This absolutely delicious Spinach and Feta is an easy and nutritious side dish that pairs well with a variety of meals.
This easy sauteed Spinach and Feta side dish combines the earthy richness of fresh spinach leaves with the zesty brightness of lemon juice and just the right amount of heat from red pepper flakes, all perfectly complemented by the creamy tang of feta cheese. Spinach, the star of this dish, is a nutritional powerhouse, loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. What's more, this recipe caters to various dietary preferences, making it suitable for those following a vegetarian, gluten-free, grain-free, low-carb, or keto lifestyle.
Take this recipe up a notch by making your own feta cheese.
Here's what you need to make Spinach and Feta:
- fresh baby spinach
- extra virgin olive oil
- fresh lemon
- feta cheese
- red pepper flakes
See recipe card for quantities.
Here's how to make Spinach and Feta:
Add the olive oil and spinach to a large pan over medium heat.
Cooking, stirring intermittently, until the spinach just begins to wilt, then remove the pan from the heat.
Juice the lemon, then add the fresh lemon juice, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to the pan, stirring to combine.
Sprinkle the feta over the spinach and serve immediately.
Hint: If you prefer to use frozen chopped spinach instead of fresh spinach, simply cook the spinach according to package directions. Then, drain out the excess moisture, stir in the lemon juice, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Finally, sprinkle with the feta cheese and serve.
Want to substitute an ingredient in Spinach and Feta? Here's how:
- Fresh spinach - use a different leafy green such as kale or Swiss chard in place of the fresh spinach or use 24 oz of frozen spinach, cooked according to package directions and omit the step of sauteeing.
- Fresh lemon juice - use 2 tablespoons of bottled lemon juice in place of the fresh lemon juice or use 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar in place of lemon juice.
- Feta - replace the feta with an equal amount of a different salty crumbly cheese such as cotija or ricotta salata.
Try one of these variations on Spinach and Feta:
- Spicy - double the amount of red pepper flakes for a spicier dish.
- Garlic - add 2-4 cloves of minced garlic to the olive oil and saute for 1 minute before adding the spinach.
- Herby - add 1 tablespoon of fresh dill or ½ teaspoon of dried dill when adding the lemon juice and other seasonings.
- Hearty - add a can of rinsed and drained cannellini beans while sauteeing the spinach for a more filling dish.
This equipment comes in handy when making Spinach and Feta:
Store cooled cooked Spinach and Feta in an airtight dish in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
This dish can be made in advance, and then reheated on the stove over medium-low heat, in the microwave, or in the oven just prior to serving.
Feta is a versatile and tangy cheese that pairs wonderfully with a wide range of flavors. Its crumbly texture and salty, slightly briny taste make it a perfect companion for various ingredients. For a classic Mediterranean twist, try pairing feta with ripe tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, and a drizzle of olive oil to create a refreshing Greek salad. Feta also harmonizes beautifully with sweet and savory elements, making it an excellent addition to watermelon salads with fresh mint, or stuffed into roasted red peppers for a burst of contrasting flavors. Furthermore, feta cheese can enhance the creaminess of pasta and protein dishes such as spinach and feta-stuffed chicken breast. It can even elevate the taste of a simple omelette when combined with fresh herbs like dill or basil. Its compatibility with olives, roasted red peppers, and toasted nuts ensures that feta cheese can be the star of a diverse array of culinary creations.
Looking for other easy vegetable recipes like this? Try these:
Serve Spinach and Feta with one of these dinner recipes for an amazing meal the whole family will love:
Spinach and Feta
- Add the olive oil and spinach to a large pan over medium heat.
- Cooking, stirring intermittently, until the spinach just begins to wilt, then remove the pan from the heat.
- Juice the lemon, then add the fresh lemon juice, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to the pan, stirring to combine.
- Sprinkle the feta over the spinach and serve immediately.
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended