When Roasting Spinach, It's Best To Use Fresh Not Frozen

Even if you're not keen on eating your vegetables, spinach is one of the easier ones to bear. With its mild flavor, the leafy green can be snuck into smoothies, pasta, omelets, and more, without giving off a bitter taste like you'd get from kale or arugula. Roasted spinach makes the perfect side dish — just make sure you use fresh, not frozen.

When roasted with olive oil and a dash of salt, spinach quickly wilts down into a delicious, slightly crispy dish. With frozen spinach, however, too much water releases, leaving you with soggy spinach. Since the leafy green is easy to overcook, leaving it to dry out in the oven isn't an option. Rather than delicately wilting in the heat, it'll end up bitter and burnt.

To roast the veggie, stick with the fresh version. After rinsing the leaves and patting dry, toss them in olive oil, salt, pepper, and some herbs and spices. Within five minutes, the spinach will be wilted enough to serve. Of course, you can leave it for a little bit longer so it transforms into crunchy spinach chips.

Can you cook spinach while it's frozen?

If all you have is the frozen version, there are still things you can do with it that don't require thawing. Rather than roasting it, sauteing frozen spinach can still produce a flavorful side. Oil won't mix with the water from the spinach once it melts, so try sauteing with vegetable stock instead.

Pour vegetable stock into a pan with minced garlic, and add frozen spinach once it starts to heat up. Cover the pan for a few minutes, then remove it and stir the spinach, adding salt and pepper to taste. Allow the liquid to dry up and serve. Frozen spinach can also be added to soup to simmer with the rest of the ingredients. Add it to the pot in the last few minutes of cooking your smoky turkey chili or roasted garlic cauliflower soup and let it absorb the broth. Since it contains water, it may thin out the soup a little bit. Add a dash of cream or sprinkle of flour or cornstarch to keep it thick and hearty.

The options for cooking with still-frozen spinach are a bit limited, so if you need to thaw it quickly, run it under cold water. You can also defrost it in the microwave on a low setting. To get rid of the excess moisture, use a potato ricer or squeeze it with a towel.