Kathy is a busy mom of two teens who loves to cook tasty and simple food for her family and friends.
Spinach Is Good for Your Health
Spinach is one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat. It is a source of many essential vitamins and minerals, and it contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that may help ward off illness and disease.
If you would like to incorporate more spinach into your meals, but aren't sure where to start, read on for 10-plus tasty ways to do it.
1. Add It to Pasta Dishes
If you're looking for an easy way to start eating more spinach, you can't go wrong by adding spinach to pasta dishes. There are many pasta recipes with spinach to choose from, including recipes for chicken spinach Alfredo, spinach feta pasta or spinach lasagna roll-ups.
You can also make your own spinach pasta dish by just adding a handful or two of spinach leaves to your favourite pasta recipe.
Spinach Lasagna With Ricotta Cheese and Bechamel Sauce
2. Make Spinach Soup
Making soup may not be the first thing you think of doing with spinach, but there are a lot of spinach soup recipes available, and they are surprisingly delicious.
Here are a few recipes to try:
- Ree Drummond's Spinach Soup
- Broccoli, Potato and Spinach Soup
- Watch the YouTube video below for an easy cream of spinach soup recipe.
Easy Cream of Spinach Soup
3. Serve It as a Side Dish
An easy way to serve spinach as a side dish is to boil or steam some fresh spinach leaves for a few minutes until wilted, and serve with butter and a bit of salt.
You can also sautee spinach leaves and slivered almonds in a bit of olive oil or butter for a slightly fancier variation.
Another spinach side dish that is popular at some restaurants, particularly steak houses, is creamed spinach. See the video below for one way to make creamed spinach at home.
Easy Creamed Spinach
4. Make a Crowd-Pleasing Spinach Dip
You're probably already familiar with the classic spinach dip recipe, made with dry vegetable soup mix and often served in a hollowed-out round pumpernickel bread bowl, but there are many other spinach dip recipes to try, including:
5. Use Spinach in Your Baking
Spinach makes a healthy addition to baked goods. Believe it or not, you can make surprisingly delicious cakes, muffins and brownies with spinach and you have no idea you're eating the green stuff in most cases. (Hint: Chocolate does a great job of disguising the look and taste of spinach.)
Here are a few recipes to get you started:
- Chocolate cupcakes with spinach and blueberries
- Jessica Seinfeld's recipe for brownies made with spinach, from her Deceptively Delicious cookbook.
- Spinach cake muffins: These don't have chocolate to disguise the spinach, but they still taste great.
6. Add It To Your Eggs
Spinach makes a great addition to various egg dishes, any of which can be served for breakfast, lunch or even dinner.
Here are a few possibilities:
- Spinach omelette
- Spinach frittata
- Eggs Florentine: Similar to eggs Benedict, but the ham is replaced with either steamed spinach or baby spinach leaves and topped with hollandaise sauce or a creamy cheese sauce.
- Spinach quiche
7. Make a Spinach Pie
Spanakopita, or spinach pie, is a traditional Greek dish that is made with a mixture of chopped spinach, feta, onions and eggs cooked in a filo dough pastry.
See the video below for instructions to make your own spanakopita at home.
Recipe: Spinach and Feta Cheese Pie (Spanakopita)
8. Make a Salad
Spinach is a nutritional powerhouse, and spinach salads are a great way to eat spinach on a more regular basis. Baby spinach leaves are typically used for spinach salads. Traditionally, spinach salads are made with chopped hard-boiled egg, crumbled bacon and a creamy poppy seed dressing. While very tasty, these salads pack quite a few calories and fat.
A healthier way to make a spinach salad is just to use baby spinach leaves in place of lettuce, and add fresh fruit and vegetable toppings of your choice. Good matches include berries, mandarin orange slices, roasted red peppers or cucumbers. Other topping I like to add sometimes are sesame seeds, slivered almonds or walnuts and goat cheese.
9. Use It as a Pizza Topping
Do you like to make homemade pizza? Why not add a few handfuls of spinach leaves to your next pizza to boost the nutrition level?
Feta cheese, roasted red peppers and spinach make a particularly yummy pizza combination, but really it goes very well with a variety of toppings.
10. Blend Up a Healthy Smoothie
Ever since Victoria Boutenko wrote the book The Green Smoothie Revolution, people have been adding leafy greens like spinach and kale to their smoothies in an attempt to improve their health.
Green smoothies may look strange, but they can be delicious and are a great way to add some nutrition to your daily diet.
Even More Ways to Use Fresh Spinach
Add a handful of spinach leaves to any of the following for a nutrition boost:
- Pasta sauce
- Wraps and sandwiches
Spinach Nutrition Facts
- Vitamins A, C and K, B6, Vitamin E, folate, calcium, beta carotene, lutein, iron and protein
- 1 cup of raw spinach contains just 7 calories and 1 g of protein
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
© 2013 Kathy Sima
Kathy Sima (author) from Ontario, Canada on March 26, 2013:
Thanks Careermommy! Spinach smoothies are SOOO good for you! If you want to disguise the green colour, then blueberries work really well!
Tirralan Watkins from Los Angeles, CA on March 17, 2013:
This was a very useful article, savingkathy. I'm always adding/sneaking spinach into my kids meals, but I never, ever thought of a spinach smoothie. I think I'll have to try it, just to say that I did!
Kathy Sima (author) from Ontario, Canada on February 23, 2013:
There are worse things you could be craving, Kristin! That pasta dish sounds delicious - simple but good. You'd probably know it if you'd had spinach in a dessert - at least I think you would! Thanks for the visit. :)
DIYmommy - I hope your son loves spinach as much as you do!
Julie on February 19, 2013:
I just love how the rich green color of spinach can make a meal--especially pasta--really jump off the plate aesthetically. I personally love using spinach in my cooking! With a now-3 month old newborn in the home, I can't wait to expose him to it (once he starts to wean off of nursing, of course). Thank you for the great hub!
Kristin Trapp from Illinois on February 18, 2013:
Well - now I'm craving noodles with spinach. I get this dish often at a nearby restaurant and it has Parmesan cheese and fresh tomatoes in it too. I also love spinach salad with strawberries and spinach in omelettes, but never in my life had I had it in a dessert, at least I don't think I have :)
Kathy Sima (author) from Ontario, Canada on February 02, 2013:
Thanks Sheila! I don't usually grow spinach in my garden, but I'm going to try some this year. Do you have any growing tips?
Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on February 02, 2013:
We grow spinach in our garden every year and I am always looking for new ways to cook with it. The spinach feta pasta looks so good! I am going to have to try this! Great hub! Voted up and useful! :)
Kathy Sima (author) from Ontario, Canada on February 01, 2013:
Thanks for the comments, votes and shares everyone! I'm glad you all found this collection of spinach ideas helpful.
Riviera Rose from South of France on February 01, 2013:
I adore spinach and eat it raw from the garden, but am usually fairly boring when cooking it. You've really opened my eyes with this hub, thanks!
Fierce Manson from Atlanta on January 31, 2013:
Thank you for sharing such wonderful recipes! I love to find new recipes, and can not wait to try the cream of spinach soup.
Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on January 31, 2013:
Wow, what a comprehensive round up of spinach recipes! No one will ever have a shortage of ideas for spinach now.
Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on January 31, 2013:
I love spinach--fresh, cooked, in salads, in pasta, wherever and whatever. I don't have to disguise it since I adore it. When I was about 2, I would eat spinach straight out of cans. haha. Great hub! Many votes!
RTalloni on January 30, 2013:
I couldn't vote because I made it in an Italian dish tonight! Thanks for this post. I'm definitely going to be referring back to these recipes. (Pinned to my Ways with Food board.)