An easy, quick and delicious Mediterranean-inspired pasta filled with lemon, spinach, and feta. It can be enjoyed as is for a vegetarian meal or topped with your favorite protein.
Sometimes I’ll be casually going about my day when a random recipe or meal idea will pop into my head.
Sometimes it’s prompted (reading food blogs is a frequent inspiration), while other times it’s completely random, like yesterday.
I was in the middle of writing an email to a client obviously about a totally different topic when the delicious idea of pasta + lemon + spinach entered my head and dinner started to take shape.
I hadn’t made pasta in a while and knew I had an open box of linguine in the pantry for a few months that needed to be used.
This recipe is simple, fresh and quintessential summer with things like ripe cherry tomatoes, fresh baby spinach and basil.
This recipe for Pasta Checca is another one just like it and if you love creamy burrata (like me), you’ll absolutely love it.
This will probably even impress your Greek mother-in-law. Ok, maybe that one’s just for me.
With spinach, feta, and lemon, this pasta dish has a distinct Greek/Mediterranean feel to it but still feels classic enough to serve to anyone at anytime.
Spinach is one of the few vegetables I will pull the salad spinner out for.
I am incredibly lazy when it comes to cleaning this ktichen gadget and most times will opt for the “rinse under the faucet by hand and dry with a dish towel” method over the salad spinner.
Spinach, however, is a sandy little green that warrants the effort unless you enjoy an unintended crunch in each bite. Or, just use baby spinach which is 99% of the time already washed and ready for use.
As for the other ingredients, please tell me you all buy the block feta?
You do right?
You know it’s much cheaper usually than the already crumbled kind. Take a peek next time if you don’t, I bet you’ll find out you’ve been paying a high price for some stupid little crumbles.
In fact, I almost got tricked yesterday when I thought they were the same price until I saw that the crumbled kind was 2 ounces less than the block.
Can’t fool me Athenos, I’ll crumble my own thankyouverymuch!
There are no step-by-step pictures here because it would be insulting your intelligence to do so.
This pasta recipe is stupid easy.
Boil water, cook pasta. Sauté spinach and prep feta, lemon and tomatoes. You don’t need pictures for that. You can do it!
- linguine (or any pasta shape/type you like)
- crumbled feta
- extra virgin olive oil
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- cherry tomatoes
- basil for garnish
- salt & pepper
How to Make Spinach Feta Pasta
Cook the pasta in a pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Then drain.
Saute the garlic in oil for 1 to 2 minutes over medium-high heat.
Add the spinach, salt and pepper. Toss for a minute until the spinach begins to wilt. Remove from the heat immediately.
Transfer the drained pasta to the skillet with the spinach.
Add the tomatoes, lemon juice, lemon zest and feta to the pan and toss until everything is well combined.
This pasta dish is ready to serve! Garnish with fresh basil if desired.
Optional: Top with your favorite protein:
Sometimes this recipe is fine for a light summer meal.
Other times, we’re hungrier and choose to top it with a protein like broiled salmon or grilled chicken. It’s also great with thinly sliced skirt steak.
Almost any protein goes well with this though so feel free to experiment with your favorite!
Tips for Making Lemon Spinach Pasta
- Buy the block of feta and crumble it yourself, it’s way cheaper and there’s no weird added ingredients that you’ll sometimes find in the crumbles.
- Gluten-free version: use a gluten-free pasta like chickpea pasta (my favorite for pasta salads like this balsamic tofu pasta salad), brown rice, etc. the rest of the ingredients are already naturally gluten-free.
- More veggies: Add mushrooms or peas for an extra nutritional punch.
- Creamier pasta: If you want to make the pasta a little saucier, increase the amount of feta and melt it in the pan before cooking the spinach.
More Delicious Pasta Recipes to Try:
- RED LENTIL PASTA WITH LEMON GARLIC GREENS
- CREAMY WHITE BEAN PASTA
- BUCATINI PASTA WITH GARLIC SHRIMP
- CREAMY PUMPKIN GARLIC PASTA WITH TUSCAN KALE
- BRUSSELS SPROUTS BACON AND SUN-DRIED TOMATO PASTA
Lemon Spinach Feta Pasta
- 1/2 pound linguine or pasta of choice gluten-free if preferred
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic smashed and chopped
- 5 ounces baby spinach
- salt and pepper
- 1/3 cup chopped/crumbled feta
- zest of 1 lemon
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
- fresh basil leaves for garnish
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, salt and cook pasta until al dente.
- Meanwhile, sauté the garlic in the olive oil on med-high heat for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
- Add the spinach, salt and pepper and toss lightly for 1 minute until spinach just starts to wilt. Pull off heat immediately.
- Once pasta is cooked, drain and add to pan with spinach.
- Add lemon juice, lemon zest, feta and tomatoes then toss to combine.
- Garnish with basil leaves before serving.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.
*This post was originally published in July 2011. The recipe, photographs and some text have been updated.
Gina Matsoukas is the writer, founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients as much as possible. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.