Sautéed Spinach and Garlic is a simple Italian-style side dish that's healthy and totally delicious. It can be made with fresh or frozen spinach plus olive oil and garlic. This recipe shows you how to get the best from these simple ingredients - a few tricks to ensure that the garlic melts slowly and get's soft, sweet and mellow, with the spinach resting on top, absorbing the delicious garlicky flavors, as it cooks.
How To Make Sautéed Spinach
Spinach is one of the worlds healthiest foods. It's also very easy to cook and very tasty, especially when it's sautéed with lots of garlic!
All you need are these 3 ingredients plus salt and pepper:
- Good quality olive oil
- Fresh garlic
- Fresh or frozen spinach
- Start by heating the olive oil and lots of thickly sliced garlic in a heavy skillet, over low heat. The idea is to let the garlic melt for few minutes, over low heat. This will soften the garlic and mellow its flavor.
- Once the garlic has softened a bit, pile the raw spinach on top. Don't worry if there's a huge mountain of spinach coming up out of your skillet. Spinach is 90% water. It will shrink a lot when it's cooked.
- Add a teaspoon or two of water and cover the pot with a lid. Cook the spinach and garlic, covered, for a few minutes, undisturbed. The water will wilt and steam the spinach and finish softening and mellowing the garlic. When you remove the lid you'll have tender spinach infused with the mellow nutty flavors of gently-cooked garlic.
Season the sautéed spinach with salt and pepper, to taste. Enjoy this healthy and totally delicious side dish.
Sautéed spinach and garlic is a great side dish with almost anything. I particularly love it on the side when I'm serving tomatoey Italian dishes such as:
If you love spinach, give this Sweet Pea and Spinach Soup a try. If you're a vegetable lover, visit and follow my Exceptional Vegetables Pinterest Board. It's filled with tempting vegetable-centric recipes that I collect from blogs and culinary sites across the word-wide web.
Other delicious healthy side dish recipes:
Here's the recipe for Sautéed Spinach and Garlic. If you try this recipe I hope you'll come back to leave a star rating and a comment. I'd love to know what you think!Print
Sautéed Spinach and Garlic
- Total Time: 20 mins
- Yield: 4-5 1x
A simple, delicious and healthy side dish of tender spinach sautéed with garlic.
- 4 tablespoons good quality olive oil
- 8-10 garlic cloves, peeled and thickly sliced, crosswise
- 16 ounces baby spinach, washed (you can substitute 2 10-ounces packs of frozen whole-leaf spinach - defrost and squeeze by the handful to remove all the liquid)
- Coarse salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- You'll need a large skillet with a lid. Spread the oil out to coat the bottom of the skillet (I use cast iron). Place the garlic in the skillet, spreading it into an even layer. Turn the heat up to medium and as soon as the oil starts to sizzle, turn it down to medium-low and let the garlic soften for 5 minutes or so, turning the heat down further if it looks like it starts to brown.
- Add the spinach in a big heap. Pour in 1 tablespoon of water and cover the pot. Turn the heat up to medium and let the spinach steam for about 5 minutes, undisturbed. Remove the cover and gently stir the leaves, pressing down on any that aren't wilted. Don't toss the leaves because you want the garlic to remain in contact with the oil on the bottom of the pan so it will soften and get sweet and mellow.
- Continue to cook the spinach, uncovered, for another few minutes, until the spinach is completely soft and wilted. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 15 mins
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: stove top
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: spinach with garlic, sautéed garlicky spinach
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Clyde A Thomas
we used two bags frozen spinach 5 cloves minced garlic omg four people thought i would get seconds. it was gone so quick omg
Haha, I can totally relate Clyde. Spinach and garlic always disappears fast in my house. I can never make enough!
That comment doesn't have enough instances of "omg" though.
Super easy! I only had frozen spinach because of quarantine. I also used adobo salt to amp up the garlic flavor. I sautéed a 10 ounce bag of frozen spinach with 2 cloves of garlic. Excellent!
So glad to hear you enjoyed! Thanks for your comment Sonia!
Lots of flavor!
Easy and garlicky, definitely a great side dish to make.
I LOVE this recipe. So simple yet so delicious. Thank you!!
Happy November! Just letting you know that I featured this recipe in my October 2015 round-up of Deliciously Healthy Low-Carb Recipes. Hope a lot of my readers will click over here and try it!
I just checked out your roundup - such great recipes Kalyn. Gotta health-it-up before the holidays so we can totally indulge! Thanks so much for including my sautéed spinach recipe!
Love this simple spinach - often get it as a side in Italian restaurants where the garlic can usually send you through the roof. But IMHO, fresh spinach always in this type of recipe. (The frozen stuff is fine when it's in soup or a casserole, but as the star of the show - never!:)
Rachel (Rachel's Kitchen NZ)
LOVE, LOVE spinach and adore it done this way - big favourite in this house:-)
Tasty! I'm a cast iron fan, but I avoid steaming my veggies in cast iron on the grounds that it's hard on the seasoning. Maybe it's ok in this recipe, though, because you've got a decent amount of oil that you're not stirring, so that's protecting the bottom of the pot.
That's a really interesting point Jane. I haven't had any problems with my cast iron skillet and I make garlicky vegetables with this method often, so I think it's fine. But if you make it, please let me know if your pot's seasoning holds up.
Can't believe I didn't know about your Pinterest Vegetable Board. WOW! Heaven.
Hi Jen - I'm so glad you have it now - there are so many amazing ways to cook with vegetables and I'm always on the hunt for great inspiring recipes!