Creamy Spinach Pasta

Creamy Spinach Pasta. Photo © Molly Watson
  • 40 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: Makes 4 servings
Ratings (5)

This Creamy Spinach Pasta is just a wee bit indulgent with a splash of cream in each serving and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, but it is also chock-full of spinach (or chard if you're feeling fancy) to keep you eating plenty of veggies. Use a whole grain pasta for even an even more healthful dinner. In any case, it's an easy one-dish dinner that can be served as traditional pasta or made ahead and baked as a casserole, creating a crispy, browned, irresistible crust.

Note: For quicker cooking time, but more dishes, start cooking the garlic and the greens while the pasta boils in a separate pan.

What You'll Need

  • 2 bunches spinach or Swiss chard (or a 10-ounce bag of spinach leaves)
  • 2 or 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt, divided
  • 8 ounces fusilli, corkscrew, or rotini pasta
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (optional)
  • 3/4 to 1 cup freshly shredded Parmesan or other hard grating cheese

How to Make It

  1. If baking as a casserole, preheat an oven to 375F. In any case, bring a pot filled with 2 quarts water to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, rinse and trim the spinach or rinse and prep the chard. Finely chop the garlic. Butter an 8-by-8 baking dish if you're making the casserole version.
  3. Add 2 teaspoons salt to the boiling water and add the pasta. Cook until the pasta is tender to the bite. Drain the pasta and return the pot to the stove over medium-high heat.
  1. Add the olive oil and garlic to the pan, cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the spinach or chard and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir until starting to wilt, cover, and cook until completely wilted, about 2 minutes for spinach and 5 minutes for chard.
  2. Stir in the cream and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook to blend flavors, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the nutmeg and black pepper, if you like. Add the pasta and stir to combine thoroughly - the greens will want to stick together, so you will need to break them up a bit if you want them evenly distributed in the pasta. Cover and cook so the pasta can soak up some of the juices, about 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in half of the cheese. Either serve as is in pasta bowls topped with the rest of the cheese or transfer mixture to the baking dish, sprinkle with remaining cheese, and bake until the cheese is melted and the mixture is bubbling and starting to brown on top, about 15 minutes.