Creamy, cheesy and full of flavour this spinach and artichoke pasta bake is one of my family's favourites. It's perfect for making ahead and great for a tasty weeknight dinner.
This baked spinach and artichoke pasta is creamy, cheesy and perfect for a tasty weeknight dinner. It's really easy to make and is ready in about an hour. Making it perfect for a tasty weeknight dinner.
We love a good pasta bake, they're a regular on our weekly dinner rota. And while this broccoli pasta bake is our no. 1 go-to pasta bake I wanted to switch it up a bit.
This spinach and artichoke pasta has everything I love in a pasta bake, it's creamy and cheesy but above all else, it's very tasty! Plus it's great for getting the kids to eat so much spinach!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- That creamy cheese sauce! With plenty of garlic and a hint of thyme, this sauce is so delicious!
- This is a great family dinner! Everyone in my family loved this, even my spinach hating daughter!
- It's so easy to make! This really is one of the easiest pasta bakes to make. Just cook the pasta, make the sauce adn pop it in the oven!
What You'll Need
- Pasta - I use rigatoni but penne or fusilli will work too. You can also use wholewheat pasta if you like.
- Spinach - baby spinach is best for this recipe, especially if you're serving it to kids. Baby spinach is milder in flavour than spinach.
- Artichokes - I use canned artichoke hearts for this recipe, you can use deli artichokes if you prefer. Canned artichokes will be cheaper.
- Cheese - you will need cream cheese, a vegetarian parmesan style cheese, I use a vegetarian pecorino, and mozzarella. You can use full fat or light plain cream cheese, I use light cream cheese.
- Cream - double or heavy cream is best for this pasta bake. I have made this with single or light cream which worked well so if that's what you have then use it. However, double cream will give you a richer sauce.
- Other ingredients - you'll also need a brown onion, fresh thyme, garlic, olive oil and slat and black pepper.
How To Make Spinach Artichoke Pasta Bake
Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions minus 1 minute. Cook the onion in oil until it's translucent. Add the garlic, cook for a minute then add the spinach and cook until wilted.
Next, stir in the chopped artichokes and cook for a minute or two.
Now add the cream cheese, and stir until it melts. Then stir in the grated pecorino.
Pour in the cream and stir well. Simmer for a couple of minutes and season well. Add about half a cup of
Next, add the cooked and drained pasta to the pan and stir it into the sauce.
Tip the pasta mixture into a large casserole dish, and top with grated mozzarella and pecorino. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes then remove the foil and cook for another 10 minutes until the top is golden brown. Leave to cool slightly before serving.
- Undercook the pasta, just slightly undercooking the pasta will give you perfectly soft but not soggy pasta.
- Adding pasta water to the sauce will give you a smooth sauce that will stick to the pasta. So add about half a cup of the water from the cooking pasta or reserve half a cup before you drain it.
- Covering the pasta bake before you put it in the oven will stop your sauce from drying out and the pasta from getting too hard. Just remember to take the foil off at the end for about 10 minutes to get that golden brown cheesy goodness.
Variations and Substitutions
- This pasta bake recipe is very versatile you can add in some extra veggies if you like. Mushrooms are a great addition to this as is courgette.
- Don't like spinach? Try kale instead! I would chop and steam the kale first before adding it to the sauce.
- This pasta is really good even if you don't bake it! Just mix the sauce and pasta and serve!
Yes, you can. Just assemble the pasta bake, don't add the grated mozzarella and pecorino at the end. Make sure you use a freezer suitable dish or use individual portion dishes. Wrap the pasta bake in plastic wrap then wrap it tightly in foil. Freeze for up to 2 months. Pop it in the oven frozen and bake until hot then add the cheese and bake for a further 10 minutes.
If you have any leftovers, leave them to cool then pop them in the fridge and use them within two days. I reheat mine in the microwave.
This recipe is great for making ahead. You can make it a day ahead if you like, I usually make it earlier in the day. Assemble the pasta bake but don't add the cheese until you are ready to cook it. Keep it in the fridge, covered, once cooled.
More Tasty Pasta Bakes
We love our pasta bakes and I have a few on the blog that I use on a regular basis. This veggie fajita pasta bake is always a winner in my house, my family loves the twist on regular fajitas! Another favourite is my spinach and ricotta pasta bake, this is a lovely creamy tomato-based pasta dish, perfect comfort food! And if you want something for a dinner party then this stuffed shell pasta dish with butternut squash is just the ticket!
Spinach and Artichoke Pasta Bake
- 350 g / about 4⅓ cups of pasta (dry weight) I used rigatoni
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium brown onion finely chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic finely chopped or put through a garlic press
- 170 g / about 5½ cups of baby spinach
- 1 x 390g / 13.75 oz can of artichoke hearts (drained weight 240g/8.5oz) squeeze any liquid from the artichokes and roughly chop them.
- 1 x 280g /8oz tub of cream cheese I used light cream cheese
- 60 g /¼ cup of pecorino cheese finely grated
- 100 ml /½ a cup of double cream (heavy cream)
- 1 x 125g / just over ½ an 8oz ball of fresh mozzarella cheese grated
- ½ teaspoon sea salt divided in two
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan.Add the chopped onion along with a pinch of sea salt and cook for about 15 minutes, until the onion is translucent and springy.Add the garlic and cook for a minute.
- Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions, minus a minute.Reserve about half a cup of the pasta water before you drain it.
- Next, add the spinach to the onion and cook until wilted slightly. Then add the chopped artichokes. Cook for a couple of minutes.
- Now add all the cream cheese and stir until it has melted into the spinach mixture. Then add ¾ of the grated pecorino, stir until melted.
- Slowly pour in the cream, stirring it into the cheesy spinach and artichoke mixture. Now slowly add the pasta water to the sauce, again stirring all the time.Season with ¼ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper.
- Once you have drained the cooked pasta, add it to the saute pan and toss it gently in the sauce.Tip the pasta into a large casserole dish, top with the grated mozzarella and the remaining pecorino.Cover the dish with foil and bake in the oven at 180°C / 350°F for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes remove the foil then cook for a further 10 minutes until the cheese is golden and the sauce is bubbling.Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly before serving.
- Pasta - I used rigatoni pasta, most short pasta will work for this recipe.
- Cream Cheese - I used a light cream cheese, if you use full fat then please adjust the nutritional information accordingly.
- Casserole Dish - my casserole dish measured 30cm/12 inches long, 20cm/8 inches wide adn had a depth of 6.5cm/2.5 inches.
- Nutritional Information - is approximate and is calculated using an online nutrition tool.
- Weights and measurements - For US readers, I use Cuisipro measuring cups and spoons, and a Pyrex measuring jug for liquids. These are the industry standard. Cup/spoon volumes can differ from brand to brand, for accuracy, I recommend weighing all ingredients using a digital scale if possible, for best results.