How To Drain Spinach: 5 EASY Methods

Spinach is a healthy, delicious food that can be eaten raw or cooked, but a lot of people dislike how difficult it is to drain this vegetable. Cooked spinach always has excess liquid. But it’s easier to squeeze out than you think.

Draining spinach in a colander
You can easily drain spinach in a colander.

Is Draining Spinach Necessary?

The liquid left over in cooked spinach can affect its taste. Draining is necessary to make the spinach taste right. There’s also another reason for draining your spinach—oxalic acid. This is an acid found naturally in certain foods, but it can make you sick if you consume too much of it. When you drain your spinach, it gets rid of a lot of this acid, which makes the spinach a lot healthier for you.

How Can You Drain Spinach?

Draining is an important step when preparing spinach. Below are a few methods you can use that work.

1. Colander

You can place the spinach in the colander, pour cold water over it, and squeeze the spinach with your hand while the water drains out of the colander. Rinse the spinach well before you turn off the water, then place your hand over it and squeeze until the liquid is removed.

Chef holding potato ricer for draining spinach
A potato ricer can get the job done.

2. Potato Ricer

Not everyone owns a potato ricer, but if you do, you can use it to drain your spinach. Simply place the spinach in the ricer and squeeze it over a bowl or container. The excess water in the spinach will drain into the container, and afterward, you can simply pour the water down the drain.

3. Refrigerator

It takes a little longer to drain frozen spinach. Place the spinach in a container, pour enough water over it to cover all of the spinach, and place it in your refrigerator overnight. Once it’s completely thawed, you can drain it in a colander and discard the liquid.

4. Paper Towels

Place frozen or fresh spinach in a strainer and press down on it gently with a paper towel. Use gentle presses so you don’t tear the towel and get bits of it in your spinach.

5. Cheesecloth

Cheesecloth is very versatile and thicker than paper towels, which makes it easier to work with most of the time. Cheesecloth comes in different sizes and thicknesses. In addition to spinach, the cloth can also be used to strain tea, coffee, and many other beverages. It is also a very sturdy type of cloth, which means you don’t have to worry about it falling apart as you’re working with it.

Woman holding cheesecloth for draining spinach
Cheesecloth is great for draining spinach.

There are numerous ways to successfully drain spinach, whether it’s fresh or frozen. Thoroughly rinsing the spinach is important, and whether you use paper towels, your hand, a large spoon, or even a potato ricer, you can drain the veggie faster than you think. All you have to do is make sure the item you use to gently squeeze the spinach, not to mention the container it’s in, is clean and functional. Otherwise, it can affect the taste and the overall quality of the spinach.