15-minute cheesy spinach & chicken pasta

15 minute spinach pasta with chicken, foodletsTHIS ONE’S A 3-BOWLER. At least for Phoebe, our 5-year-old.

Okay, okay. I admit it. I also found myself eating at least another helping, standing next to the sink while I pretended to “clean the kitchen” after dinner. It’s just that kind of pasta dish. And there’s even better news: the recipe is so simple, and full of things that are likely already hanging out in your fridge, that you might just rely on this one all summer long.

I love a quick dinner, and I’m guessing I’m not alone here, not just because it cuts down on the amount of time I have to listen to three small people begging for a banana while I’m juggling a hot pan and a baby, but because even a kid-friendly dinner as simple as this counts as a fresh cooked meal. That’s something that matters deeply to me, and also to Mark Bittman. Not bad company to be in. It’s also a one-pot meal if you don’t count the chicken. And by all means, if you can get your hands on the rotisserie sort that the good people at the grocery store cook ahead of time for you, do that immediately. (My favorite is from Costco.)

One more thing, we used frozen organic spinach because it’s easy to have on hand all year round but add or substitute anything that your family enjoys. That’s how you’ll get the maximum amount of green good stuff into the little guys, possibly three times over.

15-minute cheesy spinach & chicken pasta
Cook time
Total time
Usually I have whole-wheat pasta on hand but these days my pre-baby pantry supplies are dwindling so I only had regular. Delicious but not as nutritious. Also, we use half or three-quarters of a box for our family of 5 (including 3 small kids) and always have leftovers but use as much as you need and adjust the rest of the ingredients as you need to. It's very flexible.
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 6
  • ½-3/4 box farfalle (bow tie) pasta
  • ½ cup white wine
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella or Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup frozen organic chopped spinach
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 3-4 boneless chicken breasts, cooked and diced (about 1½ cups)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup fresh basil chiffonade
  • 1 cup pasta cooking water, reserved
  • *Optional: juice of 1 lemon, extra Parmesan cheese
  1. Boil pasta according to instructions -- minus 2 minutes. Drain pasta in colander.
  2. Using the pasta pot combine wine, yogurt, cheese, spinach, salt and pepper. Heat for 1-2 minutes to reduce wine and melt cheese. Add pasta to pot plus chicken and basil then stir, adding reserved pasta water as needed.
  3. Optional: add freshly squeezed lemon or extra Parmesan cheese on top.



  1. Lori says

    You did it again!! Chris has gotten a little tired of the easy pasta dish I make so regularly, so he was very excited to see this in the pan last night! I was super excited for another fast, healthy, delicious meal! Since I get home from work at 6:45, I’ve got to work fast to get dinner on the table for my tired crew. I was able to make the sauce and cut up the chicken in the morning. After work, I just boiled the noodles and cooked the chicken and we were good to go! Everyone enjoyed this dish and it’s now packed up for my lunch (and tagged for future dinners!). Thanks, Charity! Keep up all the great work, we appreciate it!

    • charityc says

      Oh, these are my favorite comments! I’m so glad that the recipe worked out for everyone in your group. And you are so brilliant to prep the chicken and sauce in the AM; I’m going to try more recipes with those kinds of 2-step techniques for busy families–because aren’t we all? ;)

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