Pasta bake recipe loaded with fresh spinach, tomatoes, garlic, parmesan and mozzarella cheese. This hearty and healthy vegetarian recipe is the perfect pasta dish for a busy weeknight. This recipe is super kid friendly because kids love baked pasta and cheese, even if you make sneak in some greens and make it a spinach pasta bake.
My 5 year old baby girl adores “ba-sketti” (or spaghetti for the rest of the world) but since she is 5, if it doesn’t look exactly like her adorable little mind thinks it should, then I have a problem. Hence my conundrum last week when I placed this gorgeous dish on the table for dinner after I had mistakenly told her earlier in the day that we were having spaghetti for dinner. She wasn’t too happy with the “yucky green pieces” that she saw but once I bribed her with some homemade french bread to give it a taste, she devoured her helping and had another after!
This baked pasta recipe is one that I had forgotten all about until I was doing some organizing of my recipe collection and I felt like a kid on Christmas morning when I found the well worn 3×5 recipe card with this gem on it. As a food blogger, I get so involved creating new recipes that I often forget about the home run classics that I’ve already got in my repertoire! I always love an easy pasta recipe and this really does come together really quick, so don’t be afraid to whip it up on a busy weeknight.
If you like this awesome pasta bake recipe, I know you will love my Italian Chicken Bake recipe as well so jump on over and print that fabulous recipe as well.Print
An easy pasta recipe that uses all your favorite vegetables then bakes in the oven to make all the cheese melted and golden brown!
- 1 pound box penne pasta
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tb olive oil
- 4 – 14 oz cans Italian seasoned tomatoes, undrained
- 16 ounces fresh spinach
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 C freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 8 oz mozzarella cheese, cubed
- Cook your pasta in salted water according to the package directions to al dente, then drain and set aside. Do not rinse the cooked pasta!
- In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat and when hot, add the onion. Sauté until the onion is beginning to soften, then add the garlic and cook for another 1 minute. Add the undrained Italian tomatoes, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Allow the sauce to simmer and reduce for about 15 minutes, until the sauce thickens. Add the spinach in large handfuls, mixing it in after each handful. Allow the spinach to wilt a bit and then add another large bunch of spinach, repeating until all the spinach has been added. Add 1/3 C of the parmesan cheese and mix it in before pouring the sauce over your cooked pasta.
- Before tossing the sauce with the pasta, add the cubed mozzarella cheese then combine until the sauce and cheese is evenly distributed. Transfer the pasta to a greased large casserole dish then sprinkle on the remaining parmesan cheese before placing under the broiler until the cheese browns on top.
- Serving Size: 1/10 th
- Calories: 339
- Sugar: 3 g
- Sodium: 561 mg
- Fat: 13 g
- Saturated Fat: 5 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 5 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 42 g
- Fiber: 4 g
- Protein: 18 g
- Cholesterol: 24 mg
Keywords: easy pasta recipes