As this past week came to a close, I still needed one more quick recipe to fill out our menu. I had already used up all but $7 of my $40 weekly grocery budget, so I knew I had to rely on things that were already in my pantry. I tend to collect half-used bags of pasta in my pantry, so I started there. I also had a couple of cans of quartered artichoke hearts that were purchased ages ago, but never got used. Jackpot! So, using the one-pot pasta method, I changed up the add-ins and made this 20 Minute Creamy Spinach Artichoke Pasta.
I love this creamy one-pot pasta because it requires so few ingredients and I pretty much always have them on hand. The variations really are endless, so that prevents you from feeling like you’re always eating the same thing. This time around I tossed in half a bag of fresh baby spinach and a 15oz. can of quartered artichoke hearts. If you’re into spicy, a pinch or two of red pepper flakes would have also been awesome in this.
Tips for One-Pot Pasta
Simmering the pasta in a mixture that contains milk can be slightly tricky, but once you get the hang of it, it’s quite effortless. There may be a slight learning curve because every stove top is a little different and cookware varies. The trick is to keep the liquid simmering on the lowest heat setting. If the heat gets too high your milk will curdle and your pasta will likely stick to the bottom of the skillet. But get the heat just right and stir every few minutes, and you’ll have a nice thick, creamy sauce in no time.
Can I Use Frozen Spinach?
Yes! If you don’t have fresh spinach, you can replace it with frozen spinach. Thaw the spinach completely first, then squeeze out as much moisture as possible before adding it to the pasta (or else your sauce might turn slightly green).
What Kind of Artichoke Hearts Should I Use?
You can use artichoke hearts packed in oil or water for this recipe. You can even use marinated artichokes that are packed in oil with spices. That will just add even more flavor to the pasta! Whichever type you use, make sure to drain them well and give them a slight chop to make the pieces a little smaller.
20 Minute Creamy Spinach Artichoke Pasta
- 2 Tbsp butter ($0.22)
- 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
- 1.5 cups chicken broth* ($0.18)
- 1.5 cups milk ($0.47)
- 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
- Freshly cracked black pepper ($0.03)
- 8 oz. linguine ($0.50)
- 1/4 lb. fresh baby spinach (1/2 of 8oz bag) ($1.35)
- 1 15oz. can quartered artichoke hearts ($2.00)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan ($0.24)
- Mince the garlic and add it to a deep skillet with the butter. Sauté the garlic in the butter over medium heat for one to two minutes, or just until it’s tender and fragrant.
- Add the chicken broth, milk, salt, some freshly cracked pepper, and the pasta to the skillet (break the pasta in half first for easy stirring). Make sure the pasta is fully submerged, then place a lid on the skillet. Allow the skillet to come to a simmer, then immediately turn the heat down to low.
- Allow the pasta to simmer in the liquid for about 12 minutes, or until it’s al dente. Stir the pasta every few minutes to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom. Adjust the heat if needed to make sure the liquid maintains a gentle simmer. While the pasta is simmering, drain the artichoke hearts and then roughly chop them into slightly smaller pieces.
- Once the pasta is tender, turn off the heat. The sauce may still be slightly thin, but it will continue to thicken and absorb as the rest of the ingredients are added. Add the spinach, a handful at a time, to the hot pasta and sauce and toss it in the pasta until it wilts.
- Stir the chopped artichoke hearts into the pasta. Sprinkle 2 Tbsp of grated Parmesan over the pasta, then stir slightly to incorporate the Parmesan. Top with an additional 2 Tbsp of Parmesan then serve.
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Scroll down for the step by step photos!
How to Make One Pot Spinach Artichoke Pasta – Step by Step Photos
Start by mincing two cloves of garlic. Add the garlic and 2 Tbsp butter to a deep skillet and sauté over medium heat for just one or two minutes, or until the garlic is soft and very fragrant (but not brown).
Then add 1.5 cups chicken broth, 1.5 cups milk (whole milk works best, but 2% will suffice), 1/2 lb. linguine, 1/4 tsp salt, and some freshly cracked pepper. The pasta is above the liquid in the photo for reference, but make sure it’s submerged in the liquid. Also, I find that breaking the pasta in half helps drastically with stirring the ingredients in later.
Place a lid on the skillet and let the liquid come up to a simmer. Once it reaches a simmer, immediately turn it down to the lowest heat setting that maintains the simmer. Let the pasta simmer for about 12 minutes, or until it’s tender. You’ll want to stir the pasta every few minutes to keep it from sticking. After about 12 minutes, the pasta should be tender and the sauce slightly thicker. It may still be a bit thin, but it will continue to absorb and thicken as you add the rest of the ingredients.
While the pasta is simmering, drain one 15oz. can of quartered artichoke hearts and roughly chop them so they are in slightly smaller pieces.
Add 4oz. of fresh spinach (half of an 8oz bag), working with one handful at a time, and mix with the hot pasta and sauce until it’s wilted (it took about two heaping handfuls for me and it wilts extremely fast).
Add the quartered artichoke hearts and stir to combine with the pasta and sauce.
Sprinkle 2 Tbsp of grated Parmesan over the pasta then give it a slight stir to mix it into the lower layers, then top with an additional 2 Tbsp of Parmesan. Add extra pepper if desired.
And that’s one big skillet full of insanely delicious and easy 20 Minute Creamy Spinach Artichoke Pasta. Finished in NO time.