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Easy Pasta with Caramelized Onions and Spinach

By: Mama J from A Little Bit Crunchy, A Little Bit Rock and Roll
This image courtesy of

If you have the patience to allow onions to caramelize, this quick and easy recipe is affordable and absolutely delicious. This Easy Pasta with Caramelized Onions and Spinach has been a go-to meal that my whole family has loved for years.


  • 3 large purple (red) onions, cut in half and thinly sliced (yellow onions will work too)
  • 6 cups fresh baby spinach leaves, washed and dried
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 pound pasta
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese for topping


  1. In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and a pinch of salt. Stir to coat with the oil. Lower the heat and cover without stirring for about 15 minutes. Remove the lid and stir the onions.
  2. Continue cooking them over a medium low heat for about 30 minutes with the lid off, stirring occasionally. When the onions begin to brown, add a few tablespoons of water and scrape up the brown bits with a wooden spoon.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When the onions are almost done, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente.
  4. As the pasta cooks, add the thyme, a few cracks of fresh pepper and the spinach. Stir the spinach around until it begins to wilt.
  5. Drain the pasta and reserve a 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Use this to thin the onions a little to make a nice sauce.
  6. Return the pasta to the pot and drizzle with an extra tablespoon of olive oil then toss in the onion/spinach mixture. Thin with more pasta water as needed. Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

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Onion has always been a big favorite of mine, fried, caramelized or raw I just can't get enough of this recipe is right up my alley. I'd probably use the yellow onions instead and I love that there's spinach in this dish but I think I might have to add a pinch or two of red pepper flakes to this yumminess to bring it all together and give it a little extra bite!

This is a really tasty vegetarian recipe. My intake of spinach is restricted a bit due to medication, but I would still enjoy at least a small amount of this. Being a total carnivore, I could see adding some thinly sliced steak to this dish. I'd like to try this with onions and broccoli or pea pods. I think that would be an interesting mix.



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