Sautéed Spinach is an easy to make side that you can plate with any entree! I love dressing up my spinach with flavorful additions like garlic, parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes, but there’s so much room for creativity with this simple method.

A white bowl is filled with sauteed spinach.

Sautéed Spinach

You can prepare spinach in a billion different ways! It can be mixed into too many recipes for me to try and count. However, I think my very favorite way to enjoy this leafy green is simply sautéed on my stove top with a small handful of ingredients and fail-proof steps. In just a few minutes of my time, I always end up with the best tender, lightly wilted spinach that’s flavored perfectly.

I love adding garlic, parmesan cheese, lemon juice and red pepper flakes to my spinach. These simple but bold ingredients all compliment each other and the spinach in the very best way! There’s a ton of room for creativity, though. Feel free to add any of your favorite spices or freshly grated cheeses to this simple spinach dish. Comment below and let me know what worked for you!

Another wonderful thing about this classic sautéed spinach recipe is that you can plate it with truly anything. Serve it next to chicken, beef, pork, seafood, or a vegetarian entree. It’s one of those evergreen sides that never goes out of season and is wonderfully versatile. Once you master this foolproof method, you’ll sauté spinach all year round!

A spoon is placed in a skillet filled with sautéed spinach.

How to Make Sautéed Spinach

Follow these quick and easy steps to get the very best sautéed spinach every single time! For more detailed step by step instructions, scroll to the very bottom of this page for the recipe card.

  1. Prep the spinach. Rinse the spinach and gently pat it dry with a paper towel.
  2. Sauté the garlic and spinach. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once warm, add the spinach and garlic and cook, stirring continuously, until the spinach is wilted and the moisture is evaporated. Remove the garlic from the skillet.
  3. Add flavorful ingredients. Stir in the cheese, red pepper flakes and a little salt and pepper. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice all over the top before serving.
A wooden spoon is placed in a skillet with sauteed spinach.

Storing and Reheating

Note that sautéed spinach is always best when enjoyed fresh out of the skillet. As it sits in the fridge, it will continue to soften and wilt. With that being said, it’s still tasty – it just has a different consistency once stored and reheated.

Let the cooked spinach fully cool to room temperature prior to storing in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. To reheat, pop individual portions in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring each time it stops, until warmed all the way through.

I do not recommend freezing sautéed spinach.

Tips for the Best Sautéed Spinach

Check out these quick tips and tricks before you start cooking:

  • Add more or less crushed red pepper flakes to control the amount of heat. Keep in mind that a little goes a long way!
  • Try to use a good quality olive oil because the flavor of it will be pretty noticeable in this simple dish. You can also use a good quality avocado oil if preferred.
  • It’s important to not overcook the spinach. As soon as it’s wilted, you want to move quickly! If you cook it for too long, it’ll wilt way too much and the leaves will shrink.
  • Medium heat is the way to go. If you increase the heat to medium-high or high, you’ll just end up burning the delicate spinach leaves.
Lemon slices are placed in a white bowl filled with cooked spinach.

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A spoon is placed in a skillet filled with sautéed spinach.

Get the Recipe: Sautéed Spinach Recipe

Sautéed spinach is a simple and healthy side dish made by quickly cooking fresh spinach leaves in olive oil and garlic.The spinach wilts down to a tender and flavorful green, perfect for pairing with various main courses.
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  • 2 pounds fresh spinach
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lemon, optional


  • 1 skillet


  • Rinse the spinach and pat dry.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the spinach and garlic. Cook the spinach stirring rapidly until the spinach is wilted and the moisture has evaporated. Remove the garlic and stir in the cheese, pepper flakes and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Squeeze the lemon over the spinach before serving, if desired.


Sautéed spinach can be made in advance and stored in an airtight container.
Use in omelettes, quesadillas, grilled cheese and more.
Calories: 135kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 2mg, Sodium: 228mg, Potassium: 1321mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 21441IU, Vitamin C: 79mg, Calcium: 266mg, Iron: 6mg