This spinach pasta recipe is simple and irresistible! A creamy Parmesan garlic sauce complements the leafy greens.

Spinach pasta

Want to eat your greens and love it? Try this creamy spinach pasta recipe, starring chewy al dente pasta and an irresistible Parmesan garlic cream sauce! The way the creamy sauce and garlic accentuate the leafy greens makes it one of our top vegetarian pasta recipes to date. Cozy up to a bowl and it’s positively life-giving. You’ll never love spinach more!

Ingredients in this spinach pasta recipe

There’s not much that doesn’t taste amazing cooked with butter, garlic, Parmesan and cream. And this spinach pasta recipe is no exception! It’s hard to make a vegetarian pasta taste good, but this one passes with flying colors: and it’s simple! Even better, leftovers even stay flavorful in the fridge (which is my personal test for a good pasta recipe). Here’s what you’ll need for this spinach pasta:

  • Pasta of any shape
  • Butter
  • Garlic
  • Oregano
  • Milk
  • Heavy cream
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • All-purpose flour
  • Fresh spinach
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
Spinach pasta recipe

Cook the pasta to al dente

The most important thing to remember when making any pasta is to cook your pasta to al dente! Al dente means “to the bite” in Italian, or when it’s tender with a small white speck inside when you bite into a piece. There’s nothing worse than soft, rubbery pasta. Here are a few tips for the perfect al dente pasta:

  • Boil the pasta a few minutes less than indicated on the package instructions. Often package instructions make for overcooked pasta.
  • Start taste testing early. Start taste testing and stop cooking when the pasta is just tender but you can still see a small white speck inside.

Tips for making spinach pasta

This spinach pasta recipe is so simple and straightforward, there aren’t many tips and tricks to call out. Besides cooking your pasta to al dente, here are a few things to note:

  • Reserve some pasta water. It’s not required, so don’t worry if you forget it! But you can add a splash to loosen the sauce at the end of cooking.
  • You’ll add thickener after simmering the sauce. This is not a standard white sauce that starts with a roux, a mixture of flour and butter that thickens cheese sauces. But it does contain flour as a thickener: you’ll add it at the end of simmering here.
Spinach pasta

A note on serving size

The spinach pasta recipe below makes enough for 8 ounces of pasta, which is technically 4 servings. However, we find that if you eat this pasta as a main dish, it makes more like 3 servings. Feel free to double the recipe if desired: click the 2X recipe button below!

Leftovers and storage info

Spinach pasta tastes the best the day it is made. However, we were surprised to find that the flavor of this pasta tastes great as leftovers! Store leftovers for up to 3 days refrigerated. You can reheat them in a skillet on the stove, adding a splash of milk to keep the sauce creamy. Or you can simply eat them cold (they’re still good!).

Spinach pasta recipe

More spinach recipes

Got lots of spinach? Here are a few recipes you might enjoy:

This spinach pasta recipe is…


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Spinach pasta

Creamy Spinach Pasta

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 3 1x


This spinach pasta recipe is simple and irresistible! A creamy Parmesan garlic sauce complements the leafy greens.


  • 8 ounces pasta of any type (we used rigatoni)
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 5 cups (5 ounces) fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper, to taste


  1. Start a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and boil until al dente (check a few minutes before the package instructions indicate). Reserve about ½ cup pasta water, then drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Toss with a little olive oil if the sauce is not yet ready. 
  2. Meanwhile, heat a large pan over medium low heat. Melt the butter, then add the garlic and oregano and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute until the garlic is lightly browned and fragrant. Add the milk, heavy cream and Parmesan cheese and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the cheese has melted. Add the spinach and salt and cook 2 to 3 minutes more, until the spinach is wilted.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the flour with 1 tablespoon pasta water. Pour it into the pan with the sauce, then stir until it thickens.
  4. Add the drained pasta to the sauce and toss. If necessary, add a few splashes of pasta water as necessary to make a creamy consistency. Top with fresh ground black pepper and serve. Enjoy immediately; leftovers last refrigerated for up to 3 days. 
  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Pasta
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Spinach pasta

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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  1. Hello ! I like MANY of your recipes. In this one, along with some others I’ve
    noticed, someone should be proofreading the entire thing before posting as is.
    Example: buried within the instructions is mention that a bit of flour will be used at the end/thickener.. HOWEVER, Flour as an ingredient is not listed anywhere in any of the pertinent list(s). In this case it’s not the end of the world – everyone probably has flour & the recipe probably OK without it. BUT it still bugs me when proofreading/editing is deficient. That said, this does look DELICIOUS.

    1. Great point: this was a typo! All recipes are proofread, but some typos always come through — we’ve found this is the case even in published books when there are many many editors and proofs! So we’re grateful to readers who find them too. Thanks for letting us know and it’s fixed!

    1. Great question! You could definitely use frozen spinach here — defrost it and squeeze out all liquid before cooking. You could use 5 ounces or even a little more. Keep in mind the spinach will be in smaller pieces so the sauce will look different. Good luck!