Roasted spinach may not be on your mealtime roster, but it should be. This leafy green is high in iron and other important minerals and vitamins. When combined with flavorful additions such as cherry tomatoes, olive oil or lemon juice, roasted spinach makes for a tasty, nutrition-packed side dish.
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To make roasted spinach, heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and place about 20 ounces of spinach in an oven-safe dish; drizzle with olive oil. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, checking often, until spinach is wilted.
How to Make Roasted Spinach
Spinach is a nutritional powerhouse rich in vitamins A, C and folate, as well as minerals including manganese, magnesium, calcium, zinc and iron. It is a good source of fiber and contains flavonoids, antioxidant compounds with numerous health benefits. A fact sheet published by Colorado State University praises spinach as being a low-calorie, nutrient-dense ingredient that may be added to many recipes.
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Spinach is often cooked on the stove in a frying pan until wilted, boiled in a pot of salted water or served raw in salads. It is also added to soups, stews and in many other dishes cooked on the stove.
But spinach may also be placed in the oven for a short while to make roasted spinach. This is a simple side dish that may be dressed up with various ingredients such as olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice or a splash of soy sauce.
It's best to use fresh, raw spinach when making roasted spinach, as frozen spinach would release too much water if you placed it directly into the oven. Spinach will need to be watched carefully while it's roasting to make sure it doesn't burn or shrivel up too much. Unlike roasting kale for kale chips, spinach tastes better when it's wilted rather than crisped.
Roasted spinach can be eaten on its own, but it's much tastier when combined with other vegetables or legumes. Salt, pepper and olive oil will enhance the flavor of the spinach, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice will add a tart kick.
Spinach in Oven Dish
A simple roasted spinach recipe is as follows:
Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place about 20 ounces of spinach or baby spinach in an oven-safe dish or cast iron skillet. Drizzle one tablespoon olive oil and the juice of one lemon over the spinach.
Mix with your hands or a spoon until the leaves are fully coated. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Place in the oven and cook for about 15 minutes, checking every five minutes. Remove and serve immediately.
Options to add to the spinach before cooking include two to three cloves of sliced garlic, 1 to 2 cups of cherry tomatoes, chickpeas (garbanzo beans) or cannelloni beans. If you include beans, the final dish could serve as a vegetarian main meal along, with a cooked grain such as quinoa or brown rice.
You can also combine roasted spinach leaves with another roasted vegetable, such as roasted potatoes or sweet potatoes, carrots, cauliflower or beets to make a hearty vegetable side dish. Note that other vegetables have varying roasting times and may take much longer than the spinach to cook fully. You can add the spinach to the oven in a separate pan halfway through the roasting process for the other vegetables.