Pasta with sautéed cherry tomatoes and spinach

Pasta with sautéed cherry tomatoes and spinach – a quick and easy pasta dish featuring sautéed cherry tomatoes and spinach. The pasta and vegetables are combined with kalamata olives and parmesan creating a fresh, easy pasta dish.

Pasta with sautéed cherry tomatoes and spinach | Green Valley Kitchen

I know I should be thinking about salads, now that it’s January and the holiday overindulgences are behind us, but with the cooler weather it’s pasta I want.

This pasta with sautéed cherry tomatoes and spinach is a quick and easy dish packed with sweet cherry tomatoes and earthy spinach.  

The cherry tomatoes and spinach are sautéed with garlic which adds a pungent bite to the dish.

Once the veggies are sautéed they are tossed with the pasta, some chopped olives and parmesan cheese.  An easy, fast pasta dish that take about 20 minutes to come together.

Pasta with sautéed cherry tomatoes and spinach

This not a heavy, oily dish.  You start by sautéing the spinach – a handful at a time – adding more as the spinach cooks down.

Cherry tomatoes are sliced in half and then briefly sautéed until they release their juices and collapse in on themselves.

Garlic is added to both the cherry tomatoes and spinach as they cook giving the dish a heady, garlicky kick.

Pasta with sautéed cherry tomatoes and spinach | Green Valley Kitchen

A couple of notes:

  • You want your spinach to be very dry when sautéing it.  So give it an extra spin in your salad spinner before sautéing.  If it’s too damp or wet it will water down the sauce.  So after sautéing the spinach, if you see a lot liquid in the bottom of the pan just strain it off.
  • Rather than sautéing the spinach as whole leaves, you should roughly chop up the spinach before sautéing.  This will prevent the spinach from clumping up too  much when you toss it with the pasta.
  • This dish comes together very quickly, so have everything prepped and ready to go before you beginning cooking anything.  You should be able to have everything prepped before the water comes to a boil.

Pasta with sautéed cherry tomatoes and spinach

A quick and easy pasta dish featuring sautéed cherry tomatoes and spinach. The pasta and vegetables are combined with kalamata olives and parmesan creating a fresh, easy pasta dish.

  • Author: Geraldine
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 to 4 1x
  • Category: Pasta
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • 8 oz of pasta – I used penne
  • 1 veggie bouillon cube
  • 10 oz of cherry tomatoes – chopped in half
  • 10 oz of baby spinach – roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 12 kalamata olives – roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese – finely grated
  • 8 twists of black pepper
  • a pinch of salt


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add one bouillon cube.
  2. While the water is coming to a boil, prep and chop your cherry tomatoes and spinach. Mince garlic. Roughly chop olives and grate cheese.
  3. When water comes to a boil, add pasta and cook as per package instructions.
  4. While pasta is cooking, add 1 tbs of olive oil and garlic to a large sauté pan and cook for 30 seconds over medium high heat until briefly cooked – stirring the whole time so garlic doesn’t burn.
  5. Add chopped spinach to the sauté pan a bit at a time. As it cooks down, continue to add spinach until all spinach has been added to the pan. Once spinach has wilted down, remove spinach to a large bowl. There shouldn’t be a lot of water in the bottom of the pan, but if there is then strain it off.
  6. Add 1 tbs olive oil to the sauté pan, add 2 cloves minced garlic and cook briefly (30 seconds). Add cherry tomatoes, black pepper and a pinch of salt to the pan and cook for 3 minutes over medium high heat until tomatoes cook down and release their juices. Add cherry tomatoes to cooked spinach in the bowl.
  7. When pasta is done, strain and add to the bowl with cherry tomatoes and spinach. Add chopped olives and 2/3 of parmesan cheese. Toss to combine. Sprinkle remaining parmesan cheese over the top of the pasta and serve.

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28 comments on “Pasta with sautéed cherry tomatoes and spinach

  1. Veronica

    Thank your for this recipe!
    Me and my boyfriend called this pasta “the recycled pasta”! We cleaned the fridge and made a delicious dinner🥰

    1. Geraldine Post author

      Hahaha – your comment made me laugh, Veronica! Definitely a great way to use up whatever is in the fridge! Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment – I appreciate hearing from you!

  2. Fonda Food

    This recipe is everything. Of course one can “tweak it” with all sorts of things but, as an urban gardener who always ends up with way too many tomatoes and way too much spinach and spring garlic, this recipe is so perfect and so simple. It reminds me of meals I had whilst a grad student in Italy.

    1. Geraldine Post author

      So glad you enjoyed it! It’s great to end up with too many tomatoes – more to share with family and friends! I over planted this year as well – went a little overboard on the victory garden – but I’m looking forward to everything ripening up. Thanks for leaving a comment and rating!

  3. Sheryl

    I love this recipe. Easy and nutritious. I added chicken the second time I made it. It was great. I also added onion too. I am going to try shrimp next. Thanks for a great recipe.

    1. Geraldine Post author

      Hi – Sorry to get back to you so late – but I’m glad you enjoyed it. I actually ate the left overs cold – which was really good. If you want to reheat – I would add a little olive oil or some veggie stock to a saute pan and then add the cold pasta and toss until warmed through.

  4. Julia | Orchard Street Kitchen

    I love simple and flavorful pasta dishes like these, Geraldine. I bet the garlic adds so much flavor, and I really like the addition of olives for a nice salty kick. These are the kinds of recipes that are great for busy weeknights. Thank you for the inspiration!

  5. Isadora @ she likes food

    This is totally something I would make every night for a week and not get sick of! I love fast pasta dishes like this and I especially love that you sauteed the spinach in garlic! No pasta is complete without a large helping of garlic 🙂

  6. Annie @ ciaochowbambina

    This recipe speaks to my heart! These are the flavors I love! And there’s nothing better than a quick homemade meal like this to brighten up any chilly winter’s day. And I concur with Traci, your photography absolutely captures the essence of your dishes. Thank you, Geraldine!

  7. Traci | Vanilla And Bean

    My goodness! Love the colors in this dish and the styling is beautiful! You’re photography is so sharp and those veggies! Oh my! The kalamata olives add such a depth of flavor; I adore their pungency, especially with the flavors you’ve combined in this recipe. This would be so good with a greek or caesar salad. Thank you for sharing your recipe, Geraldine!

    1. Geraldine Post author

      Hi Traci – I agree – a salad would make this a perfect, easy meal. Thanks so much for the compliments!! Hope you have a good one (and feel better soon)!


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