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Creamy Garlic Butter Pasta with Spinach

This Garlic Butter Pasta with Spinach recipe is made with fresh spinach and bow tie pasta tossed in a creamy garlic-butter sauce.

dutch oven with bow tie pasta and spinach.

My Favorite Pasta Recipe with Garlic Butter and Spinach

Easy recipe for garlicky and buttery pasta with fresh spinach. A quick and easy meatless main or healthy side dish your family will love!

One of the meals I’ve made for Goce every week for the last several years is this Garlic Butter Pasta. He is my pasta-obsessed husband, and even though he’s mainly low-carb, sometimes a boy’s gotta eat what he wants to eat. ? 

I add whatever leafy greens I can find – kale, spinach, chard – and suddenly it looks healthier and a lot more inviting.

What sets this pasta apart from other pasta dinners is that it’s without a heavy sauce, like alfredo. We are only dealing with butter and garlic, plus a pinch of cream cheese and milk.

cooking garlic with butter in a skillet

I’m tellin’ you, never underestimate the power of a good pasta dish. No… a GREAT pasta dish! This Garlic-Butter Spinach and Pasta recipe is seriously amazing.

I told you once before that we do pasta thrice a week; Garlic Butter Shrimp Pasta, Cheesy Chicken Orzo, Baked Eggplant Penne Pasta… you get the point.

How To Make Pasta with Spinach

This pasta with spinach dish is a once-a-week deal. My other half is obsessed with garlic. Even more obsessed with pasta. The man can live on spaghetti… and chocolate CAKE!

  • Boil the pasta according to the directions on the box. I use Whole Grain or Whole Wheat Bow Tie Pasta and it takes about 12 minutes of boil time to get that al dente cooked pasta.
  • Melt butter in a skillet; add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. (I actually just wait for the pasta to be done, then I drain it and use the same pot to melt the butter and create the sauce. Who needs another pot or skillet to wash, ya know whadda mean? ?) 
  • Add mounds of baby spinach and cook until wilted.
  • Stir in cooked pasta; add cream cheese and milk; cook until creamy and hot. 
  • Serve! 

Clearly, in order to enjoy this, you really need to love garlic. And butter. Cream cheese, too. Did I hear a ‘HELL YEAH!’?! Of course I did!!

pasta and spinach in a serving bowl.

This is a 20-minute meal that’s completely fool-proof and a perfect quick dish for weeknights that will please even picky eaters. And it is the fastest Olive-Garden-Chef’s-Special type of food you’ll ever make! 

How To Store Pasta Leftovers

Transfer cooked pasta to an airtight container; add a drizzle of olive oil and stir through. Cover and keep refrigerated for 3 to 5 days.


pasta and spinach in a serving bowl.

Garlic-Butter Spinach and Pasta

Katerina | Diethood
This Garlic-Butter Spinach and Pasta recipe is seriously good. Fresh spinach and bow tie pasta tossed in a delicious and creamy garlic-butter sauce.
4.97 from 28 votes
Servings : 4 serves
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 8 ounces bow tie pasta
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 8 ounces fresh baby spinach
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings, for garnish
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¼ cup milk


  • Prepare pasta following the directions on the package.
  • Melt the butter over medium heat in a large skillet or dutch oven.
  • Add garlic and continue to stir and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Add spinach; season with salt, pepper, and basil, and cook until spinach is wilted, about 1 to 2 minutes. Depending on the size of your skillet, you might have to cook the spinach down in batches.
  • Drain the cooked pasta and add it to the spinach mixture; add the cream cheese and milk.
  • Mix and stir until everything is well incorporated, and the cream cheese is melted.
  • Taste for seasonings and adjust accordingly.
  • Top with fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings.
  • Serve.


Calories: 385 kcal | Carbohydrates: 46 g | Protein: 11 g | Fat: 18 g | Saturated Fat: 10 g | Cholesterol: 47 mg | Sodium: 201 mg | Potassium: 483 mg | Fiber: 3 g | Sugar: 3 g | Vitamin A: 5882 IU | Vitamin C: 17 mg | Calcium: 112 mg | Iron: 3 mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

Course: Dinner, Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: easy pasta dinner, easy spinach pasta recipe, spinach and garlic pasta, spinach pasta recipe, vegetarian dinner recipes
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