Pasta with Tomatoes and Spinach

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Today pasta with tomatoes and spinach! It’s ready in less than 20 minutes and it’s packed with fresh spinach and cherry tomatoes. It’s delicious, juicy, garlicky and makes a great meatless meal.

If you love easy meals full of flavor, check my quick pasta recipes and one-pot pastas for more goodness!

Top view of a grey plate full of pasta with tomatoes and spinach.

When you’ve got some fresh tomatoes and spinach in the fridge, this delicious recipe will be right up your alley and perfect for busy weeknight dinners.

You start by sauteing the tomatoes, garlic and olive oil in a skillet. Once the tomatoes begin to break down and release their juice and flavor, add the spinach and stir until wilted. Finish the dish by adding pasta, parmesan, and toss until nicely combined and juicy.

it’s so simple, filling and flavorful.

List of the ingredients

  • Pasta (linguine, spaghetti, rigatoni, penne…)
  • Cherry tomatoes (or plum tomatoes, beefsteaks…)
  • Baby spinach
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Olive oil or extra virgin olive oil
  • Dried basil (optional)
  • Garlic
  • Salt & pepper
The ingredients to make this pasta with tomatoes and spinach are arranged over a white table.

How to make pasta with tomatoes and spinach

(Note: this is a quick description with step-by-step photos, the full recipe is at the bottom of the page)

  • Cook garlic in olive oil until fragrant. I use this pan, you don’t need a ton of olive oil and it delivers non-stick perfection without harmful chemicals.
  • Add tomatoes, dry basil, salt and pepper.
Top view of a white pan with olive oil, garlic and cherry tomatoes.
  • Cook until the tomatoes break down and release their juice.
  • Add spinach and stir until wilted but still bright green.
Top view of a white pan with cherry tomatoes and spinach.
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  • Add pasta, parmesan, a touch of pasta water and toss until nicely combined. Done.
Top view of a white pan full of cherry tomatoes, wilted spinach, pasta and grated parmesan cheese.

Recipe notes & tips

Ingredients for pasta with tomatoes and spinach:

PASTA: I used linguine, but spaghetti or chunky penne works well for this recipe. We also love whole grain pasta to add extra fiber and micronutrients.

TOMATOES: fresh cherry tomatoes are perfect and look nice, but also ripe large tomatoes work fine if you dice them and remove excess seeds and water. And if tomatoes are out of season or too pricey, you can use canned tomatoes (see notes in the recipe card).

Close-up of some cherry tomatoes that realise their juice while cooking in olive oil with garlic and dried basil.

SPINACH: although the texture of fresh baby spinach is far better for this recipe, you can use frozen chopped spinach (previously thawed and squeezed). Kale can also be substituted for the spinach, make sure to tear it into small pieces, it will take more time to wilt down in the pan.

HERBS: I used dried basil, it’s so convenient and adds fresh herbal notes to the tomato sauce. But fresh chopped parsley or basil are totally fine.

PARMESAN CHEESE: I LOVE its savory flavor, but you can use Grana Padano cheese instead, similar in taste to Parmesan but less expensive. Even some crumbled feta or goat cheese work just fine.
But feel free to skip the cheese and keep it vegan if you wish!

Close-up of a grey plate full of pasta with tomatoes and spinach served with grated parmesan cheese.

If you want to indulge in a special Italian pasta meal, add a side of crusty panini bread or focaccia with olives, and serve with a quick cannellini bean salad for more protein.

More quick pasta recipes:

I’m a big fan of pasta, and I’ve shared quite a few recipes. Love the flavor, the convenience and how versatile it is. Here some of my fav ideas:

If you make this pasta with tomatoes and spinach or you have a question, let me know by leaving a comment. I would love to hear from you! x
And for more recipe updates, follow me on Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook.

Top view of a grey plate with pasta with tomatoes and spinach.
Print Recipe
5 from 11 votes

Pasta with Tomatoes and Spinach.

This lovely pasta with tomatoes and spinach is ready in less than 20 minutes and it's packed with fresh spinach and cherry tomatoes. It's delicious, juicy, garlicky and makes a great meatless meal.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time13 minutes
Total Time18 minutes
Course: pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Pasta with tomatoes and spinach
Servings: 4
Calories: 291kcal
Author: Katia



  • 8oz (220 grams) pasta


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil or extra virging olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 9oz (250 grams) cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • ¼ tsp fine salt, plus more to taste
  • tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 5oz (150 grams) baby spinach
  • ¼ heaped cup (30 grams) grated parmesan cheese

To serve (optional)

  • grated parmesan cheese
  • freshly cracked pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil


  • Fill a large pot with water and place over high heat to bring it to a boil. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente according to the package directions. Reserve about ½ cup of cooking water, and drain the pasta.
  • While you’re waiting for the water to boil, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant (about 45-60 seconds).
  • Add the tomatoes, basil, salt and a freshly cracked pepper. Sauté the tomatoes until the skins burst and the tomatoes begin to release their juices. Keep the heat to medium-low, stir and make sure the garlic doesn't burn.
  • Once the tomatoes begin to break down add the spinach, a large handful at a time, and stir it into the tomatoes until the spinach is wilted but still bright green (it should take max a couple of minutes).
  • At this point the tomatoes have created a sauce-like mixture on the bottom of the pan. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
  • Add the cooked and drained pasta to the pan, the parmesan cheese and a touch of pasta cooking water. Toss until the pasta is coated in the sticky sauce and everything is combined (you don't need all the reserved cooking water, but use just as much as needed to make everything nice and moist).
  • Serve with some grated parmesan cheese, seme freshly cracked black pepper, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil if you wish.


  • Pasta – any short or long pasta is fine here, spaghetti, penne, fusilli etc.
  • Frozen spinach: it’s ok, although fresh spinach and its texture is the best for this recipe. If you use frozen spinach make sure you defrost it and squeeze the excess water before adding it to the pan.
  • Canned tomatoes: if you can’t find fresh tomatoes,  you can substitute one can of diced tomatoes in its place. Make sure to let it simmer a bit longer so the juices reduce and concentrate in flavor.
  • Herbs: fresh parsley or basil are great instead of dried basil, of course.
    But skip them if you wish. but you can use Grana Padano cheese instead, similar in taste to Parmesan but less expensive.
    Feel free to skip the cheese and keep it vegan if you wish!
  • Cheese: you can use Grana Padano cheese, similar in taste to Parmesan but less expensive. But skip the cheese if you wish to keep it vegan and dairy-free.
  • It keeps in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Gently reheat in a non-stick pan with some olive oil over medium-low heat.
Nutrition facts: Please note that the nutrition values are based on an online nutrition calculator.  It’s an estimate only and it should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice. The nutrition value is for one serving (the extra parmesan cheese for serving and the final drizzle of olive oil are not included).


Calories: 291kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 446mg | Potassium: 490mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 3888IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 146mg | Iron: 2mg


  1. Hi! Can I use spaghetti squash for this recipe?

    1. Hi Dawn! If you are familiar with spaghetti squash (and you know how make it and cook it), you’re welcome to use it instead of regular pasta here. : )

  2. 5 stars
    Easy, quick to make with fresh ingredients I had on hand. I used a Tuscany flavor EEO. Wonderful !

    1. I’m’m so pleased you loved it!! Thanks so much for sharing, Barbara.x

  3. Zombiesfangirl says:

    5 stars
    Easy and delicious! I used nutritional yeast to keep it vegan and add nutrients and doubled the garlic (cuz I luv garlic). Also added red pepper flakes for some kick. This will definitely be in my rotation! Thx!!

    1. That’s great! I’m very pleased it was easy and delicious for you, thanks for sharing. : )

    2. Tami Reid says:

      5 stars
      I’m house sitting for a friend and haven’t gone grocery shopping yet. I Googled the words cheese, pasta, tomatoes, spinach, garlic. These ingredients are in her fridge. your recipe appeared. I made it. Thank you so much. Dinner was enjoyed immensely.

    3. What a wonderful comment, Tami!
      I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed it, thanks a lot for sharing. : )

  4. 5 stars
    This was delicious! I needed a way to use up a Costco size container of cherry tomatoes & this was perfect. I was worried about not having meat & served cold chicken skewers on the side (lol) but the whole family including hubby loved it & didn’t miss the meat bc it was so flavorful.

    1. I’m so pleased, thanks so much for sharing, Sue!
      Have a great weekend. x

  5. Olga Marie Miranda says:

    I don’t have basil. Can I put oregano or Italian seasoning?

    1. Hi! Yes, Italian seasoning is ok, but I would use less than 1/2 teaspoon. Alternatively, skip the dried herbs.
      Cheers x

  6. 5 stars
    I made tonight and it was delicious. Thank you for the recipe. Will definitely make it again.

    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to share your feedback, Mary!
      I’m so pleased to hear you it turned out delicious. : )

  7. Bernadette says:

    5 stars
    Thank you for this recipe, its so quick and easy. I have used it a lot now I have found it and my guests agree its lovely too.

    1. I’m glad you loved this recipe, Bernadette. : )

  8. 5 stars
    Oh, so delicious! What a easy to make, simple ingredient, satisfying dish! I had to add chick (dh believes he has to have meat in a every dish 🙄). But this would have been just as delicious without.

    1. Hi Megan! I’m so happy to hear it was delicious, thanks so much for taking the time to share your lovely feedback. Cheers x

  9. 5 stars
    We love it, I’ve made it twice already. Thanks for the recipe Katia.

    1. You’re very welcome! Thanks for sharing your feedback, Silvia.
      Cheers x

  10. 5 stars
    Thank you, this recipe is easy and very delicious, such a nice dish for a meatless day! x

    1. I’m so pleased to hear it turned out delicious, Jivan! Thanks so much for sharing your feedback.
      Cheers, K.

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