This spinach artichoke pasta bake recipe has me very excited because I absolutely love spinach and artichoke dip! This pasta bake recipe is the perfect comfort food for when you need a filling, warm meal. Even though it looks like a lot goes into it, this baked pasta comes together pretty quickly. The end result will make everyone at the dinner table happy!
Spinach and Artichoke Ingredients and Substitutions
- Pasta: Use medium shaped pasta in this recipe. I love using penne, but you could also use rigatoni, medium pasta shells, or fusilli.
- Shallot: The shallot adds a depth of flavor to the dish, but if you don’t have it you can use 1/2 cup of chopped onion or just remove it.
- Garlic: I love garlic, but if you are sensitive to it, just use 1-2 cloves instead of 3.
- Spinach: You can use fresh or frozen spinach in this recipe, both work great.
- Artichoke: You will need 1 can of artichoke hearts that you will dice up. I typically use the quartered artichoke hearts in a can, but you could also use the marinated artichoke hearts that you find in a jar. They will just add a different flavor to the dish.
- Milk: Adding milk thins out the pasta sauce nicely. Whole milk works best, but you can really use any kind you have. If you want it to be extra creamy, you could also use cream.
- Cream Cheese: This recipe uses a full 8 oz of cream cheese. Try to let it soften at room temperature to make it easier to mix in the sauce.
- Parmesan: Any type of finely grated parmesan cheese should work in this recipe. The parmesan gives the dish a nice salty flavor.
- Mozzarella: The mozzarella is for topping this pasta. You want this to get nice and melted and even start to slight brown on the top.
How to give this pasta dish a creamier sauce?
If you want to a very creamy sauce you have a few options. You can add a 1/2 cup of mozzarella to the pasta mixture before adding it to the bowl. You could also add in 1/2 of sour cream to the mixture. Another option is to replace the milk with heavy cream.
How to store for later
You can store this in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. It might slowly dry out in the fridge so try to add a little milk or water when reheating it.
Can you freeze this meal ahead of time?
This pasta bake freezes well. If you want to make this ahead of time and then put it in the freezer for later, just make everything up to the point of baking. Then cover it and place in freezer for up to 3 months. I like to keep it in an airtight baking dish. That way you can just remove the lid and bake. When you do what to bake it, give it a little extra time. Since it is baking from frozen it will take longer than if you baked it right away.
What to serve with a spinach and artichoke pasta bake?
I serve this dish with a cherry tomato salad. The bright acidity from the tomato balanced well with the richness of the pasta. You could also do a simple leafy green salad. Something like this Italian side salad works great!