A giant bag of spinach is practically a grocery store staple. It’s one of those things that always seems like a practical choice at the time, and you feel like a picture of health with all those leafy greens sitting in your cart. Then you get it home, use the spinach in a salad here and there, and before you know it, the rest is all wilted and slimy and just plain gross.
How on earth are you supposed to use up the bag before that happens? These recipes come in handy when the expiration date is looming and you really don’t want to waste food. From dips to salads to desserts (for real), here are our favorite ways to finish off that bag of greens.
1. Avocado Spinach Artichoke Dip
It’s practically a scientific fact that everyone’s favorite party foods are spinach artichoke dip and guacamole. What if we told you there was a way to combine the two? This recipe skips the dairy thanks to the natural creaminess of avocado and uses a whole 1½ cups of packed spinach leaves. Serve with pita, tortilla chips, veggies—you name it. This one’s bound to be a crowd pleaser.
2. Spinach Basil Pesto
Another easy way to use up spinach when you’re meal prepping is to make your own homemade pesto. It’s a versatile staple that tastes great on pasta, hash, scrambled eggs, or sandwiches. Plus, this version is totally Paleo, vegan, and Whole30-approved. You can even add some extra oil and a splash of vinegar to make it work as a salad dressing.
3. Creamy Broccoli Spinach Soup With Greek Yogurt
Don’t be fooled by the word “creamy”—this soup is super nutritious and filled with healthy fats and fiber. The dense veggie combo doesn’t even need milk or cream. Instead, it’s topped with Greek yogurt to make it even more comforting and hearty. And with four cups of spinach in a four-serving batch, it’s a surefire way to use a ton of greens all at once.
4. Grilled Peach Blueberry Spinach Salad
There’s a reason spinach works so well as a base for salads: It’s incredibly versatile and tastes great with a variety of fruits and vegetables. Take this peach blueberry salad, for example—it’s flavorful, crisp, and easy to customize based on whatever you have in the fridge. Grilling the peaches brings out their natural sweetness and screams “long summer days on the patio.” Make your own balsamic vinaigrette or use any favorite store-bought variety.
5. Morning Green Smoothie
Here’s a brilliant life hack when you need to use your spinach but have zero time to cook: Stick it in the freezer! Frozen spinach is a game-changing ingredient in smoothies. This five-ingredient blend couldn’t be easier, and it’s a great way to sneak some veggies into your morning meal.
6. Savory Spinach Cauliflower Oatmeal
Savory oatmeal might sound like a weird concept, but don’t knock it ‘til you try it. Oatmeal and veggies are actually a dream combo. This recipe takes less than 15 minutes to make, uses one single saucepan, and packs in the veggies and herbs. If you’re tired of sweet breakfasts but don’t want to eat eggs every day, consider this a welcome addition to your weekly rotation.
7. Paleo and Whole30 Spinach Quiche
Honestly, this quiche is perfect for any time of day—and with the roasted sweet potato crust and added bacon, you’ll be wanting to eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The recipe calls for 8 ounces chopped, fresh spinach, but you could totally sneak in more if you’re trying to use up a batch. It’s a great make-ahead meal that will last you all week long, and it’s especially convenient when you’re doing the Whole30.
8. Spinach and Quinoa Patties
We’re not saying you *have* to put these patties in a bowl, but we are saying that bowls make everything taste better. It’s just objectively true. These vegetarian beauties are made with quinoa, oats, eggs, spinach, and feta. This meal-prep go-to will transform those sad desk lunches into ‘grammable works of art.
9. Creamy Spinach Stuffed Salmon
Spinach by itself may sound dull and boring, but does anyone ever object to spinach mixed with cream cheese? We sure don’t. This stuffed salmon is low-carb and keto-friendly, plus it’s just straight-up comfort food bliss. You’ll want to freeze your spinach and then thaw it out before mixing it with the cheese, then stuff inside a salmon filet and bake until the meat is flaky. Is your mouth watering yet?
10. Green Split Pea and Spinach Pizza Crust
This gluten-free and vegan pizza crust may be unconventional, but it’s definitely photo-worthy. The reason for its bright green color? Split peas and spinach. The combination packs a protein and nutrient-filled punch, and you can add whatever topping combo suits your fancy—we love cashew cheese and lots of colorful veggies.
11. Chocolate Spinach Brownies With Peanut Butter Frosting
If this recipe title has you going “WTF?!” we hear you. But fear not—spinach is surprisingly simple to sneak into brownie batter, and your veggie-loathing friends won’t be able to tell the difference. This recipe includes a whopping four to five cups of raw spinach, and it makes eating your vegetables sound a lot more appealing. With a creamy peanut butter frosting on top, it looks like the furthest thing from health food. But go ahead and eat that extra helping… after all, it’s practically a salad, right?