Gluten-Free/ Low Carb & Keto/ Vegetables/ Vegetarian & Vegan

Buttered Wilted Spinach with Garlic and Lemon

Made with just 4 ingredients and ready to serve in 5 minutes, this buttered wilted spinach is a great last minute side. Seasoned with garlic and lemon, it's far from bland!
A fork in a bowl of buttered spinach on a wooden chopping board.

Last Updated on November 5, 2020 by Betty Davies

Add some flavor to your plate with this delicious buttered wilted spinach. It comes together so easily and quickly and is perfect to pair with so many dishes. Seasoned with garlic and lemon this baby spinach recipe is fresh, tasty and super versatile.

Overhead shot of wilted spinach in a blue bowl next to half a lemon.

Spinach is a great go to vegetable side dish when you are short on time and need to get dinner on the table.

This buttered wilted spinach is super simple, but so tasty, you just need a few fresh ingredients and you have one yummy dish on your hands.

The garlic isn’t overpowering, it’s nice and subtle, and just gives hint of flavor. Finished off with some grated lemon zest for freshness, this is a great side to serve with meats, chicken, fish and veggie dishes.

If you can’t get enough garlic in your life, be sure to check out my garlic mashed potatoes and cheesy garlic bread recipes.

Why you will love this wilted spinach recipe!

  • Quick: It takes no more than 5 minutes to make this side dish.
  • Simple: Just 4 ingredients and one pot and a fork is all you need!
  • Healthy: Ok, so yes there is some butter in this dish, but it’s a tasty way to get the goodness in! Spinach is an amazing source of vitamins A, K, B2 and C as well as containing folate, iron and magnesium.
  • Dietary info: This dish is vegetarian, gluten-free and low carb.
A bowl of buttered garlic spinach next to two forks.

Ingredients

  • Butter: Use salted butter for this recipe. If you use unsalted, you may want to add a little salt in to the pot to season.
  • Garlic: We season the dish very mildly with garlic, so it’s just a hint of flavor. Just peel a clove and you are good to go.
  • Spinach: Use baby spinach for this recipe. It’s super tender and wilts really quickly.
  • Lemon Zest: To add freshness and a slight acidity to the buttery dish.

How to wilt spinach

Be sure to scroll down for the full recipe!

  • Melt the butter.
  • Add the spinach.
  • Sir with a fork with a garlic clove on the prongs until wilted.
  • Serve, topped with lemon zest.
A clove of garlic on a fork stirring the spinach in a pot.

Recipe Variations

  • Make it vegan. You can use a plant based butter or a little oil to wilt the spinach.
  • Use less butter. Butter makes this dish super tasty, but you can use half the amount if you prefer.
  • Add more seasonings. Add in some red chili flakes or black pepper when you melt the butter for a more flavorful dish.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you make it ahead of time?

It’s best to serve wilted spinach as soon as you’ve made it, but leftovers will keep a day or two in the fridge. You can reheat leftovers on the stovetop, but it’s great to use cold, stirred into pasta salads.

Can you overcook spinach?

Yes! It takes a minute or two to wilt all of the spinach and take care not to overcook it. The leaves should just start to become soft when you remove the pan from the heat. If you overcook it, it will loose it’s vibrant green color and it’s pleasant mild flavor.

Can you use regular spinach?

I like to make this side with baby spinach, but you can use regular. Roughly chop it before adding it to the pan and it may take a little extra time to wilt as it’s tougher, but otherwise the recipe remains the same.

Buttered spinach on a fork being held towards camera.

Serving Suggestions

This is a super versatile side dish that is easily served with chicken, beef, seafood and veggie mains. Try it with:

Recipe Notes and Tips

  • Wash and pat dry your spinach before adding it to the pan.
  • Don’t have the pan on too high a heat during cooking or the spinach will wilt too quickly.
  • Add the spinach to the pan a handful at a time and keep stirring until it reduces in size.
  • If you’s like a stronger garlic flavor, finely mince the clove and add it to the pot as the butter melts.
Close up of a fork in a bowl of wilted spinach.

More Vegetable Side Dishes

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A fork in a bowl of buttered spinach on a wooden chopping board.

Buttered Wilted Spinach with Garlic and Lemon

Made with just 4 ingredients and ready to serve in 5 minutes, this buttered wilted spinach is a great last minute side. Seasoned with garlic and lemon, it's far from bland!
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
Calories: 129kcal
Author: Betty Davies

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 8 ounces baby spinach (227g)
  • zest of half a lemon

Instructions

  • Melt the butter in a pot over a medium heat.
  • Peel the garlic clove and secure it onto the prongs of a fork.
  • One the butter has melted, add in the spinach, a few handfuls at a time. Stir with the fork with the garlic on it.
  • Keep stirring the spinach until it has wilted.
  • Serve in a bowl and finish with grated lemon zest.

Notes

  • Wash and pat dry your spinach before adding it to the pan.
  • Don’t have the pan on too high a heat during cooking or the spinach will wilt too quickly.
  • Add the spinach to the pan a handful at a time and keep stirring until it reduces in size.
  • If you’s like a stronger garlic flavor, finely mince the clove and add it to the pot as the butter melts.

Nutrition

Calories: 129kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 190mg | Potassium: 633mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 10983IU | Vitamin C: 34mg | Calcium: 112mg | Iron: 3mg

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