One Pot Spinach and Tomato Pasta

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This easy one pot spinach and tomato pasta is made in under 20 minutes all in one pot for an easy dinner and even easier clean up.

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This easy Spinach and Tomato Pasta comes together in one pot in less than twenty minutes with ingredients you likely already have on hand. Make it with your favorite pasta for a quick and easy dinner everyone loves.

I love making pasta dishes but I hate how many dishes it always entails. Seriously, you have of course the pasta pot and a colander. Then, you need a separate pot or skillet for the sauce (maybe more if you're making it from scratch), another pot or pan for your veggies, and then a pan if you're having any kind of garlic bread with it. Not to mention the bowls, plates, and utensils required to eat it and serve it all.

Thankfully, some genius figured out how to eliminate some of those dishes with a one pot pasta recipe. Cooking almost everything in one pot solves a lot of problems around space in your kitchen and on your stovetop, not to mention not having to do as many dishes. And, it's just as delicious if not more so because everything is cooked all together, so that means the pasta is infused with the sauce ingredients, instead of just being smothered by them.

If you're following along that means: no separate sauce, separate pasta, separate veggies — everything is cooked together in one pot and — bonus — usually for less than 15 minutes.

I have been experimenting with various recipes and so far one from Cooking Light has been one of my favorites. When I cooked it, the amount of liquid was perfect although some reviewers noted having to remove some liquid at the end. All in all, a pretty healthy and delicious pasta dish in about 15 minutes. This Spinach and Tomato One Pot Pasta is my take on it.

Tomato Spinach pasta in a bowl with wilted spinach, spaghetti, and parmesan cheese.

How do you make Spinach Tomato Pasta?

You're going to think the pasta won't cook. I thought that too. But have some faith in this recipe — it does work and it works beautifully!

First, what I do after chopping up the shallots and garlic is I add olive oil to a large pot and set it to medium high heat. I add the chopped shallots and garlic and cook that up for 2-3 minutes until it starts to fill the house with the glorious scent that is onions and garlic cooking together.

Next, I toss in the tomatoes, broth, spices, and pasta. I stir the pasta until it's all submerged in the liquid. (Don't skip this step or your pasta will cook unevenly.) I add a lid to the pot and let everything come together over a medium low heat. This takes about 7-8 minutes.

I save the spinach for last and add that during the final minute of cooking so it wilts but doesn't get too mushy. The spinach and Parmesan go in together. I give it another stir and let it stand for 5 minutes to thicken up.

How can I customize One Pot Pasta?

You can customize this easy pasta recipe lots of ways!

  • Use any old kind of pasta you like, but remember this recipe only has enough liquid ingredients to cook 8 ounces of pasta. If you use more than that, you'll have to adjust the rest of the recipe as well.
  • Instead of shallots, use white or yellow onions.
  • If you don't have spinach, then kale, Swiss chard, or another hardy green would work well in this dish.
  • If you would rather choose another veggie for your pasta, one thing I like to do is cook a bigger vegetable on the side like broccoli or cauliflower. If you are thinking to yourself, "Wait a minute, if I do that, that means another pot…" What I do is use a frozen, microwavable steam bag of veggies. Steam the veggies according to package directions and add it to the pot when you add the Parm.
  • If you'd like to add meat to this dish, I recommend cooking that on the side first (sorry, it does require another pan) or cooking it in the skillet or pot before you cook the shallots and garlic. Just remove the meat after it's cooked and set it aside. Then follow the directions as they go, in order, from there. Once you reach the last step, add the meat back in with the spinach and Parmesan. I love a good Italian chicken sausage in this dish.
  • You can use another hard cheese like gouda or romano if you like. You could also try a softer cheese like provolone or mozzarella.
  • Add in some herbs at the end, like basil, rosemary, oregano, or thyme.
  • Add in some store bought or homemade pesto to amp up the flavor even more.

One Pot Pasta with spinach and tomatoes twirled around a fork with Parmesan cheese.

Can I make this with frozen spinach?

Frozen spinach will work great in this recipe. Just make sure to defrost it first and then squeeze out all the excess moisture to ensure your pasta isn't watery. 

Can I add protein to this spinach pasta dish?

Many times I will add protein to this dish to bulk it up. Many times I will saute some ground turkey or ground turkey sausage to start the dish. Since these proteins don't overcook easily, you can saute them right in the pot and then just follow the recipe. This is also great with shrimp, precooked chicken sausage, or chicken breast, but you will need to cook it separately so it doesn't overcook.  For a plant-based option, consider adding some white beans or chickpeas along with the spinach. 

How much pasta is a serving?

To me, sometimes, I feel like a box of pasta could be a serving. Okay, I mean, that I'd really enjoy an entire box of pasta at times. But really, how are you supposed to measure out one serving of pasta?

According to the magical adults who make serving rules (I have no idea who they are, but I know they are out there), one serving of cooked pasta is 2 oz. if it's a first course or a side dish.

If it's the main dish (always) then the appropriate serving size is 3 to 4 oz. Or, you can measure the pasta in terms of cups, generally, a half a cup is considered a serving before cooking or one cup once cooked.

Because serving sizes of pasta are grossly underestimated (but yeah, pasta's not exactly the best food to eat if you're going to eat healthily), I like to load my pasta dishes with lots of veggies so I don't miss the extra pasta I definitely don't need.

Looking for more healthy pasta recipes?

The Recipe
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One Pot Spinach and Tomato Pasta

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  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 14.5 oz. canned diced Italian tomatoes (or tomato sauce for a smoother sauce)
  • 1.5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 8 oz. high fiber pasta (white or whole wheat)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 10 oz. fresh spinach
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan

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(Hide Photos)

Add the olive oil to a large pot over medium high heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes until fragrant.


Add the tomatoes, vegetable broth, oregano, pasta, and salt. Stir so that the pasta is submerged in liquid.


Cover and reduce the heat to medium low. Cook for 7-8 minutes until pasta is almost cooked.


Open and add the spinach and Parmesan. Stir in the spinach until it wilts. Let stand for 5 minutes to thicken.

Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 2 cups
Amount Per Serving
Calories 297
Calories from Fat 101
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 11g
Saturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 5mg
Sodium 971mg
Total Carbohydrate 56g
Dietary Fiber 9g
Sugars 7g
Protein 12g

* 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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About the authorMeet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
1 Comment
On One Pot Spinach and Tomato Pasta
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Jeanne Cafferata
February 18, 2020 - 19:14
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So good and easy! I added some crushed red pepper flakes and chicken apple sausages. The whole family really enjoyed this one.
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