Last updated on August 31st, 2022 at 11:08 pm
Spinach is rich in potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, antioxidants beta lutein and carotene, and vitamins A, C, & K. (source).
Yet we don’t always find consistent use for this green miracle in day-to-day cooking, which is why frozen spinach is a popular alternative to fresh.
But how to cook frozen spinach that’s had a lengthy stay in the boxed arctic of our freezers?
Well, that’s exactly what I’m going to be guiding you through today, so grab your chilly greens and read on to reintroduce it to your meals!
How To Cook Frozen Spinach In A Pan
Without a doubt, the best way to cook frozen spinach is in a pan. It really doesn’t matter which type of pan you use, either.
A saucepan will work as well as a frying pan will work as well as a wok. All that matters is you’ve got some form of metal bowl, fire, and some lubricant!
Here’s a full list of what you’ll need:
- Your frosty spinach
- A pair of silicone tongs (if you want to make life easier for yourself)
- Something to serve your spinach on
- A stove
- Some cooking lubricant (I’m a vegetable oil person)
- Some tasty flavor enhancers, such as extra-virgin olive oil, garlic (cloves, oil, or powder), chili (flakes or oil), lemon juice (fresh is best), salt, and pepper.
Step 1 — Heating Your Pan
Take your pan, place it on a low to medium burner, pour in your lubricant of choice, and give it a minute to heat up.
You don’t need it to be spitting like crazy, but it’s always good to wait until the lubricant reaches sizzle city.
You want to hear your food make contact with the lubricant when you place it in the pan!
Step 2 — Grab Your Spinach
Take some of your frozen spinach out of the bag or container, then simply place it in the frying pan. Don’t allow it to defrost beforehand.
Take it straight from the freezer and pop as much as you want in your pan.
Remember, spinach is something of a magician and will reduce so much you’d swear half of it simply evaporated into thin air, so my advice is to always add more than you think you’ll need.
Step 3 — Stirring (& Possibly Smashing)
To speed up the defrosting of your frozen spinach in the pan and to make sure it thaws/cooks evenly, gently stir the leaves as they’re heated through.
If you’re dealing with some absolute icebergs of spinach that would give even the saltiest sailor the shivers, you may need to weaponize that spoon of yours.
Stir the chunks of spinach a while to loosen up the outer tangle of icy leaves, then give it a few bashes to try and break it up into smaller chunks.
Continue stirring and carefully smashing until the leaves finally go their separate ways.
Side-Note — For big icy rocks of spinach, it’s best to place them in your pan rather than pouring them in, as the impacts may compromise the protective non-stick finish.
Step 4 — Flavoring
Blocks of frozen spinach take much longer to take than separate frozen leaves, but, generally speaking, you can expect the process to take between 4 and 6 minutes.
Towards the end of this duration, add any flavorings and allow the spinach time to simmer in the tasty goodness.
If you’re using them, save the salt and pepper until you’re just about to serve the spinach to maximize their impact.
Step 5 — Serving
Use your silicone tongs to dish up your wilted spinach, but don’t neglect the liquids left in the pan.
They’re full of vitamins and minerals that seep from the spinach during the cooking process, and you can reintroduce them simply by drizzling them over the spinach on your plate.
What If I’m Cooking Frozen Spinach With Other Ingredients?
If you’re using frozen spinach as an ingredient in an elaborate meal, you can still use the timings discussed above.
Just add the spinach when there are 4–6 minutes left of cook time. It will cook through nicely alongside all your other delicious ingredients.
How To Boil Frozen Spinach
Another fantastic way to cook frozen spinach is by boiling it. For this method, all you’ll need the following;
- Your spinach
- A saucepan — I swear by this anodized Cuisinart pan.
- A colander
- Some water
Step 1 — Put Your Spinach In The Pan
Don’t worry about any kind of preparation; just grab your frozen spinach and pop it in your pan.
Step 2 — Fill Your Saucepan
How much water you need depends on how much spinach you want to boil.
As long as there’s enough to cover the leaves, you’re on to a winner!
Step 3 — Bring To A Boil
Place your saucepan on a medium to high heat burner, and leave your spinach to cook for between 9 and 11 minutes.
Step 4 — Drain Spinach
Put your colander in your sink then pour the contents of your saucepan into it, giving the spinach time to drain before serving it.
Side-Note — Boiling diminishes the vitamin C content of spinach, but, on the plus side, it reduces oxalic acid content, making the calcium bounty easier for us to metabolize.
How To Cook Frozen Spinach In The Microwave
Stove not an option? No worries, you can use a microwave to cook those frigid leaves! You’ll need the following;
- Your spinach
- Some cling film (potentially)
- A spoon
Step 1 — Grab Your Bowl
Fill your microwavable bowl with the desired portion of frozen spinach.
If your bowl doesn’t have a cover, use your cling film to form an airtight cover over your spinach.
Step 2 — Microwaving
Place your bowl in your microwave and dial in 3 minutes cooking time for every 10 ounces of spinach. Use a medium setting.
Step 3 — Stirring
Remove your bowl from the microwave, uncover the spinach, and give it a stir.
If it’s heated through, you can serve it. If it’s not quite there yet, continue cooking it at 30-second intervals until it’s heated throughout.
There you have it, you now know how to cook frozen spinach.
Frozen spinach is a total breeze to cook; you don’t even have to defrost it beforehand.
Just throw it into a bowl or pan, and watch it steadily thaw and wilt into a delicious green snack. Enjoy!
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