In under 10 minutes you can have this easy Sautéed Spinach recipe ready and on your dinner table! Quickly transform fresh baby spinach into a side dish masterpiece with minced garlic, caramelized onions, and a burst of lemon juice. This simple and healthy side dish can be served on busy weeknights or along with holiday feasts!

A spatula is used to dish the spinach from the pan.

10-Minute Sautéed Spinach Recipe

To be honest, I can’t even believe I am writing this recipe post right now.

For my entire life I have SWORN that I was NOT a fan of sautéed spinach.

And it’s not because I hadn’t tried! Oh no. I had tried it ALL… at least I thought.

Then one day I had a very, very small side of sautéed spinach with garlic and onions… and I didn’t hate it!

In fact, once I learned how the simple addition of fresh garlic and finely minced onions could transform this seemingly bitter vegetable, I was hooked!

I now make this sautéed spinach recipe almost weekly.

Because not only is it incredibly tasty, but it’s also SUPER healthy for you.

And it’s a great way to use up a carton of baby spinach before it goes bad. <– Totally guilty of doing this WAY too often!

Spinach, lemon juice, onion, garlic, an

Ingredients

The simple ingredients you need to make this sautéed spinach recipe include:

  • Spinach. Baby leaves are best. You can remove the stems if you’d like, but it’s not necessary. You can also sauté large spinach leaves, but they will take longer to cook.
  • Oil. Any kind will do. Olive oil adds a great flavor, while avocado oil is more mild. Butter can even be substituted if you don’t need to avoid dairy.
  • Onion. Sweet onion is preferred, but white onions are another option. Be cautious if you choose red onion as they’re normally pretty bitter. No matter which type you pick, dice the onion very thin.
  • Garlic. As always, fresh, finely minced garlic is best. Since the spinach cooks down quite a bit, a little bit of garlic goes a long way. Use 2 cloves for about 5 ounces of spinach.
  • Lemon juice. This is totally optional, but can be added at the end. Be sure to remove the spinach from the heat before mixing it in to avoid getting an unpleasant bitter taste.

How to Sauté Spinach

The basic steps for sautéing spinach are simple to follow:

Remove Stems

If you are using baby spinach this step is not necessary, but if you have larger leaves with thicker stems you might want to remove them.

You can either slice them off or gently tear the stems away.

The stems are taken off the spinach leaves.

Sauté Onions and Garlic

Heat a large pan over medium high heat on the stove. Add the oil and onions. Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the garlic and continue cooking for an additional minute.

This creates a base. You want the onions to cook down almost fully so they become tender and somewhat caramelized to avoid adding more bitterness to the dish.

Use a larger pan than you’d think in order to fit all of the spinach comfortably before it cooks down.

Diced onion and garlic are sautéed on the stove.

Add in Spinach

You won’t be able to fit it all in at one time, so add to the pan in increments. Before it’s completely wilted, mix in another batch with salt and pepper. Err on the side of using less salt and pepper, you can always add more in at the end.

Do not over-cook in order to avoid a slimy texture. The spinach will continue to soften as it cools down.

Serve with Lemon

While optional, fresh lemon juice offers a lovely freshness and really brightens up this seemingly boring side.

You can also add feta, bacon, or other of your favorite toppings.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • To Prep-Ahead: You can make sautéed spinach in advance, but it tastes best when served immediately after cooking.
  • To Store: Keep cooked spinach in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • To Freeze: Seal in a freezer-safe airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Add to soups, stews, or dips!
  • To Reheat: Return to a skillet over medium-low heat, or microwave stirring occasionally until heated through.

FAQs

Is sautéed spinach healthy?

Spinach is a superfood packed with vitamins A and E, fiber, protein, fiber, calcium, and iron. Sautéing is a healthy way to prepare the greens.

How do you get the bitterness out of sautéed spinach?

Include onions and garlic that are almost caramelized, as well as citrus such as lemon or orange.

What spices go well with spinach?

Spinach is pretty versatile and will pair nicely with garlic, thyme, oregano, sage, basil, dill, ginger, and even nutmeg.

Which is healthier raw spinach or cooked?

As long as it is prepared in a healthy manner, cooked spinach is actually better for you. Because it cooks down, you consume more in a serving, meaning you get more of the benefits it packs in. Plus, by heating spinach you break down the oxalic acid, which inhibits your body’s absorption of nutrients.

Spinach is sautéed on the stove in a pan.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Baby leaves are better. They are more tender, and the stems do not need to be removed.
  • Sauté in batches. Spinach shrinks down a lot, but all of the raw leaves will not fit in the pan at once. Mix more in as the rest cooks down.
  • Cook until just softened. If it is cooked too long you will get a slimy texture.
  • Drizzle on citrus. Add a burst of flavor and freshness with lemon or orange juice.
  • Use in recipes. Skip the frozen spinach and add your own sautéed spinach instead!

More Spinach Recipes

This superfood is excellent in a wide variety of recipes! Try out the following to get more spinach in your life:

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 6 votes

Sautéed Spinach Recipe

In under 10 minutes you can have this easy Sautéed Spinach recipe ready and on your dinner table! Quickly transform fresh baby spinach into a side dish masterpiece with minced garlic, caramelized onions, and a burst of lemon juice.
Yield 4 servings
Prep 2 minutes
Cook 8 minutes
Total 10 minutes
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Ingredients 

  • 1 Tbsp. oil olive or avocado
  • ¼ cup onion finely chopped
  • 1-2 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 8 oz. baby spinach leaves divided
  • ¼ tsp. salt to taste
  • tsp. black pepper to taste
  • Lemon juice optional

Instructions 

  • Prepare the Spinach: Remove stems from spinach leaves and discard, if desired.
    8 oz. baby spinach leaves
  • Sauté Onion and Garlic: Add oil and onion to a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, or until the onion turns translucent. Add garlic and continue sauteing for an additional minute.
    1 Tbsp. oil, ¼ cup onion, 1-2 cloves garlic
  • Sauté Spinach in Batches: Stir in half of the spinach leaves and sauté for 2 minutes, or until it begins to wilt. Stir in the rest of the spinach, salt, and pepper and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes.
    ¼ tsp. salt, ⅛ tsp. black pepper
  • Serve spinach immediately with a squeeze of lemon juice and enjoy!
    Lemon juice
Last step! If you make this, please leave a review letting us know how it was!

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 6 votes

Notes

Meal Prep and Storage

  • To Prep-Ahead: You can make sautéed spinach in advance, but it tastes best when served immediately after cooking.
  • To Store: Keep cooked spinach in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • To Freeze: Seal in a freezer-safe airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Add to soups, stews, or dips!
  • To Reheat: Return to a skillet over medium-low heat, or microwave stirring occasionally until heated through.

Nutrition

Calories: 51kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 1g, Sodium: 165mg, Potassium: 336mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 5318IU, Vitamin C: 17mg, Calcium: 61mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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