5-Ingredient Spinach Parmesan Pasta

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5-Ingredient Spinach Parmesan Pasta-you only need 5 ingredients to make this quick and easy pasta dish! Add it to your dinner menu today! 

5-Ingredient Spinach Parmesan Pasta

This post is sponsored by Kroger.

5-Ingredient Pasta

Are you stressing about what to make for dinner tonight or maybe you haven’t even thought about dinner yet? Well, if you need a quick and easy dinner recipe, you have to make our 5-Ingredient Spinach Parmesan Pasta. It is hands down one of our all-time favorite meals.

It is the meal we eat when we didn’t plan anything for dinner or when we are super busy and don’t have time or the desire to make an elaborate meal. It is also the recipe we make when we want plain, simple, GOOD food. Who says good food has to be complicated? You can make a delicious dinner with only five ingredients!

Spinach Parmesan Pasta Ingredients

Spinach Parmesan Pasta Ingredients

I love this recipe because it is made with basic ingredients that we always have on hand. I make sure we always pick these ingredients up when we are shopping at our Kroger store…or even better, I use Kroger’s FREE Grocery PickUp. They do the shopping and bring my groceries to my car. It’s a lifesaver.

Ok, back to the pasta! You will need the following FIVE ingredients to make this delicious pasta dish:

  • Pasta– We like to use spaghetti, but any pasta will work! Use whatever is in your pantry!)
  • Butter– The butter adds great flavor and I prefer it over olive oil in this pasta recipe, but if you only have olive oil, it will work.
  • Garlic– Use fresh garlic and not garlic powder for maximum flavor.
  • Spinach– If you don’t have fresh spinach you can use frozen spinach in pinch. Kale or arugula would also be good.)
  • Parmesan Cheese– Splurge and use good Parmesan cheese. Kroger always has a good selection.

That is it! This is a great pantry staple recipe. The ingredient list is simple, but the flavors are so good!

Easy Spinach Parmesan Pasta

How to Make Spinach Parmesan Pasta

Let’s get this pasta party started!

  • First, cook the pasta according to package directions. Make sure you salt your water and cook the pasta until al dente. Before you drain the pasta, make sure you reserve ½ cup of the pasta water! Drain the pasta and set aside.
  • Using the same pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add in the pasta and spinach. Gently toss and cook until spinach leaves are wilted. If the pasta starts to dry out, add in some of the reserved pasta water. We usually add about ⅓ cup. Stir in ¼ cup of the Parmesan cheese and toss until combined. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
  • Pour pasta into a large bowl. Garnish with additional Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

Pasta Variations

If you want to jazz up this pasta recipe and go beyond the five ingredients, here are a few suggestions.

  • Add in a little fresh lemon juice and lemon zest. The lemon will brighten up the pasta dish.
  • Want to add a protein? Stir in rotisserie chicken or cooked chicken. Chickpeas or white beans are also tasty!
  • Spice things up with a dash of crushed red pepper flakes.
  • Chop up some fresh basil or parsley and sprinkle it over the pasta
5-Ingredient Spinach Parmesan Pasta Recipe

Serving Suggestions

I am happy with a big old bowl of this pasta for dinner, but if you want a few side dish suggestions, here are our favorites.

5-Ingredient Pasta

More Easy Pasta Recipes

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5-Ingredient Spinach Parmesan Pasta

You only need 5 ingredients to make this amazing pasta dish!
4.65 from 92 votes


  • 8 oz spaghetti or pasta of your choice
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups packed baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • Add the pasta to a large pot of boiling salted water and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving ½ cup of the pasta water. Set pasta aside.
  • Using the same pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add in the pasta and spinach. Gently toss and cook until spinach leaves are wilted. If the pasta starts to dry out, add in some of the reserved pasta water. We usually add about ⅓ cup. Stir in ¼ cup of the Parmesan cheese and toss until combined. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
  • Pour pasta into a large bowl. Garnish with additional Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.


Calories: 352kcal, Carbohydrates: 45g, Protein: 14g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 34mg, Sodium: 305mg, Potassium: 393mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 4590IU, Vitamin C: 13mg, Calcium: 200mg, Iron: 2mg

Have you tried this recipe?

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I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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  1. I have all of these ingredients on hand. I love the way this looks and I’m sure it takes just as delicious. Thank you for sharing. 😀

  2. What a great simple meal that I usually have all the ingredients to make. This would be really good with a side of garlic bread. Nothing goes better with carbs than carbs 😉

  3. This looks amazing. I have been on a major spinach kick lately. I think my husband might run out though if I make another spinach dinner.

  4. There are nights where I just don’t know what to make for dinner. So, I’m really happy you guys posted this…I’m bookmarking this recipe right now…Happy Wednesday 🙂

  5. This looks delicious. Do you think it would work to substitute swiss chard? (I don’t have any spinach at the moment, but we’ve got lots of chard growing in the garden.)

    1. Yes! Just cut the pieces thin. I used perpetual spinach which is actually a variety of Swiss chard. We really liked it.

  6. I appreciate your work for making such wonderful recipe. Sure, I will try it on this valentine day for someone 🙂

  7. This looks so fresh and simple! I love those quick and easy meals you can throw together at the last second. 15 minutes?? I’m sold!

  8. We really enjoyed this dish!
    Just a few additions & tips from this Italian Mama. I started the Sauce before cooking pasta as thin pasta tends to stick together. So I made sauce in a different pan than boiling the Angel Hair (Also broke in half for easier eating).

    For Sauce used butter and olive oil to saute garlic, also a little red pepper flakes. After garlic lightly browned took off heat & added 1 Bag baby spinach (took off stems) to wilt.

    Added hot drained pasta and added a little chicken broth along with pasta water. Threw in little pieces of fresh mozzarella and grated cheese!

    It was inexpensive and easy to make and OH SO GOOD!

  9. Making this tonight!! I don’t cook much with fresh spinach, 5-6 cups, how many 5 oz bags of baby spinach do you think that will take? 1 or 2? How packed do you make the cups? Thank you!!!

  10. How well do you think this would work with spaghetti squash, I have to eat gluten free. But this does look so yummy.

  11. OMG! This was so good. 🙂 I made it this evening and it was the perfect side for my chicken piccata. The only change I made was with the pasta. I used a mini bowtie pasta instead. Oh, and I only had frozen spinach handy. But it still turned out awesome. It’s always nice to have another way to feed my little ones their greens. Thanks for sharing.

    1. I love the frozen spinach idea.Thank you. I was considering a switch up since the fresh spinach is harder to work with.

    1. So glad I find you, making it tonight love this pasta, I added what I have at home some sun dry tomatoes, and Italian sausage,I also had a lot of spinach. Thank you again. Looking forward to more of your recipes.I also love cooking and entertaining.

  12. I loved how quick and easy this was. Tonight, was my second time using this recipe. It comes out great each time. I used  thin spaghetti noodles both times btw. Definitely a staple in my book, thank you!!

  13. This is so quick, & delicious too! The spinach & garlic give the pasta a welcome flavor boost that doesn’t overwhelm the parmesan. I was actually making yum sounds as I ate it! 😀

  14. Wow, I thank you for this recipe. I was having one of those uninspired nights tonight. I had a bag of spinach and not much else. I did have all the ingredients for this however. I ended up throwing some grape tomatoes in at the end for a little color. I will keep this recipe in mind.

  15. I added some tomato to it as well and it turned out quite nice. Have some salt and pepper ready though as it can be a bit plain.

  16. Just made this with a slight tweak.

    Added anchovy; cut back on the butter and used the oil from the anchovy to make up the difference.
    I can see Bruschetta working well too.

  17. I was very excited to try this recipe, as we love these flavors & it’s always great to add another quick meal to my repertoire. I followed the directions but my capellini rolled into a giant ball, resisting mixing with the other ingredients, even after adding pasta water. I am a pretty experienced cook but this wound up a textural nightmare. Next time I will either break the capellini into 2″ pieces or use linguini! Thanks for all the great ideas you post. 

  18. This looks perfect for the summer! I’m putting Spinach on my shopping list right now…

  19. Made this tonight- maybe used too much pasta but it needed much more seasoning- added EVOO and some homemade pesto for some extra flavor.

  20. Looks great–I got big flat leaf spinach from my co-op….can I tear those into small pieces and use them instead???

  21. We have done variations on this for several years now – simplicity itself! Only neg comment is 8 oz. is not gonna feed four people – not in this house. I would double the recipe – use a whole pound of pasta – and add yet more spinach as it cooks down so much. Plus it is a serviceable leftover. We sometimes bake the rest into a frittata with eggs. 

  22. 5 stars
    Super easy and tasty. I browned a handful of pine nuts in pan before the garlic step and put them then tossed them back in when adding parmesan. Yummy!

  23. 5 stars
    This is incredibly good – I can’t believe it’s that easy! We’ll be having this frequently – thank you !!

  24. 4 stars
    Really simple to make and tasty even as leftovers. I added some yellow cherry tomatoes as I needed to use them up and it was great! Will make again.

  25. 5 stars
    I made a couple small changes. I used olive oil instead of butter. I also used Romano cheese instead of Parmesan, just because my family prefers it. For the pasta I used the long spaghetti length Fussili. The spinach was gripped nicely in the corkscrew shaped pasta.

  26. I definitely will try this recipe for dinner this week. I need to buy the spinach or I would have made it today.  I was a little confused with the cups of spinach, I thought maybe it was supposed to be ounces & not cups. 

  27. 5 stars
    Made it, was delish. 
    Great recipe you can also build on , 1/2 tsp  chicken bouillon, little olive oil, peas, sprinkle cayenne pepper, s&p, mozzarella. I also reserved a  1/2 cup of pasta water to mix in. 

  28. 1 star
    Really excited to try this dish and was thoroughly disappointed. I felt as if the flavours were not balanced enough as the spinach added a very distinguish taste that overlapped everything else.

  29. I started to wonder what I did wrong because it didn’t have that wow factor for me. Then it hit me. I forgot to add in the cheese. I only had grated parmesan but this dish was delicious!

  30. 4 stars
    This is a regular around our house. I add much more garlic. Most of the time I brown a couple of seasoned boneless chicken breasts, slice them and add to the pasta. Also I often add some milk, sort of a fake chicken alfredo.

  31. 4 stars
    It was great, the kids loved it. I caramelized some onions in the butter before adding the garlic to give it a little more flavor. Overall though it was great

  32. 5 stars
    Perfect recipe for a meatless Friday. I used cheese tortellini in lieu of plain pasta and added yellollow squash!

  33. 5 stars
    This dish is so delicious! I added halved grape tomatoes. My whole family loved it as well. This will be my go to and I will add chicken or shrimp next time. Thank you! 

  34. 5 stars
    Yea so this was awesome!!! I added more garlic powder because I just love garlic but other than that it’s amazing I’m going to freeze half to enjoy it for a meal in the next week or so

  35. 5 stars
    I love this recipe..its a regular stand by at our home….I often add some store bought rotisserie chicken to make a quick meal after work. Absolutely delish!

  36. 5 stars
    Was really good as a base but no flavor really…. I added red, yellow, orange peppers, red pepper flakes and a pinch of cayenne…..really lovely ❤
    PS~Should have added tomatoes right at the end too!!

  37. 5 stars
    I just made this last night. I used Gemelli pasta (it’s curly). At the end I added spicy garlic oil and toasted pine nuts – fabulous. You can’t go wrong with this recipe. Thanks.

  38. This was SO good!! So super easy too. The only changes I made were:
    I added a few chopped up leaves of fresh basil and I cut up the spinach leaves too.
    Thank you for an absolutely delicious meal!

    1. Oops! One more edit to the recipe: I only used 2 tablespoons of butter. I didn’t need to add the left over water from the pasta though. It wasn’t dry at all.

  39. I love this recipe. However, I have a question! Whenever I cook angel hair (yum), the pasta invariably becomes one thick knot and I can’t get the spinach to mix in evenly. Usually the spinach just sits at the bottom of the pan apart from the pasta. How do I prevent this? Any advice is appreciated. Thank you, and delicious recipe!

    1. This happens to me every time I make it and using tongs doesn’t seem to make it any better. That being said, we LOVE this dish and make it often – even with clumps of spinach and pasta.

  40. This is such a great versatile recipe! I tweaked it a bit. I used olive oil instead of butter, added some red pepper flakes and used store bought shaved Parmesan and Romano cheeses. Threw in a little lemon juice. Thinking for a protein this would be so great with some Cajun blackened shrimp. Thanks for sharing!

  41. 5 stars
    Love love loved it. I had expected to have to spruce it up (with lemon or chille pepper flakes or basil or something) I DID NOT! the butter and the garlic and the parmesan made this fantastic. Sauteing the butter and the garlic and the spinach (and the cooked pasta) made the flavors blend so much better than other recipes I’ve tried. Yum yum yum (don’t skimp on the butter or parmesan or the salt, it is what makes it fantastic)

  42. So good. I threw in leftover charcuterie board meat from the freezer and was a hit. Thank you! Will definitely make agin.

  43. 5 stars
    This is such a simple, satisfying, and beautiful meal. What I truly appreciate is I haven’t wasted any fresh spinach, summer squash or mushrooms since finding this recipe. When adding veggies other than spinach, saute them with the garlic (and consider adding 1/4 of pine nuts) before adding the pasta and spinach to the pot. I often need more than half a cup of the pasta water, but this could be due to living at high altitude. Final comment: It’s the fresh parmesan that makes this dish. Use the good stuff. Grate it fresh.

  44. 5 stars
    I am blown away! I just found your recipe & made it for dinner tonight- it was so good I had to say something.
    I never knew I could make something so fast, easy & fabulous. It really is a delicious one pot wonder.
    Thank you for the great recipe!
    I am stuffed and need a nap now.

  45. 5 stars
    Very tasty. Made half the recipe for 2 but would increase the spinach to 4 C. The addition of toasted breadcrumbs on top or crunchy prosciutto would add some texture contrast.

  46. 5 stars
    Tried this two weeks. Quick, simple and delicious. I’m going to make again tonight but throw in some protein this time. A winner!

  47. This sounds great for a vegetarian quick meal with things already have on hand. Can it be made ahead of time? Thinking of making it in the morning for dinner later?
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. It’s such an easy meal! Sure, you can make it in the morning and reheat. I always like the leftovers.

  48. 5 stars
    I just made this for dinner and it is one of the easiest pastas yet so tasty. Only differences I did was added the red paper flakes and used coconut oil instead of butter.. It will be one of my go to’s. Thanks for the share!

  49. 4 stars
    This was relatively simple to prepare and tasty. I did add grape tomatoes halved. Next time I will add shrimp, think it will compliment this dish. I see others have the same idea.

  50. 4 stars
    This was relatively simple to prepare and tasty. I did add grape tomatoes halved. Next time I will add shrimp, think it will compliment this dish. I see others have the same idea.

  51. I was thinking about making this tonight. What is the recommended serving size and does it freeze well if I have left overs?

  52. 5 stars
    I made some changes. Used zucchini in place of mushrooms, skipped the cream and made a roux with flour, butter and 2% milk that I added to the veggies. Subbed canola oil for half of the butter and added about a cup of low fat cottage cheese for more protein. Turned out delicious and my kids loved it!

  53. 5 stars
    My family loved this dish. I forgot to save some of the pasta water to mix at the end of recipe. No problem, I used chicken broth. Loved it!

  54. 5 stars
    Have made this several times now with my own tweaks as this is a fantastic base recipe. I fry bacon pieces in the butter before adding the garlic, then squeeze in juice of a small lemon to give it a bit of freshness to the dish. Always goes down well with the family! Thanks!

  55. 5 stars
    I was short on time and had a whole container of spinach that was about to go bad. I have never cooked raw spinach before either so this recipe was a godsend and a perfect introduction for me. I had all the ingredients already and only took roughly 20min Did I mention it’s pretty healthy as well? Definitely an added bonus. I can’t thank you enough for sharing this, saving my sanity and my Monday evening.

  56. 5 stars
    I used “perpetual spinach” – actually a form of Swiss chard – and that was very good. I had also roasted veggies (butternut squash and cauliflower) and decided to put them on top – and that made this van awesome pasta bowl!!

  57. This was so super good. As a vegetarian, I’m always looking for new ways to spin old favorites and this is a delicious pasta dish. Thanks so much for helping bring another meal staple to my family table.