A simple recipe for steamed spinach, seasoned with butter, lemon juice, and garlic.
Sometimes the simplest recipes are the best ones! And this one is ready in less than 10 minutes.
Steaming is a gentle cooking method that I really like. And while steamed vegetables may not sound as exciting as other cooking methods (roasting, sauteing), they can be really good. Examples? Sure! This recipe is excellent, as are my recipes for steamed carrots and steamed cabbage.
I do love my sautéed spinach recipe - it's very flavorful. But my kids actually prefer this simple recipe for steamed spinach, so I make it often - at least once a week. Another spinach recipe that we all enjoy is this delicious creamed spinach.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty side dish. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Whole spinach leaves: I buy bags of pre-washed leaves. It makes life easier! Certainly use fresh spinach in this recipe.
Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use, or the dish could end up too salty.
Garlic powder: Make sure it's fresh! A stale spice can easily ruin a dish.
Melted butter: Salted or unsalted - both work. I love using creamy European butter, but any butter will be great.
Fresh lemon juice: Freshly squeezed tastes better than bottled.
So how do you steam spinach? It's actually a very easy recipe that requires no special steamer. Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
Place spinach leaves in a very large, deep skillet. Add ¼ cup of water.
Cover the skillet tightly (ideally with a clear lid so you can peek) and turn the heat to medium-high. When the spinach starts to cook, turn the heat to medium, and keep cooking until the leaves are just wilted.
Transfer the cooked spinach to a colander. Press on it with the back of a large serving spoon to extract as much liquid as you can.
Transfer the spinach to a serving plate. Sprinkle it with salt, pepper, and garlic powder, then drizzle it with melted butter and with lemon juice.
Sometimes the simplest recipes really are the best! My kids used to really dislike spinach until they realized how delicious it is when lightly cooked and liberally topped with butter.
It's helpful if you use a lidded skillet with a clear lid because you'll want to peek inside and see when the spinach is ready. You don't want to overcook it and dry it out. Minimally cooked spinach tastes best.
Frequently asked questions
I don't recommend that. I like to use pre-washed spinach leaves in this recipe, simply to make my life easier. You can certainly use whatever fresh spinach you prefer, but do use fresh - it won't be as good if you use frozen.
As you can see, I like to top it with melted butter, fresh lemon juice, and garlic. Other tasty options include a pinch of red pepper flakes, a sprinkle of finely grated parmesan cheese, or even a drizzle of hollandaise sauce.
You can also replace the butter with extra-virgin olive oil, although I do feel that butter tastes best in this recipe.
There's no need for any special equipment. You cook the spinach by adding it to a saucepan or a deep skillet, adding water, covering the saucepan, and turning the heat to medium-high.
But it truly goes with so many main dishes, and it goes just as well with chicken, beef or pork as it does with seafood.
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in a sealed container, for 3-4 days. Reheat them gently, in the microwave on 50% power.
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- 1 lb. pre-washed spinach leaves
- ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt or ¼ teaspoon of fine salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- ½ tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Place the spinach leaves in a very large, deep skillet. Add ¼ cup of water.
- Cover tightly (ideally with a clear lid so you can peek) and turn the heat to medium-high. When the spinach starts to steam, turn the heat to medium, and gently steam until the leaves are just wilted, 3-5 minutes.
- Transfer the cooked spinach to a colander. Press on it with the back of a large serving spoon to extract as much liquid as you can.
- Transfer the steamed spinach to a serving plate. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder, and drizzle with melted butter and lemon juice. Mix and serve.