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. That being said, I do like to use fresh spinach from time to time because of its delicate texture, or if I plan on making salads for the week. 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. As I worked my way through a large tub of fresh spinach this week, I thought about all the ways one could use their leftover spinach and decided to write up a post about it, so you’ll never be stuck tossing it in the garbage.
As I mentioned earlier, I do use a lot of frozen spinach in my recipes. 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 is fast, easy, and only requires a splash of oil and a pinch of salt to help draw out the moisture. Sauté the spinach in a skillet 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.
34 Ways to Use Leftover Spinach
I’ve broken down the recipes into five main categories, with a few miscellaneous ideas at the end. I hope you enjoy!
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
- Navy Bean Soup with Sausage & Spinach
- Upgrading Instant Ramen
- Easy Egg Drop Soup
- Swamp Soup
Fresh spinach is also prefect for incorporating into your favorite pasta dish. Just as with soups and stews, the hot pasta or sauce is usually enough to wilt the fresh spinach and the extra moisture is usually not a problem. So, just toss in a couple handfuls of fresh spinach to your easy weeknight pasta dish and get more flavor, color, and nutrients! Here are my favorite pasta dishes that use fresh spinach:
- Bacon and Spinach Pasta with Parmesan
- Spinach and Artichoke Wonderpot (if using fresh spinach, stir it in at the very end)
- Creamy Tomato and Spinach Pasta
- Creamy Spinach and Sausage Pasta
- Sesame Noodles with Wilted Greens
- Creamy Pesto Mac with Spinach
- Easy Spinach Ricotta Pasta
PIZZAAAAA! Spinach has always been one of my favorite pizza toppings (and not just because it makes me feel a little less guilty about eating pizza). For the most part, you want to sauté your fresh spinach before adding it to the pizza so that it doesn’t get crispy and turn into the texture of tissue paper in the hot oven. Your other option is to place the spinach under your cheese so that it doesn’t dry out during baking. Here are a few of my favorite pizza recipes that include spinach:
- Eggs Florentine Breakfast Pizza
- Freezer Ready Mini Pizzas
- Creamy Spinach Artichoke Pizza
- Mushroom Spinach and Swiss French Bread Pizzas
- Easy White Spinach Pizza
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 you egg dish, otherwise you might end up some pooling water. Here are my favorite egg and spinach dishes:
- Creamed Spinach Baked Eggs
- Veggie Packed Freezer Ready Breakfast Sandwiches
- Baked Eggs with Spinach and Tomatoes
- Joe’s Special (my way)
- Spinach Mushroom and Feta Crustless Quiche
- Spinach Rice Breakfast Bowls
And when all else fails, just start stuffing that fresh spinach into every sandwich, wrap, quesadilla, or enchilada that you eat! Seriously, spinach can go in just about anything. ;) Here are my favorite recipes where I stuff spinach in for a little extra nutrition:
- Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Wrap
- Spinach Artichoke Grilled Cheese
- Spinach Feta Grilled Cheese
- Mediterranean Quesadillas
- Jalapeño Hummus Breakfast Sandwich
- Spinach White Bean Enchiladas
Still need more ideas??
- How about stirring some spinach into your mashed potatoes? Spinach and Feta Mashed Potatoes
- Freeze your fresh spinach in bags with fruit for fast Smoothie Packs.
- Sauté your leftover spinach and add it to your favorite bowl meal (my favorite is Bibimbap!)
- Chop it, sauté it, and add it to a rice pilaf. Spinach and Chickpea Rice Pilaf
- And don’t forget creamed spinach, which is highlyIndian Style Creamed Spinach underrated, IMHO. Try for an extra special twist.
I hope that gives you some ideas!!