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One-Pot Penne with Spinach and Feta

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Recipe By Pam Anderson from “Perfect One-Dish Dinners”

These highly-seasoned spinach “meat”balls will appeal to both vegetarians and carnivores alike. Although the balls tend to fall apart when heated the second time, leftovers are still wonderful.

Serves 6 to 8 people


  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled, 3 left whole, 5 minced
  • 4 packages (10 ounces each) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • ½ stick (4 tablespoons) butter, melted
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese (generous 4½ ounces), plus more for topping
  • ½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1½ cups dry bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1¾ teaspoons salt, divided
  • 4 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 2 cans (28 ounces each) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 pound penne pasta


    1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add 3 whole garlic cloves and toast until spotty brown, about 5 minutes. Remove garlic from skillet, smash, and mince.
    2. Meanwhile, break up spinach into a medium bowl. With a fork, mix in butter, cheeses, cracker crumbs, oregano, and ¾ teaspoon salt.
    3. Mix eggs and minced toasted garlic together and stir into spinach mixture with fork until thoroughly combined. Using a 2-tablespoon measure, such as a coffee scoop, form mixture into about 36 balls.
    4. Coat a large heavy roasting pan with 2 tablespoons oil. Add spinach balls and roast in oven until firm, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
    5. Add remaining ¼ cup oil, pepper flakes and remaining 5 minced garlic cloves to roasting pan and set over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until garlic is golden, a couple of minutes. Add wine and simmer to reduce by half, about a minute. Add tomatoes and enough water to make a saucelike consistency. Bring to a simmer, add spinach balls and reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, loosely covered with heavy-duty foil, to blend flavors, 10 to 15 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high, add 6 cups water and remaining 1 teaspoon salt, and return to a simmer. Add penne, cover loosely with foil and cook, stirring gently and frequently, until pasta is tender, about 15 minutes. Serve, sprinkling each portion with feta cheese.

Reminder: The ingredients in a recipe determine if it should be eaten every day, some days, or on special occasions. It's up to you and you doctor to determine what can be part of a healthy diet for you and any special needs you may have.

4 Responses to One-Pot Penne with Spinach and Feta

  • Lisa Wetherby

    Is the 2nd half of this recipe missing? Where are the penne and the red sauce from the picture?

  • Fit Staff

    Ooops. Thanks for bringing that to our attention. You’ll find the “full” recipe posted now. thanks.

  • mitchell fox

    thank you for your penne recipe. can you tell me the calories per serving, and the approx. serving size?


  • Lari Robling

    Hi Mitchell,
    We’re not set up to provide nutritionals on recipes but the recipe is for six to eight servings which you can portion as soon as the pan comes out the oven. Obviously, eight servings is better if you are restricting calories. This is from Pam Anderson’s book, “Perfect One Dish Dinners,” and you can contact her at her website to see if she has the calorie count.

Photo by Flicker user mollycakes / CC BY-NC 2.0

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