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45 best spinach recipes for a boost of green

How to dress your favorite leafy green up to impress.
Joy Bauer

Spinach isn’t always the most popular ingredient and the leafy green gets a bad rap. Rich in essential nutrients, including calcium and iron, spinach can be a tasty, versatile way to get your vitamins and minerals in through a wide range of cuisines, cooking styles and preparations. 

Spinach is also super easy to work with, whether you’re an expert chef or a home cook looking for the quickest way to enjoy a good meal. Pre-washed, packaged baby spinach can be used in a salad, whirred into a smoothie, baked into a casserole or even chopped up as a bright green garnish on any of the recipes below. Frozen spinach can work in a pinch too — just squeeze all the water out when you defrost it in the microwave to keep your meal from getting soggy. 

Fresh spinach famously shrinks up when you cook it — you’ve seen the memes and TikToks — so while it may look like a lot when you first add it to the pan, once it heats up, it will shrivel into a small but, flavorful ingredient that packs in the nutrients. 

Ready to enrich your menus with spinach galore? From herby creamed spinach to frittatas and pasta, here are 45 things ways to use everyone’s favorite leafy green. 

Herbaceous Creamed Spinach

This side is almost too decadent to be considered a vegetable dish, but it’s packed with an entire pound of spinach. Fresh herbs — basil, tarragon and dill — add extra bright flavor to this verdant dish, which pairs well with poultry and other meats. The dish, which calls for a duo of white cheddar and Gruyere cheeses, can also be easily tweaked with whatever melty cheese you prefer. 

Creamy Spinach Gratin

Creamy spinach is the best kind of spinach. And this creamy spinach has a crisp, cheesy crumble on top, thanks to a combination of breadcrumbs and cheese. Bring this to a potluck or win holiday hosting with this warm and satisfying spinach dish. 

Divine Start Smoothie

Fresh spinach is a lovely addition to smoothies, not only for the color and nutrients it adds, but for its fresh flavor. Kale adds a second dose of greens to this morning drink, while frozen coconut, bananas and dates offset the bitter greens with their sweetness. 

Assembling lasagna can sound like a hassle, but in the slow cooker, it’s a piece of cake. Let the beloved countertop appliance do most of the work with this baked pasta recipe that relies on frozen spinach to keep things fresh. Jarred marinara sauce and uncooked noodles make up the bulk of this dish, transforming from pantry ingredients to a special vegetarian dinner with little work. 

Giada's Creamy Polenta with Spinach

Polenta is one of the quickest comfort foods, and fresh spinach amps it up to a whole new level. Chicken broth and plenty of butter flavor the polenta, while the greens add nutrients texture and a vibrant color to the porridge-like dish. Just gently wilting the spinach lets it retain much of its flavor and texture. 

Strip House's Creamed Spinach

There’s nothing like a New York steak house. And going to a steak house without ordering creamed spinach is practically criminal. This recipe from Manhattan’s Strip House helps you to recreate the delicious restaurant staple at home. 

Spinach Noodle Casserole

Six ingredients, one big dish. This beloved family recipe relies on frozen spinach and heavy cream to create a rich base. Egg noodles add a solid base while onion soup powder flavors it all. It’s easy to execute, tweak to your liking and share at any occasion. 

When it comes to creamed spinach, Al Roker knows what’s up. Why? Bacon. Because bacon belongs in pretty much everything, and it adds so much to this recipe. We’re talking crunch, saltiness and just general pork flavor that makes the spinach go down all too easily. 

Spinach and Cheese Empanadas

Making empanadas with packaged pie dough can be a fun project — and filling them with spinach is an easy way to get your daily dose of greens. Mozzarella and feta add gooeyness and the ultimate cheese pull with each bite. Enjoy these empanadas warm or at room temperature. 

Tracy's Spinach Pesto

Call us crazy, but we don’t like store-bought pesto. Okay, it’s fine, but homemade pesto is so much better. And it’s so easy to make. This spinach pesto packs in so much veggie goodness and can be used on pasta, as a sandwich spread, served with eggs and more. 

Wilted spinach quite literally blankets penne noodles in this super simple pasta dish that can be served cold and leftover like a pasta salad. This spinach pasta is weeknight rotation worthy, year round. 

Spinach artichoke dip is a sports bar classic, and there’s only room for improvement with this gooey starter. Baked feta adds a sophisticated, cheesy element. Have plenty of pita or chips on hand for dipping. 

Brown Butter Sautéed Spinach with Lemon

Find an ingredient that’s not enhanced with brown butter. We’ll wait. This super quick, super simple sautéed spinach recipe is restaurant-quality and can be stirred up at home in a matter of minutes. Yes, chef. 

Asparagus and Spinach Frittata

Do you have a handful of wilted greens in the fridge? It’s time to make a frittata. This baked egg pie is packed with leeks, asparagus, spinach and fresh basil for a nourishing meal. Eat a slice on-the-go or serve it for your family as part of a weeknight brunch spread. 

Bread isn’t just for sandwiches. This peasant-style soup utilizes a hearty loaf to add thickness and depth to a comforting pot of tomato soup. Add some fresh spinach and you have a balanced meal. 

Spinach-Artichoke Dip

Sometimes keeping it simple is best. And recreating a classic is never a bad idea. This traditional spinach-artichoke dip is savory and creamy, perfect for game night. A trio of queso fresco, ricotta and Parmesan cheese, along with mayonnaise, form the base for this rich dip. 

One-Pot Pasta with Spinach and Ricotta

Fewer dirty dishes is always a good thing. And this one-pot pasta is a great thing. Making this dinner is as easy as opening a few packaged foods and creating a creamy, ricotta-based sauce with plenty of spinach for extra nutrients and a pop of green.

Spinach-Mushroom Lasagna

Spinach and mushrooms pair so well together no matter the season, and this vegetarian-friendly lasagna is no exception. No boil noodles help expedite the recipe, and frozen or fresh spinach both work here. Bon appetit! 

Sunny's Creamy Spinach Pierogi Pizza

Is it a pizza? Is it a pierogi? It’s both! This pizza topped with pierogi-style fillings is the best of both worlds, thanks to creamy spinach and caramelized onions. 

Kimchi Creamed Spinach

Briny kimchi punches up traditional creamed spinach in this recipe. Store-bought or homemade kimchi will work to add some tang to this decadent side. Serve alongside a savory cut of charred steak to cut the heat.

Creamed Spinach with Fried Cheese Curds

If you thought creamed spinach couldn’t get any better, this rendition is for you. Cheese curds, a classic Midwestern treat, are fried to a crisp, decadently dressing up this steakhouse side. This recipe from acclaimed Minneapolis restaurant Spoon & Stable is a crowd-pleaser.

These soufflés are almost too beautiful to be considered a convenience meal. And yet, they’re uncomplicated to make, full of nourishing vegetables and photo-worthy. Bacon or ham can also be added to up the protein content. 

This roast chicken dish is packed with flavor and pairs so well with a spinach side salad. Couscous soaks up all the residual juices, and the salad acts as a palate cleanser between bites. While cooking, the spinach wilts in under a minute to create a fresh yet lucious side.

Spinach and artichoke dip can be heavy, but this healthy recipe lightens up the classic. Nonfat Greek yogurt and low fat cream cheese create a creamy, rich base that’s a better-for-you version of the classic cream cheese and sour cream-based appetizer. No one will know this creamy dip is a bit healthier than its original counterpart.

Baked eggs can be the best on a busy morning. This method requires cracking eggs, cream and veggies into a dish, allowing them to bake until bubbly and then reaping in the delicious results. Serve with crusty bread for dipping.

Spinach Ricotta Frittata

Yes, spinach in a frittata is a natural pairing. And any easy way to sneak in extra nutrients in breakfast. Ricotta adds a nice creaminess, and can even be dolloped on top for a second dose of cheese while serving.

Stovetop polenta can feel tedious, so let the slow cooker do the work. This polenta melds lovely savory flavors together and the addition of spinach adds some color and brightness. Serve exactly as is, or with extra grated cheese and fresh pepper on top.

Waking up to fresh greens can be so satisfying. This green shakshuka comes together in minutes, thanks to a combination of frozen spinach and peas, dried herbs and store-bought salsa verde. Enjoy with a spoon and avocado or some bread to soak up all the sauces.

Fresh baby spinach makes for a wonderful salad base, especially when it’s dressed up for summer. Pickled strawberries add a beautiful tang on top. The poppy seed dressing can be doubled to use on many more salads. 

Meatballs don’t just belong in red sauce — and they don’t have to be made with pork, beef or veal to be delicious. These lean chicken meatballs incorporate thawed, frozen spinach, so there’s plenty of nutrients in every bite. The Parmesan cream sauce adds a nice smooth finish to the dish. 

Kronk's Spinach Puffs

Whether it’s game day, New Year’s Eve or cocktail hour, homemade spinach puffs are always a good idea. The filling in this version features a creamy combination of beaten eggs, ricotta cheese, mozzarella and crispy bacon.

Sigeumchi Namul, a Korean spinach salad that is traditionally served cold, is a wonderful bright green dish to serve as an appetizer or side dish. Fresh spinach melds well with sesame oil and sesame seeds, plus fresh scallions, for depth of flavor. Pack this for your next picnic. 

Spicy Chicken and Orzo Soup

When spinach wilts in soup, it releases extra flavor and nutrients into the broth, in addition to a bright green hue. This spicy chicken soup with orzo is a cold weather go-to. If you have leftovers, add an additional handful of spinach when reheating to freshen it up. 

Yes, restaurant-style steak can be executed at home. The pile of sautéed spinach in this dish makes for a stunning base to rest the filet on. The crisp bacon and potato chips on top complete this five star meal. 

This comforting dish from Katie Lee melds mac and cheese with spinach and artichoke dip for the perfect creamy baked pasta. The recipe can easily be prepped in advance and popped in the oven to cook right before serving. 

Lamb Palaver

This rendition of spinach and agushi stew hails from Ghana. Baby spinach simmers with bone-in leg of lamb and a homemade chili sauce for a tender stew full of flavor. Curry powder, ginger and more seasonings boost the flavor.

Spinach-and-Artichoke Popovers

Popovers are always a special treat, but adding veggies is a fun way to turn these pastries into a meal or hearty snack. These cheesy popovers are crisp on the outside and gooey on the inside.

Fresh chives and parsley breathe new life into this dip that utilizes frozen artichokes and frozen spinach. Reserve some extra herbs to garnish before serving. 

Spinach and Agushi Curry

This easy vegan curry can be a weeknight staple and is super versatile to punch up with even more vegetables. Grilled plantains add a fantastic sweetness on the ride. Alternatively, this curry can be served with rice, lentils or flatbread.

Everyday Salad with Ramp Dressing

This punchy salad earned its name for a reason — it can easily be made on the daily, thanks to the fact that it is just so versatile. Spinach can be added or swapped in for other varieties of lettuce, and the accoutrement options are seemingly endless. Top with grilled chicken or salmon for a light and nourishing meal.

What’s easier than skimming chips through dip? Pre-dipped chips. These ingenious puff pastry bites are the ideal one-bite hors d’oeuvres that reinvent classic flavors in a fresh and fun way.

Matzo balls are most typically seen in soup, but this appetizer takes the Ashkenazi dish to a new level. Stuffed with brisket and pastrami, these matzo balls are a gift that gives with every bite. Serve with spicy mustard for the ultimate dipping experience. 

Inspired by a Roman pasta dish, the key to this fettuccine’s success is treating each ingredient gently. Cook the shrimp just until they turn pink, keep the fettuccine al dente and let the spinach wilt gracefully into the noodles. Mushrooms and Parmesan add an extra dose of umami flavor in every bite. 

Spinach and Feta Tarts

Pre-cooked phyllo cups are the hack behind this open-faced spanakopita recipe. Easy to enjoy in one bite, these small savory tarts transform frozen spinach into an elegant appetizer. These are crispy and creamy in all the right ways.