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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.

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.
4.96 from 23 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 | Net Carbs: 43 g

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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96 comments on “Creamy Garlic Butter Pasta with Spinach”

  1. Love this recipe. My go to because usually have all the ingredients on hand. Cream cheese gives it the special touch. Just delightful.

  2. Oh my goodness this was so good! It is a keeper. The only thing I changed was the cheese. I didn’t have any so i used fresh grated parmesan. I tasted the spinach as it was cooking and I had to walk away or I was going to eat all of it lol. Thank you for passing this along.

    1. Can’t wait to make this tonight. Always trying to find meatless recipes. This sounds delicious and I have all the ingredients ☺️

  3. Avatar photo
    Jonathan Bryans

    I made this simple and tasty dish with just the suggested ingredients added….it was delicious and I am so glad it lasts for 5days in the fridge because its going to be my lunch with a few vegetable crudites like slices or red and yellow capsicum pepper, cucumber and celery just to freshen the mouth after a few spoonfuls of this lovely and healthy pasta dish. Spot on and many thanks!!!

  4. Made this tonight for my girlfriend and I. I decided to cook some shrimp and add it in as well. I’m happy I did because, while very delicious, this seems like it would need some texture without it.

  5. Super good.. I’d definitely double the spinach for my family. One person mentioned mushrooms and now I’m so excited to make this again soon.. We used fettuccine for pasta too 😋 made this is bbq chicken and baked sweet potatoes and it was a big hit.

  6. Lovely dish, I made this for the family, I had some uncooked bacon and mushrooms which I cooked before adding to the pasta. Wow it was something else, even my 4 fussy teens loved it.. best thing was, its so simple and quick to make.

    Thank you for this recipe

      1. I make a vegan version that I’ve made multiple times. I use vegan butter and 1/3 cup of vegan cream (nut pods) I pretty much double the amount of spinach. Strongly recommend to my vegan friends.

    1. Love the recipe and have been using it for ages now but has it changed? I don’t recall cream cheese or milk.

  7. Made this today & had to make more!! My family loved it! I cooked the spinach separately & served it with the pasta on top & some grated parmesan cheese.

  8. I made this recipe this afternoon and it was good. I minced the garlic and left it in the dish (I’m a HUGE garlic lover). Some modifications I’ll do in the future is to add shrimp, some lemon zest with a splash of lemon juice.

    1. Katerina - Diethood
      Katerina Petrovska

      Hi Jessica! Before preparing the spinach, and while cooking the pasta, I would suggest to first, take about 12-ounces of chicken breasts and cut them up into cubes and season with salt and pepper. Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add cubed chicken pieces and cook until chicken is browned on all sides and cooked through, stirring occasionally; this shouldn’t take more than 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and then continue with the recipe, beginning at step 2 in the instructions. I hope this helps! Let me know. Have a great Sunday!

  9. Just made this! I added mushrooms which I cooked right before adding the spinach. Thank you for this simple and yummy recipe! My mum and I loved it.

  10. I made this wonderful recipe today and I loved it!! It’s so simple and it doesn’t take a long time to make! Thank you!

  11. wondering if you’ve tried this a olive oil instead of butter & what you would think of doing it that way? thanks 🙂

    1. Katerina - Diethood
      Katerina Petrovska

      Hi Deb! Yes, I have done it with olive oil, and while it tastes just as great, it loses a bit of that butter-flavor. That sweet, kinda nutty flavor. BUT it’s still very, very good! 😀

    2. Cooking it now! Looking forward to the results. I actually just threw a bunch of spinach in because the amount wasn’t enough to be considered our “veggie” for the meal. So we’ll see if it’s over spinached!! Thanks 😌

  12. I made this today and it was simple and very yummy. I had left over meatballs so I added it. Only took like 10 minutes to make. Thanks for the recipe.

  13. Avatar photo
    Laura Dembowski (@piesandplots)

    This pasta looks like such a great dinner! Garlic is my fave! I would not discard the garlic – I bet it is soooooo yummy!

  14. I would love to win this! I would buy some back to school supplies and of course some awesome kitchen stuff to cook with 🙂 Thank you!

  15. Avatar photo
    Nami | Just One Cookbook

    We were shopping at Costco yesterday and we saw Christmas lights and tree ornaments in the store! We haven’t started decorating for Halloween and some kids (not mine anymore) are still in summer break. Crazy! By the way, love your simple pasta. Good fresh spinach will shine in this garlicky butter pasta. YUM!

  16. Avatar photo
    Natasha Rodriguez

    So glad I found this post again! I read about it in the email then forgot to save the email! Making this tonight! 🙂 Thanks for the recipe!

  17. Avatar photo
    Patti Edwards

    I am definitely making this dish soon!! We don’t eat enough pasta at my house. If I win the Target card, I know I’ll spend it all on dog stuff!

  18. Avatar photo
    Emily @ Life on Food

    We just bought a house. The dollars would go so fast at Target. I should get cleaning supplies but I think I would go for something in the Threshold line. So pretty!

  19. Take out the garlic—NEVER! That’s what attracted me to the recipe in the first place 🙂 Will try this soon.

  20. What would I spend the prize on? I’d probably go a little nuts in the kitchenware section 😉 and maybe some new shoes.

  21. Avatar photo
    Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen

    Sometimes the simplest pasta dishes are the best. Period. LOVE that ol’ al dente bite into bow tie (Farfalle) pasta, Kate! Thanks for sharing, my friend!

  22. Avatar photo
    Barbara Bradford

    I would spend the first of my money on some fresh spinach for your recipe. It looks fantastic. The rest of the money would go for towels, for some reason my towels have a way of disappearing.

  23. I was surprised to find that Target has the best prices on a lot of groceries, that is what I would get with the card

  24. Thanks for this quick and easy recipe, I am a pre-k teacher and we have been phasing in for the last 2 weeks but tomorrow,,,,all 20 wil be there!!! I already have my fav wine and a big old glass sitting on the counter but now I have a terrific, quick recipe for my dinner!! If I got the 100 dollar gift certificate I would head to the dollar section to get bunches of stuff for my classroom and to the kitchen area cause I can always find something I need at Target!!!!

  25. Cool $100 at Target I would be in dream heaven and I would love to get unusual items that I normally do not buy, things for my home and me, LOL I love their serving wear, glassware, tablecloths I would definitely be able to spend the gift card. And No I would not buy my groceries with it.. LOL

  26. There are a few things I would like for my kitchen and I love their seasonal home décor, so I’m sure I wouldn’t have any problem spending $100! Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  27. Avatar photo
    Nancy P.@thebittersideofsweet

    This so has my name on it! We have pasta probably 3 to 5 times a week, just depends. I am always looking for new ways to mix it up! Target! Woohoo! Can I live there? JK!

  28. Well, it’s Target…so I’d probably spend it on things I don’t need, as per my usual habits there. I would probably blow it on clothes or home decor!

  29. Avatar photo
    Maureen | Orgasmic Chef

    My husband isn’t too fond of pasta and I love it. Can I eat this at your house?

    I must have this! 🙂

    1. Katerina - Diethood
      Katerina Petrovska

      The Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of the post. The code wasn’t put in correctly earlier and that is why you didn’t see it, but it’s there now! 🙂

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