How to Wilt Spinach for Cooking

by Sommer Leigh

A warm squash salad with wilted spinach.

photokitchen/iStock/Getty Images

Wilting spinach cooks the crisp texture out of it just slightly to give it a more tender consistency. Wilted spinach is typically prepared for eating as is -- just add a few seasonings -- but you can also wilt the spinach before you use it in another cooked dish. If your goal is soft-textured spinach in your dish, wilting it first gives it a head start.

Wash the spinach leaves under cool running water. Wipe the leaves dry with a few clean paper towels.

Place the spinach leaves on top of a cutting board.

Cut off the stems of the spinach with a clean, sharp knife.

Set a large skillet on a stove top burner set to medium heat.

Add enough olive oil to the pan just to coat it. Turn the pan a few times to evenly move the oil across the bottom of the pan.

Add the spinach leaves to the pan so they sit in an even layer. Work in batches if you need to.

Turn the leaves over with a two spatulas as they wilt.

Remove the leaves from the pan as soon as they wilt. Set aside in a bowl until you are ready to use them.


  • Saute minced garlic cloves in the oil before adding the spinach for more flavor.

    Drain any excess moisture from the pan after cooking.

    Season with salt and pepper if serving on its own.

Photo Credits

  • photokitchen/iStock/Getty Images

About the Author

Sommer Leigh has produced home, garden, family and health content since 1997 for such nationally known publications as "Better Homes and Gardens," "Ladies' Home Journal," "Midwest Living," "Healthy Kids" and "American Baby." Leigh also owns a Web-consulting business and writes for several Internet publications. She has a Bachelor of Science in information technology and Web management from the University of Phoenix.