What do Popeye and the Catherine de Medici, the queen of France have in common? They both loved their spinach and would be thrilled that March 26th is National Spinach Day! We all know from our childhoods that Popeye the Sailorman was “strong to the finish ‘cause he ate his spinach.” Catherine de Medici loved spinach so much, it was served at every meal. Because she was born in Florence, dishes made with spinach became synonymous with “Florentine.”
Well, you don’t have to be Popeye or a queen to know that spinach is amazing. This dark, leafy green is available year-round and is super-healthy. It’s one of the best sources of iron and is also filled with nutrients such as folate, lutein, calcium, fiber, protein, and vitamins A, C, E, and K.
Spinach is so versatile; you can eat it raw or cooked and add it to practically any dish. It works in salads, soups, pasta, and dips, or on its own as a healthy and delicious side dish. Check out 30 Flippin’ Cool Ways to Eat Spinach, 10 Creative Ideas to Sauté and Stir-Fry Spinach, and 10 Flavorful Ways to Cook Spinach. Then try these 20 recipes that are so good, no one will have to tell you to eat your spinach.
1. Avocado and Chickpea Spinach Wraps
The spinach isn’t inside these Avocado and Chickpea Spinach Wraps — it’s in the wraps themselves! Fresh, crunchy vegetables and a chickpea avocado mixture are wrapped up in homemade spinach tortillas. In addition to giving these tortillas a stunning green color, spinach makes them taste great. These wraps are fresh, crunchy, and a little bit spicy from the pickled jalapeños. Is it lunchtime yet?
2. Caramelized Onion Spinach Bread
This Caramelized Onion Spinach Bread is savory and delicious. It combines fresh spinach, sweet caramelized onions, and crunchy walnuts. As the bread bakes, the fragrance and flavor of the caramelized onion will fill your kitchen and your stomach will start to growl. It has a light, airy texture without needing to rise. Enjoy it toasted with a spread of vegan butter or garlicky cashew cream cheese.
3. Spinach and Garlic Hummus
Go green with this Spinach and Garlic Hummus. This healthy hummus packs all the nutrition of spinach with a punch of flavor from tahini and freshly chopped garlic. Serve this super-easy hummus as an appetizer with a generous pile of chips and chopped vegetables for dipping and save the leftovers as a topping for salads and roasted veggies.
4. Healthy Spinach and Walnut Pesto Pasta
Why make the same old boring pasta again when you can make this Healthy Spinach and Walnut Pesto Pasta instead? The pesto has a richer, deeper flavor and color because it’s made with spinach and walnuts instead of the usual basil and pine nuts. Roasted tomatoes add a flash of vibrant red and a sweet, savory flavor. Pasta should always be this colorful and delicious.
5. Hot and Bubbly Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Everyone’s favorite way to eat spinach gets a healthy makeover. This Hot and Bubbly Spinach and Artichoke Dip will have your guests dipping away but it won’t weigh them down. It’s warm, cheesy, and yummy, made with wholesome ingredients. It comes together quickly and will disappear just as fast.
6. Fluffy Spinach Dumplings With Walnut Parmesan
These Fluffy Spinach Dumplings With Walnut Parmesan aren’t anything like the dumplings you might get at a Chinese or Japanese restaurant. Instead, these dumplings are like giant, cloud-like veggie meatballs filled with bread and spinach. Yum! Top them with nutty walnut “parmesan” and serve them alongside your favorite vegetables.
7. Green Monster Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
Nobody will realize that this Green Monster Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream has spinach in it — that’s right, spinach, in ice cream. In this recipe, greens are hidden in a sweet and minty cashew ice cream. It’s just like that classic mint chocolate chip flavor, only better for you. The texture of this frozen dessert is just like soft serve and the chocolate chips within can be added, more or less, to your liking.
8. Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese With Spinach
Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese With Spinach, please! In this mac and cheese recipe, sweet potatoes serve are the base for the cheesy orange sauce we all know and love. The spices and mustard balance out the sweetness to create the ultimate mac. Baby spinach is gently wilted in to add green color and flavor.
9. White Bean and Spinach Ragu
When you get home late and need a quick dinner, don’t get take-out; make this White Bean and Spinach Ragu instead. This ragu is a no-fuss, quick recipe that’s great for busy weeknights and weekends. The addition of protein-packed white beans adds texture while leaving room for the tomato sauce to shine. As for the spinach, it adds color as well as a taste of green!
10. Sweet Potato and Apple Spinach Salad With Almond Dijon Vinaigrette
There’s nothing like a healthy salad and this Sweet Potato and Apple Spinach Salad With Almond Vinaigrette is sure to be your new favorite. This salad is a combo of tender sautéed sweet potato noodles mixed with crispy-fresh apple noodles, chewy and sweet golden raisins, with a little hint of crunch from some toasted almonds. The nutty, sweet, and bright vinaigrette is where almond butter, apple juice, and Dijon mustard come together in the thickest, creamiest, and most delicious of ways.
11. Green Edamame Spinach Hummus Pesto
This Green Edamame Spinach Hummus Pesto dish is unique and delicious. Edamame, lemon, and tahini are blended together into a hummus-pesto fusion. Then, sautéed spinach is folded in to create a sauce unlike any other. It’s smooth like hummus in its texture, yet it tastes like pesto. Serve it over pasta or enjoy it as a dip.
12. Crispy Spinach and Potato Fritters
Potatoes are the perfect base for these simple Crispy Spinach and Potato Fritters. They are crispy on the outside, but light and fluffy on the inside. They’re lightly seasoned, with added spinach for that extra bit of flavor and texture. They’re perfect as an appetizer with a flavorful sauce or as a side to a complete meal.
13. Garden Veggie Burger
Do some gardening in the kitchen by making these Garden Veggie Burgers.
Beans, peas, and spinach are combined to form flavorful veggie burgers that are crispy on the outside, but tender on the inside. Serve these on the roll of your choice, with a slice of tomato and some greens, or enjoy it on a bed of greens and grains as a part of a hearty salad.
14. Spice-Rubbed Roasted Cauliflower Steak With Spinach Tahini Sauce
Get out your steak knives and enjoy this Spice-Rubbed Roasted Cauliflower Steak With Spinach Tahini Sauce. The cauliflower steaks are rubbed with a special spice blend before being roasted in the oven until tender and juicy. Then they’re topped with a creamy spinach tahini sauce that complements the heat of the spices. If you’ve never had cauliflower steak before, this is the recipe to help you get acquainted.
15. Spinach and Mushroom Alfredo Lasagna
This Spinach and Mushroom Alfredo Lasagna is a comforting and indulgent dish. It has layers of pasta with spinach, mushrooms, and a simple creamy Alfredo sauce. Topped with fresh tomatoes, this dish is filling, but not heavy, leaving plenty of room for dessert.
16. Palak Pakoras (Spinach Fritters)
Pakoras are deep-fried vegetable snacks originating from India. Feel better about indulging in them by making these Palak Pakoras. Chopped spinach is added to the chickpea batter for flavor and nutrition. These fritters have a crispy coating that also happens to be gluten-free.
17. Spinach Falafel With Tahini Dressing
Falafel is usually made green from parsley but this Spinach Falafel With Tahini Dressing goes a different route. Spinach not only gives the falafel a beautiful, verdant color, but it’s also packed with flavor and nutrition. The homemade tahini sauce is perfect for dipping and drizzling.
18. Palak Chole (Indian Spinach and Chickpea Curry)
If you’re craving Indian food, you don’t need to go out. Make your own at home, starting with this easy Palak Chole. It’s a spicy, comforting spinach and chickpea curry with a simple homemade curry paste. The spinach and chickpeas are cooked with all the warm spices you love about Indian food.
19. Cauliflower Rice With Mushrooms and Spinach
Change up your usual rice bowl with this Cauliflower Rice With Mushrooms and Spinach bowl. This veggie-packed side dish is quick and easy to make, so it’s perfect for weeknights. It can be a light meal in itself or it can be bulked up to main course material by adding tofu or tempeh.
20. Sautéed Chinese Hollow Stem Spinach (Kong Xin Tsai)
Spinach is the star in this Sautéed Chinese Hollow Stem Spinach dish. This long, leafy green veggie is called “kong xin tsai” in Mandarin and it translates into “hollow heart vegetable” because the stems are hollow. But these hollow stems will fill your tummy with delectable greenness. It’s a simple dish that is perfect as part of a spread of Chinese dishes such as seasoned tofu, dumplings, and steamed rice.
Sometimes you can take health and cooking advice from a cartoon character. Spinach is a healthy, versatile, and delicious leafy green we should all eat every day.
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Lead image source: Avocado and Chickpea Spinach Wraps