Add a healthy boost of nutrients to your dinner with this easy Sauteed Spinach. Baby spinach is added to a skillet along with garlic and olive oil, then sauteed gently to create a simple side dish that pairs with any meal!
Add some nutrients and flavor to all of your meals with this easy Sauteed Spinach recipe. This leafy green vegetable contains a ton of vitamins and minerals. Unlike most raw vegetables, it’s actually healthier when cooked as the nutrients are easier to absorb.
Sauteed spinach with garlic is one of my favorite go-to side dishes because it isn’t complicated, is very versatile, is made in 1 pan, and pairs well with almost any recipe. Seasoned with fresh garlic and olive oil, the wilted spinach is infused with savory and complementary flavors. It’s simple, aromatic, and is ready to eat with dinner in minutes.
You can flavor sauteed spinach in many different ways and use it to compliment any main meal. I love serving it alongside Classic Steak Diane or a simple but flavorful Whole Roasted Chicken. It also pairs well with many comforting side dishes like Mashed Sweet Potatoes or Glazed Carrots.
How to saute fresh spinach
Heat a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat with olive oil. Saute the garlic until it’s soft and fragrant.
Add the bunches of fresh spinach and turn the leaves using tongs. Saute the spinach until the leaves wilt and the garlic has been incorporated.
Remove from the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Add a garnish if you’d like and serve hot with your favorite main course or side dishes.
Sauteed spinach mix-ins:
One of the best features of sauteed spinach is that it takes on whatever flavor you add to it. This means you can serve it simple and plain or add in some fun flavors to take it to the next level. This is what I recommend:
- Butter and lemon juice
- A pinch of nutmeg
- Chopped bacon
- Dried chile flakes
- Sauteed shallots
- Sauteed onions
- Sauteed mushrooms
- Sun-dried tomatoes
- A splash of heavy cream
- Curry powder
- Beans or chickpeas
- Crumbled feta or goat cheese
- Sliced almonds or chopped nuts
- Smoked paprika
- A pinch of brown sugar
Tips and tricks
- Use fresh spinach instead of frozen to avoid excess water.
- It may seem like you’ll end up with a lot of spinach based on the amount of fresh greens you need, but it does shrink down quite a bit as it wilts.
- Keep the heat low enough so the greens wilt but do not burn. If it’s taking too long, you can always add a splash of vegetable stock or water to help them steam.
- If you find that the spinach is a little bitter after cooking, add a squeeze of lemon juice on top to help counteract the bitter taste. Apple cider vinegar would also work if you don’t have lemon.
Wine pairings for cooked spinach:
- A light Pinot Noir with bright acidity, cherry, and earthy notes will complement the flavors in sauteed spinach.
- A dry Chardonnay with mild oak complexity would also work well alongside dishes with dark leafy greens.
If you loved this Sauteed Spinach, I would appreciate it so much if you would give this recipe a star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.
What to serve with sauteed spinach:
- Pork Chops with Cherry Sauce
- Brown Sugar Mustard Glazed Ham
- Chicken with White Wine Sauce
- Red Wine Braised Beef Short Ribs
More vegetable side dishes:
- 1 1/2 pounds baby spinach leaves (24 ounces)
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons chopped garlic (about 6 cloves)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- In a very large skillet or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil and sauté the garlic over medium heat for 30 seconds-1 minute, until fragrant.
- Add spinach in bunches, wilting and turning leaves in the pan, until all of the spinach is incorporated and wilted.
- Season spinach with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve warm.