Diets containing high proportions of fruits and vegetables reduce the risk of onset of chronic diseases. The role of herbal medicines in improving human health is gaining popularity over the years, which also increases the need for safety and efficiency of these products. Green leafy vegetables (GLVs) are the richest source of phenolic compounds with excellent antioxidant properties. Increased consumption of diets containing phenolic compounds may give positive and better results to human health and significantly improves the immune system. Highly selective, susceptible and versatile analytical techniques are necessary for extraction, identification, and quantification of phenolic compounds from plant extracts, which helps to utilize their important biological properties. Recent advances in the pre-treatment procedures, separation techniques and spectrometry methods are used for qualitative and quantitative analysis of phenolic compounds. The online coupling of liquid chromatography with mass spectrometry (LC–MS) has become a useful tool in the metabolic profiling of plant samples. In this review, the separation and identification of phenolic acids and flavonoids from GLVs by LC–MS have been discussed along with the general extraction procedures and other sources of mass spectrometer used. The review is devoted to the understanding of the structural configuration, nature and accumulation pattern of phenolic acids and flavonoids in plants and to highlighting the recent developments in the chemical investigation of these compounds by chromatographic and spectroscopic techniques. It concludes with the advantages of the combination of these two methods and prospects.