor and cuts any bitterness.
How To Saute Spinach With Garlic
This section shows how to make sauteed spinach with garlic, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Saute garlic. In a large skillet with tall sides (I used this braiser pan and it was perfect), heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add minced garlic and saute until fragrant.
- Add spinach. Immediately add half of the spinach (or as much as you can fit) and stir to mix with the garlic.
- Cook. Cover and cook the first batch until the spinach just barely starts to wilt.
- Repeat. Add the remaining spinach to the pan. Use tongs to stir, so that the spinach toward the top reaches the bottom of the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Cover again and cook until the remaining spinach is just barely wilted, but not fully. Repeat this step until all the spinach is added to the pan and wilted.
TIP: Want to cook the entire batch at once? Use a Dutch oven.
If you prefer not to saute spinach in two batches (cooking half first and then adding the rest), you can use a Dutch oven (or a pot) and add it all at once. If you do, lift the lid to stir every minute or so, to let all the spinach wilt evenly.
- Cook away the liquid. Remove the lid and increase medium heat to high. Saute to evaporate excess liquid.
- Add butter. Remove from heat. Stir in the butter (if using), until melted.
- Serve. Adjust salt and pepper to taste, if needed. Serve garlic sauteed spinach with lemon wedges, if desired.
- Add onions – Saute ½ cup diced onion in the same pan before adding the garlic.
- Make it spicy – Add red pepper flakes along with the salt and pepper for more spice.
- Add cheese – Sprinkle with feta or parmesan cheese at the end.
- Include bacon – Before you begin sauteing spinach, cook bacon in the oven to crisp. Crumble and mix in after spinach is fully finished.
- Store: Cool completely and keep leftovers in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
- Reheat: Add spinach to a pan over low heat. Slowly cook until heated through, being careful not to burn it. Once warm, add a squeeze of lemon juice and a pinch of salt to brighten the flavor.
Can You Freeze Sauteed Spinach?
Yes, you can freeze sauteed spinach. Spread it out in a single layer on a baking sheet, then freeze for at least an hour. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer-safe container or bag. To enjoy, thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.
If you want to use sauteed spinach for other recipes, you can store it in portions. Freeze it in ice cube trays, then store the cubes in a freezer bag. When you’re ready to use it, add cubes to a pan and heat until thawed.
What To Serve With Sauteed Spinach
This recipe for sauteed spinach is the perfect side dish to just about any main dish! Try it with:
- Steak – Complement sirloin steak, New York strip, or filet mignon with a side of buttery, garlicky sauteed spinach.
- Seafood – Pair these greens with with halibut or surf and turf for a fancier meal, or for every day, baked salmon or pan fried tilapia.
- Chicken – Simple baked chicken breast, roasted chicken legs (or chicken leg quarters), or even french onion chicken are all delicious with this versatile side.
More Easy Spinach Recipes
If you liked this recipe for sauteed spinach with garlic, you will love some of my other delicious ways to prepare these greens.
Easy Sauteed Spinach With Garlic Recipe
Sauteed Spinach Recipe (Easy In 6 Minutes!)
This sauteed spinach recipe with garlic takes 6 minutes! Learn how to saute spinach with garlic and olive oil for a delicious, healthy side.
Recipe VideoTap on the image below to watch the video.
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
In a 12-inch skillet with tall sides, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
Add the minced garlic and saute for about 30 seconds, until fragrant.
Immediately (so that the garlic doesn’t burn), add half of the spinach (or as much as you can fit) and stir to mix with the garlic.
Cover and cook for 1-2 minutes, until the spinach just barely starts to wilt.
Add the remaining spinach to the pan. Use tongs to stir so that the spinach toward the top reaches the bottom of the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Cover again and cook for just 1 more minute, until the remaining spinach is just barely wilted, but not fully. (If you can’t fit all the spinach in 2 batches, repeat this step until all the spinach is added to the pan and wilted.
Remove the lid and increase heat to high. Saute spinach, uncovered, for 1-2 minutes to evaporate excess liquid. (Alternatively, if you prefer it less wilted, you can skip this step and simply drain the liquid.)
Remove from heat. Stir in the butter (if using), until melted.
Adjust salt and pepper to taste, if needed. Serve sauteed spinach with lemon wedges, if desired.
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Serving size: 1/2 cup
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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This is such an easy side dish to make when I don’t have any more frozen veggies in the freezer! Simple and tasty and takes less than 10 minutes!
Journa Liz Ramirez0
This recipe is a must-try! It’s easy to make and so healthy. My family loves this and I would probably make this again. Highly recommended!
The perfect side dish because it’s so easy to make and absolutely delicious. I love this so much!