This quick and easy Sautéed Spinach with Pancetta is a savory, flavorful and incredibly nutritious Keto side dish that's ready in under 15 minutes.
FREE EASY KETO DINNERS EBOOK
- ❤️ Why You’ll Love this Sautéed Spinach Recipe
- 🛒 What You’ll Need to Make Sautéed Spinach
- 🔪 How to Make Sautéed Spinach
- Can You Eat Spinach on Keto?
- Is Sautéed Spinach Healthy?
- Variations and Add-ins
- How Do You Make Spinach Taste Better?
- What is Pancetta?
- Is Pancetta a Keto? Is Pancetta High in Carbs?
- Tips for Buying and Storing Spinach
- More Keto Recipes Using Spinach
❤️ Why You’ll Love this Sautéed Spinach Recipe
- Flavored with crispy pancetta and sautéed garlic
- Quick and easy to make in under 15 minutes
- Made with just a handful of ingredients
- Incredibly nutritious
Even though it doesn't get much easier than this recipe, don't let its simplicity fool you! This quick and easy side dish is filled with amazing textures and flavors from savory bits of crispy fried pancetta that are woven all throughout the tender, vibrant green sautéed baby spinach.
The great thing about this recipe is that the whole thing takes less than 15 minutes to prepare. This makes it ideal for a home cooked, fresh, nutritious and incredibly delicious side on busy weeknights.
The best part about this simple Keto side dish is that it goes well with just about any main course dish you're serving. From Cast Iron Steak to Grilled Shrimp Skewers, Fried Pork Chops and Lemon Chicken, this sauteed spinach with pancetta is the perfect side dish.
🛒 What You’ll Need to Make Sautéed Spinach
- Baby spinach
- Ground black pepper
*Exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below.
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🔪 How to Make Sautéed Spinach
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add in the pancetta.
Sauté until crisp, then remove and set aside on paper towels to drain.
Tip: If you can't find pancetta, you can use bacon instead. Just be sure to drain off some of the fat, since your bacon will likely render more fat.
Leave behind the drippings from the pancetta.
Add in the butter and garlic, then sauté for about 20 seconds, making sure you don’t brown it.
Add in the spinach and toss using tongs. Add in the salt and pepper, continue tossing until all the spinach has wilted nicely. Cook the spinach in batches, making sure to constantly turn the spinach as it wilts.
Tip: If you can't find baby spinach, you can use regular spinach and give it a rough chop.
Add the crispy pancetta back in, toss and it’s ready to serve.
Can You Eat Spinach on Keto?
It really should come as no surprise that because most of the carbs in spinach consists of fiber, it is considered the ultimate Keto vegetable. In addition to being low in carbs and high in fiber, spinach acts as the perfect vessel for healthy fats in salad dressing, like this Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing.
Is Sautéed Spinach Healthy?
Both raw and cooked spinach are a great source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as fiber, as well as a good source of calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and selenium, all of which play an important role in a healthy diet.
Variations and Add-ins
- Bacon: If you can't find pancetta, you can use bacon or prosciutto. You can also use diced ham hock, if you can find it.
- Add some crunch: Add another layer of texture with toasted pine nuts, sunflower seeds or roasted walnuts.
- Cheese: Cheese always adds wonderful flavor. Creamy and tangy feta or goat cheese are great options. Freshly grated parmesan cheese is another wonderful choice.
How Do You Make Spinach Taste Better?
- Cook it with fat: When sautéing spinach, you’ll want to use some sort of flavorful fat. Bacon grease, butter, olive oil, beef or duck tallow. It not only creates a glossy coating over the leaves, but it also disguises some of the natural bitterness spinach can have.
- Don’t overcook it: There is a fine line between tender spinach and soft and mushy. You only want to keep in the hot skillet long enough for it to wilt and turn vibrant green.
- Season it: Salt and pepper with sautéed garlic is typically all you need to give spinach good flavor. But you can add red pepper flakes of a squeeze of fresh lemon juice if you prefer.
What is Pancetta?
Pancetta is salt-cured Italian pork belly. It’s salty, deliciously fatty, and with a deep pork flavor. Pancetta tastes a little bit like a combination of prosciutto and bacon but without any smokiness.
Is Pancetta a Keto? Is Pancetta High in Carbs?
Pancetta is one of the most Keto-friendly proteins you can eat. It has zero carbs and has plenty of healthy fat. It's great way to flavor a vegetable side dish, but it's also tasty in casseroles, quiche and other low carb recipes.
Tips for Buying and Storing Spinach
- Look closely at the leaves to make sure they are crisp and unwilted. Fresh spinach should be vibrant green without any yellow or brown spots.
- Check for stems that are thin, because that means they are younger and more tender. Thicker stems are more mature and are typically tougher and more fibrous.
- Use baby spinach in sautéed recipes, smoothies or salads. If the spinach is more mature, it will work better in soups or recipes that require longer cooking times.
- When you get it home from the grocery store, wait to wash it until right before you cook it.
- Wrap the bunch of spinach in a dry paper towel. This helps absorb extra moisture. Moisture causes it to spoil quickly. Place in a large freezer bag and seal it tightly, gently squeezing out the excess air.
- Store the bag in the crisper drawer in your fridge for up to 10 days.
More Keto Recipes Using Spinach
- Spinach Artichoke Chicken Casserole
- Easy Creamed Spinach
- Salmon Piccata with Spinach
- Italian Sausage and Spinach Quiche
- Strawberry Spinach Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
FREE 20 EASY KETO RECIPES EBOOK
Sautéed Spinach with Pancetta
- 20 ounces baby spinach
- 4 ounces pancetta, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Heat a large skillet to medium and add in the pancetta.
- Sauté until crisp, then remove and set aside on paper towels to drain. Leave behind the drippings from the pancetta.
- Add in the butter and garlic, then sauté for about 20 seconds, making sure you don’t brown it.
- Add in the spinach and toss using tongs. Add in the salt and pepper, continue tossing until all the spinach has wilted nicely. Cook the spinach in batches, making sure to constantly turn the spinach as it wilts.
- Add the crispy pancetta back in, toss and it’s ready to serve.
*Make sure to scroll up and read the post for substitutions, additions and helpful tips for making this recipe.
*Nutritional data is provided as a courtesy and is accurate to the best of my knowledge. You can verify it using the nutrition calculator of your choice. All data is based on net carbs, without sugar alcohol: Swerve, Erythritol, Monk Fruit or Allulose.
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