This spaghetti with spinach sauce recipe is a super simple pasta sauce that’s quick, healthy and really flavorful. This vibrant sauce is made with grated cheese, giving it a creamy, delicious taste.
If you’re after some hearty comfort food on a budget, this vegetarian pasta is just the thing.
Why this recipe works:
- Need to make dinner in a hurry? Making this spaghetti with spinach sauce is super easy.
- The dish is packed full of vitamins.
- Using only 6 ingredients, this is an economical meal.
This is also a very versatile dish. I’ve had readers report back that they’ve used anything from salmon to pistachios as variations. Don’t be afraid to add your own personal touch to this easily adaptable recipe.
This spaghetti with spinach sauce is not only delicious, but it’s really healthy too.
The Health Benefits of Eating Spinach
Spinach has so many health benefits. It’s high in iron, as well as vitamins A and C. Spinach is loaded with not only nutrients, but it’s also rich in antioxidants.
It’s said that eating spinach can benefit eye health, reduce stress, help prevent cancer and reduce blood pressure levels. So, I eat it often and this dish is one of my favorite ways to prepare it!
Here’s how to make it:
Heat some olive oil in a large frying pan on medium-high heat. Add the garlic and sauté.
Add the spinach and sauté with the garlic.
Once wilted, season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.
Cook the pasta according to the package instructions until just under done. Reserve a cup of the pasta water before draining.
Drain the pasta, and set aside.
Add the spinach and garlic mixture to a food processor ( or blender).
Add the cheese and half of the reserved pasta water.
Puree until it forms a sauce (adding more pasta water if needed).
Add the sauce back into the pan.
Add the par-cooked spaghetti.
Stir to combine and heat through, adding more pasta water if needed.
Once spaghetti is cooked though, taste and season with more salt and pepper if necessary. Serve sprinkled with extra grated cheese.
The lovely, leafy spinach in this spaghetti with spinach sauce recipe makes for a flavorful and intriguing bright green pasta that even kids will want to dive into!
Case in point:
Every time son’s close friend comes over, he always asks me what we were having for dinner. Followed by ‘Can we please have that green spaghetti you make? That’s so good; I love it!’
How could I say no to that? Luckily, it’s so easy to make!
This recipe is the perfect example of how you can hide veggies in food to trick the kids into eating them because otherwise, he wouldn’t touch a bowl full of spinach!
If you’re a fan of pasta, check out some of my other recipes……
- Work fast with the garlic. Garlic burns easily, especially when chopped or sliced. If you’re worried it may burn, keep a little water handy and add a tablespoon or two before adding the spinach to the pan.
- To puree the sauce, I use a food processor, but a blender would also work if you add the pasta water in before blending.
- I use fresh spinach, but frozen would work too if it’s thawed and squeezed of excess water.
Cooking Perfect Spaghetti
- Don’t add oil to the cooking water. Adding oil to the water to keep it from sticking will cause the sauce to slip off the Spaghetti.
- Salt like you mean it. The cooking water should taste like the ocean. This is the only time you’re able to season pasta and keep it from tasting bland.
- Wait for a rapid boil. Starches in the spaghetti absorb water instantly and so you want the water as hot as possible to begin cooking properly. Adding the spaghetti too soon may cause it to cook improperly.
- Stir during cooking. Occasionally stirring the spaghetti while cooking will keep it from clumping together.
- When buying fresh spinach, look for leaves that have a dark green color. Avoid any with yellowing color or wilting.
- Avoid spinach with slimy leaves or have a sour, musty odor.
- Feel free to switch out the spaghetti for different pasta or even zucchini noodles.
- Add some protein by cooking some chicken or shrimp and adding on top of the pasta.
Watch the video showing how to make this recipe at the top of the post on PC and on mobile, under the recipe card.
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Spaghetti with Spinach Sauce
This recipe for spaghetti with spinach sauce is an indulgent pasta dish that's quick and simple to make. Whip up this cheap, easy and satisfying meal in just 15 minutes.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves sliced
- 2 8-ounce bags of fresh baby spinach
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 pound spaghetti
- ½ cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese plus more for serving
Heat the olive oil in a large deep frying pan on medium-high heat.
Add the garlic and cook to soften, but not quite brown.
Add the spinach and sauté with the garlic until wilted. Season with salt and pepper, remove from heat, and set aside.
- Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Reserve a cup of the pasta water before draining. Drain, and set aside.
- Add the spinach and garlic mixture to a food processor or blender with the cheese and half of the pasta water. Puree until it forms a sauce (adding more pasta water if needed).
Add the sauce back into the pan to combine and heat through, again adding more pasta water if needed.
Once heated through, taste and season with more salt and pepper if necessary. Serve sprinkled with extra grated cheese.
Update Notes: This post was originally published in April of 2014, but was republished with new photos, step by step instructions, tips, and a video August of 2018.