Garlic Sautéed Spinach

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This Garlic Sautéed Spinach is the easiest and tastiest way to cook any kind of greens. It comes together in just minutes and is gluten free, dairy free, paleo, and a healthy side dish. We make this non-stop year round, and it’s such an easy recipe I just had to share it with you. With just 3 ingredients you’ll be off and running for the best tasting greens of your life. Also be sure and check out our favorite variations, especially the bacon and onions.

Garlic Sautéed Spinach in a white bowl with a wooden spoon on a white background with a tan linen napkin draped behind it..

Sautéed Spinach is such an easy side dish, it hardly qualifies as a recipe. But since we make this a lot, I wanted to share it with you. It’s just a few ingredients, but this spinach is so tasty. And it pairs well with just about anything you could think of for dinner!

It’s also a very versatile recipe as well, and you can add extra flavors like my variations below. Or you use any other type of greens you’d like. I’ve made this recipe with everything from kale, to turnip greens, and radish greens too. Collards work, but I do recommend adding a touch of water to steam them into submission. And rainbow chard/regular chard is great here as well with just a few minutes more cooking for some greens than others.

A straight down view of Garlic Sautéed Spinach in a white bowl with a wooden serving spoon on a white background.

The other reason you need a handy recipe for greens is because there’s so much in season right now! We’re doing a CSA, (Community Supported Agriculture – where you get whatever is fresh from the farm that week) with our favorite local farmers again this year.

Early in the season you get a lot of greens to use up. So this basic sautéed version is one of our favorites. But if you’re swimming in greens too, be sure to check out my kale pesto recipe. It’s outrageous as a sauce for steak or tossed with freshly cooked pasta.

Let’s get started by talking about the ingredients for this Garlic Sautéed Spinach!

  • Spinach – I go for the pre-washed spinach to save time, but the freshest spinach you have access too is the best. Store bought is never as tasty as local, but this recipe is flavorful enough to make up for that!
  • Olive oil – I my favorite to use here, but you can use butter or even avocado oil too. Just be careful if you use butter because it burns much easier.
  • Garlic – Just a touch of minced garlic goes a long ways in making this spinach perfectly addictive. I always recommend fresh here for the best results, but I have sprinkled in garlic powder in a pinch and it was tasty too.
  • Sea salt & pepper – Just to taste to bring out all the flavors here and the pepper adds a flavor punch that’s perfect with the garlic.

Extra fun flavors you can add to this recipe:

  • Onions – Add them in addition to the garlic, or leave the garlic out. Sauté about 1/2 of an onion until tender, then proceed with the rest of the recipe.
  • Bacon – This one is obvious, but bacon really does make for incredibly sautéed greens! Dice it up as fine as you can, then sauté it until crispy and the fat has rendered out. Remove the bacon from the pan. Then drain off a bit of the grease if necessary, you need about 2 tablespoons in the pan. Omit the olive oil then proceed with cooking either the garlic or onions before adding the spinach to the pan with the bacon bits.
  • Italian seasoning – about 1/2 teaspoon or a light sprinkle while the garlic is cooking is a favorite.
  • Curry powder – this is the same as the above, about 1/2 teaspoon after the garlic is just done
  • Cumin, smoked paprika etc. – I haven’t found a seasoning yet I don’t like in sautéed spinach, but cumin and smoked paprika are extra good. They’re a bit stronger, so we like about 1/4 teaspoon, but you can add to your taste too.

Now let’s make this recipe step by step!

The olive oil, garlic, and sea salt measured out with the spinach on a wooden cutting board.

Step 1:

Start by mincing the garlic and measuring out the olive oil, sea salt, and pepper.

The garlic and olive oil being sautéed together in a large stainless steel skillet.

Step 2:

Then using the biggest skillet you have cook the garlic and olive oil together over medium heat until fragrant and barely turning a darker golden. Don’t worry if the garlic lightly browns, it’s still tasty but I prefer it not browned myself!

The barely wilted spinach sautéed in a stainless steel skillet with a wooden spoon.

Step 3:

Next add your giant pile of spinach to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes, or until just wilted. Season to taste and serve!

You can see there’s not much finished spinach compared to the size of the skillet. But when you first start cooking the spinach, it will fill the skillet, and it’s easier to stir if it’s not heaped up too high.

A white bowl with Garlic Sautéed Spinach with a wooden serving spoon on a white background.

Serve this Garlic Sautéed Spinach with:

A close up macro view of the Garlic Sautéed Spinach with a wooden serving spoon.

Add another veggie to your meal and pair this spinach with these side dishes:

A straight down view of a white bowl with Garlic Sautéed Spinach with a wooden serving spoon on a white background.

I really hope you enjoy this simple Garlic Sautéed Spinach! And if you do get a chance to make it, I hope you’ll leave me a comment/rating below. I always love hearing from you here! Also for lots more side dish recipes, head over to the recipe index.

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A white bowl with Garlic Sautéed Spinach with a wooden serving spoon on a white background.

Garlic Sautéed Spinach


  • Author: Kari
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 5
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

This Garlic Sautéed Spinach is the easiest and tastiest way to cook any kind of greens. It comes together in just minutes and is gluten free, dairy free, paleo, and a healthy side dish. We make this non-stop year round and it’s such an easy recipe I just had to share it. 


Ingredients

Scale

3 tablespoons olive oil

23 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound spinach, or 16 cups, washed and dried

1/4 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste

1/4 teaspoon black pepper


Instructions

Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. (Mine is stainless steel and measures 14″x3″deep.) When the pan is hot but no smoking, add the olive oil and garlic.

Cook just until the garlic is fragrant, but preferably not browned, about 30-45 seconds. Add the spinach and continue to cook stirring frequently as the spinach wilts, 2-3 minutes. 

Season to taste with sea salt and pepper, and serve immediately.

Notes

You may need to add a bit more cooking time depending on how big your spinach leaves are. Or if you choose to use a tougher green like kale or chard, you can add a touch of water and steam the green for an additional 2-3 minutes.

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Sauté
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Best Sautéed Spinach, Garlic Spinach, Spinach Recipe, Sautéed Spinach

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