Can you eat spinach stems?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you eat spinach stems?” and discuss can you eat whole spinach?

Can you eat spinach stems?

Yes, you can eat spinach stems. Spinach stems are safe to eat since they contain no harmful chemicals. Actually, they may be eaten in the same way as the leaves. If the spinach is young and the stems are flexible enough to bend, there’s no need to remove them before preparing a batch of spinach unless the stems are very stringy or you find them bothersome to eat. 

More mature spinach has thicker and more fibrous stems, which might make it harder than the leafy greens. If this is the case, cut the stems off before cooking the spinach.

Before washing and preparing your spinach, remove the stems. Using your fingers, grab spinach leaves at their base and swiftly and easily remove the stem. Fold spinach leaves in half lengthwise (opposite of the side with the stem). The stem may then be easily removed by pulling up on the leaf along its whole length.

Stems of Spinach with Butter and Salt and Pepper

This is more of a “cook’s treat” than a “midnight snack,” as it’s something I make for myself to consume while I’m putting the finishing touches on the evening meal. 

There is no section for “Cook’s Treat,” however since they are too transitory to be worth keeping track of. In lieu of having to stop and go get a picture of some beef tendon that I’d cut up and then chose to salt and chew on, I opted to include it here.

Last night’s dinner included a bunch of spinach stems from a nearby farmer’s market. During the process of washing the leaves, I selected a few of the biggest and placed them aside. And when everything was quiet, I sautéed them with two tablespoons of water along with a thin slice of delicious butter, a teaspoon of salt, and a sprinkle of pepper. 

As soon as the water started to evaporate, I turned the heat to medium-high and cooked the stems until they were soft but not mushy. They were covered in pan butter when I finished cooking and were delicious as a snack while I finished the rest of dinner, so I made more.

Tenderness and age may be determined by feeling the stem.

A young, sensitive plant will have a slender, flexible stem. If you’re making a raw spinach salad or another dish, use these spinach leaves. It is recommended to boil the harder plants that have thick fibrous stalks since they are more mature.

Look for fresh, bright green leaves that aren’t wilted or yellowed in any way. So that I can determine the quality of what I’m buying, I like to purchase loose leaves or bunches. Fresh spinach keeps for two to three days in the refrigerator crisper when stored in a dry plastic bag.

Fibrous, stringy, and difficult to consume, spinach stems, even when young, are a common occurrence in the vegetable world. Remove the stems before washing them and toss them in the garbage or vegetable stock if you like. Truly soft, little leaves with similarly fragile, thin stems don’t need me to remove the stems.

Due to its gritty texture, spinach must be thoroughly cleaned before eating.

Clean spinach by swishing it about in a bowl of ice water for a few seconds, then lifting it into a strainer and letting it drain. Recycle the water when it’s been emptied (see the photo at right). After you’ve finished, try a leaf from the garden. Any grit on the leaves should be washed off immediately and reapplied.

Consuming the whole spinach leaf

Spinach’s influence has cascaded into my perceptions of other vegetables and plants in general. As with many wonderful things, it began in the kitchen of Chef Lenny Russo’s Heartland in 2013.

After receiving our weekly air freight from George Weppler in Oregon, we discovered a box containing spinach, small baby spinach. Most of George’s supplies, including the spinach, are sent to us in full form so that we may maintain control over how they are prepared and served. 

To make it seem more like the plant, we had clipped the spinach’s leaves to add to meals, just as we had done with the other greens.

When the sous chef saw the spinach, he was overjoyed and proposed that we prepare the whole thing as if it were a little vegetable. My passion for spinach was rekindled, as was my discovery of new ways to serve and present veggies to bring out their unique flavors. When it came to wild and grown vegetables, I wanted to use the “whole vegetable” approach to everything else.

To learn more about eating spinach stems click here


In this article, we answered the question “Can you eat spinach stems?” and we discussed can you eat whole spinach?


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.