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Sautéed Spinach with Bread Crumbs

A white serving bowl filled with sauteed spinach and bread crumbs.
This sautéed spinach with bread crumbs is an easy, healthy side dish made with fresh spinach cooked with garlic and spritzed with lemon juice and toasted bread crumbs.
Liliana Battle

Prep 20 mins
Total 20 mins
4 servings
180 kcal


For the bread crumbs

  • 3 slices day-old bread torn into pieces
  • 1 large garlic clove minced
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

For the spinach

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves thinly sliced
  • 1 pound bunched spinach rinsed, drained, stemmed, and roughly chopped or pre-washed baby spinach
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or more to taste (from about 1/2 lemon)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Make the bread crumbs

  • In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, pulse the bread with the minced garlic until it forms small crumbs.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the bread crumb mixture and cook, stirring, until golden, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Immediately turn the bread crumbs onto a plate and scatter them so they can cool.

Make the spinach

  • Return the skillet to medium heat and add enough oil to cover the bottom of the skillet, about 3 tablespoons.
  • Toss in the sliced garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  • Add half the spinach to the skillet. (It may seem to fill the skillet but don’t worry, it’ll cook down quickly.) Frequently toss the spinach, being certain to also toss the garlic so it doesn’t burn. Cook until the spinach begins to wilt.
  • Working quickly, immediately add the remaining spinach to the skillet and toss and stir until all the spinach has wilted. This will take around 5 minutes total if using baby spinach or up to 10 minutes total if using mature spinach.
  • Add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat. Taste and, if desired, add more lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
  • Pile the spinach in a serving bowl, sprinkle over all or some of the bread crumbs, and serve immediately. (If not using all the bread crumbs, you can stash the rest in a sealed container in the fridge or freezer. Rewarm in a warm oven or a skillet over low heat before using to magically return their crunch.)