Steamed spinach is very healthy and makes a good side dish for any meal. Steam spinach in a microwavefor the appropriate time so that it is tender and delicious without overcooking.
How to steam spinach in the microwave? Place spinach and sprinkle water (in case the leaves are too dry) in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with a lid and microwave on high for 30 seconds to 2 minutes until the leaves wilt.
Afterwards, remove the extra liquid and serve the leaves, or use this liquid in a stew, soup or other cooking preparations.
It is easy to prepare and convenient to store for the next day. However, microwave steamed spinach is best to eat them right away.
Spinach is nutrient-rich, rich in calcium, iron, folate, vitamin B9, folic acid, and delicate in its flavors. Compared to the stove method, microwave spinach is a low-fat method of cooking.
In this article, learn the best way to steam spinach in the microwave. Answered below are the frequently asked questions about microwave steamed spinach and tips to follow for the best results.
Can I steam spinach in the microwave?
Yes, you can steam spinach in the microwave. Steam spinach and consume right away for best results.
Reheating already steamed spinach is not recommended as it may oxidize the iron within the spinach.
Take spinach leaves, wash them and eliminate the tough stalks. The leaves should be slightly wet to create steam that wilts the greens.
Place the spinach leaves in a microwave-safe plate or bowl and cover it, a ceramic or glass plate works well for this matter. Add a splash of water only if you feel the leaves are very dry, then microwave for one or 2 minutes to quickly steam the spinach.
Generally, spinach slightly loses its nutrient content, however the reduced cooking time can save the most nutrients. That is why spinach is one of the superfoods that are ideally microwavable.
Compared to stove cooking methods, the microwave cook times are short and also preserves the nutrients without extensive degradation.
How do you steam spinach quickly?
Spinach can be steamed quickly by microwaving on high for about 1 or 2 minutes. A tablespoon of water in the bowl will generate steam that cooks the spinach leaves right away. Steamed spinach is ready to eat when all the leaves are just wilted.
Take young spinach leaves and remove the stalks. Clean them under running water to remove any grit or soil.
Place the greens in a microwaveable bowl with a lid, also consider using a microwave steamer instead. Add a tablespoon of water, cover the leaves and microwave on high for 2 minutes, depending on how much spinach being steamed.
This is the quickest and healthiest way to steam spinach.
Generally, spinach leaves cook really quickly, pay attention when they start to wilt as this is the indicator for when they are ready. The cooking time varies depend on the amount and the power of the microwave and how much dry spinach you are steaming.
To steam 12 ounces of spinach:
- For 750-watt microwave, it takes approximately 2½ minutes.
- For 850-watt microwave, it takes approximately 2 minutes.
How to steam spinach without a steamer?
Spinach can be steamed without a steamer by washing the leaves and placing them on a microwave-safe plate/bowl. The water on the leaves creates steam that cooks the spinach leaves quickly, but the residual water should be drained before serving.
Follow the below steps:
- Take spinach and separate young and fresh leaves. Eliminate the dried, burnt, and tough leaves or stems.
- Wash them properly and trim away tough stalks.
- Place them in a microwavable bowl without draining the water completely, but not sopping wet.
- If you are using pre-washed and dried leaves, sprinkle a tablespoon of water over the greens.
- Cover with a microwave cover, lid, damp paper towel or microwave safe plastic wrap.
- Place the bowl in the microwave and steam them for 2 minutes or until the leaves are wilted, depending on the volume of the leaves.
- Once they begin to sag or wither, the spinach is steamed.
- Drain any residual water, and serve or use right away.
What’s the time taken to steam spinach in a microwave?
Steaming spinach takes about 1 to 3 minutes, depending on the spinach type, baby or regular spinach. Baby spinach takes lesser time as they are very delicate and tender as compared to regular spinach leaves.
The timings can differ from one microwave oven to another, and also the amount of spinach being steamed.
Spinach cooks quickly, on average it requires less than 3 mins of steaming for 8 ounces of mid-sized spinach leaves.
Tips to steam spinach in a microwave
Steaming spinach in a microwave is easy and convenient. The amount of cooking is indicated by the wilted leaves to determine when the steaming is finished.
It is not recommended to steam spinach using a Ziploc bag, even if it is unsealed to allow the steam to flow outwards.
The resealable plastic bags are only safe for reheating and defrosting foods.The bags are not safe for cooking or steaming as too much heat is generated inside and microwaving plastic may cause harmful chemicals to leach into the food.
Best tips for steaming spinach in a microwave:
- Place the washed spinach in a bowl with some moisture on the leaves. Do not completely drain or shed the water off the leaves.
- Do not make the leaves sopping wet or dry.
- Do not overload spinach leaves in the microwave safe bowl or else the steaming will not be even to all the leaves.
- Microwave in batches for even steaming.
- Cover the bowl that you are steaming spinach for the steam to trap within with a microwave-safe plate or wetted paper towel.
- Nuke for 2 to 3 minutes on high.
- When spinach leaves wilt or limp, this is when the steaming is done. The leaves should be a bright and vibrant green. Do not overdo it otherwise the leaves will oxidize and turn dark green.
Best way to steam spinach in a microwave
The best way to steam spinach in a microwave is to leave some water clinging to the spinach leaves after washing. They don’t need to be completely soaked wet, but if they are completely dry then add a tablespoon to the bottom of the dish. Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes until the leaves are bright green and gently wilted.
The key to successfully steaming tender greens is not over steaming the spinach. Over steaming can rob the spinach leaves of their moisture and nutritional value, and overcooking makes the spinach leaves goopy and mushy.
Let the raw leaves soak in water for dirt elimination and rinse away under clear water. You can cover these leaves with a wet cloth as well for moisture control, and microwave for 1-3 minutes on high.
Steaming Spinach in Microwave: Final Thoughts
Tosteam spinach in a microwave, place the spinach leaves in a microwaveable bowl. Let the leaves have some wetness of water or cover the leaves with a damp cloth to buildup steam.
Cover the leaves with a microwave-safe lid. You can also use microwavable plastic wrap with some holes poked inside for moisture to vent and prevent exploding.
Microwave on high for around 2 to 3 minutes until the spinach leaves wilt and turn bright green. Do not over-steam the leaves as the moisture is robbed from the leaves along with a loss of nutrients.
If you are using microwave safe plastic bag, place the front side up directly in the center of microwave with the seal opened to vent. Set in on high for about 2 minutes, and allow the bag cool in the microwave for 1 minute before removing.
Using a microwave to steam spinach is a quick and healthy way to preserve nutrients, and have your meal ready in the blink of an eye. Whether you have a steamer or not, use the tips in this guide for foolproof steamed spinach every time.