Cheesy Baked Pasta with Spinach and Tomatoes

Today’s recipe comes courtesy of the fabulous WomenHeart’s ALL HEART Family Cookbook. This delectably cheesy, yet totally low sodium pasta dish couldn’t be easier or more scrumptious. Perfect comfort food, year-round.
Serves 6.

SODIUM CONTENT: 273 mg per serving


12 oz. penne, shell or other medium-sized pasta
2 T. olive oil
1 onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
2 1/2 c. fat-free milk
3/4 c. (3 oz.) grated parmesan or romano cheese
1 14.5-oz. can no-salt-added tomatoes, drained and diced
1 bag (5 oz.) baby spinach
1/4 c. packed fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips
2 T. wheat germ


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and set aside.

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan pan over medium-high. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, 5 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds. Add the milk to the pan gradually, and cook, stirring constantly, 4-5 minutes, until bubbly. Remove pan from the heat and stir in 1/2 c. of the cheese.

Place the pasta, tomatoes, spinach and basil into a large mixing bowl. Pour in the cheese sauce and mix well to combine. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and wheat germ. Place on middle rack in oven and bake, uncovered, 30 minutes. Remove from oven and serve immediately.

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