What could be better than a 30-minute dinner? How about one that's also made in one pot and loaded with vegetables? This pasta checks every box.
If you're short on time, quick dinners are a life saver. And for me, the answer is almost always pasta.
We've shared plenty of quick pasta dinners before – like the sun dried tomato pesto pasta or one pot pasta puttanesca – and I love how fast, easy and flavorful they turn out. Pasta is the perfect vehicle for pretty much anything and today's recipe is just that.
With wilted spinach and sauteed mushrooms, this penne pasta recipe works any night of the week, can be easily amped up with your favorite protein, and works great for meal prep.
Ingredients for Spinach Pasta
Here's what you need for this creamy vegetarian pasta:
- Onions. These make a delicious flavor base for the pasta.
- Mushrooms. For a ton of umami. You can use your favorite kind of mushrooms, or a combination of several varieties.
- Garlic. Use fresh garlic for the best flavor. But in a pinch, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder will work.
- Hot pepper flakes. Feel free to omit these if you don't like spice, or add more!
- Vegetable broth. Use low-sodium store-bought or make your own.
- Penne pasta. You can use any short-cut pasta for this one-pot dish. If you're not vegetarian, feel free to use chicken broth!
- Spinach. I like baby spinach, but you could use chopped mature spinach too.
- Nutritional yeast. For that signature creamy, cheesy flavor with no dairy.
- Parmesan. Add some shredded cheese on top to serve. If you're dairy-free either omit this all together, or top with your favorite vegan parmesan.
How to Make Spinach and Mushroom Pasta
We love one pot pasta recipes because they come together quickly and don't require much clean-up. For this recipe, you'll just need a large pot with a lid (I love using my dutch oven), and that's it!
Saute the vegetables. Heat the olive oil in the pot to saute the onions and mushrooms. Cook the vegetables until the mushrooms release their liquid and the onions are softened. Then add the garlic and hot pepper flakes for a minute.
Add the pasta and broth. Once you've added the pasta and broth into the pot, bring everything to a simmer. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cover the pot. Cook for 11 minutes, until the pasta is al dente, stirring halfway through.
Stir in the spinach. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the spinach, then cover the pot and let it sit for a couple of minutes to wilt the spinach.
Add the “cheese”. Just before you're ready to serve, stir in the nutritional yeast and lemon zest. Serve your pasta up and finish it off with some shredded/grated cheese.
Can You Make Pasta Ahead of Time?
Yes, pasta can easily be made ahead of time. To make this dish for meal prep, you can store servings in air-tight containers in the fridge for up to four days. Reheat in the microwave and top with cheese to serve.
Best Protein to Add to Pasta
You can easily amp up the protein in this dinner. Here are some tasty toppings to round out your one-pot spinach pasta:
- Crispy Quinoa Chicken
- Balsamic Grilled Tofu
- How to Make Crispy Baked Tofu
- How to Make Crispy Chickpeas: 4 Ways
You could also cook pieces of chicken, tofu, tempeh, or shrimp in the pot before adding the veggies. Remove the protein, and proceed with the recipe as written. Then finish by stirring the protein back into the dish at the end.
More One-Pot Meals
- One-Pot Vegan Ramen
- One Pot Pasta Puttanesca
- Sheet Pan Miso Roasted Vegetable & Cauliflower Rice Bowls
- One-Pot Lentils + Quinoa with Spinach
If you make this One-Pot Pasta with Spinach and Mushrooms, be sure to let me know what you think with a comment below!
One Pot Pasta with Spinach & Mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion , sliced thinly
- 10 ounces baby bella mushrooms , sliced
- 4 cloves garlic , minced
- ½ tsp hot pepper flakes , to taste
- 2 tsp kosher salt , divided
- 5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 pound penne pasta
- 5 oz baby spinach
- ½ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- Grated vegan parmesan for serving , optional
- Heat the oil in a large high-sided skillet or pot over medium heat. Add the onion and mushrooms and saute until browned and the liquid is mostly released, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and hot pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant. Stir in 1 teaspoon salt.
- Stir in the vegetable broth, pasta, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium low. Cover the pot and cook for 11 minutes, until the pasta is al dente, stirring halfway through. Turn off the heat.
- Remove the lid and add the spinach. Cover and let sit for 2 minutes. Stir in the nutritional yeast and lemon zest and season to taste with salt and/or hot pepper flakes. Serve with vegan cheese.