Spinach is one of my favorite ingredients because not only is it nutritious, but it is extremely versatile. In fact, I keep frozen spinach on hand at all times, but I also like to use fresh spinach from time to time for salads and because it has a more delicate texture when added to cooked dishes. Fresh spinach can be a bit pricy, though, so when I do buy it I try to use up every last leaf before it goes bad. So here are some of the most easy and delicious spinach recipes I use to make sure none of my spinach goes to waste!
Substituting Fresh Spinach for Frozen Spinach
Any time you see a recipe with frozen spinach, fresh spinach can be substituted as long as you sauté it first to remove the excess moisture. Sautéing spinach is fast and easy. Jus sauté the spinach in a skillet with a splash of oil until the liquid that pools at the bottom of the skillet evaporates away. Then, make sure to press it to remove any excess moisture before adding it to your recipe.
I’ve broken down the recipes into five main categories: Soups & Stews, Pasta, Pizza, Eggs, Sandwiches and Wraps. Plus a few miscellaneous ideas at the end!
Soup Recipes with Spinach
Adding spinach to soups and stews is probably one of the easiest ways to use up leftover spinach. Because the spinach will be swimming in hot liquid, there is no need to sauté the spinach first (if substituting for frozen in a recipe). Simply toss your fresh spinach in, a handful at a time, and stir until the hot soup or stew wilts the spinach down. Super easy, right? Here are some of my favorite soups and stews that are perfect for your leftover spinach:
Garden Vegetable Lasagna Soup
This Garden Vegetable Lasagna Soup is chock full of colorful and flavorful textures, plus it has a hidden cache of delicious melty cheese in the bottom of every bowl!
Navy Bean Soup with Smoked Sausage and Spinach
Talk about comfort food! This Navy Bean Soup with Sausage and Spinach is the perfect bowl of cozy goodness on chilly fall or winter nights.
Upgraded Instant Ramen
One of my favorite ways to upgrade a humble bowl of instant ramen is to toss in a handful or two of fresh spinach! It adds so much to a bowl of noodles.
Easy Egg Drop Soup
This Easy Egg Drop Soup is so fast and easy, and it’s incredibly cozy when you’re feeling a little under the weather. It’s perfect for using up all your fresh spinach!
5. Swamp Soup
Swamp Soup is thick, rich, and oh so delicious! And it gets its name from the wilted spinach that makes the soup look a little “swampy”. ;)
Vegan Creamy Mushroom Ramen
Once again, fresh spinach adds a TON of texture, color, and flavor to this simple bowl of Vegan Creamy Mushroom Ramen. It just wouldn’t be the same without it!
Pasta Recipes with Spinach
Fresh spinach is the perfect addition to your favorite pasta dish. Just as with soups and stews, the hot pasta or sauce is usually enough to wilt the fresh spinach within moments, making it a fast and easy addition to the recipe. So, just toss a couple of handfuls of fresh spinach into your easy weeknight pasta dish to get more flavor, color, and nutrients! Here are my favorite pasta dishes that use fresh spinach:
Bacon and Spinach Pasta with Parmesan
This super simple one pot Bacon and Spinach Pasta never misses. Bacon, Parmesan, spinach, and onion make an incredibly simple and satisfying meal.
Creamy Tomato and Spinach Pasta
This Creamy Tomato and Spinach Pasta has been a viral hit for almost ten years, and for good reason! It’s incredibly easy and delicious, and it can take any amount of spinach that you happen to have on hand.
Creamy Spinach & Sausage Pasta
Another one pot winner! Creamy Spinach and Sausage Pasta hits all the marks: easy, filling, and oh so satisfying!
Sesame Noodles with Wilted Greens
I love simple food, and these Sesame Noodles with Wilted Greens are the perfect example. Lightly seasoned noodles, wilted spinach with a little garlic and pepper, and a fried egg on top. Perfect!
One Pot Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta
This Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta is a TOTAL crowd pleaser! So much flavor and rich goodness in one pot.
Tuscan White Bean Pasta
This quick Tuscan White Bean Pasta is light, fresh, and perfect for spring and summer! Toss in as much spinach as you’d like!
Spinach Alfredo Pasta
Spinach Alfredo Pasta is pure creamy pasta goodness at its best! …Plus a few handfuls of fresh spinach for good measure. ;)
Pizza Recipes with Spinach
PIZZAAAAA! Spinach has always been one of my favorite pizza toppings because it adds a welcomed dose of color and freshness to the pie. For the most part, you’ll want to sauté your fresh spinach before adding it to the pizza so that it doesn’t get crispy or dry out in the hot oven. Your other option is to place the spinach under your cheese so that it stays moist during baking. Here are a few of my favorite pizza recipes that include spinach:
Eggs Florentine Breakfast Pizza
You can use either fresh or frozen spinach for this Eggs Florentine Breakfast Pizza. To use fresh spinach, simply sauté the spinach down to remove the moisture before adding it to the pizza.
Freezer Ready Mini Pizzas
Chop up a handful or two of fresh spinach and add it to some Freezer-Ready Mini Pizzas!
Spinach Mushroom French Bread Pizzas
French bread pizzas are one of my favorite Friday quick fixes, and the combination of spinach, mushroom, and Swiss is such a nice change from the classic! Simply sauté your fresh spinach until most of the moisture is removed to use it in place of the frozen spinach in this recipe.
Easy White Spinach Pizza
Fresh spinach is just as easy to use in this White Spinach Pizza as frozen. Simply chop and sauté a bunch of spinach until most of the moisture is removed and add it to this simple and delicious pizza!
Egg Recipes with Spinach
Spinach and eggs are a match made in heaven. I can’t even count how many dishes I have that pair the two together. I love to sauté spinach right into my scrambled eggs, add spinach to my breakfast quesadillas and breakfast bowls, or bake it the spinach right into a quiche. Eggs release quite a bit of moisture on their own when cooked, so it’s a good idea to sauté your spinach before adding it to your egg dish, otherwise, you might end up some pooling water. Here are my favorite egg and spinach dishes:
Vegetable Breakfast Scrambles
A quick Vegetable Breakfast Scramble is my favorite way to use up odds and ends in the fridge, especially spinach!
Tortilla Baked Eggs
You can also toss a handful of spinach into some tortilla baked eggs! These eggs are SO colorful and delicious!
Spinach Mushroom and Feta Crustless Quiche
This spinach quiche is probably the most viral recipe on our website. It’s so incredibly delicious and its perfect for brunch! As always, to substitute fresh spinach for frozen, just chop up some fresh spinach and sauté it down until most of the moisture is gone before adding it to the recipe.
21. Spinach Pie
Is this Spinach Pie an egg dish with spinach or a spinach dish with eggs? It doesn’t matter because it’s delicious!
Scrambled Eggs with Spinach and Feta
It doesn’t get any more simple than some basic scrambled eggs with spinach and feta for a little flavor punch!
Creamed Spinach Baked Eggs
If you like shakshuka, you need to try their creamy cousin, Creamed Spinach Baked Eggs!
Veggie Packed Freezer Breakfast Sandwiches
If you’re going to make an egg breakfast sandwich, why not toss in a handful of spinach??
Sandwiches, Wraps, and Quesadillas with Spinach
And when all else fails, just start stuffing that fresh spinach into every sandwich, wrap, or quesadilla you eat! Seriously, spinach can go in just about anything. ;) Here are my favorite sandwich recipes where I stuff spinach in for a little extra nutrition:
Spinach Artichoke Grilled Cheese
Love spinach and artichoke dip? You’ll go crazy for this Spinach and Artichoke Grilled Cheese!!
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Wraps
When in doubt, stuff it into a wrap! This simple hummus wrap can take just about any leftover vegetable you have on hand, including spinach.
The Best Veggie Sandwich
Want to know how to make the BEST veggie sandwich on the planet?? I’ve got the deets on how to make that happen. Hint: you should definitely include spinach. ;)
Spinach and Feta Grilled Cheese
More Spinach Grilled Cheese goodness! It’s sooooo gooey and delicious!
Creamy White Bean and Spinach Quesadillas
These white bean and spinach quesadillas are SO fast and easy, plus they’re extra creamy and cheesy!
Chili Garlic Breakfast Quesadilla
I almost ALWAYS toss a handful of fresh spinach into my breakfast quesadillas. It adds an extra dose of green to my day and doesn’t require any extra prep!
Spinach and Mushroom Quesadillas
And of course, you can always make a classic spinach and mushroom quesadilla!
More Spinach Recipe Ideas
32. Savory Oatmeal
Did you know you can make oatmeal savory?? And when you do, a handful of fresh spinach is the perfect add-in. :)
Tomato Mozzarella Pasta Salad
Toss a few handfuls of spinach into a pasta salad, like this Tomato Mozzarella Pasta Salad!
Ground Turkey Stir Fry
Add a few handfuls of spinach to your stir fry at the very end so it just has enough time to wilt in the hot wok or skillet.
Spinach White Bean Enchiladas with Pepper Jack Sauce
Add some spinach into the stuffing for your favorite enchiladas! It’s especially good when paired with a creamy sauce.
Curried Chickpeas with Spinach
Stir some spinach into your favorite quick curry!
37. Smoothie Packs
Spinach blends so easily into smoothies and you can toss a handful of fresh spinach right into the bag with your other fruits and vegetables!
Spinach and Feta Mashed Potatoes
How about stirring some chopped spinach into your mashed potatoes?
Here’s one more quick way to use up the spinach in your fridge:
Quick Veggie Pasta
- 1/2 lb. linguine ($0.50)
- 4 oz. mushrooms ($0.75)
- 1 cup grape tomatoes ($1.25)
- 1 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.04)
- 4 oz. fresh spinach ($0.50)
- 1 Tbsp butter* ($0.09)
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder ($0.02)
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast ($0.42)
- 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
- 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper ($0.02)
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Once boiling, add the pasta and continue to boil until the pasta is tender (about 7 minutes). Reserve a 1/2 cup of the pasta water, then drain the pasta in a colander.
- While waiting for the water to boil, slice the mushrooms and cut the tomatoes in half.
- Heat the cooking oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt to the skillet and sauté until they have released all of their moisture and water is no longer pooling on the bottom of the skillet (about 5-7 minutes).
- Add the tomatoes and sauté for about two minutes more, or just until they're heated through (they'll continue to cook more after other ingredients are added). Add the spinach and sauté just until wilted.
- Finally, add the cooked and drained pasta to the skillet along with the butter. Toss until everything is coated in melted butter. Turn the heat off.
- Season with garlic powder, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper, then toss to coat. Give the pasta a taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking. If the pasta gets too dry as you're tossing with the seasoning, just add a splash of the reserved pasta water. Serve immediately and enjoy.
See how we calculate recipe costs here.
What’s your favorite way to use spinach? Let us know in the comments below!