What makes this Tomato and Spinach Pasta different from all the other recipes? This meatless, Mediterranean-style pasta is healthy and packed with fresh ingredients (cherry tomatoes, spinach, capers, kalamata olives, green olives, garlic, lemon juice)! This recipe has no cream, no heavy cream, no half-and-half. The pasta is smothered in a delicious lemon garlic butter sauce. The whole dish comes together fast in 30 minutes and makes a delicious and satisfying meatless main course. You can also serve it as a side dish with your favorite meats (protein). This impressive, restaurant-quality meal can be easily made at home! All you need are just a few simple ingredients and minimal prep.
Tomato Spinach Pasta
This pasta is one of those recipes that take only 30 minutes to make yet it looks fancy and presentable like a gourmet entree from a high-end restaurant. This home-cooked meal features fresh and colorful ingredients: tomatoes, spinach, garlic, olives, and capers. The fettuccine pasta is smothered with these fresh vegetables in a delicious lemon garlic butter sauce. It's perfect for a busy family weekday or date night. It quickly became a favorite meatless pasta dish among my family and friends.
Meatless main course or side dish
I love the versatility of this simple recipe. Tomato spinach pasta can be served alone, as a meatless main course. Or, make it as a side dish to your favorite proteins, such as this cilantro lime honey garlic salmon, or with pan-seared skinless boneless chicken thighs. It will also make a delicious side to garlic butter shrimp. This Mediterranean-style recipe is healthy, meatless, vegetarian, dairy-free, and packed with veggies. It can easily be made gluten-free by using gluten-free pasta.
Ingredients you need
- Pasta. I used fettuccine. My other favorite types of pasta are spaghetti, bucatini, angel hair pasta, and linguine.
- Olive oil. Use an extra virgin olive oil, as you will be gently cooking the vegetables with it so you want a high-quality olive oil.
- Butter. I added a small amount of salted butter only at the very end, on low heat, to create a light garlic butter sauce. Add more butter if you like.
- Garlic. I used a generous amount of garlic - 5 large cloves minced. The garlic really mellows down in flavor when cooked, and it definitely adds a ton of flavor to this tomato and spinach pasta.
- Lemon juice. I recommend using freshly squeezed lemon juice (about half a lemon) for the bright flavor!
- Tomatoes. I used grape (or cherry) tomatoes of 2 colors. They make a beautiful presentation. You can certainly use regular tomatoes, too.
- Spinach. I used fresh spinach that I wilted directly in the same pan as the rest of the ingredients.
- Olives. Use pitted kalamata and green olives.
- Capers add salty and briny flavor + create a beautiful presentation.
- Red pepper flakes add a little bit of heat.
- Salt and pepper - add those to taste!
- Fridge. Keep tomato and spinach pasta refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days! What's not to love?!
- Freezer. You can freeze this dish for up to 1 month.
How to reheat
- Stove-top. Reheat spinach and tomato pasta over low-medium heat in any kind of appropriately sized cooking pan. Add a small amount of olive oil when reheating, and stir often.
- Microwave oven. Reheat the leftovers in a deep, high-sided microwave-safe dish (bowl) for about 30 seconds. Remove from the microwave oven, stir everything well. Return to the oven and reheat for 30 more seconds or more, until heated through.
Can you freeze it?
Yes, this tomato and spinach pasta freezes really well since it doesn't have any cream or cheese. It's a perfect recipe for your weekly or monthly meal prep! While this meal can be frozen with tomatoes in it, you can also freeze it without the fresh tomatoes, and add them only when serving.
Substitutions, variations, and add-ins
- Pasta. I recommend any type of pasta with long strands, such as spaghetti, fettuccine, pappardelle, or linguine pasta. But, really, you can use any kind of pasta you like.
- Spinach. Use fresh or frozen spinach. You can also use kale or arugula.
- Add veggies. Add sliced bell peppers, mushrooms, asparagus, artichokes, or sun-dried tomatoes.
- Lime or lemon will work great. Freshly squeezed juice is always the best!
- Make this gluten-free by using gluten-free pasta.
- Cheese. Add grated Parmesan, Asiago, Mozzarella cheese, or crumbled Feta cheese.
- Add cream. Just a splash of heavy cream is enough.
What to serve with it
- A crusty slice of Italian bread (or olive bread) will be delicious with this tomato and spinach pasta. Also, serve a simple fresh salad. Here are some ideas:
- Greek Salad
- Simple Spinach Salad
- Beet Salad with Spinach and Honey-Mustard Lemon Dressing
- Italian Salad with Spinach, Arugula, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Artichokes, Cherry Tomatoes, Pine Nuts
- Avocado Mango Salad
Other meatless Mediterranean-style pasta recipes
- Greek Orzo
- Pesto Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Cucumber, and Mozzarella cheese
- Sun-Dried Tomato and Spinach Orzo
- Peach Pasta Salad with Arugula and Tomatoes
- Italian Ravioli
- Spinach and Mushroom Ravioli
Tomato and Spinach Pasta
- 12 oz pasta fettuccine or other long pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 10 oz cherry tomatoes red and yellow, halved
- 5 oz fresh spinach
- ⅓ cup Kalamata olives pitted, sliced
- ¼ cup green olives pitted, sliced
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice or more, to taste
- 3 tablespoons capers drained, divided
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package instructions. Drain.
- Proceed with the rest of the recipe while you wait for the water to boil and while the pasta cooks.
Make the sauce and assemble
- Heat a large high-sided skillet over low-medium heat. Add olive oil, minced garlic, half of the cherry tomatoes (saving the other half of tomatoes for later), and 1 tablespoon of capers. Cook on low-medium heat, stirring, for 4 minutes.
- Add fresh spinach, and cook for a couple of minutes on low-medium heat until spinach wilts.
- Add the remaining half of the tomatoes.
- Add sliced olives.
- Add cooked drained pasta and butter.
- Squeeze lemon juice over pasta and stir.
- Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of capers over the pasta. Season with salt, freshly ground black pepper, and red pepper flakes.
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.