Spruce up your greens with this easy sautéed spinach recipe. With just 5 ingredients and 5 minutes, you can have an award-winning side dish that’s good for you and packed with flavor.
I believe that anyone can learn to love spinach, even if you aren’t named Popeye. This sautéed spinach recipe, for instance, instantly turns this leafy green into a tender and savory side dish using only a handful of ingredients and 5 minutes of work. It’s easy to love and is quickly becoming one of my favorite healthy side dishes, just like my sautéed broccolini, eggplant, and carrots!
The best sautéed spinach recipe
While spinach is typically known as an add-in for artichoke dip, green smoothies, and stuffed chicken breasts, it’s so rarely enjoyed on its own. I want to show you how quickly and easily you can transform this regular leafy green into a crowd-pleasing side you can pair with all of your favorite main dishes.
- Quick and easy! It’s a foolproof one-pan recipe made with minimal savory ingredients in just 5 minutes.
- Low carb, keto, vegetarian, and gluten free. It’s an all-around healthy side dish that’s perfect for almost all dietary needs.
- The best way to eat more greens. Raw spinach can be pretty “blah” as-is. If you want to eat more greens but not suffer through flavorless meals, sauté it in garlic and butter first!
Simple ingredients you likely already have at home are all it takes to transform raw spinach into a savory vegetable side dish. These are the ingredient you need:
- Spinach. Fresh spinach is, of course, the star of the show here. It cooks quickly and is easy to transform into an exciting side dish using a handful of flavor boosters. Best of all, cooked spinach is really good for you as it’s loaded with vitamins A and C, fiber, iron, and calcium.
- Butter. The fat in butter adds plenty of flavor to each bite. You can make this recipe vegan-friendly by using dairy free butter instead of regular butter.
Add even more flavor by swapping the butter for bacon fat, goose fat, ghee, or lard.
- Olive oil. For more flavor and to help prevent the spinach and garlic from sticking to the pan.
- Garlic. Spinach and garlic are a dream team. Just one clove is enough to make every bite deliciously savory.
- Salt and pepper. For flavor.
How to make sautéed spinach with garlic
This is a 10-minute recipe you can turn to whenever you need a last-minute side dish. It’s easy to dress up or down, plus it’s healthy, too! Here’s how to make it:
Step 1 – Sauté the garlic
Add the butter and olive oil to a skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the garlic and cook until it’s fragrant.
Step 2 – Add the spinach
Next, add the spinach to the pan along with the salt and pepper. Cook until the leaves wilt.
Step 3 – Serve
Serve the cooked spinach and garlic next to your favorite main dishes and enjoy!
This simple side dish leaves plenty of room for customization, whether you choose to add in meat or give it more vibrance with aromatics. Here’s how I recommend playing with this recipe:
- Add meat. Sauté diced bacon, ham, turkey bacon, or pancetta in the pan before adding the garlic and spinach for even more fat and flavor. We often do this with sauteed potatoes, too.
- Use a medley of greens. You don’t only have to use spinach. Saute even more greens alongside it, like kale, Swiss chard, collard greens, Napa cabbage, or bok choy.
- Add more aromatics. Sauté shallots, onions, or scallions along with the garlic. A pinch of red chili flakes or lemon zest will also add layers of complexity here (we love doing this with asparagus!).
- Finish with lemon. A spritz of freshly squeezed lemon juice over top of the cooked spinach adds a nice zesty brightness.
- Or garnish with toppings. When they’re on the plate, top the spinach with pine nuts, walnuts, candied almonds, chili oil, or lemon zest.
To make ahead. Cook the spinach as normal, then store it in an airtight container in the fridge overnight.
To store. The leftover cooked spinach can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 5 days.
To reheat. Warm the sautéed spinach and garlic in the microwave or in a lightly oiled skillet over medium heat until warmed through.
Yes, you can use frozen spinach if that’s all you have at home. Add it to the pan along with the garlic and cook until it’s thawed, wilted, and warmed through.
Your body has an easier time absorbing the nutrients from spinach when it’s cooked compared to when it’s fresh. So while the added fat and calories from the butter and olive oil may lower this side dish’s health score, it should still be considered a healthy recipe.
- Add the butter and olive oil to a large non-stick skillet or pan.
- Once hot, add the garlic, then the spinach, salt, and pepper, and saute for 2-3 minutes, or until wilted.
- Remove the spinach from the pan and serve with lemon slices.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.