Fresh Spinach: 70 Things To Do With It

Fresh Spinach

Fresh spinach is in season right now, and I got a huge bag of it from my favorite grower, so I’ve been looking for great ways to use it. I naturally turned to Twitter and Facebook to hear about your favorite spinach dishes, and I thought I’d share the master list. Thank you all for your inspired suggestions!

Spinach pairings

– Spinach + garlic
– Spinach + cheese (especially fresh goat cheese, feta, ricotta)
– Spinach + sesame
– Spinach + eggs
– Spinach + cream
– Spinach + pasta
– Spinach + mushrooms
– Spinach + potatoes
– Spinach + nutmeg
– Spinach + lentils
– Spinach + raisins
– Spinach + bacon
– Spinach + fish
– Spinach + anchovies
– Spinach + rice
– Spinach + lemon

Sautéed spinach

– Sautéed in butter
– Wilted in a pan with slivers of garlic (lots of it).
– Simply sauté with olive oil, sliced garlic and lemon juice.
– Spinaci alla romana, with pine nuts, garlic, and sultanas
– Toss in a hot skillet with garlic, olive oil, salt. Cover, remove from heat, wilt 5 min. Leftovers can be mixed into fromage blanc.
– Chop up spinach, sauté in sesame oil, and serve with quinoa or rice, and tofu baked with miso or soy sauce.
– Stir-fry quickly with garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, and a dash of soy sauce.
– Sautéed in a skillet with rice vinegar, a drizzle of sesame oil, toasted black sesame, and fresh ginger, Japanese-style.
One-pot spinach and quinoa pilaf

Spinach in baked dishes

– Spinach quiche, with leeks and gruyère
– Spinach and potato quiche with feta cheese
– Spinach tart or pie, with fresh goat cheese or camembert
– In a phyllo pie with feta, à la spanakopita
Torta pasqualina (Spinach and ricotta Easter pie)
– Spinach and ricotta lasagna
– Spinach pirojki
– Spinach börek

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Spinach with eggs

Add puréed spinach to pancake dough: the combination of the two creates a whole new taste.

– Spinach and feta omelette
– Spinach and mushroom omelette
– Spinach frittata
– In eggs florentine.
– In an egg bouillabaisse
– Sautéed in a little bit of olive oil with a fried egg.
– Spinach and egg crêpes with cheese
– Put puréed spinach into pancake dough. When heated in oil, it will give the whole thing a wonderful caramelized touch. It’s not pancakes with spinach, the combination of the two creates a whole new taste.

Spinach in soups

– In a spicy Asian-style noodle soup.
– Spinach and lentil soup with fresh sheep’s milk cheese.
– A soup of fried leeks, frozen peas, spinach and vegetable stock. Boil for a few minutes, blitz, then eat.
– In a coconut curry or bean soup.

Spinach in pasta and noodles

– In pasta with ricotta or mascarpone cheese
– With ricotta, to stuff lumaconis (snail shell pasta)
– Sautéed with tomatoes, pine nuts, garlic, sliced black olives in olive oil, topped with feta in pasta.
– Spinach pesto with almonds, really good olive oil and lots of grated pecorino; best with homemade pasta.
– Turn it into a pesto with walnuts and pecorino; eat on fresh bread or pasta.
Elbow macaroni with Comté cheese, spinach and nutmeg
– Fry with bacon and tomatoes to top pasta.
– As a vegetable for mie goreng (Indonesian fried noodles)

Spinach salads

– If it is really fresh, in a salad with beets and hard-boiled egg: mix the yolk with oil, vinegar and mustard for a creamy dressing.
– In a salad with tuna and roasted pumpkin seeds
– Mix with mandarin oranges, feta cheese, sunflower seeds and a Champagne vinaigrette.
– Wilted spinach salad: fry some streaky bacon, pour off most of the grease and deglaze with a bit of red wine vinegar. Pour the hot dressing over your spinach along with tomatoes, a hard-boiled egg, minced shallot and the crumbled bacon.
Spinach salad with warm bacon vinaigrette
– In a salad with fresh mint and a Thai vinaigrette (made with fresh ginger, rice vinegar, soy sauce, lime juice, and oil).
– Spinach, kale (or arugula), almond and date salad with a lemon dressing.
– Spinach salad with pumpkin roasted in maple syrup, creamy feta, walnuts and a nice vinaigrette.

Spinach in sandwiches and pizza

On pizza, with an insane amount of garlic.

– In BLT’s
– In a sandwich with hummus
– Use on an egg breakfast sandwich.
– Spinach pizza with fresh garlic, bacon, and dollops of fresh sheep’s milk cheese
– In a Chicago-style stuffed pizza, with an insane amount of garlic

Spinach with meat or fish

– In a coulibiac.
– Grill salmon with olive oil; lay on top of spinach; eat it all up.
– Spinach with grilled sole, washed down with Belgian beer.
Fish florentine
– In meatballs, with lemon zest
– With croûtons made from Poilâne bread, lardons from a farm-raised French pork, and a Roquefort cheese sauce.

Blanched or boiled spinach

Spinach with feta and lemon
Creamed spinach
Japanese spinach with sesame dressing, or with a miso and sesame dressing
Spinach namul

Indian-style spinach

– Spinach in a lentil curry
Spinach rice with dhal
Saag paneer with roasted butternut and homemade roti bread
– Chicken or prawn saag

Drinkable spinach

– In green juices and green smoothies: spinach, almond milk, banana and frozen blueberries is a favorite combo.
– Purée and freeze in ice cube trays to use for smoothies.

Any cool ideas of your own you want to add?

  • Mardi Michels

    What a GREAT resource! Bookmarked!

    • Clotilde Dusoulier

      Thank you Mardi ! I hope you find it useful.

  • LaCoccinelle

    I like the look of the “giant green pie” Torta Pasqualina and thought it would be a good dish to serve to my girlfriends before we go to watch Grand Budapest Hotel at the traveling cinema in my village next week, and when I looked at the NYT recipe, there was a small advert for the film which seemed as if it was part of the recipe. Serendipity ! Thanks for all this, no doubt it was a lot of work to collate.

    • Clotilde Dusoulier

      I want to see that movie too! The reviews are outstanding.

      And thank you for your kind words: it was some work to put together the list, but so inspiring! I’ve already made a few of the suggestions in the past few days: the spinach pizza, the spinach and lentil soup, the spinach pesto, and the spinach with a miso and sesame dressing. And I’m planning to add spinach to the lasagna for tonight. (Yes, I had *a lot* of it to use up!)

  • LaCoccinelle

    I’ve been eating a lot of spinach recently. Some dishes just call out for it and one is my quick curried mushrooms. I made a quantity of Jamie Oliver’s rogan josh curry paste and froze it in single portions, actually in a plastic tray for baby’s frozen food, which has larger holes than ice cube trays. I love mushrooms and make the curry with one onion, one largish tomato, some mushrooms, a small tub of yoghurt and add a handful of fresh spinach at the end and hopefully chopped fresh coriander if I’ve got any, ( not easy to find in the country ). It could be padded out with cooked potato or chick peas.

    • Clotilde Dusoulier

      This inspires two thoughts: 1- I resisted buying those exact plastic trays when my son was of baby food age because it seemed like I wouldn’t need them again later, but now I see the point!

      2- I’ve found this recipe for rogan josh curry paste on J.O.’s website. Is this the one you use?

  • Jenny

    I love a caesar salad, but made with baby spinach instead of romaine.

    I actually found a packaged one in the store the other day, that was caesar dressing and toppings, but with baby spinach and baby kale. I added some roasted chicken and some feta cheese, and it made for a very satisfying couple of lunches.

    • Clotilde Dusoulier

      That’s a lovely idea, Jenny, I can see how the creamy/tangy Caesar dressing would work well with spinach.

  • rachelsloan79

    A great resource and so timely! My only addition would be a recipe for spinach and wild rice pilaf that they were handing out at my farmer’s market a couple of weeks ago ( – really tasty and just as good cold the next day as it was straight off the stove.

    • Clotilde Dusoulier

      That sounds fantastic, thank you Rachel! I recently learned that you can make pilaf with quinoa, too (I’ve included a link above) and I may try it with that sometime.

  • Ruth

    Any suggestions for imaginative herb pairings with spinach?

    • Clotilde Dusoulier

      Great question, Ruth, it’s true that herbs and spinach aren’t often paired. I would suggest chives and tarragon as the best fits.

  • Roberta

    salad with spinach, pears and shaved parmigiano – with olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing. very fresh and tasty. thanks for the list!

    • Clotilde Dusoulier

      Oh, I love the spinach + pear pairing, I can tell it must be delicious!

  • Lekha

    I do a spinach and tofu lasagne which has proved so popular that I have had to repeat it.

    Do you think spinach and minced chicken go together?

    • Clotilde Dusoulier

      Interesting — what kind of tofu do you use, and how do you prepare it before adding it to your lasagna?

      And I think spinach and chicken would work, absolutely!

      • Lekha

        I just use fresh firm tofu…just drain the water for a while. It is in alternating layers with spinach and two types of sauces, mozzarella topped on each layer and Parmesan on the top.
        Thank you, I did a minced chicken with spinach and it tasted good.

        • Clotilde Dusoulier

          Thanks, Lekha! And now I have to ask: what two types of sauces do you use? :)

          • Lekha

            I use a marinara sauce for the tofu and bechamel/white sauce for the spinach.
            And the minced chicken with spinach mentioned earlier was layered between Indian Chapattis…no cheese, no sauce, just brushed with milk.

          • Clotilde Dusoulier

            Thanks Lekha!

  • mehdi aghdaee

    In persian cuisine there’s a family of dishes called burani, a cooked vegetable mixed with yoghourt. For the spinach version, i wilt 1/2 kg spinach with 1-2 tbsp of homemade chicken stock for 5-10 minutes, take off the stove and stir in 3 tbsp of yoghourt, served hot or cold; sort of creamed spinach, with less calories.

    • Clotilde Dusoulier

      That sounds quick and delicious, Mehdi, thank you for sharing!

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