Here’s an easy pasta recipe that is so satisfying and healthy too! My Pasta with Spinach and Cannellini Beans recipe can be made in less than 30 minutes, making dinnertime stress free.
Pasta with Spinach and Cannellini Beans
You know the recipe is good when your own father says it reminds him of a dish his Italian mother made. Am I right? Well I don’t know if my Nonna (grandma in Italian) made this exact recipe, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was close.
In this recipe we use to primary ingredients – cannellini beans which is a type of white bean, and spinach. The cannellini beans add a nice source of fiber, and the spinach provides some healthy vitamins such as C.
This is one of my favorite Italian recipes, and I’ve included a video below so you can see it for yourself.
We Don’t use a Sauce
This pasta recipe doesn’t really have a sauce except the olive oil, as it is full of good ingredients which add lots of flavor and texture to the dish.
in fact it’s a great alternative to typical pasta that uses marinara sauce or Alfredo.
Here are the ingredients for making this pasta dish. Exact measurements are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Pasta. I suggest using linguini or other long wide pasta type for this recipe. You can also use a penne which will work just as well.
Olive oil. Use extra virgin olive oil. This is used to saute the onion, garlic then cook the other ingredients.
Frozen spinach. This is a huge time saver and allows you to make this recipe anytime of year. Make sure to thaw the spinach before adding to the pan.
Canned cannellini beans. Cannellini beans have a creamy consistency which makes them a perfect companion for spinach and pasta dishes.
Onions. White, yellow, or vidalia onions are fine. You will chop them up very fine.
Garlic. Crushed or sliced garlic is fine. For a lighter garlic flavor, keep the garlic whole so people can choose to avoid eating them, yet enjoy the flavor it gives.
Chicken stock. I don’t always use chicken stock in my recipes, but since we’re not using a sauce, it helps elevate and blend the cannellini beans and spinach flavors.
Tomatoes.You can use fresh tomatoes or canned. Use diced tomatoes.
Italian Romano or Parmesan Cheese. I recommend using Romano, it has a stronger flavor and less goes further. But if Parm is all you have that’s fine too. With the grated cheese on top, you can’t go wrong. It’s a true winner and I hope it is as well in your own household.
I have some good tips at the bottom which I encourage you to read. They save you time and help you make this dish in 30 minutes or less. Yes, I said 30 minutes!
How to Make Pasta with Spinach and Cannellini Beans
Start by getting your pasta water boiling. Add in the linguini and cook according to package instructions.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and cook until translucent about 5 minutes.
Add in your crushed garlic and coat it with the olive oil. Allow it cook over low heat until it is fragrant.
Rinse and drain the cannellini beans and the tomatoes. Add them to the pan along with the spinach and broth.
Increase heat to medium-low, stir and cover. Let it cook for 15 minutes.
Once the pasta is finished cooking, reserve 1 cup of the pasta water, then transfer the pasta to the saucepan.
Mix everything together to blend the flavors. If the pasta seems dry, add some of the reserved pasta water.
Top with cheese and enjoy!
Side Dishes to Use
Here are some suggestions for side dishes that will go well with this recipe.
As with any Italian pasta dish, I recommend an Italian salad. Here’s a list of different types of summer Italian salads.
Baked Italian breaded chicken breasts is a great way to add a 2nd course or to make the pasta more a side dish. I love serving pasta and chicken dishes together.
Watch my video in the recipe to see how simple it really is!
Pasta with Spinach and Cannellini Beans Recipe
- 1/2 lb linguini pasta
- 1 large onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic crushed and chopped
- 2 cups thawed frozen spinach
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1 15 oz can of cannellini beans drained and rinsed
- 1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes drained and rinsed
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- grated Romano cheese – for topping
- In a large sauce pan heat olive oil and saute the onions over medium heat until translucent. This should be 5-8 minutes.1 large onion diced, 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Add in crushed garlic and saute for 2 minutes.4 cloves garlic crushed and chopped
- Add cannellini beans, spinach,tomatoes, and broth.2 cups thawed frozen spinach, 1/4 – 1/2 cup chicken stock, 1 15 oz can of cannellini beans drained and rinsed, 1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes drained and rinsed
- Stir and cover. Let cook for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta.1/2 lb linguini pasta
- When pasta is finished, transfer the pasta into the saucepan mixture. (It is okay to let some water get into the mixture).
- Mix well, top with cheese and serve!grated Romano cheese – for topping
- Make sure to rinse the beans and tomatoes. You do not need the extra sodium or the extra sauce.
- If the mixture is a little dry, add some of the pasta water.
- Thaw the frozen spinach in the microwave prior to cooking it. Not only does it save you time, but it also prevents loosing heat in the pan, which is what would happen if the spinach was frozen cold when added.