Spinach is considered a kitchen staple because it’s easy to cook in fresh or frozen forms. Commonly used in salads and as a healthy side dish option, spinach possesses a mild flavor that blends particularly well with other food items while increasing their nutritional value. It’s a wonderful addition to any meal, so it’s necessary to cook it right for the best results.
This article will show you in detail the process of cooking spinach on the stovetop. You’ll also learn helpful tips that will make the cooking process easy and deliver desirable results onto your plate.
Tips for Cooking Spinach on Stove
The following tips are recommended to help you achieve the best results with stovetop spinach recipes:
Cooking methods to choose from – With the stovetop style of cooking spinach, three popular methods can help achieve desirable results. These methods have been described below:
Steaming: Large batches of spinach can typically be cooked effectively in under 2 minutes by steaming them in a hot wet heat environment. Compared to blanching, it just takes a small quantity to create the steam needed for this cooking procedure. This method also tends to preserve the vivid green color of the spinach while tenderizing them.
After the steaming process, season the cooked spinach using salt and pepper. The bitter quality of the spinach can be reduced by squeezing a bit of balsamic vinegar or lemon juice over the cooked spinach. Depending on the cookware you’re using, you should avoid adding either of these ingredients directly to the pan.
Blanching: In about a minute, blanching spinach leaves inside a large pot of salty hot water wilts these greens. This is best for cooking numerous batches of leaves quickly. Quickly remove the spinach from the heat and chill it under cold running water to stop the cooking process.
To prevent the spinach from becoming waterlogged or developing a muddy green color, squeeze away any extra liquid.
Sauteing: Heat some olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. The fat in the olive oil will aid in the sear and light browning of the leaves and the rapid production of taste. Other aromatics and spices, such as minced onions, garlic, bell pepper, or chili flakes, can also be added to the oil and cooked fast during this time.
Add one handful of spinach leaves to the saute pan at a time, stirring the spinach until they wilt, then repeat this process with the remaining leaves. It will take a couple of minutes to complete this process. It’s important to cook off as much water as possible if you plan to add the cooked spinach to recipes like a dip or stuffed shells, so sauteing is the best option in this case.
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Cooking Time for Spinach on Stove
The ideal cooking time for spinach on the stovetop has been described in this table below:
Cooking spinach on the stove
2 to 3 minutesPrint
- Fresh spinach or baby spinach
- Sauté pan with straight sides
- Plate or tray
- Potato ricer (optional)
- Fill a sink or bowl halfway with cold water, then gently swish the spinach around to remove any dirt present in the leaves. You don’t want to agitate the spinach too much because the dirt should normally sink to the bottom. Take the spinach out, drain off the washing water, and do it again if you deem it necessary.
- To dry the spinach, place it on a kitchen towel. It’s not essential to dry it completely, but make sure to remove as much moisture as possible.
- Put a sauté pan over medium heat on the stove. Toss in the spinach. You can pile the spinach up a little because it tends to wilt rapidly, but not all of it may fit into the pan at first.
- Toss and turn the spinach gently with tongs until all the leaves that are yet to wilt get in contact with the pan’s bottom.
- Pour in any residual spinach, keep cooking and continue to toss as the spinach simmers down. You’ll know the spinach is done when all of the spinach has wilted and developed a bright green color.
- Transfer the spinach from the saute pan and put it on a plate to cool down while the steam evaporates.
- Gather the spinach into a compact bundle and squeeze this ball as hard as possible once it has cooled. Do this while standing over the sink, so the juice drains into the sink. But if you want to save the juice, do it into a bowl instead. It may be necessary to carry out this step in batches or use a potato ricer if you have one.
- Season the spinach with salt and pepper, as well as any flavorings of your choice if you’re planning to eat it on its own.
This easy spinach recipe can be achieved in such a short cooking time, but it delivers such healthy and delicious results to your plate. As long as you follow the right cooking instructions with stove-top spinach recipes, you’re good to go.
If you’d like to see more recipe ideas for cooking spinach on the stovetop, we recommend that you watch this video recipe for some insight.
- Seasoning suggestions: If you’re not using your cooked spinach in any recipe and instead want to serve it as a side dish, season it with a touch of salt and a spritz of olive oil. A squeeze of lemon or a handful of chili flakes for spice will also help to brighten things up.
- Another option is to start the wilting process of cooking the spinach by using oil to sauté garlic or onions until they are almost done. It only takes a minute or so for the spinach to wilt so that you can add it in the right at the end of the cooking. Continue to gently toss the spinach to introduce all of the unwilted leaves to the pan’s heat until all of it has completely wilted. Do not wring out the water.