40 Flavor-Packed Ways to Use Fresh Spinach
15 Flavor-Packed Ways to Use Fresh Spinach
Lentil Salad With Beets and Spinach
Precooked lentils make this healthy lunch come together in 10 minutes (or less!). You can also roast the beets ahead of time—look for the golden variety in grocery stores. They're much less messy than red beets, which can stain your hands and your cutting board.
One-Pot Pasta with Spinach and Tomatoes
In March 2015 we made pasta night easier by cooking the noodles right in the sauce. This not only saves on cleanup; the stock also infuses the pasta with flavor as it cooks, and the starch helps to thicken the sauce so it clings.
Creamed Curried Spinach
Curry powder adds warmth and earthiness to this speedy version of creamed spinach. Whole milk yogurt gives the side a luscious mouth feel and plenty of body. Serve with steak or with seared planks of spice-rubbed tofu.
Feta-Quinoa Cakes With Spinach
While most precooked grains call for some cooking to reheat and finish hydrating, we skip that step here. The quinoa will plump in the liquid from the batter and finish cooking in the skillet.
Spinach, Hummus, and Bell Pepper Wraps
Make this super-simple wrap the night before, wrap in parchment paper or plastic wrap, and store in the fridge—just grab it in the morning on your way out the door. Use Flatout Light whole-grain flatbreads to keep calories in check; you can find them at most supermarkets, usually in the bakery section.
Zucchini and Spinach Chilaquiles
This verde version of a Mexican brunch classic is the perfect introduction to summer. Queso fresco has the texture of strained ricotta—it won’t quite melt under the broiler, but its mild flavor will be a welcome contrast to the heat in the tomatillo mixture. Add scrambled eggs to each serving for a little extra protein.
Spinach Pesto Pasta with Shrimp
Pesto tends to go army green if made ahead. We blanch the spinach and basil to preserve color without diluting flavor. Fresh tomato adds moisture and a mild acidity to the sauce.
Roasted Red Pepper and Pine Nut Salad
Spring mix, a blend of small, tender lettuces, is an ideal base for side salads with a more delicate profile (think herbs, berries, and nuts rather than croutons, pungent cheeses, or big, crunchy vegetables). This Mediterranean version would be a perfect side for citrus-and-herb baked chicken and Greek-style roasted potatoes.
Sausage, Spinach, and Apple Breakfast Sandwiches
We swap the classic egg and cheese combo for crisp, tart apple slices and sautéed spinach. Use any bulk turkey breakfast sausage for this sandwich or try our DIY version.
Cheesy Chicken-and-Spinach Stromboli Ring
Instead of serving pizza, shake up dinner with a gorgeous stromboli ring. Though it may look difficult to make, it's actually an easy process (see our step-by-step instructions). Most store-bought pizza dough comes in 1-or 1 1/2-pound portions, but you only need 12 ounces for this recipe. Use the leftovers to make breadsticks or flatbread the next day.
Pesto Chicken with Blistered Tomatoes
Here, pesto acts as a binder, helping the crispy panko topping stick to the chicken. Serve with green beans tossed with lemon rind. Garnish with any extra basil you have on hand.
Vegetable Soup au Pistou
A traditional French pistou is a nut-free pesto, but the spinach pesto (or any refrigerated brand) is delicious here. Don't rinse the canned beans after draining; any remaining starches will help bring the soup together.
Creamed Spinach with Hazelnuts
Unlike some versions of creamed spinach, here you actually taste the greens. They’re enhanced by—but not overwhelmed by—the creamy sauce.
Salmon and Spinach Salad
Tarragon and fresh fennel both have the same faint licorice flavor, but they don’t overwhelm this simple spring salad. Salmon is the perfect protein for this dish: It cooks quickly, separates into large, pretty flakes, and stands up to the mint, tarragon, and garlic. This dish would also be a great use for leftover salmon. Refrigerate the cooked fillets whole, and then separate into flakes just before serving. If you don’t care for fennel, swap in another crunchy element like sliced cucumber or celery. Serve with toasted whole-grain baguette slices spread with softened goat cheese or salted butter.
Chicken and Butternut Gnocchi
Gnocchi are the base for a simple toss with sweet butternut squash, rich chicken thighs, spinach, and sage. Prepared gnocchi is a fast cook’s dream. They don’t need to be boiled separately, take on a beautiful sear, and will hold up after a thorough sauté and simmer with other ingredients. A dollop of prepared pesto binds and brightens the dish. Look for prepeeled and cubed butternut squash to save even more time. Instead of spinach, you could also try tender baby kale. For a bit of heat, add 1⁄4 teaspoon crushed red pepper to the pan before you simmer the squash.
Spinach, Bacon, and Gruyère Breakfast Strata
This dish has fewer than 20g of total carbs—about half of what you'll find in classic bread-based casseroles. Greek yogurt, eggs, and cheese pack a mighty protein punch, while a touch of bacon seasons to perfection. The strata is best if allowed to soak overnight. Not only does this build in make-ahead convenience, it also allows the bread to fully absorb the egg mixture—yielding a creamy texture inside, while the top bread pieces get delightfully crisp.
We swap fresh basil and pine nuts for ingredients that are more evergreen and everyday, perfect for a vibrant hit in cooler months. The warmth from the toasted walnuts will help the sauce emulsify in the food processor; toast in a dry skillet over medium-low for 5 minutes or until fragrant and warm. Dollop this pesto over vegetable soups, spread on crusty whole-wheat bread, or spoon over fish or chicken. If using as a pasta sauce, use the starchy pasta cooking liquid to thin the pesto in the food processor so that it coats the noodles.
Spinach, Beet, and Lentil Salad
Raw beets offer earthy flavor and meaty texture and add crunch and color to this salad. Use our beets guide for helpful prep tips and ideas on how to put this spring and fall vegetable to good use in a variety of yummy recipes. Lentils are a great source of protein and fiber in this recipe. They make a great addition to soups, stews, salads, vegetarian dishes, and more. Best of all, they're quick-cooking and don't require soaking. Our compilation of favorite recipes features more than 30 dishes featuring various types of lentils.
Sausage and Spinach Spaghetti Pie
Meet your new favorite casserole recipe. This budget-friendly dish (costing under $10) allows you to stretch a small amount of meat over several servings. It's family friendly, filling, and loaded with flavor--the perfect weeknight meal. The high heat on this recipe allows it to cook quickly, crisping the spaghetti slightly on the outside to make the perfect "pie crust" for this dish. You can use crumbled sausage in this dish, or start with Italian sausage and remove the casing, which is what the recipe calls for. Remove the casing by cutting up the side with a knife or kitchen shears, then crumble the sausage using a spoon in the skillet as it cooks.
White Bean and Vegetable Bowls with Frizzled Eggs
This easy bowl of brothy goodness is loaded with both veggies and umami depth--it's comfort food you can feel good about. It's also great for times when the food budget is tight, as it costs only about $11 for 4 servings. One-bowl dinners are a great way to solve the "What's for Dinner?" question that strikes daily. This flavorful option offers up a vegetarian option. The eggs add great protein and staying power to the veggie-heavy dish. The ingredients are similar to what you find in a traditional chili, but the results are anything but. Grab a bowl and enjoy.
Spinach, Cheese, and Bacon Bread Puddings
You just can’t go wrong with a savory bread pudding—think of it as a cross between holiday stuffing and a cheesy breakfast casserole. If you don’t have individual ramekins, place the bread mixture in an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. For a vegetarian spin, skip the bacon, sub vegetable stock for chicken stock, and add shiitake or cremini mushrooms to the onion mixture.
Spinach and Arugula Salad with Creamy Parmesan Dressing
This light in calories but rich in taste dressing meets at the happy place between Caesar and ranch. Spinach, arugula, and matchstick turnips make it a hearty salad, but you can add grilled chicken or grilled shrimp for a Caesar salad dinner that the whole family will love.
Spaghetti Squash Lasagna with Spinach
Swirl up a forkful of this rich, creamy play on lasagna. Packed with the same great flavors of the traditional dish, our veggie-packed version packs in nutrition while slashing carbs.
Spaghetti with Spinach-Avocado Sauce
Move over, pesto: You're not the only sauce worth going green for. Pureed avocado makes this dish positively irresistible. Garnish with extra basil leaves, if desired.
Creamed Winter Greens
Two beloved dark leafy greens, spinach and lacinato kale, combine to bring deep, earthy flavor to this updated take on classic creamed spinach.
One-Pot Cheesy Pasta Bake
This easy skillet pasta bake is a surefire family hit. Pasta and meat sauce topped with mozzarella cheese will make everyone at the table happy, and the all-in-one-pot technique will have the cook smiling pretty. Get the kids involved in this family-friendly meal. Kids can help measure wet and dry ingredients as well as sprinkle cheese on the finished product. Use prep time with older kids to reinforce counting, conversions, and measuring by weight.
Wheat Berry, Spinach, and Strawberry Salad
This super spinach salad is topped with strawberries, wheat berry mixture, feta cheese, balsamic vinegar, and more.
Chicken, Spinach, and Mushroom Lasagna
Chicken thighs poach until tender in stock, which becomes the base for a creamy béchamel sauce. No-boil noodles absorb more liquid during baking for a sturdy slice after freezing and reheating.
Spinach-Quinoa Cakes with Bell Pepper Relish
The quinoa mixture is very moist but will firm up beautifully in the oven. Press firmly when shaping the cakes, and be careful when transferring to the hot baking sheet. Place directly on pan for crispier cakes, or use parchment paper for quicker cleanup.
Crispy Chicken Thighs with Spinach-and-Pea Potato Salad
Sneak another veg into the potatoes with our green dressing that has peas and spinach. This recipe's a time-saver, too: A quick sear and a sprinkle of panko cuts prep and cook time in half compared to breading and baking. Serve with Chili-Lime Corn.
Choose a low-moisture ricotta. If you can't shape a loose ball with the cheese, place it in a strainer, and drain the excess liquid for about an hour.
Spaghetti with Pistachio-Mint Pesto and Spinach
Pistachios lend deep, earthy flavors to this pasta dish that is ideal for potlucks and feeding large crowds.
Dak Bokkeum with Spinach (Korean Stewed Chicken with Spinach)
Dak bokkeum, adapted here, is often a one-pot Korean dish of chicken, carrot, onion, and potato, all stewed in a spicy-sweet sauce. But you can adapt it to a mix of your favorite veggies. Our version features spinach and flavorful chicken thighs.
Creamy Four-Cheese Pasta With Spinach
Pasta night perfection. Four cheeses team up with gluten-free pasta to deliver a wholesome indulgence.
Gnocchi With Spinach and Pepper Sauce
Our shortcut version of Spain’s beloved romesco sauce boasts all the smoky flavor of the original with a fraction of the prep time.
Double Chickpea and Tomato-Spinach Pasta
Here are 7 reasons you’ll love this hearty outside-the-box pasta dinner: 1. Canned chickpeas and chickpea pasta add loads of fiber and plant-based protein. 2. Chickpea pasta is gluten free. So, yay! 3. No meat + no dairy = a very vegan friendly dish. 4. The quick basil-garlic oil trick is one you’ll use over and over again. 5. Cooking the pasta in a mixture of water and tomato sauce means you only have one pot to clean. 6. Thanks to plant-based ingredients and healthy fats, the serving size is nice and hearty—1 1/2 cups per person! 7. The roasted chickpeas are fantastic on their own, either for snacking or topping a salad.
This easy get-ahead dish plays off the appeal of spinach-artichoke dip. Assemble everything the night before; in the morning, let the strata stand while the oven preheats, and then pop it in. You don't need to fully blend in the herbed cheese; it's nice to hit little "pockets" of creamy goodness.