How to cook spinach

June 11, 2024
by HelloFresh Tips & tricks

    This versatile, leafy green has found its way into everything from green smoothies to scrambled eggs. Whether you add it to your favourite meals or eat it straight from the bag, there are plenty of spinach recipes and ways to prepare spinach that give it flavour and texture.


    How to prepare spinach

    Luckily, preparing spinach for cooking is a breeze. When working with fresh spinach:

    1. Thoroughly rinse the spinach leaves with water to ensure all traces of dirt are removed.
    2. Pat the leaves dry or gently wring the spinach until it’s dry. Excess moisture may lead to wilting, ultimately causing the spinach to become soggy.
    3. Inspect the leaves to make sure they’re fresh and suitable to eat. If the spinach is older, you might need to cut off any woody stems and give it an extra rinse before using. 

    If you’re using wilted or frozen spinach, toss the already prepared spinach into your dish and start cooking.

    How to boil spinach

    Boiling spinach is a quick and easy way to wilt spinach leaves. The cooked spinach can then be used later in other dishes or seasoned and served as a healthy side: 

    1. Fill a saucepan with salted water and bring to a boil. 
    2. Once at a gentle, rolling boil, add the spinach leaves. 
    3. Stir until the leaves begin to wilt. Spinach contains a huge amount of water, so it will decrease significantly in portion size as you cook it. Allow for plenty of spinach per serving, considering that it significantly shrinks in size during cooking.
    4. Once wilted, drain over a colander. If you prefer to blanche it, put the wilted spinach immediately in a bowl of iced water. This will preserve its vibrant green colour. 

    Alternatively, you can boil water in a kettle for a quick spinach cooking hack. Simply boil the kettle, place the spinach in a colander, and then pour the hot water over it.

    How to fry spinach

    There are plenty of other ways to cook spinach without boiling it. To cook spinach in a saucepan: 

    1. Drizzle a little olive oil and garlic in a saucepan. 
    2. Allow it to heat up, then add your spinach leaves. 
    3. Stir the spinach constantly using a spatula, allowing it to wilt in the heat for one to two minutes before serving.
    4. Drizzle some fresh lemon juice over the spinach before serving. 

    All cooking appliances vary. These are guidelines only. Ensure the food is piping hot before serving. Do not reheat.

    Blanching spinach

    For perfect spinach in salads without it becoming too wilted, try blanching. Blanching is the process of scalding vegetables in boiling water or steam for a short time and then placing them in cold water. To maintain the best quality, spinach should be blanched before freezing.

    To blanch spinach:

    1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare a separate bowl of iced water and put it aside. 
    2. Blanch baby spinach in boiling water for one minute, then plunge it into cold water.

    Creamed spinach

    For a creamy alternative, add some cooked spinach to a saucepan on low to medium heat. Then stir with butter, cream and spices for around 15 minutes or until fully combined. Creamed spinach is a popular side dish in North America and is a tasty addition to any meal.

    What to serve with spinach

    Spinach is a remarkably versatile leafy green. Mix in some leaves with your scrambled eggs for a boost of iron in the morning or blend down into a paste with artichokes for a steakhouse dip. 

    For a simple starter dip, blend spinach with heavy cream and cooked artichoke, then pair it with crackers or veggie sticks.

    Spinach in dishes: 

    • Eggs – mix with scrambled eggs or serve under poached eggs and toast.
    • Stir into paella, pasta bolognese or risottos.
    • Layer with lettuce in salads.
    • Blend into smoothies for extra vitamins.
    • Add to vegetarian curries to complement chickpeas, sweet potato and squash.

    Ready to include more spinach in your diet? Look at the wide range of delicious recipes for all tastes and occasions and get inspired to cook more at home.

    Recipes with spinach

    Take a look at this collection of spinach-friendly dishes that are delicious and easy to make.


    All food products vary. The instructions printed on the food packaging always supersedes those printed in this article and must always be followed.
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