This Creamy Tomato, Mushroom, and Spinach Pasta tastes like an indulgent restaurant dish but has less than 300 calories and is ready in thirty minutes.
Some nights a big bowl of pasta is all I want and with the right recipe, I can make it work without fearing that my diet will go off the rails. Normally, when seeking out pasta recipes, I look for something with lots of vegetables.
This creamy pasta with spinach and tomatoes hits the spot when it comes to healthy and super comforting meals. We serve it alongside this kale caesar salad and, if we’re extra hungry, I add some lemon chicken to the recipe as well.
It’s packed with lots of veggies – diced tomatoes, spinach, and mushrooms – and then paired with a simple creamy sauce made with light cream cheese and parmesan cheese. It also can be made in about 20-25 minutes so it’s perfect for a busy weeknight.
The other thing I love about this creamy spinach pasta recipe is that once you learn how to make it, you can make simple variations to create all kinds of yummy creamy pasta dishes. I am including some ideas down below!
What You’ll Need
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this tasty spinach mushroom pasta dish at home:
- Pasta: High fiber or whole wheat noodles are preferable to help you stay satisfied and full longer.
- Olive Oil: Just a couple of tablespoons helps prevent your pasta from sticking together and cooking into one huge glob.
- Onion and Garlic: I love the way that fresh onion and garlic taste - especially in pasta dishes! The flavor of fresh onions and garlic is always stronger and better than what you get when you use the dried equivalent. That said, if you prefer to use or need to use dried onions and garlic, this mushroom and spinach pasta will still taste delicious!
- Mushrooms: Fresh mushrooms are better than canned in this recipe. You can even save some time on slicing mushrooms by purchasing them from the store pre-sliced!
- Tomatoes: Using a can of diced tomatoes saves you time on dicing fresh tomatoes, tastes just as good, and enables you to make this delicious tomato mushroom spinach pasta any time of the year.
- Tomato Paste: This gives your pasta dish a rich tomato-y flavor and thickens your sauce.
- Red Pepper Flakes: You can use any amount, according to your preferences. You can also leave this out entirely if you don’t want to make your pasta spicy.
- Cream Cheese: I prefer to use light cream cheese to keep the calories and fat down, but if you don’t need to do that, regular cream cheese would definitely be yummy!
- Parmesan: I include just enough to add a little salty, nutty, cheesy flavor to the dish.
- Baby Spinach: Use fresh leaves only. They quickly soften and wilt down while still remaining light and fresh. Using frozen spinach would water down your dish and look very unappetizing in this ultra-fresh recipe.
- Basil: I can’t recommend using fresh basil leaves enough. Their flavor is much stronger and they lend a delicious aroma to the dish.
Note: For a full list of ingredients and detailed instructions on how to make this mushroom spinach pasta, check out the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post!
Recipe Tips and Ideas
Here are a few ideas for adding variety to this dish…
- Gluten-free: This recipe is a snap to make gluten-free. All you need to do is swap out the wheat pasta for gluten-free pasta. I love the chickpea kinds of pasta that have been hitting the market in the last couple of years!
- Extra cheese: A little extra parmesan, mozzarella, or some feta on top adds some nice flavor.
- Change the protein: I am constantly switching out the veggies, adding things like chicken or shrimp, and playing with the spices. It's really versatile and it's hard to beat this rich and creamy tomato cream sauce.
- Low carb: If you are looking for a lower-carb option, I also make it with spaghetti squash and sausage and it comes out amazing.
- Different vegetables: Consider this recipe a blank canvas when it comes to vegetables - almost anything will work! I have tried making it with broccoli, cauliflower, and asparagus.
- Frozen vegetables: If you want to use frozen vegetables, that will work as well. Just be careful with frozen vegetables like spinach that release a lot of water since it can result in a watery sauce. For those veggies, I recommend defrosting them beforehand squeeze out as much water as you can.
Frequently Asked Questions About this Pasta With Spinach and Tomatoes
Here are some common questions I get asked by some readers…
How can I add protein to this pasta?
If you want to bulk up this recipe and add some extra protein, it's really easy to do. The flavor profile works with almost anything, so there are tons of options! Here are some of my favorite options.
- Chicken: Chicken is a natural fit for this recipe. I would recommend cutting it into strips and then cooking it in a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Once it is just cooked through, set it aside and follow the recipe as written. Add it back in with the pasta. For a faster option, you could add rotisserie chicken or store-bought grilled chicken strips.
- Shrimp: Another quick and tasty option is shrimp. Cook it in a touch of olive oil or butter beforehand. Then, set it aside and follow the recipe as written. Add it back in with the pasta and serve.
- Ground Turkey: Start by browning the turkey with olive oil and onions. Drain any excess fat and then add the garlic and follow the rest of the recipe. This would also work with ground beef or ground chicken. Make sure to season the meat with salt and pepper!
- Chicken or Turkey Sausage: I love adding lean sausage to dishes since it already comes packed with flavor. You can use ground sausage in the same way you would use ground turkey. For sausage links, cook them first until browned and set aside. Then, add them back to the dish with the spinach.
- White Beans or Chickpeas: For a vegetarian option, you could white beans or chickpeas. I like to cook them in the tomato sauce so they take on more flavor. Add them at the same time you add the diced tomatoes. Make sure to drain and rinse them well before adding them.
Can this recipe be prepped ahead of time?
Pasta dishes can be a bit tricky for meal prep since pasta doesn't always reheat well. If you want to make this for meal prep, I have a few recommendations.
- First of all, cook the pasta al dente so that when you reheat it, it doesn't turn into mush.
- I also recommend using a lot of sauce when you meal prep pasta since it helps the pasta from drying out. This means you may want to add some extra diced tomatoes.
- Pro Tip: The pasta will soak up some of the sauce so you want extra if you will be refrigerating it.
Can I make this pasta dish vegan?
It is actually surprisingly easy to make a vegan version of this dish since there are lots of great options when it comes to vegan cheeses on the market.
Just replace the cream cheese with your favorite vegan cream cheese. Then, use either a vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast instead of the parmesan cheese.
More Delicious Pasta Recipes You’ll Love
Creamy Tomato, Mushroom, and Spinach Pasta
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- 8 oz. high fiber pasta (or whole wheat)
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 1 cup onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
- 1.33 cups canned diced Italian tomatoes (not drained)
- 2 tbsp. tomato paste
- 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 2 oz. light cream cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- 4 cups fresh baby spinach
- 1/4 cup basil
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- Nutritional Information
Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 4-6 minutes until becoming translucent. Add the garlic and mushrooms and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the tomatoes with juice, tomato paste, and red pepper flakes. Stir in the cream cheese and Parmesan. Stir to create a creamy sauce. Add the pasta water as needed to thin out the sauce, start with 1-2 tbsp. and add as needed.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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