How to cook Spinach



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If in doubt, grab a handful of spinach! Spinach is super-versatile and can be used in loads of delicious recipes. Try dropping chunks of chopped frozen spinach into soups, stews or casseroles for a veg boost. Baby spinach leaves can be eaten raw in salads, added to sandwiches, or whizzed up into smoothies, dressings and sauces. The larger ones are better sautéed or steamed and served as a side dish, or added to pasta, pies or frittatas.

WATCH: Feta & spinach filo pie

READ: Healthy lentil, tomato & spinach soup

WHAT IS SPINACH?

Spinach is a leafy vegetable in the goosefoot plant family, which also includes beetroot. There are two main types of spinach: the smooth-leaved variety and the more crinkly Savoy spinach. This leafy veggie contains a high percentage of water, which is why it shrinks a lot when cooked.

WHEN IS SPINACH IN SEASON?

Spinach is available throughout the year.

HOW TO STORE SPINACH

Spinach is best kept in the fridge. Make sure it’s completely dry before chilling, or it will become soggy. When choosing spinach, look for leaves that have a strong green colour. Avoid spinach that is wilting, pale or yellow.


What are the health benefits?

Spinach is a good source of folate. Folate is a nutrient we need to make red blood cells – we need red blood cells to transport oxygen around our body. A dessert bowl of fresh spinach counts as one of your 5-a-day (one portion of veg or fruit is 80g raw weight), and it's high in folic acid, manganese and vitamins A and C - what a joy!


Easy Sautéed Spinach

Elise founded Simply Recipes in 2003 and led the site until 2019. She has an MA in Food Research from Stanford University.

Popeye was the best thing that ever hit the spinach industry. When I was a kid you couldn't pay me to eat lima beans or peas, but spinach? I begged for it we all did.

Especially if it came from a can.

We wanted to be cool like Popeye, who could knock Bluto to Kingdom Come just by downing a can of spinach, which always conveniently found its way to Popeye's mouth when his situation was most dire.

Our parents worked hard to convince us that cooked fresh spinach was just as good, if not better than the canned stuff.


How to Cook Malabar Spinach

Malabar spinach has stiff, slightly spongy leaves reminiscent of chard. Because of its texture, it's best used cooked rather than in salads. Malabar spinach, also called Mong Toi, originates in India, where it readily grows on vines. This healthy green is easy to grow, as the tough leaves are more tolerant to heat than most spinach varieties. It is rich in iron its taste lends itself well to sauteing. Adding tofu to the spinach saute adds a fair amount of protein.


Satisfying Spinach Recipes

From fresh leafy salads to veggie-loaded baked pastas (and everything in between) these delicious spinach recipes make it easy to fill up on good-for-you greens.

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Garlic Sauteed Spinach

You&rsquoll have no problem eating your leafy greens with this 5-star recipes. It has hundreds of rave reviews with fans saying that it&rsquos both &ldquoeasy&rdquo and &ldquodelicious&rdquo. What&rsquos not to love?!

Make-Ahead Spinach and Mushroom Breakfast Sandwiches

We've turned the classic spinach and mushroom omelet into a delicious breakfast sandwich that you can enjoy anytime. The trick is to bake the "scrambled" eggs in the oven, and then cut out rounds for each sandwich that you can then freeze.

Fusilli with Spinach and Asiago Cheese

Spinach makes a great pasta add-in. It pairs perfectly with a variety of sauces, meats and veggies and easily ups the nutritional value of your meal. So go ahead, eat up!

Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Chicken Skillet

Inspired by a favorite hot appetizer, this creamy weeknight chicken skillet dinner has all the best parts of spinach and artichoke dip.

Roasted Potatoes and Spinach

Crispy potatoes meet garlicky greens for an easy, any-night side dish.

Spinach Frittata

Trisha adds tender baby spinach to her tomato-and-Swiss frittata for an extra does of good-for-you green veggies.

Lightened-Up Spinach and Artichoke Macaroni and Cheese

This lightened-up but still creamy version of macaroni and cheese is full of protein (an impressive 29 grams per serving). The whole-wheat pasta, spinach and artichoke hearts add their vitamin, mineral and fiber superpowers, too. Winner, winner healthy dinner!

Spinach Salad with Goat Cheese and Walnuts

It doesn&rsquot take much to turn a few cups of baby spinach into a company-worthy salad. In this case, just a sprinkle of toasted walnuts and crumbled goat cheese &mdash and a bit of our simple red wine-Dijon vinaigrette.

Healthy Spinach and Ricotta Pizza

Health-ify pizza night by making your own whole-wheat crust and topping it with a simple homemade sauce and plenty of good-for-you leafy green spinach.

Spinach and Egg Sandwiches

The easiest way to get a healthy dose of leafy greens in the morning? Sauté spinach with shallot and strips of Canadian bacon for a delicious and satisfying sandwich filler.

Herby Spinach and Mushroom Baked Ziti

Traditional baked ziti is gussied up with cremini mushrooms, baby spinach and lots of basil and parsley &mdash for a hearty meal that's sure to please.

Big-Batch Healthy Beef, Mushroom and Spinach Calzones

Set aside some extra time one weekend to make a dozen of these calzones. Then pack your freezer full of them and know you've got healthy lunches or dinners for those hectic days covered.

Spinach-and-Garlic Lentils

This bright and satisfying lentil side dish will make you forget you ever had a dull brown one. We use orange lentils, which cook fast, and finish the whole dish with vibrant spinach and a garlic-spice butter drizzled on top.

Spinach and Green Apple Salad

Ellie&rsquos simple salad is sweet-and-savory perfection. She dresses up dark, leafy spinach with Granny Smith apple &mdash for a crisp, refreshing bite. A sprinkle of walnuts rounds everything out with a nice, toasty flavor.

Mini Spinach and Mushroom Quiche

These mini quiches are individually sized without a crust for great portion control. In addition, the combination of half egg whites and half whole eggs, crumbled turkey bacon and baby spinach make for a tasty breakfast that's light on calories.

Turkey Tetrazzini with Spinach and Mushrooms

Weeknight dinners just got so much easier. This all-in-one pasta dish has protein and veggies &mdash and is ready in just 30 minutes.

Spinach Artichoke Pasta Salad

Rachael&rsquos super-easy pasta is packed with wholesome ingredients (like artichoke hearts, roasted pepper and fresh baby spinach. Better yet, it&rsquos ready to eat in just 13 minutes!

Spinach, Tomato and Feta Oatmeal

This satisfying dish takes a traditional breakfast favorite and turns it into a savory version with an almost risotto-like texture. It's great served warm or at room temperature.

Spinach-Almond Rice

Effortlessly dress up fluffy basmati rice by tossing in bright green spinach, flavorful marinated artichoke hearts and crunchy toasted almonds.

Spinach with Tahini Sauce

Make an irresistibly savory and delicious sauce for gently cooked greens by mixing tahini, soy sauce, rice vinegar and a little sugar. After you drizzle the sauce over the spinach, finish everything with a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds for a side dish that will be gone in minutes!


GREEN SMOOTHIE WITH SPINACH, ALMOND BUTTER AND DATES

“If you've ever added spinach to a smoothie, you likely know its flavor is nearly indiscernible,” says "Bread Toast Crumbs" author and Alexandra’s Kitchen blogger Alexandra Stafford.

Her green smoothie is “quenching and restorative, perfectly sweet thanks to a date and a banana, and slightly creamy thanks to almond butter and hemp seeds.” If you’re wary of veggie smoothies, Stafford says this is a great “gateway” green smoothie. “I have a hard time not chugging it, because I find it to refreshing,” she says. The smoothie formula is also flexible, notes Stafford. You can swap half the banana for a half cup of frozen cauliflower, replace the hemp seeds with chia seeds or experiment with different non-dairy milks.


Sautéed Spinach

Danielle Centoni is a Portland-based, James Beard Journalism Award-winning food writer and cookbook author whose idea of a perfect day always includes butter, sugar, flour, and an oven.

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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 103
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 4g 19%
Cholesterol 15mg 5%
Sodium 244mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 5g 19%
Protein 7g
Calcium 268mg 21%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

The key to delicious, flavorful spinach is to sauté it, not stew it, which is what too many people do when they think they're sautéing it. Cook it quickly over very high heat, stirring very frequently so the liquid that cooks off evaporates more or less immediately, so the pan stays dry, and the spinach leaves are cooking in dry heat, not wet heat. Too many bunches of spinach have been ruined by low temperatures that cause the delicate leaves to stew in their own liquid (which can be tasty but doesn't result in the brighter flavor of sautéed spinach).

This sautéed spinach recipe is as much a method as a recipe, so increase amounts, and add seasoning as you like, just make sure that you're always using a pan that's large enough to hold the spinach in a very shallow layer. Work in batches, if necessary.


How much Cooked Spinach Does Raw Spinach Make?

The most important thing to know is that a voluminous amount of uncooked spinach results in a somewhat startling amount of sautéed or cooked spinach. All of this depends on whether you chop the spinach, and how finely or roughly, and how long you cook the spinach, but it’s general guide.

  • 5 ounces of raw spinach (the size of a typical container or “clamshell” of baby spinach) yields about 1/2 cup of cooked spinach.
  • 8 ounces (1/2 pound) equals about 2/3 cup.
  • 1 pound of uncooked spinach will get you about 1 1/3 cups cooked spinach.

Grow Your Own Spinach

Although spinach is usually available year round it does taste best when picked from your own garden. I don’t know what it is, maybe the freshness and knowing “you grew it” but it does taste better.

Spinach is one of the most nutritious and cold-hardy vegetables. Spinach seeds germinate and grow best in the cool weather of spring or fall.

Maybe you’ll be as surprised as I was to know there are different types of spinach that can be grown in the garden.

If you’d like to see the wide variety of seeds and which ones would work best for growing in your garden check out all the spinach seed varieties here.


How to Boil Spinach (Step-by-Step Instructions)

Boiling spinach is a simple process that you need to follow step by step. This particular recipe for boiling spinach is specific for 125 grams of spinach. If you wish to boil more or less, then you will need to change the other ingredients’ amounts accordingly. Here’s how you can boil spinach:

Step 1: Add Water to a Utensil

Simply start by adding 750 ml of water to a utensil. This amount is perfect for the 125 grams of spinach being boiled in this recipe. As mentioned, vary the amount according to the other ingredients.

Step 2: Add Salt to the Water

Add a tablespoon of salt to the water. The salt acts as a seasoning for the spinach while it boils. Furthermore, salt also raises the boiling point of the water, offering a more even and thorough provision of heat to the water and anything in it. Furthermore, the boiling allows the salt to dissolve inside the water quickly. Adding salt will give the spinach more flavor. You can also increase or decrease the amount of salt according to your preferred taste.

Step 3: Bring the Water to a Boil

The water has to be boiled beforehand to boil spinach, rather than boiling it with the spinach in the water. The reason for doing this is that boiling the spinach directly will end up destroying it. The boiling water causes the color and the flavor of the spinach to seep out since it can destroy the structure of the spinach leaves and leave them permanently damaged. Hence why boiling directly is something that you must not do with spinach.

Step 4: Take Out Your Spinach and Remove the Stems

For this recipe, we will be using 125 grams of spinach. The amount used here is specifically for this recipe. As mentioned before, if you use more or less, then you will have to change the quantity of the other ingredients appropriately.

You will have to remove the stems from the spinach leaves. The stems have no nutritional benefits and are not edible. Simply pull off every leaf and make sure that you only have the spinach leaves left.

Step 5: Rinse Thoroughly with Water

Rinse the spinach with water and make sure to clean it all properly. Rinsing the spinach is important because it removes any dirt, dust, or external impurities that might have made its way onto the spinach. Furthermore, the rinsing process acts as a treatment for the spinach and prepares it for the cooking stage.

Step 6: Place in the Water and let it Cook

Simply place the spinach inside the water which had been brought to the boiling point. Make sure to spread the spinach around and ensure that it does not clump together in a particular area. When the spinach has been placed inside and spread out evenly in the water, next place the lid on the utensil. Let the spinach cook for 3-4 minutes. You need to make sure that you don’t put the utensil on the stove. The spinach needs to cook in preheated water.

Step 7: Rinse the Spinach to Remove all Moisture

The final step involves removing the spinach out from the water and draining it of moisture. You simply need to use a sieve for this step. Drain the spinach through the sieve and let the water trickle down. Apply pressure on the spinach to remove any moisture it may still have. Once the spinach has been thoroughly drained, it’s now ready to plate and serve.


32 Delicious Spinach Recipes That Even Spinach Haters Will Love

These easy recipes will definitely make you want to eat all of your greens.

When you were a kid, chances are you hated spinach. Whether it was steamed (and soggy) or raw (and sandy), it was never tasty. But now, you're armed with these easy spinach recipes, which are so full of flavor you&rsquoll be able to convince even the pickiest eaters that spinach is the best veggie around.

Whether you&rsquore serving spinach dip as a delicious appetizer, or making a side dish out of sautéed spinach covered with onions and garlic, this nutritious superfood is super versatile. Plus, Popeye had the right idea, loading up on healthy and nutritious spinach to grow strong: This leafy green is full of vitamins A and K, not to mention it can boost heart health, improve cholesterol, and build muscle.

It's a great idea to eat spinach every day: You can use it in a quick and easy breakfast by adding it to a make-ahead egg sandwich, as a base for salad at lunch, or make a vegetarian dish for family dinner night. You can even throw a handful into your favorite smoothie for a big punch of nutrients. In short, these spinach recipes will teach even the spinach haters among us that this green can actually taste good.


Cooking with Spinach

Spinach is classic with eggs—in omelets, frittatas and soufflés. Complementary flavors include garlic, sesame, ginger and chile lemon, vinegar and Kalamata olives and bacon and nutmeg. Baby spinach is best eaten raw—in salads and on sandwiches. For cooking, mature spinach is best𠅋ut when it&aposs fresh and crisp, it&aposs also great eaten raw. Spinach has a water content of between 80 and 90%. When it is cooked𠅎ven for the briefest time—it loses considerable volume. Flavor and texture also suffer from overcooking, so in general, the shorter the cook time, the better.

Sauté: Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add 4 cloves thinly sliced garlic and cook until beginning to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 20 ounces mature spinach, stemmed and rinsed toss to coat. Cover and cook until wilted, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and toss with 1 tablespoon lemon juice and ¼ teaspoon each crushed red pepper and salt. Serves 4.

Microwave: Place 1 pound stemmed and rinsed (but not dried) mature spinach in a large microwave-safe dish. Cover and microwave on High until the spinach begins to wilt, about 2 minutes, depending on the strength of your microwave. (Drain in a mesh strainer, pressing with the back of a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible, and return to the bowl.) Toss with 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds and 2 teaspoons each toasted sesame oil and reduced-sodium soy sauce. Serves 3.

Using Frozen Spinach

Frozen spinach makes a welcome addition to soups, stews, egg dishes and casseroles, just to name a few. To defrost spinach, it&aposs best to do it gently in the refrigerator, or microwave for 1 to 2 minutes on defrost mode, taking care not to cook it further. Spinach retains a lot of water during freezing. Unless you are simply adding frozen spinach to a soup or stew, plan on squeezing thawed, frozen spinach dry before cooking with it.