Can You Microwave Spinach?

Microwaving spinach is not quite as simple as tipping a bag into a bowl and blasting it for a few minutes. There are a few steps you’ll want to go through and a couple of tips you’ll want to follow:

How to Microwave Spinach

The method for microwaving spinach is fairly straightforward. All you need to have to hand is a microwave-safe bowl and your spinach:

  1. Wash Spinach and Do NOT Dry
    Give your spinach a good wash. It will often contain some dirt or grit so submerge in cold water before draining. Do not dry it completely, however, as this excess water will come in handy for steaming it.
  2. Place Into a Microwave-Safe Bowl and Cover
    Transfer the cleaned spinach to a bowl that is suitable for use in the microwave before covering. You can use a paper towel, an upturned plate or a sheet of cling film.
  3. Microwave for 60 Seconds
    On high power, microwave for 60 seconds.
  4. Check
    After 60 seconds, check whether or not the spinach is cooked through. If it is 99% of the way there, then give the bowl a stir as the residual heat will cook any leaves that aren’t quite there. If it still needs more cooking then continue to microwave in short, 15-second bursts.
  5. Season and Dress
    Drain away any excess liquid before dressing with a squeeze of lemon juice and a pinch of salt.

Microwaved Spinach

3 Tips for Microwaving Spinach

When it comes to microwaving spinach, we’ve got 3 top tips that can ensure you have successfully microwaved spinach every time:

  • Use Short Bursts – Spinach is incredibly easy to overcook. Just 5 seconds too long can turn it into a sludge-like mess. When microwaving spinach, make sure you use quick and short bursts and check between each burst to see if the spinach is cooked.
  • Don’t Add Water – The leaves on the spinach from washing and the liquid released from the leaves will be plenty to steam the spinach. Do not add water as this can lead to diluted nutrients.
  • Be Prepared for Steam – When you remove the cover from the bowl, be prepared for a cloud of steam to escape. This will be hot so do so slowly and carefully. You do need to ensure you do this soon after microwaving, however, as the steam will continue to cook the leaves.

Advantages of Microwaved Spinach

When it comes to microwaving spinach, there are a couple of obvious advantages over using a normal pot of boiling water.

  1. Super Quick
    Not only does it take just 60 seconds to cook spinach in the microwave, but you also don’t have to wait to bring a pot of water to the boil making it the quickest way to cook spinach.
  2. Adaptable
    The microwaving of spinach is simple, but you can adapt what you do to it afterwards. Stir through some garlic oil, sesame oil and a pinch of chilli flakes to create an Asian-inspired side dish or add a knob of butter and a pinch of black pepper to make it classic and unctuous.

Disadvantages of Microwaved Spinach

Unfortunately, as is common, where there are advantages there are some disadvantages to using the microwave to cook spinach:

  1. Easy to Overcook
    Unfortunately, it is incredibly easy to overcook spinach in the microwave. An extra 5 seconds here or 10 seconds there can turn it into mush. It’s vital that you keep a close eye on it as you microwave it to avoid this.
  2. Loss of Nutrients
    Using too much water can cause nutrients to leak out of the spinach and into the water which you eventually drain away. Use our method above which requires no additional water to avoid this happening.

How to Reheat Spinach in the Microwave

If you’re simply looking to reheat spinach that you have previously cooked then spoon it into a microwave-safe bowl, cover and microwave on high power for 30 seconds. Give it a stir and if it is not warmed through give it another 15-second blast.

How to Defrost Spinach in the Microwave

If you want to use the microwave to defrost spinach then simply place the frozen block of spinach into a microwave-safe dish and, using the microwave setting, zap for 60 seconds. The ice around the spinach will melt away. You’ll then need to drain it.

The other, often easier approach is to bring a kettle to the boil then pour the boiling water over the frozen spinach. This will often be enough to defrost the spinach.

Final Summary

You can microwave spinach fairly easily. It takes just a matter of seconds and means you can have perfectly cooked spinach in no time at all. Make sure you follow our tips and tricks above to ensure you have perfectly cooked spinach every time.