This Sauteed Spinach is made with fresh spinach sauteed with garlic and onions in olive oil and butter. It's the best, easiest and fastest spinach side dish that is healthy and low-carb diet friendly!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
One of my favorite side dishes that I can quickly whip up when short on time or when I need a healthy vegetable side, is this Sautéed Spinach. It's flavorful and a favorite with the whole family, even the kiddos like it!
Sautéed onion and garlic in olive oil and butter mixture are the perfect flavor base for fresh spinach. It's a healthy and low-carb option for any meal! This is hands-down the best sautéed spinach recipe you will make. It's healthy, delicious, and goes with any main course. You can also use it in grain bowls with cooked quinoa, rice, black beans, tofu, etc.
- spinach: fresh is best, you can buy it in bunches or pre-washed and bagged;
- olive oil and butter: my favorite combo for sauteing vegetables;
- onion: helps build the flavor of the dish;
- garlic: perfect aromatic to pair with spinach; use fresh cloves or minced in a jar;
- soy sauce: the secret ingredient that adds umami flavor and takes the whole dish to a new level.
How do you sauté fresh spinach?
- Start by heating up olive oil in a large skillet. Add chopped onion and minced garlic and saute until fragrant and the onion is almost caramelized.
- Stir in soy sauce and fresh spinach. Cook stirring often until the spinach is wilted. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
- Let the onion caramelize. It will give the spinach dish a deeper, richer flavor. The addition of soy sauce deepens the flavor.
- Do not skimp on garlic! I love this dish quite garlicky and use up to 4 teaspoons of minced garlic.
- Use fresh spinach for the best result.
- You can roughly chop spinach leaves or use baby spinach.
- Add bacon: cook bacon until crispy, then add onion and garlic. Stir in spinach and saute until wilted.
- Top seared chicken breast with spinach and cheese and bake for a flavorful and delicious quick meal!
- Mix with cooked quinoa, roasted sweet potatoes, black beans, tomatoes, and red onion for a delicious grain salad.
I do not recommend using frozen spinach in this recipe. You have to thaw it before using, and it will contain too much water and splatter once added to the onion in the skillet.
This is a question of preference. I don't mind the stems so I always leave them on. Less work! If you don't like the stems, simply cut them off or snip off with kitchen scissors.
From my experience, using fresh spinach prevents bitterness in the dish. Frozen spinach, after thawing, has a distinct flavor and once sautéed tends to be quite bitter. Use fresh, if you can.
More recipes with spinach:
If you like this recipe and make it, let me know in the comments below! Don't forget to rate it if you enjoyed it!
The Best Sauteed Spinach
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium white onion chopped
- 4 teaspoons minced garlic see note
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 8 oz fresh spinach
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- In a large skillet, heat up olive oil. Add onion and saute for 4 minutes. Add garlic and butter and saute until the onion is starting to brown.
- Add soy sauce and stir well. Add spinach and gently toss to mix with sauteed onion.
- Cook until spinach is wilted. Season with salt and pepper.
- Serve immediately.
- Please note, that the nutrition value can vary depending on what product you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use a calorie counter you are familiar with.
- Fresh spinach is recommended for this recipe. Frozen spinach, after thawing, can be quite bitter.
- The soy sauce can be replaced by coconut aminos if you are looking to make this dish gluten-free.
Amy C Gorman says
I just decided today that if I rely so heavily on reviews, I really should start leaving a few.
Having said that… I love this simple spinach recipe. The ending flavors are mild but full of taste and will pair well with meat or seafood.
I used twice as much garlic and topped with Cod with cherry tomatoes and roasted garlic. Absolutely wonderful!
I've made this twice now and instead of soy sauce, I used ponzu sauce. Tasted excellent! My husband and I both love it. It's definitely a keeper. 😊
What a great idea! Might have some of the tart tang I recall from my grandmother's spinach. The onions and garlic alone could be used elsewhere, but they take this spinach over the top. Yum!
I am so glad! Thank you, Robin!
Lovely! Easy! Delish!
Mrs. McMeyersen says
Quick and yummy! Will be my go to prep for spinach from now on! I didn't have soy sauce so I substituted coconut aminos, next time I'll try soy sauce just to see if there's any noticeable difference with the flavor. Also used bacon grease instead of olive oil because I didn't have that either. I just moved so I haven't fully stocked my pantry yet.
Love that! Thank you for making my recipe!
Does it get any better? Quick prep, truly great flavor, AND healthy? Made it without the bacon (though I'm sure that would be delicious) and served with broiled salmon for dinner. Just lovely. This will become a staple in our house. Tasty enough for company, but quick enough for a weeknight dinner. (I think I'll try a squirt or two of fresh lemon juice next time. ) Thanks so much!
What’s the reason for a white onion, rather than a yellow, sweet onion?
I like yellow onions, but I’m curious about “why white?”
Ho Joe! You can certainly use the onion you like. Both yellow or white work great here. I hope you enjoy the dish!
I normally despise sauteed spinach but my recipe called for some so I gave this recipe a shot. I absolutely plan on making this again because it tasted Amazing! I followed the recipe to the letter and it was perfect.
Yay! I am so glad you enjoyed it! Thank you!
Christine F says
Surprisingly good! Wanted to use up the giant tub of spinach without making my usual creamed spinach, which is delicious but heavy and somewhat time consuming... this was light and fast and also delicious! Thank you for the recipe!
Yay! I am so glad you enjoyed it, Christine! Thank you for trying my recipe!
Best spinach ever !!!!!
Wow! Was getting hungry and decided to cook up a marinated steak I had in the fridge and looked up some spinach recipes as a side, I came across this recipe and it did NOT disappoint! Extremely yummy and I'll be making again tomorrow! Lol thanks for sharing!!!
My husband & I both loved this spinach recipe.
Thank you so much, Kathy!
Tom T. says
Wow, I went into this not have expectations. Absolutely delicious. I used coconut aminos in lieu of soy sauce due to a soy allergy. But it makes a huge difference. I've made this a ton of times without the soy sauce but this recipe enlightened me. Thank you!
Hi Tom! That's absolutely fantastic! I am so glad you enjoyed the spinach. Thank you for giving my recipe a try!
Brenda M says
Made this tonight exactly as written. Absolutely delicious. The butter and soy sauce made the whole dish. .
Thank you so much, Brenda!
I MUST SAY THIS IS 100+ INFINITY STARS RATING! lols .... I made this as a side dish for my chicken cutlets for dinner. Very delish! Thank you for this recipe ❤️
Awesome!! Thank you, Jonna! I am so glad you love the recipe!
Dennis Kitsman says
I have never liked cooked spinach before, but went to a friends house for New Year's Ever dinner and he made this recipe. It was delicious! I enjoyed it so much I'm making it tonight. I now love sauteed spinach! Great recipe and easy to make!
Can I freeze this once I’ve prepared it?
Ann Kasprzyk says
I want to make this for Thanksgiving for a different vegetable beside the traditional one I make. I would need to triple the recipe. I would like to make it the day before and then put it in a crock pot on Thannksgiving, just on warm, would that work? For how long on warm, 2 hours? I have never cooked or ate spinach but this got such rave reviews I would like to try it depending on using a crock pot.
Paul Barbour says
Wow just Wow! Great with eggs and toast
Dolores Nelson says
I used TWICE the spinach (about 16 oz baby spinach)and could have used more; maybe I used too much onion (1\2 large)? I also used 3 slices of precooked bacon (no extra fat.) Still, it seemed too oily -- but I think that's MY fault. Another time I will be more careful with the oil; it's the first time I sauteed spinach. Good flavor. I think I'll serve it over mashed potatoes.
Try sautéed spinach tossed gently with mashed potatoes and butter. Season to taste. An old favorite.
I should have made more! I swapped the soy sauce for apple cider vinegar and added smoked paprika.
I loved it, thanks. 🙂
It is so easy to make plus it is very healthy too! Served it as a side dish with grilled chicken and a little bit of rice. It was such a hit, I will surely save this recipe for future use. Thank you!
I love thinking of new ways to spinach! Great recipe 😋
Laura Reese says
This is delicious and a great new way for me to use spinach!
Thank you, Laura!
Can I use garlic powder instead of the other garlic
Melodie Winawer says
This really IS the best sauteed spinach ever. The combination of onions, garlic, butter, and soy sauce makes for an incredible combination.
Yay! I am so glad you love it, Melodie! Thank you!
How does this keep if you have leftovers
Hi Theresa! It keeps really well for up to 3 days. You can reheat it in a microwave or in a pan. I hope this helps!
This recipe is amazing and if you replace the onion with shallots and double the amount I promise you it’s life-changing!
Thank you, Chris!
Delicious! I added a can of black-eyed peas for protein.
Perfect! Thank you, Cindy!
Absolutely delicious. Prepared exactly as recipe instructed, this will definitely become a go to vegetable. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.
Suzanna Nevkin says
Yummy – but instead of the animal fat butter, I used plant-based butter and it was still delicious. No need to use dairy. It's awful for your body, for the environment, and for the animals. Also, instead of soy sauce, I used liquid aminos – tastes just like soy sauce, but much healthier. Thanks for the delicious recipe!
Thank you, Suzanna! Great tips!
I would use extra virgin olive oil myself. Im not against butter but margarine is not that healthy either. Peter
I added a little hand full of chopped cashew nuts at the end it was delicious
Karl B Beutel says
Excellent add! The cashews were a huge success.
Karen Tolbert says
So very yummy! Only adjustment I made was in the amount of garlic- my husband sort of limits that for us - I only used 1 tsp. Tasted so buttery. The onions perfect. Definitely a repeat in our menu. Thank you!
Thank you so much, Karen! I am so glad the spinach was a hit!
I added additional salt the first time and it was too salty for my liking... made it again without extra and it was perfect!
This is by far the best spinach recipe! And so easy. This will be a usual in my house! Thank you!
I am so glad you love it, Gail! Thank you so much!
Awesome recipe! Paired great with my panko crusted salmon. I will definitely be making this again. Thanks
Thank you so much, Sherrie! I love it with salmon too!
This dish is super delicious and easy!! I made it by the directions and then tossed it with grilled chicken, cheese ravioli and parmesan cheese. Made for a complete meal but will use as a side with a piece of fresh fish real soon.
Hi Tammy! Yay! That's fantastic! I love that you added chicken and ravioli. Delicious! Thank you so much for trying my recipe!
At first I was doubtful about the soy sauce but you were right...it really combines well with the rest of the ingredients and gives the dish that extra oomph! It’s delicious...thank you
Healthy means I can eat more, right?
Such an easy and delicious recipe...thanks!
This does look like the best! I cannot wait to try it!
Allyson Zea says
I love finding delicious variations to make plain old spinach! Thanks!
One of my favorite sides! Healthy and delicious!
This is my kid's favorite meal. He loves spinach! Yummy!
Sounds perfect! Can't wait to make as a side with my dinner tonight!
Tasty, healthy, & super easy to make!! Thank you for sharing this recipe!
Thank you, Kristyn!
Never liked sauteed spinach until I found this recipe!
Yay! Thank you, Sommer!
Renee Ravan says
I tossed in sea scallops that I quartered
Becky Hardin says
Looks so super easy to make! I bet it taste amazing too.
It sure does!
I LOVE spinach and this was super easy to make. Thank you!
Thank you so much, Stephanie!
Such an easy and healthy side dish
Right? It's delicious!