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Lemon-Thyme Spinach

Scott Phillips

Servings: eight.

A generous amount of lemon zest adds a touch of brightness to sautéed spinach. If that gorgeous tenderloin has caught your eye, check out the full menu or use the Christmas Dinner Menu Maker to dream up your own.


  • 6 Tbs. unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 tsp. coarsely chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp. lightly packed finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 lb. stemmed spinach (from 2-1/2 lb. bagged spinach or 5 lb. bunched spinach)

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 100
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 80
  • Fat (g): 9
  • Saturated Fat (g): 5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 2
  • Cholesterol (mg): 25
  • Sodium (mg): 230
  • Carbohydrates (g): 4
  • Fiber (g): 3
  • Protein (g): 3


  • In a small bowl, combine the butter, thyme, lemon zest, garlic, and a generous pinch of salt and mash with a fork or spoon until well blended.

    Put several large handfuls of the spinach in a 12-inch nonstick stir-fry or sauté pan. Season with 1/2 tsp. salt. Turn the heat to medium high and cook, stirring frequently, until the spinach is mostly wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Add another few handfuls of spinach and another 1/2 tsp. salt, and continue to cook, tossing, until wilted. Repeat until all of the spinach is wilted. Turn off the heat, but leave the pan on the burner. Add the butter mixture and toss just until it melts and coats the spinach. Season to taste with salt and serve immediately.

Make Ahead Tips

You can make the butter mixture up to 2 days ahead (cover and refrigerate), and you can wilt the spinach up to 2 hours before dinner. Reheat it gently with the butter before serving.


Bagged? Bunched? Not sure what spinach to buy? Check out our test kitchen tips.


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Reviews (2 reviews)

  • ValerieMO | 06/30/2009

    I loved the lemon-thyme flavor of this dish but thought there was a little too much butter which made the fresh spinach seem less-than-healthy.I would definitely make this dish again, it's quite easy and the flavor is good, but I would use 2 T of butter instead of 3.

  • DJF | 01/02/2009

    I absolutely LOVED this dish, but some of my guests found it too lemon-y. That might have been my fault -- I added a couple squirts of meyer lemon juice before plating. I loved the bright clean notes it added to the spinach. Leftovers were excellent mixed into scrambled eggs for breakfast.I used the bagged spinach as recommended in the sidebar with great results. It was easy to prepare.

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