Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Apr 14, 2004 03:13 PM

Fresh/Frozen spinach ratio?

  • l

I have a recipe I'd like to try that calls for frozen spinach, but I have some fresh baby spinach I'd like to use instead.

The recipe calls for a 10 oz package of frozen spinach (I think it's that standard, brick -sized block). How much fresh spinach should I use to substitute, especially given the "shrinkage" factor?

Thanks in advance!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I'd say maybe a couple pounds. You might check cookbooks or online recipes. I think maybe even one of Marcella Hazan's books will say "X amount of fresh spinach, or Y packages of frozen," but I'm not home so I'm not sure.

    1. My guess would be a 1/4 lb. However that's a rough guess. I always get a .5 lb bag of baby spinach, I often use half of it for a dish that calls for frozen (defrosted) spinach. It works for me :-) I would suggest you do this in batches, since you'll have to cook down the spinach anyway. That way you won't waste much.

      4 Replies
      1. re: knoedel

        Am I misunderstanding something? The question was how much fresh baby spinach would cook down to be the same as 10 oz of frozen spinach. The suggestion of 1/4 lb, i.e., 4 oz, seems off-base, 4 oz being less than 10 oz. Similarly, the suggestion of the other person who responded that 10 oz of fresh spinach would cook down to be the same as 10 oz of frozen is perplexing. If I am missing something here, please disregard my response. I cooked one of those plastic packages of regular (not baby) fresh spinach last night, which I thought was a pound, and it seemed to me to yield significantly less than what I got from a 10 oz package of frozen spinach last time I used one. But I could be wrong: upon thinking about it, the yield last night wasn't *that* paltry. Anyhow, sorry to have given an insufficiently considered response, and I hope the original poster gets a firm answer.

        1. re: Denis

          Sorry I didn't elaborate more in my original response.

          It's my experience that one bag of fresh spinach -- they are typically 10 ounces, not a pound -- when cooked will approximate one 10 oz package of frozen spinach, because the frozen spinach also contains a lot of water, and typically yeilds less than a cup of final product after it's cooked and well-drained.

          If you search the web, 3 lbs of fresh spinach, stemmed, will yeild you 2 cups of cooked spinach. The poster in question asked specifically in regard to the frozen spinach packages, and not per "cup." I've found in that case that an easy rule of thumb, when substituting fresh for the frozen, is one bag = 1 package. Hope this helps.

          1. re: DanaB

            I see what you're saying. I wasn't really accounting for all the water in the frozen spinach as part of the weight, which is obviously stupid.

          2. re: Denis

            That's why I said "my guess" :-) I don't buy prepackaged baby spinach. I buy it per .5 bag - loose - basically a regular big veggie bag from the grocery stuffed to the top. It's always around .5 lbs. When I cook half of it down, I get just about the same amount as if I had defrosted frozen spinach. I should say though that if I ever use frozen spinach I often pick through it a bit and discard freezer burn pieces and the big stems that are often in it. I also squeeze out any liquid before using it. What's left is little more than a handful of spinach (same amount I get as described above).

        2. 10 oz fresh is the same amount as 10 oz frozen.

          1. I would use the frozen spinach. Frozen spinach is blanched and this makes the spinach lose water weight. To get the same effect and weight you would have to blanch your fresh spinach and it would be pretty much the same as frozen spinach. If using fresh I would use about 12-16 oz.

            1 Reply
            1. re: The Rogue


              4 cups leaves, 6 ounces

              1lb fresh = 1 cup cooked

              15 to 16 oz. can = 1 1/2 - 2 cups

              10 oz bag = 6 cups of leaves, 1 1/4 cups cooked, 2/3 cup cooked & squeezed dry

              10oz frozen = 1 1/2cups cooked

              Read more: