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How to Use Up Spinach: 41 Smart Ideas and Recipes

Don't let your greens go to waste! Try these easy spinach recipes.

Updated July 11, 2019
How to Use Up Spinach

Most of us have the best of intentions when it comes to purchasing fresh produce. We want to eat healthy, and so we purchase spinach to eat throughout the week. Unpacking it from the grocery store feels so satisfying, and the spinach waits in the crisper drawer to be transformed into salads, smoothies, pasta sauce, and more.

Except sometimes the week doesn't go as planned. We don't eat as many spinach salads for lunch as we plan. Maybe a busy weeknight dinner becomes takeout instead of the spinach quiche you had planned. And then a few days later you're stuck with spinach that's either already wilted or on its way there fast.

If any of this sounds familiar, then you are in the right place!

We've scoured the internet, and asked our own test kitchen pros, for their favorite tips for using up fresh spinach. From delicious recipe ideas to genius tricks for preserving spinach, plus guidelines on what you can do with spinach once it is wilted or slimy, we've got you covered.

Read on for some of our favorite easy spinach recipes and tips.

How to Use Up Spinach

If you can find a recipe that will use a lot of spinach, then that is the best route to go. But there are some other ways to stop spinach from going to waste.

  1. Freeze your spinach before it wilts. This is a great option if you plan to use your spinach in a recipe, as it won't be the right texture for a salad once you defrost it. Use frozen spinach in smoothies, recipes like spanikopita or lasagna, or spinach dip. Learn 4 different ways to freeze spinach here!
  2. Make freezer meals using spinach. Try preparing mini quiches, smoothie packs, or breakfast wraps with spinach and then freeze to enjoy later. This would also work with dinner recipes like spinach gnocchi or pasta sauce!
  3. Share your leftover spinach with friends, family, or a neighbor. Maybe someone else is hungry for a delicious spinach salad, or maybe they are planning to make a recipe with spinach and could use up your leftovers. They may even offer to exchange food with you if they have too much of an ingredient, like milk or eggs!
If you have time to make a recipe with spinach, then we have some great ideas for you. You might be surprised by the number of recipes that you can make using spinach. It's not all salads and spinach artichoke dip! Here are some of our favorite types of recipes that are great for using up spinach before it goes bad.

Spinach Recipe Ideas
  1. Quiches or fritattas
  2. Breakfast sandwiches or wraps with spinach
  3. Pasta sauce with spinach
  4. Soups with spinach
  5. Spinach gnocchi
  6. Meatballs with spinach
  7. Spinach smoothies
  8. Beans and spinach
  9. Spinach pie (spanikopita)
  10. Spinach puffs
  11. Sauteed spinach with eggs
  12. Curry dishes with spinach
  13. Paninis or grilled cheese with spinach
  14. Spinach dip
  15. Spinach lasagna
Bonus! Have a few handfuls of leftover baby spinach to use up? Try using it as a pizza topping, add it to ramen noodles for an easy vitamin boost, toss baby spinach in your scrambled eggs, or enjoy it with some mozzarella cheese on a toasty open face sandwich.

Looking for some specific (and delicious) recipe ideas? Keep scrolling for some of our absolute favorite creative ways to use spinach.

Spinach Pasta Recipes

Spinach and Feta Tortellini

Pasta is one of our favorite ways to use up spinach! These meals are easy to make, totally comforting, and make great leftovers or freezer meals. It's an ideal way to save your veggies from the compost bin.

Some of these spinach pasta recipes are vegetarian, but many incorporate meat as well. You can also swap out the pasta in many of these recipes for gluten-free versions so that everyone at your table can enjoy the meal.

Start your search for spinach heavy pasta recipes with this delicious Spinach and Feta Tortellini recipe. It's creamy, rich, and full of flavor. We love the addition of feta cheese!

Shrimp Pasta Salad with Spinach and Artichokes

This yummy shrimp pasta gets a boost of nutrition from your favorite greens! It's a great spring spinach recipe and is sure to impress anyone at your dinner table.

Light Pesto Spinach Alfredo Sauce

Sometimes simple recipes are the best, as you'll find out with this delicious spinach Alfredo pasta. It's lightened up, but still full of rich flavor.

Spinach Artichoke Jalapeno Pasta Bake

Spice things up a little with this delicious Spinach casserole recipe. This easy pasta bake makes a perfect weeknight dinner, and we're sure no one will complain about taking leftovers for lunch the next day.

Creamy Saffron Pasta with Shrimp & Spinach

This elegant spinach pasta dish will "wow" your family and dinner guests alike! Best of all, no one will know that it's very easy to make (and comes together in just 30 minutes).

One-Pot Creamy Spinach Chicken Pasta

Keep it simple with this one pot creamy spinach pasta! It's delicious, packed with protein and veggies, and perfect for a weeknight meal.

Slow Cooker Spinach Ricotta Lasagna

The slow cooker does all the work for you in this easy recipe. Layer in all of your favorite lasagna ingredients, including baby spinach, and relax while this delicious meal prepares itself.

Easy Spinach Recipes for Dinner

Olive Garden Copycat Tuscan Chicken

These delicious recipes are a great way to use up spinach at the dinner table. They're flavorful, easy to make, and sure to please the whole family.

Spinach and chicken go so well together. They can be the beginnings of a healthy meal or an indulgent Olive Garden copycat recipe. This easy spinach and chicken recipe is one of our favorites, and we think your family will love it too.

White Bean & Spinach Stew with Spanish Cod

If you're looking for a unique recipe that will amaze everyone with its rich flavor, then you need to give this stew a try. Bright tomato soup blends beautifully with creamy beans and salty cod. Serve with a slice of crusty bread for the perfect meal!

Italian Spinach Beef Pie

Comfort food doesn't get much better than this! The blogger says this delicious spinach pie recipe is "like a lasagna but much easier." What are you waiting for?

Creamy White Bean and Spinach Soup

Spinach and beans is a classic combination, and we love it in this comforting soup recipe. It's hearty, healthy, and delicious with a loaf of crusty bread.

Keto Spinach Mushroom Bacon Saute Recipe

This keto-friendly meal is an amazing recipe for using up leftover spinach, and we think that everyone in your family will absolutely love it. It's full of rich, delicious flavors. You won't even miss the carbs!

Eggplant and Spinach Coconut Curry

Curl up with a bowl of this comforting spinach curry dish. This delicious vegetable-packed meal is a great way to encourage everyone to get in that extra serving of veggies. And of course it's a great way to keep your spinach from going to waste.

Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin with Herbed Goat Cheese, Spinach, & Mushrooms

If you're looking for something a little bit fancy, then try this spinach-stuffed pork loin recipe. Full of top-notch ingredients, this recipe would be perfect for a dinner party with someone you want to impress. Just be sure to practice it first!

Spinach Salad Recipes and Side Dish Recipes

Arugula Spinach Salad with Winter Citrus

We all know that salads are ideal raw spinach recipes. But sometimes you could use a little bit of inspiration! These salads are anything but boring. We think that they'll have your family asking for second helpings, which you'll be happy to dish up.

Get started with this stunning Arugula Spinach Salad with Citrus. It's sunny, flavorful, and the perfect way to brighten up your lunch or dinner. Give it a try this week!

Winter Spinach Salad with Apples and Manchego Cheese

This delicious spinach salad is perfect for those who love sweet-and-salty foods. Crunchy apples and creamy Manchego cheese combine for a perfect bite that feels healthy (but not too healthy). It's a great way to use up baby spinach.

Strawberry Spinach Salad

You'll be glad that you have leftover spinach with this delicious salad! Bright strawberries not only look amazing in this dish, they also taste amazing. It's the perfect healthy warm weather meal.

Roasted Butternut Squash Spinach Salad

Think salads are just for spring? Think again! This delicious autumn-inspired spinach salad will have you enjoying fresh veggies well into the chilly months. The roasted squash is hearty and filling for a totally satisfying salad.

Hot Crab, Spinach and Artichoke Dip

We couldn't end this list without a spinach dip of some kind! This indulgent party appetizer will be what everyone is talking about all evening long. It's cheesy and delicious.

Chili’s White Spinach Queso

Adding cheese might not be the best way to use up spinach... but we definitely won't turn it down! This delicious cheese dip is perfect for your next party. Just make sure to cook an extra batch, because it will go fast.

Morton’s Steakhouse Creamed Spinach

Creamed spinach is a great classic spinach recipe that everyone loves. It's a fantastic side dish for grilled steak or shrimp, and it definitely "feels fancy" without actually being too difficult to make. Give it a try.

Spinach Breakfast and Dessert Ideas (Yes, Dessert!)

Healthy Applesauce & Spinach Brownies

Breakfast and dessert might not be the first meals you think of when it comes to spinach recipes, but there are definitely ways to add a little bit of green to these courses! These healthy spinach and applesauce brownies are an amazing way to add some nutrition to a sweet treat. No one will even know that they're healthy!

Spinach can also be worked into breakfast meals like smoothies and egg bakes that the whole family will love.

Green Pineapple Smoothie with Kale and Spinach

Green smoothies are one of the best ways to work a little more veggies into your diet. One sip of this spinach smoothie and you will want one every morning for breakfast!

Bacon Cheddar Chive Egg Muffins

These delicious "muffins" are made using eggs, spinach, and other delicious ingredients. They are the perfect grab-and-go breakfast for busy mornings, and they are great way to start the day with a little bit of veggies and a lot of protein.

Spinach, Bacon and Feta Breakfast Sandwich

This yummy breakfast sandwich has all of the components of a well-balanced breakfast. You'll love the fluffy eggs and crunchy bacon, and the spinach provides the perfect accent of fresh veggies.

Make-Ahead Sausage and Spinach Breakfast Casserole

We love a good breakfast casserole here at RecipeLion.com, and this is a fantastic one that uses spinach! This yummy recipe will make everyone in your family actually want to wake up early. Serve it with fresh fruit and coffee for a perfect morning treat.

Ask RecipeLion: Is spinach healthier cooked or raw?

Spinach

You might have heard of the raw food movement, in which people are getting more excited than ever about consuming more food raw. Proponents say that cooking can strip out nutrients from some foods, leaving you with a meal that's not quite as healthy as you thought.

There's no doubt that raw spinach is packed with vitamins and other good-for-you nutrients, but is it really healthier for you than its steamed counterpart?

It turns out that both cooked and raw spinach have great health benefits. You just get different nutrients depending on whether you consume it raw or cooked. Raw spinach has higher levels of Vitamin C, potassium, and folate. On the other hand, cooked spinach contains more Vitamin A, calcium, and iron.

Another thing to think about is that you may naturally eat more cooked spinach than raw spinach in one sitting. So that might be a healthy way to consume a little more veggies and get a few more vitamins and minerals into your diet!

What are your favorite tips for how to use up spinach? Let us know in the comments!

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