In the past I have always de-stemmed my fresh spinach leaves. But I am wondering, is that necessary? I'd like to prepare as-is.

  • 2
    I concur with Wayfaring Stranger, so I'd say that usually it's best to remove the stems. If you want to avoid the waste and avoid stringiness you could remove the stems and dice them up. Add the diced stems with the leaves to whatever you're making.
    – Jolenealaska
    Oct 26, 2014 at 4:20
  • I only wonder if anyone else here has had success in not removing them. I've read elsewhere online that [de-]stemming is unnecessary. Oct 26, 2014 at 4:36
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    It will depend upon the spinach. The size and toughness of the stems varies even more than the leaves. It's certainly not necessary to remove the stems, but if the stems are tough, they are very noticeable.
    – Jolenealaska
    Oct 26, 2014 at 4:42

3 Answers 3


In my experience, stems can be rather stringy even after cooking. Likely varies by time of year, age/size of leaves, soil type, cultivar etc. Best adivice is probably to check a few stems (raw, steamed, whatever) and see. I always cut stems off at the base of the leaf, and have yet to have a complaint about the stem bits within the leaves.


When I cook wilted spinach with garlic and lime, I never remove the stems… The thought never even crossed my mind.


For 2 people I use a large box of baby spinach. To take the stems if that much spinach would take more time than I have or am willing to spend. I don't notice the stems at all when eaten. For salad, I do take off stems.

  • Baby spinach tends to have tender stems. It’s the larger, older spinach where it’s more significant
    – Joe
    Sep 10, 2022 at 12:17
  • 1
    Where I live that older spinach is never being sold in the shops. If it is used at all it is used to make frozen spinach, so that may be the reason for the different answers.
    – Willeke
    Sep 11, 2022 at 11:19

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