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+ servings
cooked spinach in a green floral bowl with a wooden fork and halved lemon and crushed red pepper.

5 Minute Spinach with Lemon

As Italian as a side dish can get, 5 Minute Spinach with Lemon is a five minute recipe and vegetable side dish perfect for the holidays or as part of a quick meal.
Course Side Dish, vegetable
Cuisine Italian, Mediterranean
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 7 minutes
Servings 3


  • skillet with sides


  • 2-3 cloves garlic peeled, on the larger side
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 10 oz fresh spinach bagged is fine
  • ¼ crushed red pepper or less; optional
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ lemon


  • Thinly slice garlic with a sharp paring knife.
  • Heat oil in a skillet with sides over medium-high heat until shimmering.
  • Add garlic to skillet and allow to sizzle and cook for about two minutes to flavor the oil. After about a minute, add the crushed red pepper, if using.
  • Fill the skillet with the spinach by the handful, tossing as you incorporate it into the hot oil and garlic. Season with a good sprinkle of salt and pepper. The spinach will start to wilt within 30 seconds. Keep tossing until it's as you like but remove it a few seconds before you think you should as it'll continue to cook.
  • Squeeze over a healthy amount of lemon juice and serve.


Doubles or triples easily
Storage. Store any leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for a couple of days.
Reheating. While you don't really have to reheat this (and overcooking will risk it being soggy), heating for about 10 seconds in the microwave is fine.
Freezing. I don't recommend freezing this dish.