Pasta and veggies never looked so good in this delectably easy creamy spinach pasta, ready to serve in just 30 minutes. Homemade blush cream sauce, tossed with sautéed spinach and fresh pasta, I mean, what's not to love?
Macaroni and cheese knows no seasonality, it is perfect for every single day of the year.
Pasta recipes are my favorite ways to get more vegetables infused into my meals, such as my roasted broccoli mac and cheese, or my vegetable pasta bake, so of course, this one had to incorporate spinach.
What ingredients do I need for this pasta recipe?
There's no ingredient n this recipe that you'll have to go out to a specialty store to get for this dish, you might even call this a pantry pasta because you'll find almost all of these ingredients in your pantry or cabinets!
- Short pasta: We love using short pastas in this type of recipe as the grooves from how it's cut grabs the pasta really well and lets it get all saucy. It's just so good. I highly recommend fusilli, radiatore, or a simple rigatoni or mezzi rigatoni.
- Spinach: Go with the fresh baby spinach leaves and wilt using some butter on a medium flame. The use of fresh spinach brings out a gorgeous green color, and it's what we prefer. If you are in a pinch, chopped spinach works well too.
- Onion: Chop a half an onion into very small pieces, and when onions sauté, it's an aroma I wish I could bottle up and carry with me. Nothing beats aromatics sautéing in oil. NOTHING.
- Garlic: Similar to onion, 2 cloves minced works great in this recipe. Just enough for flavor, not overpowering.
- Tomato paste: This is the tomato aspect of the recipe, and when combined with the onions, garlic, chicken stock, and cream, it creates a gorgeous hue of blush or pink, and of course, tastes amazing.
- Chicken stock: The addition of chicken stock here gives the sauce depth and also is an essential building block of making the blush cream sauce.
- Heavy Cream: The ingredient that brings it all together: the cream! Just half a cup gives the sauce the most beautiful blush color, and adds such rich flavor, without being too powerful.
See the recipe card below for specific information about quantities.
How do I make this recipe?
This creamy spinach pasta recipe is truly one of the easiest recipes to make, especially on a weeknight. Let this be your "back to school" dinner treat for your kiddos and family, and you'll even have enough for the next day for lunch... or not, because it actually might just go really fast!
Start by adding a tablespoon of butter to a medium frying pan over a medium heat. Add the spinach and sauté the spinach in the melted butter. Sprinkle a little garlic powder and set aside. To the same pan, add in the minced garlic and onion, sauté in olive oil until fragrant. Add in the teaspoon of tomato paste and stir to combine.
Pour in the chicken stock and let the mixture simmer for a minute or so. Then, pour in the heavy cream and stir. Cover and let simmer on low for 5-7 minutes or until the cream sauce begins to thicken and will coat the back of a spoon. Meanwhile, boil your favorite pasta, strain, and add directly to the sauce. Add back the sautéed spinach and mix to combine. Serve with sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
HINT: Let the sauce simmer for a little while on a very low flame, occasionally stirring. Once the sauce thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, turn off the heat and let sit. The sauce may settle and create a red ring on the top, but stir to break up the ring and the sauce will be fine.
Recipe Swaps and Substitutions
If you're not a dairy fan, or if you're not into spinach, here's some swaps I recommend:
- Dairy - Switch out the heavy cream for some almond milk or coconut milk. The dairy alternatives will likely change the overall taste of the pasta, but not too much!
- Vegetables - Throw in roasted broccoli or cauliflower. I love adding roasted vegetables to pasta dishes, like my vegetable pasta bake. It gives a great charred flavor, and holds the sauce very well.
- Protein - A pan seared chicken breast or ground sausage would be so good in this creamy pasta dish.
Want to add some extra flavor? Here are a few ways you can create this recipe and make it your own with your own variations:
- Spicy - add a few red pepper flakes to the garlic and onion as it cooks.
- Topping - add ricotta to the pasta and stir in to make it even creamier!
- Baked - while this recipe isn't meant to be baked, you can add it to a casserole dish and bake in the oven with some mozzarella on top for 15 minutes.
Kitchen Equipment and Tools
For this recipe, we'll need pretty standard tools and kitchen equipment when it comes to making the pasta and baking it. One of the tools I highly recommend using is a spider skimmer or spatula. This spatula is circular, and has tiny holes in it. I find it's a lot easier to make pasta recipes when it calls for straining and baking pasta to just use the spider spatula and move the pasta from the water and pot directly to the dish. Less mess and less things to dirty.
Otherwise, here's other common tools you'll need:
- Strainer - if you're not using the spider skimmer/spatula
- Medium Frying Pan - to sauté the spinach, garlic, and shallot.
- Large pot
- Measuring cups
- Wooden spatula or spoon
How do I store this recipe? Can I freeze it?
All leftovers can be placed in a tightly sealed tupperware and placed directly in the fridge. This recipe is also freeze friendly, so if you want to make this dish for another day, simply prep the veggies and pasta, place into a tupperware and into the freezer it goes. When ready, you can defrost the pasta, top with the cheese and bake according to instructions.
Cook the pasta to al dente or a minute less: The pasta will continue to cook once it's off the flame, and we'll be adding it to a warm sauce anyway.
Hungry for more?
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
Easy Creamy Spinach Pasta
- 1 large pot
- 1 strainer
- 1 frying pan
- 1 wooden spoon
- measuring cups
- 1 lb pasta
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 large shallot minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup chicken stock
- ½ cup heavy cream
- Add a tablespoon of butter to a medium frying pan on medium heat.
- Add the spinach and sauté the spinach in the melted butter. Sprinkle a little garlic powder and set aside.
- To the same pan, add in the minced garlic and onion, sauté in olive oil until fragrant.
- Add in the tablespoon of tomato paste and stir to combine.
- Pour in the chicken stock and let the mixture simmer for a minute or so. Then, pour in the heavy cream and stir.
- Cover and let simmer on low for 5-7 minutes or until the cream sauce begins to thicken and will coat the back of a spoon.
- Meanwhile, boil your favorite pasta, strain, and add directly to the sauce. Add back the sautéed spinach and mix to combine.
- Serve with sprinkle of parmesan cheese.