gordon ramsay's sautéed spinach

Gordon Ramsay’s Sautéed Spinach: Quick, Easy, and Delicious

Sautéed spinach is not just a side dish; it’s a versatile, healthy green that can elevate any meal. Perfecting this simple recipe involves more than just wilting leaves in a pan; it’s an art that chefs like Gordon Ramsay have mastered. Whether you’re after a light garnish or a savory ingredient to add depth to your dishes, sautéed spinach is an essential technique to learn.

Sauteed Spinach Recipe

Sauteed Spinach Recipe

To achieve the perfect wilted spinach, it’s crucial to understand the art of sautéing. Ramsy says Sautéing involves quickly cooking food with a small amount of fat over relatively high heat. Here’s how you can nail the process every time:

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  • 1 lb fresh spinach leaves

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • Optional: a pinch of red pepper flakes for heat

  • Optional: a squeeze of lemon juice or a dash of balsamic vinegar for acidity

  • Optional: grated Parmesan cheese for serving


  • Prep the Spinach:
  • Rinse the spinach leaves thoroughly in cold water to remove dirt or grit. Pat them dry with a towel or use a salad spinner.
  • Sauté Garlic:
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the sliced garlic (and red pepper flakes) to the oil. Sauté for about 1 minute or until the garlic is just beginning to turn golden, being careful not to burn it.
  • Add Spinach: Increase the heat to medium-high and add the spinach to the skillet.
  • Using tongs, turn the spinach in the oil and garlic until it starts to wilt. This should take about 2-3 minutes.
  • If your skillet isn’t large enough to fit all the spinach, add it in batches.
  • Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. If desired, add a squeeze of lemon juice or balsamic vinegar.
  • Serve: Remove the spinach from the heat once it is wilted and seasoned.
  • Serve immediately, optionally garnished with grated Parmesan cheese.

Recipe Video


Does sautéing spinach make it less healthy?

Sautéing spinach can slightly reduce some of its nutrients, particularly vitamin C, which is sensitive to heat. However, cooking spinach can also make certain nutrients, like iron and calcium, more available for absorption by the body. Overall, sautéing spinach is still a healthy cooking method, especially if done with a minimal amount of healthy oil.

What is the healthiest way to cook spinach?

The healthiest way to cook spinach is to steam it. This method helps preserve its nutrients, especially water-soluble vitamins like C and B, since there’s minimal contact with cooking water. Steaming also helps retain the spinach’s vibrant green color and prevents the need for additional fats during cooking. However, eating spinach raw in salads or smoothies is also a great way to consume all its nutrients.

How do you get the bitterness out of sautéed spinach?

To reduce the bitterness in sautéed spinach, you can try the following tips:

  1. Select Fresh Spinach: Younger, smaller leaves tend to be less bitter than older, larger ones.
  2. Blanch Before Sautéing: Blanching spinach in boiling water for a minute and then plunging it into ice water can help reduce bitterness.
  3. Use Salt: Seasoning spinach with a pinch of salt can counteract bitterness.
  4. Add Acids: A splash of vinegar, lemon juice, or a creamy element like sour cream or yogurt can help balance the bitterness.
  5. Pair with Sweet Ingredients: Including naturally sweet vegetables (like onions or bell peppers) or fruits (like apples or raisins) in your dish can complement and reduce the perception of bitterness.

Which spices go well with spinach?

Various spices can enhance the flavor of spinach:

  1. Garlic: A common pairing with spinach, providing a spicy kick.
  2. Onion: Adds sweetness and depth.
  3. Nutmeg: A pinch can add warmth and complexity.
  4. Cumin: Provides an earthy note.
  5. Coriander: Offers a lemony, slightly sweet flavor.
  6. Chili Flakes: For a spicy kick.
  7. Black Pepper: Adds a sharp, piquant taste.
  8. Ginger: Delivers a fresh, zesty note.
  9. Turmeric: For a bit of color and a warm, bitter flavor.
  10. Smoked Paprika: Imparts a smoky taste.

As we wrap up this culinary guide to making Gordon Ramsay’s healthy sautéed spinach, it’s clear that wholesome eating need not be time-consuming or complex. This vibrant addition to any meal, with its aromatic garlic, rich olive oil, and optional zest of lemon or balsamic vinegar, adds flavor and packs a nutritional punch.

Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a novice in the kitchen, this recipe is designed to bring a touch of Hell’s Kitchen flair to your dining table with effortless grace. So try this recipe, and watch as this humble green transforms into a star side dish that complements any meal. Bon appétit!

Last Updated on January 14, 2024 by John Siracusa


  • John Siracusa

    Hi, I'm John. I've worked in the Food Service industry for over 25 years, working in my family's business. Cooking for me has always been an art infused with traditions. My career was inspired by Hell's Kitchen, the West Side of Manhattan, which has one of New York City's best independent restaurant communities. I also admire Gordon Ramsay's no-nonsense approach to always being your best.

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