5 Quick Spinach Recipes to Use the Whole Bag Before It Goes Bad

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If there’s ever been a time to buy in bulk, it’s now. With guidelines recommending we stock up on a 2-week supply of meals at a time, it only makes sense to reach for food items in larger quantities — if someone else doesn’t reach for them first. But it can get complicated when we’re trying to be mindful of our nutrition as well as how our purchases affect others, such as those on WIC.

Although canned and frozen foods get top billing as stay-at-home must-haves, it helps to have large amounts of fresh ingredients on hand, too — like a bag of fresh spinach.

Spinach is a true good-for-you food. It packs more fiber than other salad greens like iceberg or romaine, plus supplies significant doses of iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium.

And since we’re all about staying well these days, it’s nice to know this lean green rock star is also an excellent source of immune-boosting vitamin C.

But Dude. It’s a LOT of spinach. How are you gonna eat all that before it starts to turn funky?

We’ve got your back! A 12-ounce bag of fresh spinach contains about 8 1/2 cups of leaves — which, yes, is a lot of spinach — but can be distributed in unique recipes throughout the week for plenty of variety.

Here’s how to eat well, prevent food waste, and boost your immune system with a week’s worth of spinach (without turning into the jolly green giant in the process).

Once you’ve hauled home your spinach loot, the best way to store it is, of course, in the fridge. To take preservation one step further, try patting the leaves down with paper towels and transferring them to a sturdier container. This helps the leaves stay dry and not get crushed.

And don’t wash spinach until right before you want to use it! This can cause it to deteriorate more quickly.

Take advantage of fresh spinach in recipes that let its crisp-tender bite and vibrant color shine. Early in the week, opt for the following for a breakfast and lunch:

Ginger green citrus smoothie

*Uses 1 cup of spinach for 1 serving

This recipe calls for a lot of fruit, which if you don’t have around, just make it a little bit of fruit. Just don’t forget to add the ginger for the immunity boost. Ginger has been shown to reduce inflammation, and we say about a tablespoon will do.

This recipe calls for two “big handfuls” of fresh spinach — which, depending on the size of your hand, may vary — but we’re measuring, so 1 cup will do the trick to add nutrients and color.

Get the recipe.

Spinach blueberry superfoods salad

*Uses 2 cups of spinach for 2 servings

One superfood deserves another… and another… and another. Which, depending on what you have around, can be a combination of blueberries, almonds, and cooked whole grains (per the recipe on Averie Cooks). Drizzle the whole mélange with a honey-apple cider vinaigrette or the store-bought stuff. Restaurant food who?

For a satisfying lunch, split this one with a housemate, or make it as a dinnertime side dish to serve four.

Get the recipe.

Even several days after opening, a bag of fresh spinach can continue to serve you well in midweek meals, where it plays a supporting role.

Parmesan bean and chicken sausage soup

*Uses 1 1/2 cups of spinach for 4 servings

Chicken sausage, cannellini beans, and — you guessed it — spinach blend in Imma Eat That’s simple, savory soup. Save extras for lunch later in the week. ‘Cause soup is one of those magical better-the-next-day foods.

Get the recipe.

Mediterranean grilled cheese sandwich

*Uses 2 cups of spinach for 1 serving

Cooking Classy’s Mediterranean Grilled Cheese Sandwich puts a veggie-filled spin on the lunchtime favorite, complete with spinach, olives, tomato, and red onion. Leafy greens get sautéed with garlic and olive oil to deliciously cover any midweek wilting.

Don’t have olives, tomato, and red onion? Still good without. This version of the grilled cheese is endlessly flexible. Sub artichoke hearts for olives or roasted red peppers for tomatoes—or omit anything you couldn’t find on your last grocery run.

Get the recipe.

With proper refrigeration, fresh spinach can last around 7 days. As you near the end of the week, you may find previously perky leaves beginning to look a little sad. But that’s nothing you can’t cover with the right recipe.

10-minute spinach lasagna

*Uses 2 cups of spinach for 6 servings

Don’t feel like cooking up an elaborate dinner after a stressful workday? We feel you. This easy lasagna from Gimme Some Oven finishes off the spinach in your bag in just 10 minutes of prep. (No fancy ingredients required.) Even if the last of your leaves are looking less than perfectly fresh, you’ll never notice when they’re baked into layers of melted cheese and marinara.

This recipe makes an 8-inch square dish, so if your household won’t eat the whole thing, seal leftovers carefully and pop in the freezer! Lasagna is famous for its freeze-ability. This way, the goodness of spinach — and the convenience of a pre-made dinner — can last even longer.

Get the recipe.

Sarah Garone is a nutritionist, freelance writer, and food blogger. Find her sharing down-to-earth nutrition info at A Love Letter to Food or follow her on Twitter.

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