Baked Whole Wheat Pasta With Spinach and Mozzarella

"A fresh, light, dish. I am sure you could use regular pasta, but the whole wheat pasta with fresh mozzarella (not pre-shredded) is really what makes this extra good. Baked with a golden brown crust and gooey cheese. Start dinner with a bowl of tomato soup (your favorite recipe) and a toasted baguette with pesto and parmesan. And then enjoy the main course."
photo by a user photo by a user
Ready In:


  • 34 lb whole wheat pasta (I prefer to use the small shells, or you could use a small penne or even a spaghetti)
  • 1 large onion, cut in quarters and thin sliced
  • 4 cups fresh Baby Spinach
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut in small cubes
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 lemons, zested
  • 1 12 cups sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup toasted fresh breadcrumb (you could also use dried, but the fresh are really worth it, See Below for Recipe)
  • 3 -4 tablespoons olive oil (2-3 tablespoons to garnish the pasta, 1 tablespoon to saute the vegetables)
  • salt
  • pepper (I like lots of pepper for this dish)
  • Recipe for Fresh Bread Crumbs

  • 2 slices bread, fresh everyday bread works best
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 12 teaspoon italian seasoning


  • Almonds -- In a medium dry saute pan on medium high heat, add the almonds and cook a couple of minutes until they get golden brown. Keep an eye of them, they do not take long.
  • Fresh Bread Crumbs -- If you are using dry bread crumbs, skip this step.
  • Chop up the bread fairly fine. Then in that same saute pan you used to toast your almonds in, bring to medium high heat and add 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Toss in the bread crumbs, seasoning and toast until golden brown. They only take 1-2 minutes and stir often.
  • Pasta -- Cook the pasta according to package direction in salted boiling water. Drain well, return to the pot and toss with the olive oil and set to the side off the heat. As the pasta cooks, saute your vegetables.
  • Vegetables -- Once again, use that same saute pan and add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and heat to medium medium/high heat. Add the garlic, onion and little salt and pepper and saute 2-3 minutes, then toss in the spinach and saute just a few seconds until the spinach is slightly wilted. Don't cook more than just a few seconds. Remove from the heat and stir in 1/2 of the lemon zest and 1 cup of the almonds. Add to the pasta along with the chicken broth. Check for seasoning, salt and pepper. Personally, I like to add some extra pepper.
  • Bake -- In a 13x9 or similar size baking dish, sprayed with Pam or any non-stick spray, add the remaining lemon zest. Then add 1/2 of the pasta, 1/2 the cheese; then the rest of the pasta, and the rest of the cheese. Sprinkle with the almonds, and then top with the bread crumbs and cover with foil and bake in a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 10 minutes until the bread crumbs get golden brown.
  • Serve -- ENJOY! I like to keep it a bit healthy and serve with a bowl of tomato soup and a baguette with melted cheese.

Questions & Replies

Got a question? Share it with the community!


  1. Can I omit the almond?
  2. what a wonderful dinner! i had to use a whole wheat/whole grain bread for my breadcrumbs..the rest of this recipe was followed, and happily! amazing..thank you for sharing this recipe SarasotaCook!


<p>Growing up in Michigan, I spent my summers at my cottage in the Northern part up by Traverscity. On a lake, big garden which had all the vegetables you could imagine. My mom taught school, so summers were our vacation time. Gramps and I fished all the time so fresh fish was always on the menu, perch, blue gill, walleye and small and large mouth bass. At age 5 I learned how to clean my own fish and by 10 I was making dinner, canning vegetables and fruits, making pies and fresh breads. Apples fresh picked every fall, strawberries in June and July, Cherries at the Cherry Festival in Traverscity. So fresh foods always were a big part. Mom worked as a teacher during the year so dinner was more traditional with pot roasts, meatloaf, etc, but it seemed we always had fresh fruits and vegetables as part of the meal. Mom also didn't use as many spices as I do, but times were different back then. <br /> <br />So ... My motto is ... There is NO Right and NO Wrong with cooking. So many people thing they have to follow a recipe. But NO ... a recipe is a method and directions to help and teach someone. Cooking is about personal tastes and flavors. I love garlic ... and another person may not. I like heat ... but you may not. Recipes are building blocks, NOT text ground in stone. Use them to make and build on. Even my recipes I don't follow most times --They are a base. That is what cooking is to me. A base of layer upon layer of flavors. <br /> <br />I still dislike using canned soups or packaged gravies/seasoning ... but I admit, I do use them. I have a few recipes that use them. But I try to strive to teach people to use fresh ingredients, they are first ... so much healthier for you ... and second, in the end less expensive. But we all have our moments including me. <br /> <br />So, lets see ... In the past, I have worked as a hostess, bartender, waitress, then a short order cook, salad girl in the kitchen, sort of assistant chef, head chef, co owner of a restaurant ... now a consultant to a catering company/restaurant, I cater myself and I'm a personal chef for a elderly lady. I work doing data entry during the day, and now and then try to have fun which is not very often due to my job(s). <br /> <br />I have a 21 year old who at times is going on 12, aren't they all. Was married and now single and just trying to enjoy life one day at a time. I'm writing a cookbook ... name is still in the works but it is dedicated to those people who never learned, to cook. Single Moms, Dads, or Just Busy Parents. Those individuals that think you can't make a great dinner for not a lot of money. You can entertain on a budget and I want people to know that gourmet tasting food doesn't have to be from a can of soup or a box, and healthy food doesn't come from a drive through. There are some really good meals that people can make which are healthy and will save money but taste amazing. So I guess that is my current goal. We all take short cuts and I have no problem with that - I do it too. I volunteer and make food for the homeless every couple of months, donating my time and money. I usually make soup for them and many times get donations from a local grocery stores, Sams Club, Walmart etc, with broth, and vegetables. It makes my cost very little and well worth every minute I spend. Like anyone, life is always trying to figure things out and do the best we can and have fun some how along the way.</p>
View Full Profile

Find More Recipes