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Sautéed spinach with garlic and shallots on a plate drizzled with olive oil.

How to Sauté Spinach

The outsiders in the recipe - shallots, garlic, and clementine segments - are completely optional. To get a quick fix of sautéed spinach, just pour the bag into the pan and let it cook itself. 

  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x


  • About 12 ounces (2 small packages) of baby or frozen spinach, or mature spinach leaves*
  • ¼ teaspoon of kosher or flake salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil or butter
  • ½ of a shallot, peeled and minced, optional
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced, optional
  • 2 mandarins or clementines, peeled and segmented, optional


  1. If you are adding garlic or shallots or both, remove the skin and mince them well. The easiest way to mince aromatic vegetables is to first chop them into small pieces. Then run your knife back and forth over the pile with short up and down chopping motions until the pieces are very small.
  2. Heat a medium or large sauté pan of any kind over medium heat.
  3. In a couple of tablespoons of olive oil or butter, sauté minced garlic, shallots, or onions until they soften and turn translucent. Keep the heat low enough that the vegetables don't brown too much. Add a pinch of salt to the aromatics as you cook them.
  4. Add your fresh or frozen spinach to the pan, a pinch of salt, and turn the heat up a little bit. If all of the spinach doesn't fit at first, add it in stages once the first leaves in the pot wilt down and space opens up.
  5. Stir occasionally while the spinach softens and cooks. If the spinach begins to stick, splash a little water, stock, or broth in the pan to loosen up the stuck leaves and prevent burning.
  6. Season the greens with a tiny pinch more salt and freshly ground black pepper, if you like. Last, drizzle in a little extra virgin olive oil or mix in a tablespoon or two of butter.
  7. Store any leftover sautéed spinach sealed in an airtight container for up to a week. Or freeze for a few months.


On Buying Fresh Spinach

The small bags or containers of baby spinach are typically five to six ounces. If you plan to buy bunches of mature spinach, three or four bunches should equal the same amount as two small bags. Peel mature spinach leaves off of the stem and roughly chop them before cooking.  

How to Store Fresh Spinach

Right after buying spinach, discard any wilting or discolored leaves and wrap the spinach in paper towels. Then sprinkle cold water on the towels until they are damp. Place the wrapped leaves in an airtight container like a glass dish with a lid or plastic food storage baggie. 

On the Nutrition Information

The Nutrition Information below is based on the recipe as written with one small shallot, two cloves of garlic, the segments of two small clementines, and two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.  

  • Author: Christina
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: About 8 minutes
  • Category: Vegan
  • Method: Sautéeing
  • Cuisine: French
  • Diet: Vegetarian


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 419
  • Sugar: 18.8 g
  • Sodium: 856.5 mg
  • Fat: 29.8 g
  • Saturated Fat: 4.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 37.2 g
  • Fiber: 10.8 g
  • Protein: 11.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: spinach, how to saute spinach, sauteed spinach with garlic