Spinach Tomato Penne Pasta

Spinach Tomato Penne Pasta

Spinach Tomato Penne Pasta

A quick homemade red sauce full of yummy and healthy ingredients!

The Facts

In general, pasta cooked from a box is one of the staple quick dinner meals. Most of the time people whip this together with just store-bought sauce. This recipe proves it is not only possible to beat the flavor of that sauce, but to beat in less time than the noodles will cook for! This recipe is easy and affordable, all done from the time you put cold water on the stove to when those noodles are done to your liking.

In many recipes in this vein, homemade tomato sauce, it is common to start with oil and onions. We decided to expand on this idea and maximize flavor by infusing this oil as its heating, before any other ingredients get to it. A quick spice mixture is added to the hot oil so that when those onions do go on they are ready to absorb the flavorful oil.

This infused oil, onion and garlic mixture is the flavor powerhouse of the whole dish. Many recipes we analyzed either follow this workflow (though they put spice on the end) or rely on simmering all ingredients together to get the right flavor. Simmering or waiting for liquids to reduce costs time, though. By creating enough flavor right out the gate, there is no need to wait on simmering or liquid reduction.

All that’s needed is a tad bit of liquid to melt the cheese in. The tomatoes with their juice provided enough liquid to do this without diluting any flavor with added broth or water. Then, by the time the cream cheese is melted in the noodles are finishing up. Simply mix in the spinach, cheese and noodles and you are ready to serve!

Spinach Penne Pasta

Spinach Tomato Penne Pasta

Spinach Tomato Penne Pasta

A simple tomato and spinach pasta with cream-cheese ready in under 30 minutes.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4
Calories 400 kcal


  • 1/2 lb Penne Pasta
  • 2 tbsps Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Basil
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 Yellow Onion diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic minced
  • 1 14.5oz can Diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 2 oz Cream Cheese cubed for faster melting
  • 1 1/2 cups Spinach about 4 medium handfuls
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan shredded


  • Get water with a pinch of salt and olive oil to a boil for the penne. Add noodles when it comes to a boil as you are performing the next steps.
  • Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in large pan ove medium heat
  • Once oil is hot, add 1/2 tsp Dried Basil, 1/2 tsp Dried Oregano and 1/2 tsp of Kosher Salt to oil. Mix around in the heat for 1-2 minutes to infuse the oil with the spices
  • Once infused, but before spices begin to get dark brown add in 1 Large Onion, diced with 3 cloves of minced Garlic
  • Cook onions in infused oil until translucent, stirring frequently to avoid burning the garlic
  • Add in 14.5 oz can Diced Tomatoes and stir. Bring to simmer then turn heat to low
  • Add in 2 oz. of Cream Cheese (ideally cubed) and melt into the mixture.
  • Once Cream Cheese is incorporated add in 4 handfuls of Spinach with 1/2 cup of Parmesan and remaining 1/2 tsp of Kosher salt and mix.
  • Once mixed and Parmesan is melted turn heat off. By now the noodles should be done or just about to be done. Once they are add them into the sauce and coat.
  • Serve with extra Parmesan and fresh-baked bread if desired.
Keyword Cream Cheese, Parmesan, Pasta, Penne, Spinach, Tomato
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