Did you know that Sauteed spinach with Garlic and Parmesan can be really delicious? This fast and easy spinach recipe is a healthy and low carb side dish for any main meal. It gets its extra flavor from olive oil, garlic, onions, mustard seeds, cumin, a bit of red chili flakes, a squeeze of lemon, and Parmesan. And the best part? It's ready in less than 15 minutes!
Easy Sautéed Spinach
Spinach hasn't always had the best reputation. Sometimes, it can turn slimy and strange if not cooked right. We're pretty sure we've all had sautéed spinach that wasn't so great at least once. But don't worry, if you're not a fan of spinach, there's a better way!
We really enjoy spinach, and the cool thing is, you can use it in lots of different recipes! It's a key component in dishes like Palak Paneer, where it forms the base for a delicious spinach and cottage cheese curry. You can also mix it into creamy Mashed Potatoes for an extra burst of green goodness. Additionally, sautéed spinach pairs wonderfully with Creamy Boursin Chicken, enhancing the dish's overall flavor and nutritional value.
😍 Why You'll Love This Sauteed Spinach Recipe
- It's quick and easy, ready in just 15 minutes.
- A perfect side dish for fish, chicken, or any veggie entrées you fancy.
- Light, low-calorie, and diet-friendly, with under 100 calories per serving.
- Reheats easily for delicious leftovers.
- Spinach is a nutritional powerhouse, rich in Vitamin A, C, K, Magnesium, and Iron.
- This garlicky sautéed spinach is gluten-free, Whole 30 compliant, paleo, Keto, low-carb – it suits many diets!
✅ Sautéed Spinach Recipe Ingredients
- Olive Oil (2 tablespoons): Use a good quality extra virgin olive oil for its rich flavor. It adds a nice depth to the dish.
- Onion (1 small, finely chopped): Opt for a sweet or yellow onion. Finely chopping ensures even distribution of flavor.
- Garlic (1 tablespoon, finely chopped): Freshly minced garlic is recommended for its robust taste.
- Mustard Seeds (1 teaspoon): These tiny seeds add a subtle nutty flavor and a mild crunch.
- Cumin Seeds (½ teaspoon): Cumin seeds impart a warm, earthy flavor. Toast them slightly before adding to release their aroma.
- Red Pepper Flakes (¼ teaspoon): Adjust the amount to control the level of spiciness. They add a nice kick to the dish.
- Fresh Baby Spinach (1 pound): Baby spinach leaves are tender and cook quickly. You can use mature spinach, but it might require a slightly longer cooking time.
- Salt (¼ teaspoon): Use kosher or sea salt for best results. Adjust to taste.
- Fresh Cracked Black Pepper (½ teaspoon): Freshly cracked pepper has a more vibrant flavor.
- Fresh Lemon Juice (2 teaspoons): This provides a bright, citrusy contrast to the rich flavors of the garlic and Parmesan.
- Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese (2 tablespoons): Use a good quality Parmesan for its rich, nutty flavor. Grate it just before using for the best taste.
🔪 How to Make Sautéed Spinach
Chop the onion and garlic.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in the onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes until translucent.
Add the garlic, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and red chili flakes. Stir for an additional minute, just until the garlic becomes fragrant.
Add the spinach and season it with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook on high heat, stirring, until the spinach wilts and most of the moisture evaporates.
Drizzle the lemon juice, followed by a sprinkle of Parmesan. Give it a thorough stir. Taste, and if needed, add more salt. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the spinach to a serving dish to allow any excess juices to drain away.
👩🍳 Tips for the Best Sautéed Spinach with Garlic and Parmesan
- Freshness is Key: Start with fresh, vibrant spinach. Avoid wilted or discolored leaves for the best flavor and texture.
- Thorough Cleaning: Wash the spinach leaves thoroughly to remove any dirt or grit. Use a salad spinner or pat dry with a kitchen towel to ensure they're completely dry.
- Hot Pan, Quick Cook: Use a wide skillet or pan and preheat it over medium-high heat. Sauté the spinach on high heat for a short time to prevent overcooking.
- Stir Constantly: Keep the spinach moving in the pan to ensure even wilting. This also helps distribute the garlic flavor.
- Lemon Juice at the End: Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the spinach towards the end of cooking. This preserves its zesty, citrusy flavor.
- Grate Parmesan Fresh: If using Parmesan, grate it just before adding to maximize its nutty flavor.
- Mushroom and Spinach Saute: Sauté sliced mushrooms with spinach for a hearty and earthy combination.
- Feta and Tomato Spinach: Toss in crumbled feta cheese and cherry tomatoes for a Mediterranean flair.
- Nutty Spinach with Pine Nuts: Toast pine nuts and sprinkle them over the sautéed spinach for a delightful crunch.
- Spinach with Caramelized Onions: Caramelize onions and mix them with the sautéed spinach for added sweetness.
- Spinach with Balsamic Glaze: Drizzle with a balsamic reduction for a tangy and sweet finish.
- Ginger-Soy Spinach: Add freshly grated ginger and a splash of soy sauce for an extra burst of flavor.
- Sautéed Spinach with Bacon: Enhance your cooked spinach with a savory twist! Sprinkle crumbled bacon over the spinach just before serving for an irresistible combination.
Storing: Keep sautéed spinach in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Reheating: Warm spinach gently in the microwave until heated through.
Freezing: Portion the sautéed spinach into an ice cube tray, freeze until solid, then transfer the cubes to a freezer-safe container. They'll stay good for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge as needed.
What to Serve with Sautéed Spinach
With its gentle flavor, sautéed spinach complements a diverse selection of proteins beautifully.
- Pan Seared Salmon: The mild flavor of salmon complements the earthy taste of spinach beautifully.
- Roast Chicken: The juicy, savory chicken complements the greens for a classic combination.
- Steak: A perfectly cooked steak and sautéed spinach make for a hearty and flavorful meal.
- Pasta: Serve sauteed spinach alongside your favorite pasta dish for a balanced and nutritious meal.
- Stuffed Bell Peppers: Use sautéed spinach as a filling for stuffed bell peppers for a nutritious and colorful dish.
- Eggs Benedict: Place poached eggs on a bed of sautéed spinach for a delicious twist on this classic breakfast dish.
- Shrimp Cakes: Serve crispy shrimp cakes on a bed of sautéed spinach for a flavorful and satisfying meal.
- Tofu Fried Rice: Sautéed spinach adds a nutritious element to a tofu fried rice with an array of colorful vegetables.
Yes, sautéed spinach is highly nutritious and considered a healthy addition to meals. It is rich in essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, iron, and calcium.
Although fresh baby spinach is the optimal option for sautéed spinach, you can resort to frozen spinach if necessary. Ensure you thaw and drain the spinach thoroughly before adding it to the skillet.
Yes, you can make sautéed spinach ahead of time. Once cooked, allow it to cool to room temperature, then transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate. It can be stored for up to 4 days.
Use a slotted spoon to serve, as spinach tends to release excess water when cooked.
Yes, you can try alternatives like feta, goat cheese, or Pecorino Romano for a different flavor.
More Delicious Side Dishes
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