How to cook spinach without losing its nutrients

5 min. reading


Whether you're a breakfast enthusiast or a health-conscious cook, discover how to cook spinach to perfection and elevate your culinary repertoire. This comprehensive guide will unveil the secrets of spinach cuisine, offering a step-by-step journey through various cooking methods.


Spinach, a green powerhouse packed with nutrients, is a versatile addition to countless dishes. Knowing how to cook spinach opens the door to a world of culinary possibilities.

Spinach is a wonderful addition to lasagnas, omelletes, scrambled eggs, and quiches. In this guide, we'll explore various cooking methods, from steaming and blanching to sautéing and beyond. Whether you're a novice or a seasoned cook, let's embark on this flavourful journey and unravel the secrets of spinach cuisine.

How to Prepare Spinach Before Cooking:

Preparing spinach before cooking involves a few essential steps to ensure it's clean, free of any grit, and ready for your chosen cooking method. Here's how to prepare spinach:

1. Choose Fresh Spinach: Start with fresh spinach leaves. Look for bright green leaves with no signs of wilting or yellowing.

2. Rinse Thoroughly: Fill a large bowl or basin with cold water. Submerge the spinach leaves in the water and swish them around gently. This helps loosen any dirt or sand clinging to the leaves.

3. Drain and Repeat: Lift the spinach out of the water and place it in a colander or on a clean kitchen towel. Discard the water from the first rinse. Repeat the rinsing process 2-3 times until the water remains clear, indicating that the spinach is clean.

4. Trim Stems (Optional): Depending on your recipe, you can choose to trim the tough stems from larger spinach leaves. For baby spinach, this step is often unnecessary.


5. Dry the Leaves: After rinsing, use a salad spinner or gently pat the spinach leaves dry with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Removing excess moisture helps prevent dilution of flavors and excessive splattering when cooking.

Once you've prepared your spinach, it's ready to be used in your chosen recipe, whether it's for salads, sautés, soups, or any other culinary creation.

Cooking Fresh Spinach

If you’re wondering how to cook spinach for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, the following methods will help you to make your decision quickly.

1. Steaming Spinach

Steaming spinach is a straightforward method that preserves its nutrients. Here's how to do it:

Preparation: Wash and drain your fresh spinach leaves.
Steaming: Place the spinach in a steamer basket, cover, and steam for 2-3 minutes until wilted. Avoid overcooking. Steamed spinach can be served as a side dish to any meal. Try it with a juicy steak and fries or a chicken casserole. Remember to season your steamed spinach with a little salt and pepper. If you find it bitter, adding a little lemon juice or some vinegar will help. 

2. Blanching Spinach

Blanching ensures your spinach retains its vibrant colour and texture. 

  • Boiling Water: Bring a pot of water to a boil, and prepare an ice bath on the side.
  • Quick Dip: Submerge spinach in boiling water for 20-30 seconds, then transfer to the ice bath. This will help to stop the cooking process.
  • Draining: Drain and squeeze excess water. Your spinach is now ready to use.

Blanched spinach is perfect for making creamed spinach which you can then serve as a side for roasted lamb leg or chicken tenderloin with potatoes, along with a Caesar salad. 

3. Sautéing Spinach with Butter

Sautéing answers the question to how you cook spinach on the stove quickly with butter. This method adds richness to this leafy green:

  • Heat Butter: Melt butter in a pan over medium heat.
  • Add Spinach: Toss in fresh spinach leaves and sauté until wilted, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Flavourful Result: The butter infuses spinach with a delightful flavour.

Once done, you can add your sautéed spinach to some penne pasta, crème fraîche, crumbed feta and yoghurt for a vegetarian baked pasta dish. This method also works very well for creamed spinach.,,

How to Cook Frozen Spinach

Microwaving Frozen Spinach

Microwaving frozen spinach is quick and convenient:

Cover and Stir: Place frozen spinach in a microwave-safe bowl, cover, and stir every minute until heated through.

Baking with Frozen Spinach

Frozen spinach is a versatile ingredient for baked dishes:

Incorporate: Add thawed, drained frozen spinach to quiches, casseroles, or breakfast bakes for added nutrition and flavour.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Cooking Canned Spinach

Canned spinach is a convenient and nutritious option for those looking to enjoy this leafy green without the hassle of cleaning and chopping. Here’s how to transform canned spinach into a tasty and healthy dish.

1. Drain the Spinach:

Begin by draining the excess liquid from the canned spinach. You can use a strainer or colander for this purpose to ensure that all excess moisture is removed.


2. Sauté Aromatics (Optional):

In a skillet, heat a bit of olive oil or butter over medium heat. Add in aromatics like garlic, onions, or shallots, and sauté until they become fragrant and tender. This step enhances the flavor profile of the spinach.

3. Add the Spinach:

Introduce the drained spinach to the skillet. Stir it well to combine with the aromatics, ensuring it’s heated through. This should typically take around 3-5 minutes.

4. Season to Taste:

Sprinkle salt, pepper, and any additional desired spices to taste. A dash of nutmeg or a squeeze of lemon juice can elevate the flavor of the spinach.

5. Serve Warm:

Plate the cooked spinach and serve it warm. It can be enjoyed as a standalone side dish or incorporated into pastas, omelets, or other recipes.

Expert Tip:

Be mindful of the sodium content in canned spinach. Some brands may add salt as a preservative, so taste the spinach before adding additional salt. Rinsing the spinach briefly before cooking can also help reduce the sodium level.

Grilling Spinach

Large spinach leaves can be grilled for a smoky twist:

Preparation: Brush large spinach leaves with olive oil, season, and grill for a minute or less per side until they display enticing grill marks. Add it to a salad or serve it as a side to our delicious Chinese crispy honey garlic prawns. 

Cooking Water Spinach (Kangkong)

If you know your vegetables well, you’ll know that water spinach is a thing. Learning how to cook water spinach and differentiating it from our day-to-day spinach then becomes a culinary skill. Water spinach is botanically different from regular spinach. Water spinach has long, hollow stems and tender, arrowhead-shaped leaves. The stems can vary in colour from green to reddish-purple. It is mostly used in Asian cuisine, so it’d be perfect for soups, curries, and most Chinese dishes. 

Stir-Frying Water Spinach

Create a delectable stir-fry with water spinach. Stir-frying is one of the best ways to learn how to cook water spinach. 

Sauté: Heat oil in a wok or pan, add garlic and ginger, then toss in chopped water spinach.
Flavourful Finish: Add soy sauce or your favourite seasonings for a satisfying dish.

Using Raw Spinach

Raw spinach adds freshness to salads, sandwiches, and wraps:

Versatility: Incorporate raw spinach leaves into your dishes for a burst of crisp, natural flavour.

Healthy Spinach recipes

Mastering how to cook spinach brings both nutrition and flavour to your meals. Experiment with our recipes below to create healthy and delicious spinach dishes that suit your taste and dietary preferences. 

Fluffy fresh spinach and feta quiche

Fluffy Fresh Spinach and Feta Quiche


This Spinach and Feta Quiche is loaded with fresh spinach, creamy feta cheese, and just the right spices. It's a perfect dish for any meal, whether breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner. It's easy to make and delivers a beautiful, impressive presentation. Best of all, it's packed with high-quality proteins, a variety of essential vitamins and minerals, and ample fiber.

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Easy Pasta with Garlic, Lemon, Spinach, and Ricotta

Easy Pasta with Garlic, Lemon, Spinach and Ricotta


A quick and easy vegetarian dish, this Spinach and Ricotta Pasta is rich, creamy, and incredibly satisfying. This recipe features earthy spinach and smooth ricotta cheese simmered together with your favorite pasta for a delightful meal that everyone will enjoy.

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Pear and spinach salad

Pear and Spinach Salad


Nothing rounds out a meal better than a well-made salad. This spinach salad would be great alongside roasted pork or a filling soup. This recipe was featured as part of our Fall Ingredients photo gallery.

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Easy Baked Ricotta and Spinach Lasagne Rolls

Easy Baked Ricotta and Spinach Lasagne Rolls


Bursting with flavor and vital nutrients, these Ricotta and Spinach Rolls stand as an appetizing main course or side dish. They're a versatile meal, fitting for either a family dinner, a picnic outing, or even a formal banquet. Filled with creamy ricotta cheese and nutritious spinach, then topped with delicious pasta sauce, it is truly a delight that will make home dining extraordinary.

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Healthy, easy, and quick spinach, orange, and banana smoothie recipe

Healthy, easy and quick spinach, orange and banana smoothie recipe.

Healthy, easy and quick spinach, orange and banana smoothie recipe.


Spinach, orange and banana smoothie isn't just healthy. It's also delicious and very easy and quick to make following this recipe. Don't miss it.

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