Creamy Garlic Butter Pasta with Spinach

4.74 from 49 votes
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This Garlic Butter Pasta with Spinach recipe is made with fresh spinach and bow tie pasta tossed in a creamy garlic-butter sauce.

I told you once before that we eat pasta thrice a week. Some of our favorites include Garlic Butter Shrimp Pasta, Cheesy Chicken Orzo, Baked Eggplant Penne Pasta… you get the point.

Dutch oven with bow tie pasta and spinach.


Pasta Recipe with Garlic Butter and Spinach

This is my favorite pasta recipe! It’s an easy recipe for garlicky and buttery pasta with fresh spinach, and it makes for a quick and easy meatless main or healthy side dish your family will love. Mine sure does!

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. 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!!

Cooking garlic with butter in a skillet

How To Make Pasta with Spinach

I’m tellin’ you, never underestimate the power of a good pasta meal. This pasta with spinach dish is a once-a-week deal. As I mentioned, my other half is obsessed with garlic and even more obsessed with pasta. The man can live on spaghetti… and chocolate CAKE!

  1. Cook the pasta. Boil the pasta according to the directions on the box. I use Whole Grain Bow Tie Pasta and it takes about 12 minutes of boil time to get that al dente cooked pasta.
  2. Make the garlic butter sauce. 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?
  3. Toss in the spinach. Add mounds of baby spinach and cook until wilted.
  4. Put it together. Stir in the cooked pasta, add the cream cheese and milk, and cook until creamy and hot. Then, serve! 
Bow tie pasta tossed with spinach and served in a bowl.

Serving Suggestions

This 20-minute meal is completely foolproof. It’s 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! To make it even more satisfying, you can serve it with grilled chicken or toss in some salmon bites. For a dang good vegetarian dinner, serve these roasted artichokes on the side.

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.


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4.74 from 49 votes

Garlic-Butter Spinach and Pasta

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.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 serves


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

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.

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  1. Dawn says:

    I rarely rate recipes, but this was too good to not thank you for it. I expect that I will make this often. I did add a 1/2 box of cut grape tomatoes at the end for a fresh element, but I’m sure that it would have been delicious without them, too. I served it over spinach ravioli, because the more spinach the better, but I’m sure I will serve it over plain pasta as well.

    1. Katerina says:

      I’m thrilled to hear that you enjoyed the recipe so much, especially since you don’t often rate them! Adding grape tomatoes sounds like a delicious touch, and pairing it with spinach ravioli is a fantastic choice for extra flavor and texture. It’s great to know it’s become a recipe you’ll return to often! Thank YOU! 🙂