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Spinach and Artichoke Pasta Bake

This easy Spinach and Artichoke Pasta Bake is a rich, creamy, cheesy, and absolutely delicious meatless dinner that’ll have everyone coming back for more!

If you’re a fan of spinach artichoke dip (or even if you’ve never had it), you’ve got to try this pasta casserole that turns the awesome classic appetizer into one fantastic meal!

I’m talking spinach, artichokes, onions, and garlic in a delectable sauce made with chicken broth, heavy cream, cream cheese, and parmesan cheese. Then it’s mixed with pasta, topped with mozzarella cheese, and baked until bubbly and lightly golden brown.

I mean, come on. How could that not be incredibly delicious?

It’s a great way to introduce spinach and/or artichokes to those who might be a bit wary of these wonderful, good-for-you veggies. After tasting this, they might be willing to try them in another.

Heck, they might even end up loving them!

This is also a perfect dish for those times when you want a meatless meal, like Meatless Mondays, Fridays during Lent, or any day of the week!

And it’s easy to make. It’ll take less than half an hour to prepare/cook and combine all of the ingredients and get them into the baking dish. Then put it in the oven for 20 minutes or so. Let it rest for 10 minutes and then dig in!

a spoonful of spinach and artichoke pasta bake being lifted out of the baking dish

Ingredients you need:

Note: Exact amounts are in the recipe card below.

  • Cooking spray
  • Penne pasta
  • Butter
  • Olive oil
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Fresh spinach
  • Canned or jarred artichoke hearts in water
  • Chicken broth (I use water mixed with chicken base)
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Cream cheese
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Fresh parsley (for garnish, optional)

Here’s a look at how to make Spinach and Artichoke Pasta Bake:

Note: This is just a quick overview of the steps. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full recipe with detailed instructions.

2 images; one a graphic of an oven with text that says preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit; the other of cooked pasta in a colander over a pot with text that says cook pasta per package less 2 minutes, drain and set aside
2 images; one of onions being sautéed in a pan with text that says sauté onions in butter and oil until beginning to soften; the other of garlic and red pepper flakes added to the pan with text that says add garlic and red pepper flakes, sauté one minute
2 images; one of spinach added to the pan and being tossed with tongs with text that says add spinach, sauté until wilted; the other of artichokes added to the pan with text that says add artichokes, salt and pepper, sauté another minute
2 images; one of cream and other ingredients added to the pan with text that says add broth, heavy cream, and cream cheese, stir until cream cheese is melted; the other of parmesan cheese added to the pan with text that says add parmesan cheese, stir until it is melted
2 images; one of the pasta added to the pan with text that says add pasta, stir until well combined; the other of the mixture in a white baking dish with shredded cheese on top with text that says transfer to a sprayed baking dish, top with mozzarella
2 images; one a graphic of an oven with text that says 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly and; the other of the baked pasta resting with text that says cheese is lightly golden in spots, rest 10 minutes, enjoy

Tips & Tidbits:

  • Penne pasta is my favorite for this dish, but you can use other shapes like farfalle, rotini, ziti, etc.
  • Cooking the pasta for 2 minutes less than the package directions will help ensure that it doesn’t end up mushy (because it will continue to cook in the oven).
  • The crushed red pepper flakes add a nice subtle bit of heat in the background. Add more or less (or none) to suit your own personal tastes.
  • For convenience, I use one 8 to 10-ounce bag or container (whichever size is available) of pre-washed young or baby spinach. It’s easier to wash and the stems are usually small and tender enough that you don’t have to remove them.
  • Make sure to use plain artichoke hearts packed in water and not marinated artichoke hearts (which will change the flavor or the dish).
  • The sauce will be a little on the loose side when you are mixing everything together, but it will thicken up as the dish bakes in the oven and the pasta absorbs some of it. It will thicken even more during the 10-minute rest time.
  • This pasta bake is best straight from the oven, but leftovers are very good!
  • Store leftovers covered or in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days. Reheat, covered, in a 325°F oven until warmed through. You can add a small amount of water to the dish before baking to prevent dryness.
spinach and artichoke pasta bake in a white bowl with a fork

This pasta is rich and filling, and so I like to serve a smaller portion along with a fresh green salad tossed with a vinegary or lemony dressing – which nicely offsets the richness – and maybe some crusty bread too.

Want more meatless dinner ideas? Check out my 10 Simple and Delicious Meatless Dinner Recipes post or my meatless dinner category page for even more meat-free recipes.

I hope you try this Spinach Artichoke Pasta Bake recipe and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

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spinach and artichoke pasta bake in a white baking dish with a serving spoon and dishes on the side

Spinach and Artichoke Pasta Bake

This easy Spinach and Artichoke Pasta Bake is a rich, creamy, cheesy, and absolutely delicious meatless dinner that'll have everyone coming back for more!
5 from 1 vote
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Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Resting Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6
Estimated Calories: 534

Ingredients

  • cooking spray
  • 8 ounces penne pasta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions, about ½-inch pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional (add more or less to taste)
  • 8 to 10 ounces fresh spinach, washed, dried, and large/tough stems removed
  • 12 to 14 ounces jarred or canned artichoke hearts in water, drained and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup chicken broth, I use water mixed with chicken base
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, cubed
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • chopped fresh parsley, for garnish, optional

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Spray a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray (I use an 11x7x2-inch dish).
  • Cook the pasta in boiling salted water for 2 minutes less than the package directions (this shortened time will prevent the pasta from becoming overcooked and mushy, as it will continue to cook in the oven); drain and set aside.
    Note: To make the most efficient use of your time, proceed with the next steps while you are waiting for the pasta water to boil and for the pasta to cook.
  • Meanwhile, melt the butter and olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-low heat (I use an 11 or 12-inch skillet with 2-inch sides). Add the onion; sauté, stirring frequently, until they begin to soften, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and crushed red pepper flakes; sauté, stirring constantly, for one minute (don't let the garlic brown, as it can become bitter).
  • Add the spinach; sauté, stirring/tossing frequently, just until it is wilted, about 2 to 3 minutes (tongs work great for this step).
  • Add the artichokes and season lightly with salt and pepper; sauté, stirring frequently, for one minute.
  • Add the chicken broth, heavy cream, and cream cheese; cook at a very gentle simmer, stirring frequently, until the cream cheese has melted, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add the parmesan cheese; stir constantly until it is melted and the sauce is smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and add the cooked pasta; stir until everything is well-combined. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed.
    Note: The sauce will be loose at this point. It will thicken up as the casserole cooks in the oven and the pasta absorbs some of the sauce (and it will thicken up more as it rests before serving).
  • Transfer the pasta mixture to the prepared baking dish; top with the mozzarella cheese.
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly and the cheese on top is lightly golden brown in spots.
  • Remove from the oven; allow to rest for 10 minutes, then serve. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley, if desired.

Notes

  • Penne pasta is my favorite for this dish, but you can use other shapes like farfalle, rotini, ziti, etc.
  • I use one 8 to 10-ounce bag or container of pre-washed young or baby spinach. It’s easier to wash and the stems are usually small and tender enough that you don’t have to remove them.
  • Store leftovers covered or in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days. Reheat, covered, in a 325°F oven until warmed through. You can add a small amount of water to the dish before baking to prevent dryness.
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see it!Share it on Instagram, tag @nowcookthis and use the hashtag #nowcookthisrecipes. Thanks!
Recipe Rating




Michelle James

Wednesday 23rd of March 2022

What a great idea! I love the idea of combining those two together. I think I'd probably add some rotisserie chicken, too?

Michelle

Wednesday 23rd of March 2022

Thanks, Michelle! I think adding some rotisserie chicken (or other cooked chicken) is a fantastic idea!