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Spaghetti with Garlic & Spinach

Scott Phillips

Servings: four.

This easy, five-ingredient dinner is one of those gems to keep handy for weeknights when you have no idea what to make. Quickly cooking the garlic over low heat draws out some of its pungency, leaving behind lots of garlicky taste without the bite. If your garlic has a green sprout growing in the center (the “germ”), be sure to remove it, because it will impart a bitter flavor to the final dish. Like this recipe? Check out more easy 5-ingredient dinners.


  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 to 8 large cloves garlic (1-1/2 oz.), halved lengthwise, peeled, germs (the sprout in the center of the clove) removed, and thinly sliced
  • 10 oz. baby spinach (10 loosely packed cups)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. dried spaghetti
  • 1 cup (about 2 oz.) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 740
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 280
  • Fat (g): 32
  • Saturated Fat (g): 6
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 20
  • Cholesterol (mg): 5
  • Sodium (mg): 660
  • Carbohydrates (g): 94
  • Fiber (g): 8
  • Protein (g): 21


  • Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil.

    Combine the oil and garlic in a 12-inch skillet over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring often, until the garlic becomes fragrant and is just beginning to turn golden, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the spinach, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper and cook, tossing gently with tongs, until the spinach begins to wilt, 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove from the heat.

    Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in the boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until it’s just tender to the tooth (see the package for cooking time). Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water and drain the pasta.

    Return the skillet to medium heat. Add the drained pasta and 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, tossing and stirring to combine and blend the flavors. If the pasta isn’t tender or seems dry, add the remainder of the cooking water and continue to cook and stir until done. Toss with the cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.


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Reviews (13 reviews)

  • FINECUISINEFORMOI | 03/18/2019

    This recipe is seriously addictive because its quick, with simple ingredients and tastes so very very delicious.

  • jherrera | 10/21/2016

    I've made this quite a few times now and my husband and I love it! I have added a few ingredients that add a nice touch. I start by slicing brown or white mushrooms and cooking them in butter with garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper and Knorr chicken seasoning (bouillon) until they are soft and than set them aside in a bowl.In the same pan I follow the recipe as directed but double the spinach and add chili flakes. I cook small balls of spicy sausage in the pot I used to cook the spaghetti (less clean up). I add the mushrooms and sausage at the very end.

  • user-4254958 | 12/15/2014

    Amazing--added two roma tomatoes to make it a little more hearty and my boyfriend loves garlic so I put in a total of 10 cloves--it was so easy and flavorful! What a hit! A great dish for a quiet night in but classy enough for a dinner party.

  • user-3621439 | 07/21/2014

    I love when something so simple turns out so well with so much flavor. Literally five ingredients and less than15 minutes start to finish. I doubled the spinach and will triple it next time. I also halved the oil, but ended up adding back most of it at the finish. I also subbed Pecorino Romano with fantastic results. Definitely add a few red pepper flakes!

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