I made this spinach and cherry tomato pasta dish really quickly in an afternoon just by throwing together some leftover vegetables I had in my fridge. Probably the last garden cherry tomatoes from the local market for this season, some spinach and also some tomato sauce left on the bottom of an open jar. Almost a fridge clean up? .

This recipe is so easy to prepare and ready to serve in no time. Yet it’s full of flavor and nourishing. And budget friendly too ?.

Spinach and garlicky cherry tomato pasta ingredients

To prepare this dish you need just some basic ingredients:

  • pasta – I used pennoni pasta, but feel free to use whatever you have in your pantry;
  • spinach – I used fresh spinach, but I guess frozen works fine too;
  • cherry tomatoes – so full of flavor and sweetness that will make your pasta really tasty;
  • garlic – it’s best to crush or dice the garlic cloves because this way the flavor is released much easier;
  • onion – I used red onion because it’s sweeter in taste and not so pungent like yellow onion; a shallot would be good too;
  • tomato sauce – homemade tomato sauce is always best to use, but store bought is fine also;
  • nutritional yeast – it adds a cheesy taste and a creamy texture to the sauce;
  • ground black pepper, dried basil & thyme – for a sweet savory flavor.

How to make spinach and garlicky cherry tomato pasta

First you need to prepare the garlicky cherry tomatoes by sautéing them for 2 minutes in a pan together with the crushed garlic cloves.

Pan fried cherry tomatoes with garlic

In a large skillet or a wok sauté the diced red onion in olive oil than add pasta, salt and hot water gradually. I applied here the exact same method that I used for cooking this green pea and mushroom pasta recipe. I started with a cup of water and added more after it was absorbed. Use a lit to help pasta cook faster. Let the pasta simmer over medium low heat for about 9-10 minutes, depending on the type of pasta you’re using

Simmering pasta with red onion

When the pasta is almost al-dente, bring in the tomato sauce, nutritional yeast and spices. Stir the ingredients and let it simmer for 1 minute. Then add spinach, give it a stir and add the cherry tomatoes with garlic. Give it a stir and let them cook together for maximum 1 minute.

Cooking pasta with spinach and cherry tomatoes

Cooking tips

Cook cherry tomatoes and garlic separately and just for a very short time so that the tomatoes don’t get crushed and spread all over the pan.

Add water gradually when simmering the pasta to help release more starch and get a creamy sauce.

Add the fresh spinach and cherry tomatoes to the pasta only at the end of the cooking process.

Can I save this dish for later?

To be frank, I wouldn’t do it. In general, pasta tastes better when it’s served right away. Besides, spinach will loose it’s vibrant color and cherry tomatoes will get soggy. Better cook only one serving if that’s all you need.

Let me know if you liked this dish. Leave a comment with your feedback or share a photo on Instagram and tag @choose_tasty ?.

Spinach and garlicky cherry tomato pasta

Vegan Spinach and Garlicky Cherry Tomato Pasta

This pasta with garlicky cherry tomatoes and earthy spinach is all covered in a creamy tomato sauce. It's a quick and easy dish, yet so delicious. It's just perfect for your busy week nights.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 2 servings


  • 3 tbsp olive oil 1 for frying the cherry tomatoes and 2 for the onion
  • 200 g cherry tomatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves crushed or sliced
  • 1 small red onion diced
  • 200 g pennoni pasta or any other type of pasta
  • 2 cups hot water you might not need to use it all
  • ¾ cups tomato sauce
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper


  • In a medium pot, bring to a boil 2 cups of water;
  • In a frying pan heat 1 tbsp of olive oil then sauté for about 2 minutes the diced garlic together with cherry tomatoes over medium heat; stir continuously to prevent burning; set aside when done;
  • In a wok or large skillet heat the remained olive oil; when it's sizzling, add the diced red onion and sauté over medium heat for about 2 minutes; stir continuously to prevent burning;
  • Add 1 cup of hot water, pasta and salt; cover with a lit and let it simmer over medium-low heat until the water is absorbed;
  • Keep adding hot water gradually until pasta is almost al-dente; stir from time to time;
  • Add tomato sauce, nutritional yeast, ground black pepper, dried herbs, stir them in and cook together for 1 minute;
  • Bring in the spinach and garlic cherry tomatoes, stir and cook together for maximum 1 minute then turn off the heat;
  • Serve pasta into bowls and enjoy.


  1. Prepare the cherry tomatoes separately to prevent overcooking.
  2. Add hot water gradually to the pasta so that more starch is released to make the sauce creamier.
  3. Pasta cooking time might vary, depending on  the pasta type you’re using. To prevent overcooking, taste the pasta to check its doneness level.
Keyword spinach cherry tomato pasta, vegan pasta

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