Italian Fusilli with Spinach, Artichokes, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Capers, Garlic, and Pine Nuts! This meatless, vegetarian pasta dish has only 8 ingredients and takes 30 minutes to make!
This fusilli pasta recipe was inspired by Italian ravioli I made some time ago. It features the same ingredients: spinach, artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, and capers. So refreshing and Mediterranean! I loved cooking with fusilli. This spiral pasta is so pretty when combined with veggies! It's a perfect recipe if you want to make a delicious, meatless, vegetarian dinner. If you crave some protein, you can easily turn this fusilli into something more substantial. Just make easy seared chicken or this Mediterranean chicken. If you like seafood, add pesto shrimp or seared scallops.
Why you'll love this Italian pasta
- 30-minute recipe. To make this easy recipe, first, saute spinach together with other veggies in the skillet. Then, combine it with cooked and drained fusilli. And, finally, sprinkle toasted pine nuts over the pasta, if you like. That's it! Pretty simple! 30 minutes from start to finish!
- Packed with veggies. This is a healthy fusilli recipe since it has so many veggies. Spinach, artichokes, and sun-dried tomatoes taste amazing when combined together!
- Beautiful presentation. This is one of those recipes that you don't have to work hard to make them look pretty on a plate. With so many colorful vegetables, it's easy to make this dish look beautiful!
What is fusilli?
- Fusilli is a spiral-shaped Italian pasta. It is also described as a corkscrew-shaped pasta. Twists help fusilli to retain sauces better.
- Fusilli is often used for pasta salads and with tomato-based sauces. It also works great with vegetables.
- What is a good substitution for fusilli? Use rotini or farfalle. You can also use penne or rigatoni.
- What is a good substitute for spinach? Swiss chard has dark green leaves and an earthy flavor. It belongs to the same family as spinach, and you can use it to replace spinach in recipes. Arugula also has green leaves but a lighter flavor than spinach or Swiss chard. Arugula wilts just like spinach and is great to use for cooking. Another alternative for spinach is kale.
- What to substitute for capers? Use pitted green olives. Chop them up into smaller pieces.
Fusilli vs rotini
- Both fusilli and rotini are short, corkscrew-shaped pasta. They look similar; however, rotini has a tighter twist than fusilli.
- Both types of pasta are popular in pasta salads, with vegetables, or with tomato-based sauces.
Sauces that go well with fusilli
If you wish to add sauce to fusilli dish, below are some ideas:
- Carbonara sauce is usually made with egg, cured pork (such as pancetta or bacon), and grated cheese. Usually, Parmesan cheese or Pecorino Romano cheese are used.
- Bolognese sauce is a tomato-based sauce with sausage or minced beef. Italian Bolognese pasta will be great with fusilli.
- Creamy pesto sauce works so well with short pasta. You can make this pesto chicken pasta recipe with fusilli.
- Alfredo sauce is a creamy sauce made with Parmesan cheese. It's perfect for short, spiral-shaped pasta. Here is the recipe for chicken broccoli alfredo that you can make with fusilli. You can keep the chicken or omit it if you would like a meatless dish.
What to serve with fusilli
- Garlic bread. Buy garlic bread at the store or make your own. You can also serve olive bread or a baguette.
- Simple salad. Make a basic salad, such arugula or spinach salad mixed with olive oil, black pepper, and shredded Parmesan cheese.
How long do you cook fusilli
- Usually, fusilli is cooked for 10 minutes in a large pot of boiling water. Also, make sure to follow the package instructions, as some kinds of pasta take shorter or longer times to cook.
- To make pasta al dente, cook fusilli in a pot of boiling water for 2 minutes less than what the package instructions say.
How to toast pine nuts
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Spread the pine nuts in one layer over the parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Roast for 5 minutes.
- Note: pine nuts get burned really quickly. Watch them closely and remove promptly from the oven.
Why toast pine nuts?
Pine nuts have a sweet, almost buttery flavor. When toasted, that flavor gets even stronger. Toasted pine nuts are also crunchy.
How to make fusilli with vegetables
1) To a large skillet, add minced garlic, chopped sun-dried tomatoes, chopped artichokes, and capers with olive oil. Cook for 2 minutes.
2) Add fresh spinach.
3) Cook until the spinach wilts.
4) Add cooked fusilli and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cook on medium-low heat, stirring, for about 1 minute.
5) When serving, top with toasted pine nuts.
Other delicious pasta recipes to make with fusilli
- Italian Sausage Pasta with Vegetables
- Pesto Chicken Pasta with Mushrooms
- Rigatoni Pasta with Chicken and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Fusilli with Spinach, Artichokes, Sun-Dried Tomatoes
- 8 oz fusilli pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes chopped
- 1 cup artichoke hearts chopped
- 3 tablespoons capers drained
- 5 oz spinach fresh
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ⅓ cup pine nuts toasted
- Cook fusilli until al dente. Drain.
- In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil on medium heat. Add minced garlic, chopped sun-dried tomatoes, chopped artichokes, capers. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Add fresh spinach, and continue cooking and stirring until the spinach wilts.
- To the skillet with sautéed vegetables, add cooked fusilli and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cook on medium-low heat, stirring, for about 1 minute.
- The dish should be salty enough from capers. If it's not, add more salt (or capers), if needed.
- When serving, top with toasted pine nuts.
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed. It should not be used as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Really great and simple recipe, I tend to like adding more toppings than the recipe just because it’s more flavourful. It’s my favourite summer dish!
Clare, I am so flattered by your comment. Happy to hear it's one of your Summer favorites!
Just made the recipe with the ravioli. Delicious and simple.
Myrna, yes, this recipe works beautifully both with pasta and ravioli!
Can I make this ahead of time? Plus, is there a caper replacement, like olives??
You can make this ahead, refrigerate it, and then serve it at room temperature, as a pasta salad. Yes, you can use olives instead of capers.
I see that it can be served hot or room temperature. I love all of your recipes!!!
Judith, thank you so much for your comment! I really appreciate it! 🙂
Mary Jo Yglesias
Excellent! I loved it!
Glad you enjoyed it! 🙂
I also added dried oregano and basil. Looks like there’s some in the photo.
Yes, I did add some mixture of dried herbs!
Amazingly flavorful and easy.
Thank you so much, Laurie! 🙂
This is a lovely recipe! However, I do not recommend using lentil pasta (like I did D:) for this, as it soaks up liquid and makes the dish too dry. Nonetheless the flavor combo is delicious and I will make it again. I suggest adding quite a bit more veggies though, and a grating of hard cheese on top if you’re not vegan. The pine nuts are delicious but if you can’t afford them, definitely make it anyway.
Anna, those are such great and helpful tips - thank you! Adding more veggies is always good, and freshly grated hard cheese over pasta is delicious!
I would love to add a protein to this meal. Would shredded chicken work? Maybe two cups?
Yes, that sounds delicious! Rotisserie chicken would work great, too!
Is it good at room temperature?
Yes, this could be a great pasta salad at room temperature!
Going to try,yum! Do you use marinated artichokes or canned? Thanks
Hi Lori! In this recipe I used roasted artichoke hearts in olive oil - Seggiano brand - I bought them at Whole Foods. Enjoy!
Outstanding pasta dinner. However 8 oz of fusilli does not serve 4 as a main course. I used the whole box, 16 oz of fusilli. A 14 oz can of artichokes, a 12 oz jar of sun dried tomatoes, 3-4 T chopped garlic, sliced mushrooms (because I happened to have some and 8 cups of spinach.
We loved it! Will have leftovers cold as a salad. I’m going to try it with chicken next time. I might add 2 cans of artichokes. . I think the more spinach the better. I did not sauté the spinach. Added it to the cooked pasta with the other ingredients. It wilts quickly.
Lynda, thank you for such a detailed and thoughtful comment - it would be so helpful to other readers. Yes, this can be served cold as a salad. Adding chicken would be delicious!
Delicious! Definitely in my weekly rotation. Thanks for sharing!
Gena, I am so happy to hear that! 🙂 This is one of my favorite ingredients combinations!
Were the sun dried tomatoes in oil as well or without?
I used sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil.
I’ve made this several times. It is so easy and my whole family loves it. Sometimes I had Italian sausage. And I always double the amounts of everything but the pasta. This is hands down my favorite pasta recipe
Lilah, your comment made my day! So happy to hear this is your favorite pasta recipe. 🙂 I am flattered and I thank you for the 5-star review!
Going to try,yum! Do you use marinated or canned artichokes?