Would you look at that? I made Christmas-colored pasta, completely on accident. I’m on a perpetual roasted broccoli and red bell pepper kick, you see, and got a hankering for some hearty pasta.
Here, freshly roasted broccoli and bell pepper collide with lots of delicious sautéed spinach, my favorite whole wheat linguine and some balsamic vinegar. Toss all that together with some magical reserved pasta water for a light, silky sauce, and we end up with high-contrast Christmas pasta. I love it.
This spinach pasta recipe is highly adaptable. Feel free to change up the roasted vegetables—just use whatever you have around, cut to similar sizes and roasted until tender. Or, skip the roasted vegetables for a very simple but very flavorful and hearty spinach pasta.
The recipe is easily made vegan and/or gluten free, and the leftovers are great, whether served chilled, at room temperature or warmed again.
My one request is that you serve this pasta with a great green side salad. It can be super simple with just fresh greens, your favorite dressing and a couple of add-ins. Just don’t skip it!
DeLallo, the makers of my favorite 100% whole wheat pasta, offer a product called Salad Savors that combine a few complementary salad mix-ins in one easy-to-grab package.
My fridge is full of Salad Savors right now, so I have no excuse not to include a side salad with each meal. The more greens, the better, especially during the holidays!
I had a hard time choosing which Salad Savors to use with this pasta, but ended up grabbing my favorite (called Crisp), which includes sweet red dried apple, shredded sharp cheddar cheese and toasted almonds. I just tossed those ingredients with fresh arugula and a simple, homemade balsamic dressing. It was remarkably easy and delicious.
Please let me know how this recipe turns out for you in the comments. I’m always so eager for your feedback, and hope you love my recipes!
Spinach Pasta with Roasted Broccoli & Bell Pepper
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 25 mins
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: Entree
- Cuisine: Italian
This healthy vegetarian pasta features loads of spinach and roasted vegetables tossed with light balsamic sauce! Feel free to change up the vegetables or skip them completely for a simple, hearty spinach pasta recipe. Recipe is easily vegan and gluten free (see notes). Serve with a green side salad for a complete meal. Recipe yields 4 large or 6 more modest portions.
- 1 large bunch of broccoli (about 1 ½ pounds), florets removed and sliced into bite-sized pieces
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced into 1-inch squares
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 ounces DeLallo Whole Wheat Linguine or spaghetti
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 shallot bulb, sliced very thin (about ½ cup, sliced)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 12 ounces baby spinach
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
- Optional: 1 ounce finely grated Parmesan cheese* (about ¾ cup, grated), plus extra for garnishing
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- To prepare the roasted vegetables (optional, skip for a more simple spinach pasta): Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup. Transfer the sliced broccoli florets and bell pepper to the prepared baking sheet, drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and toss until the vegetables are lightly coated in oil (add a little more olive oil if necessary). Sprinkle with salt, arrange the vegetables in an even layer and bake until the broccoli is tender and caramelized on the edges, tossing halfway, about 25 minutes.
- Once the vegetables are in the oven, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta just until al dente, according to package directions. Before draining, carefully reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water. Drain and return the pasta to the pot.
- To prepare the balsamic spinach, in a large Dutch oven (my 5.5-quart Le Creuset is perfect here) or large sauté pan over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil until shimmering. Add the sliced shallot, ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring frequently, until the shallot is translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 20 seconds. While stirring constantly, add several big handfuls of spinach at a time until they have wilted, then repeat until all of the spinach is in the pot. Once the spinach has reduced a bit but is still bright green in parts (this happens quickly!), pour in the balsamic vinegar and remove the pot from heat.
- In your Dutch oven or in a large serving bowl, combine the roasted vegetables and cooked pasta with the spinach mixture. Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil and optional Parmesan. Drizzle in about ⅓ cup reserved pasta cooking water and gently toss to coat. Season to taste with additional salt (mine needed about ½ teaspoon more) and freshly ground black pepper. Divide into bowls and serve immediately, with extra grated Parmesan on top for bonus presentation points.
Change it up: Skip the roasted veggies for a simple weeknight pasta that’s full of greens, or change up the vegetables used.
Make it vegan/dairy free: Use olive oil instead of butter and omit the Parmesan. This pasta is great without the Parmesan, but you could add a light sprinkle of nutritional yeast for some cheesy flavor, if you’d like. Another option for extra savory flavor would be to add about ⅓ cup freshly toasted pine nuts or sliced almonds.
*A note on Parmesan: I always get a few comments on recipes that include Parmesan (“It’s not vegetarian!”) but Whole Foods actually makes a great animal rennet-free Parmesan. There’s plenty of flavor in here without the Parmesan, if you’d rather leave it out.
Make it gluten free: Choose a good gluten-free pasta (DeLallo makes one!).
▸ Nutrition Information
This post was created in partnership with DeLallo Foods and I received compensation for my participation. Opinions are my own, always. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who support C+K!
Made this tonight and loved it! Added just roasted cherry tomatoes grown in our garden. Delicious flavours. Thanks.
Thank you, this was super easy to make and satisfying.
Anita from Canada
YUM. Easy to make.
And….I am trying to make use of the lemon infused oil I bought, so I used this instead of lemon juice.
I had lots of baby spinach to use up and this was the perfect recipe for it! The balsamic was delicious. I also liked its holiday colors. Enjoyed by all!
That’s great to hear, Lauren! Thank you for your review.
I recommend using sun dried tomatoes. Literally amazing.
Sounds delicious! Thank you for sharing, Tyler.
Made this last night, along with Kate’s corn & bean lettuce cups (okay, maybe not the most intuitive combo, haha). Used an extra Tbsp of Balsamic, and I definitely recommend going heavier if you already know you’re a balsamic fan. We also added some shitakes to the veggie mix, which was a nice textural addition. Got rave reviews from the fam :)
Just made this recipe, it’s so tasty and came together really quickly! I also used some cauliflower along with the broccoli– yum!
I’m glad you enjoyed it, Naomi! Thank you for your review.
Made this tonight, all your recipes are so delicious but this is so fresh and light and tastes like summer!
I’m glad you loved it, Sophie! Thank you for your review.
I’m not a vegetarian but made this last week as the ingredients were all I had in the kitchen that evening… and it was so good. For veggies, I only had a small handful of spinach, a yellow bell pepper, and frozen broccoli. Tossed it with some grated Parmesan cheese. The leftovers tasted even better, with all of the flavors blended together! Thinking of trying with sundried tomatoes next time…
Thank you for sharing! I’m glad you enjoyed it.
Just wondering…. How much protein is in this dish? Seems like vegetarian dishes lack protein….. what is that all about?
This s definitely a great recipe to add to… had everything I needed for it at hand…yeah!!
Hi Cintra! The nutritional information is below the notes section of the recipe.
If you need/want more protein, I bet a can of white or cannelini beans would go nicely in here.
Hi! I’m a 10 year old and I made this recipe, and it was one of the greatest meals I have ever made! Thank you so much for this recipe!
You’re welcome, Maggie! I appreciate your review.
I made this tonight for family Sunday Supper and we all loved it! I roasted yellow squash and zucchini as well and plated it by mixing the pasta with the spinach mixture, butter, and some pasta water, divided portions into pasta bowls then topped the veggies, Parmesan, and pine nuts.
OMG this was so tasty! I couldn’t find my balsamic, so ended up using seasoned rice vinegar on the spinach, and it was still delicious.
This is going to be a repeat for sure!
I’m glad you loved it, Gwen! I appreciate your review.
How did you know that there was a once-lovely red pepper, broccoli and a 1/2 bag of spinach in my fridge? This was a nice mid-week meal even without the salad. I did take your suggestion and add a sprinkling of sliced almonds just before serving. Was hoping for leftovers but not a chance. Thanks, Kate – another great recipe.
Super tasty and easy. Don’t normally take the time to review but this was yummy!
It turned out great. I loved it and will make it again.