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Skinny Spinach, Parmesan and Lemon Vegetarian Baked Penne/ Running in a Skirt

Skinny Vegetarian Baked Penne

Julie Wunder
Classic baked pasta gets a healthy makeover in my Skinny Spinach Parmesan and Lemon Vegetarian Baked Penne.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian, Vegetarian
Servings 6 servings
Calories 409 kcal


  • 13 ounces whole wheat penne
  • 9 ounces fresh spinach
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic, 4 cloves
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 ½ cups 1% milk
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • 1 ¼ cup shredded parmesan, divided
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
  • ¾ teaspoon pepper divided
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • ½ cup panko


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a large casserole dish.
  • Cook pasta one minute short of package instructions. It will continue to cook in the pasta bake so you want it under cooked.
  • Two minutes before pasta is scheduled to finish cooking, add the spinach to the pasta water to wilt. Cook along with pasta. Drain the pasta and spinach.
  • Meanwhile, in a large pot, saute the onion in the olive oil over medium heat. Season with ¼ teaspoon of the salt and pepper. Cook until starting to brown.
  • Add the flour and garlic. Stir and coat the onion evenly with the flour. Cook for one minute.
  • Gradually add the broth and milk stirring frequently. Allow the sauce to come to a low boil to thicken. Stir for several minutes or until thick.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in 1 cup of the cheese. Season with nutmeg. Add the rest of the salt and pepper to taste.
  • Stir in the pasta, spinach and add the lemon juice. MIx well.
  • Put in a ** casserole dish and sprinkle the panko and remaining ¼ cup of cheese on the top.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until the top is bubbly and brown.


Calories: 409kcalCarbohydrates: 65gProtein: 22gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 724mgPotassium: 581mgFiber: 7gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 4258IUVitamin C: 23mgCalcium: 353mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Vegetarian Baked Penne
Tried this recipe?Mention @Julie_Wunder or tag #RunninginaSkirt!