Stir-Fried Spinach With Garlic

Stir fry spinach with garlic recipe

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Total: 10 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
81 Calories
7g Fat
3g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 81
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 135mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 20mg 102%
Calcium 72mg 6%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 399mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

For this recipe, you'll start with fresh spinach leaves. You can use baby spinach if you prefer. Find these in the grocery store or at a farmers market in season, or even better—from your garden. Be sure to wash the spinach well to remove any sand or grit.

Even if your family or guests often turn up their noses at this healthy green, they may discover how wonderful spinach is when cooked quickly and perfectly seasoned. It is as far from slimy boiled canned spinach as you can get. The fat and calories are also far less than in creamed spinach, which is often offered as a vegetable side for steak.

This simple Chinese-style spinach stir-fry with garlic pairs nicely with steak. You can also enjoy it with grilled chicken, rice, or noodles. It has a bit of sweet and a bit of spice to blend with the bite of the garlic.


Click Play to See This Spinach Stir Fry Recipe Come Together


  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil (or vegetable oil)

  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

  • 1/4 teaspoon chile paste, or to taste

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste

  • 10 ounces fresh spinach, rinsed and dried

  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for stir-fried spinach with garlic
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  2. Preheat the wok and add the peanut oil, swirling so that it comes about halfway up the sides of the wok.

    Oil in wok
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  3. When the oil is hot, add the minced garlic, chile paste, and salt. Stir for a few seconds until the garlic is aromatic.

    Garlic and spices in wok
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  4. Add the spinach and stir for 1 to 2 minutes, until the leaves are almost wilted.

    Spinach in a pan
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  5. Stir in the sugar and toasted sesame oil. (Note: If you don't already have the sugar and sesame oil measured out, move the wok to a cold burner while you do so, and then return it to the heated burner).

    Spinach stir-frying in a pan
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  6. Sprinkle the spinach with a bit of black pepper if desired. Serve immediately.

    Cooked spinach in a pan
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck


  • You can make this recipe in either a wok or a frying pan, and the directions would be the same. You can use a heavy-bottomed frying pan interchangeably with a wok. If you use a nonstick frying pan, you can reduce the oil a bit.
  • Garlic spinach will go with a wide variety of cuisines. You can refrigerate any leftovers and reheat them in the microwave. Leftovers can easily be added to noodle and rice dishes or used in an omelet the next morning.
  • As always, how much seasoning to add comes down to personal preference. Feel free to reduce the amount of salt and/or garlic if desired, or to increase the amount of spinach to 12 ounces. Of course, if you’re a fan of garlic you can always add more.

What Does Wilt Spinach Mean?

When heat is applied to a tender, leafy green like spinach, it begins to break down and lose some of its water, also known as wilting. The spinach goes from crisp, perky leaves to a tender, cooked vegetable. Raw spinach is often used in salads, and cooked spinach can be found in soups, stir-fries, and other hot dishes.