Spinach cooked with garlic and olive oil in a skillet on stove top, then sprinkled with freshly squeezed lemon juice and lemon zest. Easy instructions on how to cook spinach the easy way, the natural way.
This is the recipe for the best cooked spinach. It's cooked with a minimum of ingredients, with the addition of just olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Tasty, quick, healthy, and beautiful side dish! Scroll down to see how to cook spinach. Spinach goes great with pasta, grilled meats, steak, and chicken. It's very easy to make, inexpensive, paleo, vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free!
If you have too much spinach, or want a steakhouse quality side dish for your grilled meats, this is the right recipe for you! The secret to how to cook fresh spinach properly is to not overcook it.
- Spinach really requires only a couple of minutes of cooking, and then you just let it wilt, off heat, in a covered pan. That's pretty much all there is to it, plus you also sauté some garlic for flavor.
- When cooking the garlic, make sure it doesn't burn so keep stirring at all times.
- Add just a touch of fresh lemon juice to your cooked spinach. Do not add a lot, only about a quarter of a small lemon. Do not use bottled lemon juice as it is too acidic!
- Finally, top the spinach with lemon zest! Again, not a lot of lemon zest, just a touch to add a subtle citrus flavor.
That's how easy it is to cook spinach!
How to cook spinach on stove top
Heat olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add 3 cloves of minced fresh garlic and saute the garlic for about 1 minute, constantly stirring.
Add spinach, a handful at a time, and adding another handful as spinach wilts, and cook, uncovered, on medium-high heat for only a minute or two
This is what the spinach looks like after being cooked only for 1 minute and having been sitting for 2-3 more minutes, off heat, in a covered pan (the photo right below). See how pretty it is, and it has that steakhouse beautiful texture to it?
Spinach doesn't need more than 1 minute of cooking in a preheated skillet. If you cook it longer, the texture will suffer (it will be crumbly), and spinach can acquire some sort of bitterness to it.
Top the spinach with finely grated lemon zest which adds just the right amount of kick!
Easy main dishes to go with cooked spinach
- Pan-Fried Pork Chops with Honey Lime Glaze
- Cilantro Lime Honey Garlic Salmon
- Trout with Garlic Lemon Butter Herb Sauce
- Honey Lime Chicken Thighs
Similar side dishes
If you liked this freshly cooked spinach, you might also like these freshly cooked green veggies:
- Asiago Bacon Garlic Roasted Asparagus - baked in the oven.
- Oven Roasted Asiago Cheese Broccoli - crunchy and crispy broccoli baked in the oven.
- Garlic and Bacon Green Beans - sautéed on stove top in olive oil and butter.
How to Cook Fresh Spinach
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 16 oz spinach fresh
- 3 garlic cloves
- ¼ whole lemon (freshly squeezed lemon juice)
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest or peel
- salt and cracked pepper
- Sautee spinach uncovered - to really get best spinach results, you cook it just enough to wilt - don't overcook.
- Heat olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add 3 cloves of minced fresh garlic when the oil is hot, and saute the garlic for about 1 minute to release the flavor, constantly stirring to keep garlic from burning.
- Add spinach, a handful at a time, and adding another handful as spinach wilts, and cook, uncovered, on medium-high heat for only 1 minute, constantly stirring, uncovered.
- Remove from heat and cover. Let it sit for 2-3 minutes. Uncover, and mix. Squeeze just a touch of fresh lemon juice right out of the lemon (using about a quarter of small lemon), and stir to combine. Do not use bottled lemon juice (it's too acidic).
- Taste the spinach, and add a pinch of salt, if needed (about ⅛ teaspoon), and fresh cracked pepper. It should be enough, add more salt and pepper if needed. Top with lemon zest.
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed. It should not be used as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
I haven’t tried this recipe yet, but plan on using it tomorrow. May I ask, how many servings of cooked spinach does 16 oz. of fresh make? Thank you.
Approximately, 16 oz of fresh spinach will result in about 2 cups of cooked spinach. As far as how many servings that is, I think that depends on how you use the spinach. If you use cooked spinach as a moderately sized side (not too big and not too tiny), it should be 4 servings (1/2 cup of cooked spinach per serving). I hope you try this recipe and like it! It's simple but delicious! 🙂
It was amazing I'm 7 months pregnant and am struggling with low iron so this helped us out he's a kicking away
Colette, I am glad you enjoyed this recipe! 🙂
Is it ok if I used coconut oil instead of olive oil?
Yes, I think coconut oil will work just fine!
Very good simple delicious recipe..
This turned out great
thank you! Just bought fresh spinach for the first time last night. going to try it now. So far, you're the first and only recipe I read. Appreciate it
I am trying this tonight 🙂 be my first time cooking fresh spinach. Gonna add minced garlic and butter and salt and pepper and tomatoes:) let ya now how I do haha ty for recioe
Enjoy the recipe!
I am about to try cooking my first batch. Tonight is the night. Please hold thumbs for me. Can I add tomato, peeled and onion too? Many thanks for the recipe.
Of course, you can add tomatoes and onions. You can also add spinach and caramelized onions, and even some cream. Take a look at this recipe: Sauteed Spinach, Mushrooms, and Caramelized Onions.