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spinach and artichoke baked pasta in a white baking dish
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4.7 from 10 votes

Spinach and Artichoke Baked Pasta

Creamy, rich, and topped with a crispy crust made from crushed buttery Ritz crackers, Spinach and Artichoke Baked Pasta is just like the warm dip transformed into a pasta.
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Pasta
Keyword: baked pasta, make-ahead meal, vegetarian casserole
Servings: 8
Calories: 574kcal
Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $10.00

Equipment

  • Large Saute Pan
  • 9 x 13 Baking Dish
  • Whisk
  • Small Mixing Bowl

Ingredients

For the Pasta

  • 1 lb Dried Pasta, like Cavatappi, Fusili, or Penne
  • 2 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 12 oz jar Marinated Artichoke Hearts, drained and chopped if in large pieces
  • 3 cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 16 oz Frozen Cut Leaf Spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
  • 3 tablespoon Unsalted Butter
  • 3 tablespoon All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • ½ teaspoon Thyme Leaves, fresh or dried
  • ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
  • 2 ½ cups Vegetable Stock
  • 1 cup Milk (whole milk will make for the most rich, creamy sauce, but any milk will work)
  • 4 oz Cream Cheese (use block cream cheese, not the variety in a tub)
  • 6 oz Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • ½ teaspoon Lemon Zest

For Topping

  • 6 oz Ritz Crackers, crushed
  • cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 tablespoon Unsalted Butter, melted

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F / 204°C. Brush a 9x13 baking dish with oil or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Boil pasta according to package directions. Drain.
  • Place a large saute pan over medium heat. Add olive oil and then artichokes to heated oil. Saute until artichokes are starting to turn golden and crisp around the edges, 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Stir in garlic and spinach and saute until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add butter to pan. When butter melts, stir in flour, salt, thyme, black pepper, and red pepper flakes until no dry spots of flour remain.
  • Pour 1 cup of stock into pan and whisk until it begins to simmer. Add remaining stock and milk and bring to a simmer. Simmer until slightly thick, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove sauce from heat and whisk in cream cheese, mozzarella cheese, and lemon zest.
  • Stir pasta into sauce and transfer to prepared pan.
  • In a small bowl, combine crushed Ritz, parmesan cheese, and melted butter. Sprinkle over top of pasta.
  • Bake pasta, uncovered, until topping is golden and cheese is melted, 15 to 20 minutes.

Notes

Make ahead - The pasta can be assembled up to a day ahead of time. Wait to add the topping until right before baking.

Nutrition

Calories: 574kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 59mg | Sodium: 1212mg | Potassium: 233mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 815IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 270mg | Iron: 2mg