Spinach stir fry is a deliciously simple dish and a fantastic way to get your daily dose of greens! Whether you are cooking for one or for a large family gathering this stir-fried spinach is an easy and healthy way to enjoy your meal.
I absolutely love green leafy veggies!
There are a few reasons for my love for it - the color (green is my favorite color😍), the versatility - make a curry, a soup, a smoothie, or add them to dough for bread/roti - greens just uplift the color and taste of any dish. And they are super healthy!
This recipe came to be on one of those days when I was hungry, in between meetings, and had hardly any time to cook. This stir fry spinach was ready in under 10 minutes and devoured in 2 😆.
These are two of my all time favorite spinach recipes that are a regular at the Kumar's dinner table:
Spinach dal: This simple, nutritious lentils dish has the goodness of spinach, mung lentils and gut-healing spices.
Spinach paneer: Where paneer (Indian cottage cheese) comes together with spinach and some warming spiaces to make a hearty and savory side dish that can be enjoyed with rice or roti.
This spinach stir fry recipe is free from
- Gluten (can be made grain-free - check notes)
This recipe is vegan and low in calories - see the nutrition chart below the recipe card.
Why you will love this stir fry spinach
🌿 It is a quick and easy recipe (comes together in just 10 minutes!)
🌿 No chopping or prepping required - saves you loads of time, yay!
🌿 For being so simple, it is so nutritious and healthy.
🌿 The dish has such a lovely texture - smooth and creamy!
🌿 It is a flexible recipe - you can add flavors and other greens to suit your preference (see notes).
🌿 This dish is versatile - you can have it by itself as a snack/light meal or pair it with your main meal.
🌿 Is a fuss-free recipe and requires simple, store-cupboard ingredients.
🌿 Can be made 2-3 days ahead.
This plant-based recipe requires only 7 ingredients!
Check the recipe card for quantities.
Spinach: Fresh and tender spinach is the secret to this recipe - only leaves, no stems.
Bhuna jeera: Roasted cumin powder adds a lovely depth of flavor. Use regular cumin powder, if that is what you have.
Oil: I have used coconut oil for flavor. Feel free to use any other oil of your choice (see notes).
Rice flour: This will help bind the water that comes from the spinach, giving the dish a lovely, creamy texture. Want to make it grain-free? See the notes below for options.
I will take you through the simple steps to make a delicious stir-fried spinach, as well as suggest some of my favorite variations (in the notes below).
So grab your wok or skillet and let's get started!
Step 1: Prep the ingredients.
- Wash, drain, and chop the spinach leaves. For this recipe, I recommend using tender (baby) leaves only. I have used pre-washed and cleaned baby spinach leaves and therefore I have not washed, nor chopped them.
- Garlic: Peel the cloves. I use whole garlic in this recipe. Chop, slice, or mince them, for a more intense garlic flavor.
- Measure the rest of the ingredients.
Step 2: Make stir fry spinach.
- Heat oil in a skillet or wok on medium-high heat. Add the coconut oil to it. Add the garlic cloves to the oil while it is warm and when they begin to sizzle, add the red pepper flakes, and bhuna jeera.
- Toss the spices around, until the garlic starts becoming golden brown in color.
- Add the rice flour and mix well to make sure that there are no lumps. Fry for a few seconds.
- Now add the spinach leaves. Place the lid on the skillet (you may have to press the leaves down with the lid), and let the spinach cook in its own steam for 4-5 minutes (medium-high heat), tossing a couple of times.
The spinach will have wilted and still be vibrant and green. You will notice that there is not much water in the pan - the rice flour has helped in binding.
- Remove the lid and add the salt. Mix and fry (on medium-high heat) for 2-3 minutes. Do not cover. The salt will bring out some of the water from the spinach and that is fine - it will be perfectly moist!
- To finish off, add any or all of the garnishes.
Serve warm. See section on serving suggestions for ideas and inspirations.
Pro tips for making this super simple spinach recipe
- Use tender spinach leaves only - no stems.
- This is a speedy recipe and therefore, before you start cooking, make sure you have measured and kept all the ingredients ready.
- How to stir fry spinach?: Cook the dish on medium-high heat, all throughout - this is the secret to the silky, smoothness of the cooked spinach.
- After adding the salt, the spinach will release some more of its water - do not dry it out. The water makes the dish moist and perfect for the rice or noodles that you may serve it with.
Top tip: Do not add salt to the spinach until the end of the cooking process. Adding salt at the beginning will make the spinach soggy.
Notes and variations
Yield: The quantities mentioned in this recipe will be good for 2 people if having this dish as a meal/snack by itself. If serving it as a side for your main meal, this will be enough for 3 people.
Oil: I recommend that you use any flavorful oil. If you are not a fan of coconut oil, use good-quality olive oil, almond oil, or groundnut oil. Any of these oils will impart a lovely flavor to the dish and make it creamier.
Note: the allergy labels will change, depending on the oil that you will use.
Why rice flour?: Spinach has a lot of water in it. The rice flour will help in binding the juices and give the dish a good consistency.
To make this a grain-free recipe, use chickpea flour (besan), buckwheat flour, or any other grain-free flour instead of rice flour.
Note: the allergy labels will change, depending on the flour that you will use.
Not a fan of garlic? No worries, skip it. The recipe will taste just as delicious!
Spinach: This is a super quick recipe and therefore, use only the leaves. Leave the stem out for this one. Use tender leaves (I use baby spinach) for that creamy, melt-in-the-mouth texture 😍
Flavor boost: Amp up the flavor by adding any of the following (these measures are for 1X quantities only):
- Make this recipe in sesame oil.
- Dice 1 small onion and add it to the pan after you have added the garlic and spices - and before adding the rice flour. Fry it till the onion is pinkish and then add the rice flour.
- Add 1 teaspoon of desiccated coconut in the last 30 seconds that the spinach is in the skillet.
- Add 1 teaspoon of soy sauce in the last 2-3 minutes of cooking.
Note: Adding any of these may change the allergy-labels of the dish.
- To add more texture and flavor to this dish add any of these: a handful of arugula (rocket) leaves or fresh moringa leaves. Add them to the pan towards the end and cook them for 30 - 40 seconds only.
- Taking inspiration from Chinese recipes, make this recipe with water spinach or bok choy instead of spinach.
Storage and serving suggestions
Storage: This dish works great to be made ahead. This dish stays good in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Store in a refrigerator- safe container. Reheat before serving.
Serving suggestions: Serve it warm.
- Have it on its own as a light meal/ snack
- Serve it with some rice or noodles
- Use it as a filling for your wrap
💡 Raw or cooked spinach - which is better? In order to boost its nutrition and flavor, it is recommended that spinach is healthier when cooked.
To cook spinach without it goung soggy, make sure you cook it in a wide pan. Cook the spinach on medium-high heat and for 3-4 minutes only.
Do not add salt to the spinach until the end of the cooking process. Adding salt at the beginning will make the spinach soggy.
Spinach is one of the easiest vegetable to cook! If you are cooking with spinach leaves only, them it takes only 3-4 minutes to fry spinach. If you recipe call for spinach leaves and stems, them it will take longer (7-8 minutes) to cook the spinach.
The healthiest way to cook spinach is by
A) Blanching it, that is, immerse the spinach in boiling water for 1 or 2 minutes and then immerse them in ice cold water immediately.
B) Stir frying it. Fry the spinach in little oil on medium-high heat in a wide frying pan or a wok.
If you have made this easy spinach stir fry recipe, please take a moment to leave a comment and a rating below. This will make me super happy and motivate me to create more good content for you! xx Padma
Quick and Easy Spinach Stir Fry with Garlic
- 1 wok or skillet
- 1 spatula
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil (or any other oil of your choice)
- 2-3 small garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon bhuna jeera (roasted ground cumin) (or regular cumin powder)
- ½ tablespoon rice flour
- 1 pound spinach leaves (500 grams, approximately)
- 1 teaspoon salt (adjust as per taste)
To finish off (totally optional) - use all or as many
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
- A pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
Prep the ingredients
- Spinach: Wash, drain, and chop. For this recipe, I recommend using tender (baby) leaves only. I have used pre-washed and cleaned baby spinach leaves and therefore I have not washed, nor have I chopped the spinach. Garlic: Peel the cloves. I use whole garlic in this recipe. Chop, slice, or mince them, if you prefer a more intense garlic flavor.
Make the spinach stir fry
- Place a skillet on medium-high heat. Add the coconut oil to it. Add the garlic cloves to the oil while it is warm and when they begin to sizzle, add the red pepper flakes, and bhuna jeera. Toss the spices around, until the garlic starts becoming golden brown in color.2 teaspoons coconut oil, 2-3 small garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, ½ teaspoon bhuna jeera (roasted ground cumin)
- Add the rice flour and mix well to make sure that there are no lumps. Fry for a few seconds.½ tablespoon rice flour
- Now add the spinach. Place the lid on the skillet (you may have to press the leaves down with the lid), and let the spinach cook in its own steam for 4-5 minutes (medium-high heat), tossing a couple of times. The spinach will have wilted and still be vibrant and green. You will notice that there is not much water in the pan - the rice flour has helped in binding the water to the spinach. Also, we have still not added the salt.1 pound spinach leaves
- Remove the lid and add the salt. Mix and fry (on medium-high heat) for 2-3 minutes. Do not cover.The salt will bring out some of the water from the spinach and that is fine - it will be perfectly moist!1 teaspoon salt
- To finish off, add any or all of the garnishes. Serve warm as a side with your main meal.1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds, A pinch of red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon lemon juice
Note: The nutrition information is based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Fransic verso says
I got to say, it's been a while since I've had spinach. Although im not vegan it was yummy recipe.
Padma Kumar says
Thank you! Glad that you think it is a yummy recipe. It gets made in out house on repeat!
Jenny in Neverland says
This looks absolutely delicious! I love spinach and I loveeee garlic - the more garlic the better! - so I know I would absolutely love this x
Padma Kumar says
Thank you Jenny. This is a cracker of a recipe and I hope that you can make it soon!
Summer @ Adventureite.com says
I grew up thinking I hated spinach but I was wrong. I just needed to learn how to cook it properly. Thanks for adding another great-looking spinach dish to my arsenal. Also, I didn't know that tip about not adding salt until the end to keep the spinach from getting soggy. Thanks!
Padma Kumar says
Hello Summer, so happy for you that you have grown to like spinach! I hope you can try this recipe soon.
Tried this one tonight, Padma. It was so easy and scrumptious to make. Ate it with a a fried egg and rice.
Jen, so happy to know that you found it easy to make! Thank you for your feedback.