This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy for more details.
Meet my favorite creamy spinach tomato pasta, a comforting meatless meal that is a breeze to make and tastes so luxurious.
It’s also economical and ready in less than 15 minutes.
In this scrumptious pasta recipe, I combine silky tomato passata with cream cheese, parmesan and spinach – everyone’s favorite veggie – to make a meal that is perfect for when you want comfort food, but can’t be bothered to spend time in the kitchen.
Needless to say, they all are a hit in my household!
And you’ll appreciate how few ingredients you need for it that you’ll keep this creamy spinach tomato pasta in your back pockets for lazy weeknight meals.
I’m not kidding when I say that you’re going to lick the bowl. The velvety tomato sauce packed with fresh spinach is that good, seriously. : )
List of the ingredients
- Pasta (penne, rigatoni, spaghetti…)
- Tomato passata
- Cream cheese
- Parmesan cheese
- Dried or fresh basil
- Baby spinach
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt & pepper (chili flakes, optional)
How to make this creamy tomato spinach pasta
(Note: this is a quick description, the full recipe is at the bottom of the page)
- Cook pasta until al dente, and reserve some pasta cooking water.
- Meanwhile, sauté garlic and chilli flakes in olive oil until fragrant.
- Add the tomato passata, salt, pepper and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Stir in cream cheese, dried basil, parmesan, pasta water until combined.
- Add the spinach and cook for a couple of minutes until wilted.
- Taste the sauce to adjust the seasoning if needed.
- Drain the pasta, add it to the skillet, toss until nicely coated, and serve!
Ingredients and substitutions
Pasta: penne is my favorite pasta shape here, it offers a good bite and it gets coated and filled with yummy sauce (here is a collection of penne pasta recipes, just in case!). But any pasta shape works well for this creamy spinach and tomato pasta recipe.
Olive oil and garlic: the recipe starts with a flavor base made with extra virgin olive oil, aromatic garlic and some chili flakes for a touch of heat (optional). Feel free to use butter instead of olive oil if you wish.
Dried basil: it’s a convenient pantry staple that adds flavor, but 1-2 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil leaves will be lovely too.
Tomato passata: this is an uncooked tomato purée that has been strained of seeds and skins. It has a thick, smooth texture (my fav brand is Mutti). You can find tomato passata in all major supermarkets and it’s sold in glass bottles. If you cannot find it, the best substitution is tomato purée (not paste!) or plain canned crushed tomatoes.
Soft cream cheese: I used Philadelphia, but any nice full fat cream cheese would do. And if you have any cream cheese leftovers, try this super easy sweet cream cheese dip!
Parmesan cheese: freshly grated aged parmesan will melt beautifully into the sauce and add its wonderful nutty flavor. The grated stuff is no comparison.
Spinach: I use 5oz/150 grams of fresh baby spinach for this pasta recipe, but you can add more if you like. Yu can also use convenient frozen spinach (previously thawed and squeezed, of course!).
Salt & pepper: make sure you salt the pasta water properly and taste the creamy tomato spinach sauce to adjust the seasoning before you add the pasta.
What to serve with this creamy spinach tomato pasta?
- You might enjoy a light side like my carrot salad , lettuce salad or fresh salad with grapes would be a great complement.
- If you want to add more protein to the meal, a chickpea salad, cannellini bean salad, or a quick frittata with arugula would make a balanced meatless meal for the whole family.
How to store pasta leftovers
You can keep leftovers in the fridge for 3 days and you can easily warm it up in a skillet. But I wouldn’t recommend freezing this creamy spinach tomato pasta.
More quick pasta recipes?
This terrific collection of 13 Super Quick Pasta Recipes ready in less than 15 minutes is for you! But you might also want to check my vegan pastas and Italian pasta recipes or penne pasta recipes for more cooking inspirations!
Below some of my fav quick pasta recipes to inspire you!
- Pasta with artichokes
- Tomato basil pasta
- Creamy tomato pasta
- Mushroom ricotta pasta
- Penne arrabbiata
- Easy baked penne
- Lemon garlic pasta
Lastly, I hope you’ll love this delicious creamy spinach tomato pasta as much as we do. And if you have any questions, let me know… Leave a comment, send me a message, or rate it. I would love to hear from you!
Creamy Spinach Tomato Pasta
- 8oz (225 grams) Penne (or your fav pasta shapes)
Creamy spinach tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (olive oil or butter are fine)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ teaspoon chili flakes (optional)
- 14 oz (400 grams) tomato passata (or puree or canned crushed tomatoes.
- ¼ heaped teaspoon fine salt
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried basil (or 1 Tbsp of chopped fresh basil)
- ½ cup (100 grams) full-fat soft cream cheese
- ½ cup (50 grams) grated parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup (60 ml) pasta cooking water
- 5 oz (150 grams) fresh spinach, washed
- Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted until al dente (follow the package directions). A couple minutes before draining, scoop out approx ½ cup of pasta cooking water.
- While the pasta is cooking, place a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil and when it starts shimmering, add garlic, chili flakes, and sauté for about a minute, stirring constantly.
- Add in the tomato passata, salt, pepper, stir and let the sauce cook for about 5 minutes (it should be gentle bubbling, so you may need to turn down the heat).
- Stir in the cream cheese, parmesan, dried basil and ¼ cup of the reserved pasta water. Stir until well combined and emulsified.
- Add the spinach, a handful at a time, and stir and cook for about 2 minutes or until wilted. Taste the tomato spinach sauce and adjust the seasoning to your liking (I add only ¼ tsp of salt because aged parmesan is quite salty, but you might want to add more salt or freshly ground pepper).
- Drain the pasta, add it to the skillet, toss to coat (it takes about 10 seconds).
- Turn the heat off and serve immediately. Enjoy!