Spinach with Lemon and Pine Nuts

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Spinach with Lemon and Pine Nuts recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

Tender and crisp, warm spinach leaves tossed in hot olive oil and fresh lemon juice. The flavors are absolutely perfect together. I’ve been making this recipe for years and it is my favorite way to eat cooked spinach.

I was surprised the other day when I noticed that I hadn’t posted it yet. So, I snapped a quick picture of my plate the other night at dinner. I served this with some leftover chicken and it was a quick and easy dinner on a busy night.

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My kids are not fans of this dish. As they have told me numerous times; they like spinach in salads, soups, and smoothies, but not all by itself. Oh well, it just means more for my husband and me!
COOKING TIP: The spinach will cook VERY quickly in the hot oil. The goal is to just barely wilt it, leaving it tender and still a bit crisp. The whole process takes just a few minutes total.

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Spinach with Lemon and Pine Nuts

5 from 2 votes
Recipe from and with thanks to The Fields Of Green Cookbook by Anne Somerville
Servings: 5 -6 servings


  • 1 large bunch of spinach about 12 cups of baby spinach leaves or chopped spinach
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • kosher salt to taste
  • freshly cracked pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts toasted


  • Sort through the spinach, discarding stems (or including them if using baby spinach). Wash the spinach in cold water. Then spin dry or gently pat dry with towel.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet or saute pan over medium high heat. Add the garlic and lemon juice and saute just until fragrant, about a minute. Turn the heat to high, add the spinach, salt and pepper.
  • Barely wilt the spinach, tossing quickly with tongs to coat all the leaves with the hot lemony garlic oil mixture. Toss in the pine nuts and add salt and pepper as needed.
  • Serve immediately. Enjoy!


The spinach will cook VERY quickly in the hot oil. The goal is to just barely wilt it, leaving it tender and still a bit crisp. The whole process takes just a few minutes total.
Tried this recipe?Mention @barefeetkitchen or tag #barefeetkitchen!

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Sue/the view from great island says

    The pine nuts are a great idea, and that's a terrific shot, sauteed spinach has to be the most un-photogenic food in the world, and yours looks so appealing and fresh, great job. I'm glad you mentioned that your boys don't like spinach on its own…at least we now know they're actually human! 😉

  2. Joanne says

    It's so funny to me how kids will like an ingredient only in very specific applications. I love spinach in all ways and this sounds so tasty to me!

  3. Big Dude says

    Your dish looks very appealing and we are spinach fans – planted some yesterday. While I've put vinegar on greens all of my life, I never considered cooking spinach with lemon juice – great idea.

  4. Katherine Martinelli says

    I love spinach any which way and this looks simple and delicious! Too bad your kids don't like it but, like you said, more for you 🙂 I also love a similar dish with spinach, raisins, pine nuts, and a dash of balsamic.

  5. Mickle in NZ says

    I bought some lovely fresh spinach yesterday so your post is very timely. I'm so looking forward to trying this recipe – super thanks for sharing,

    Michelle down-under in Wellington, New Zealand