20-Minute Creamy Spinach Pasta Recipe: Minimal Cooking Required by Jan Mostrom

20-Minute Creamy Spinach Pasta Recipe: Minimal Cooking Required

Seems like every night is a busy night, right? This creamy spinach and pasta recipe is a such a great lunch or dinner to throw together easily when you're running short on time. And most everyone enjoys pasta and spinach!

Here is your short shopping list for this vegetarian pasta recipe: pasta (I used chickpea pasta, which is gluten-free), garlic, shallots, mascarpone cheese, fresh baby spinach, salt and pepper, a lemon and crushed red pepper flakes (if you want a little heat). The only cooking required is boiling the pasta to al dente. After that, everything is just mixed together and the heat from the pasta water "cooks" the ingredients into one cohesive dish. Perfect!

Serve this protein-rich Italian dinner with crusty bread or with a side of zucchini pie like we did! The leftovers are delicious for lunch the next day.

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Cuisine: Italian
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 12 ounces chickpea pasta (about 3 1/2 cups)
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced shallots
  • 4 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 6 ounces fresh baby spinach, stems removed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • zest of 1 lemon 
  • crushed red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)

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Recipe Notes

  • Any kind of pasta will work for this recipe, including gluten-free.
  • If you are using chickpea pasta, make sure not to overcook.
  • Try using kale instead of spinach. Be sure to massage the kale so it's tender.

Here's how to make it: 

  1. Boil a pot of water and cook the pasta according to the directions to al dente. Do not overcook. Save 1 cup of the cooking water and drain the rest off.
  2. Put cooked pasta into a large serving bowl. Add the garlic, shallots, mascarpone, spinach, salt, pepper, lemon zest and about 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
  3. Mix gently until cheese is melted. (If needed, add extra pasta water to blend the mixture.) Top with crushed red pepper flakes, if desired.
  4. Serve.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving

Calories: 635

Total Fat: 14.4g

Saturated Fat: 2.4g

Cholesterol: 14mg

Sodium: 820mg

Total Carbohydrate: 99.7g

Dietary Fiber: 25.1g

Total Sugars: 15.3g

Protein: 46.6g

Vitamin D: 0mcg

Calcium: 226mg

Iron: 18mg

Potassium: 291mg

Recipe cooking times, nutritional information and servings are approximate and provided for your convenience. However, 30Seconds is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe, nor may you have the same results because of variations in ingredients, temperatures, altitude, errors, omissions or cooking/baking abilities. This recipe has been analyzed by VeryWellFit. However, any nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and it is up to the individual to ascertain accuracy. To ensure image quality, we may occasionally use stock photography.

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Mascarpone cheese and pasta, say no more.
Elisa Schmitz
I love chickpea pasta, and the bonus for me is that it's gluten-free and packed with protein. Great recipe! #yum

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