This is my give-me-a-break-from-candy-canes dinner.

30 Minute Caramelized Shallot, Spinach and Goat Cheese Garlic Butter Pasta I

My no-more-cookies-and-it’s-only-the-second-week-of-December dinner.

The it’s-the-holiday-season-so-I’m-on-a-dinner-making-strike-until-January dinner.

The truth is that.

I need a dinner intervention.

Big time.

The last few weeks, my dinner ideas have been totally SHOT. As in… not even there. Not even existing. My dinner brain is one giant black hole of nothingness. Empty. Deserted. Destitute. So full of nothing that I had to resort to a thesaurus.

The sad part is that I even knew it was coming! I predicted it. Mentioned it a few weeks ago and started brainstorming ideas in order to prevent such catastrophe and then, no.

30 Minute Caramelized Shallot, Spinach and Goat Cheese Garlic Butter Pasta I

It doesn’t matter that I have this… arsenal, per say… of nearly one thousand recipes in the form of predictable ramblings to my invisible internet friends. My brain has just quit working when it comes to ingesting good food after 3PM.

I practically can’t even heat something up in the microwave. The holidays put me in a holidaze and paralyze my mind to the point where I just eat some cheese and kale chips and a handful of peanuts while I sit in front of my computer.

I can hear 2003 calling and asking for their college dinners back.

30 Minute Caramelized Shallot, Spinach and Goat Cheese Garlic Butter Pasta I

So before I hit you with an onslaught of more party food, I made us an easy dinner. Even though at the time I took these photos it was a proper breakfast, which is half the battle, but let’s not talk about that.

The other leeeeeeettle problem may be that someone in this house got me addicted to House of Cards and we might have spend eight solid hours watching it. And doing nothing else.

(besides ordering pizza.)

This pasta is the easiest thing to come out of my kitchen lately and it only takes 30 minutes. It’s packed with flavor but not a ton of ingredients – chances are you have most of them on hand or at least something slightly resembling them. All it takes to reeeeeally make me happy is some brown butter, goat cheese and green stuff to make me feel adult-like and stuff. You know. Necessities.

30 Minute Caramelized Shallot, Spinach and Goat Cheese Garlic Butter Pasta I


30 Minute Caramelized Shallot, Spinach and Goat Cheese Garlic Butter Pasta

Yield: serves 2 to 4

Total Time: 30 minutes


1/2 pound pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots, sliced
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons brown sugar
12 ounces fresh spinach
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes


Bring water to a boil for pasta and prepare according to directions.

While the water is coming to a boil, heat a large skillet over low heat and add olive oil. Add the shallots and salt, stirring to coat. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the brown sugar and cook for 5 minutes more. Be sure that the pasta is cooking by this time.

Add the spinach to the skillet with the shallots and toss. Stir continuously until the spinach is wilted, about 5 minutes.

Heat a small saucepan over medium heat and add the butter. Whisk constantly until the butter begins to brown. The minute you see brown bits appear in the bottom of the skillet, remove it from heat and whisk for another 15 seconds. Add the minced garlic to the brown butter and whisk for 30 seconds.

Add the cooked pasta to the skillet with the spinach and shallots. Toss well, then add the garlic brown butter and toss again. Crumble the goat cheese into the pasta and stir. Sprinkle with the crushed red pepper. Serve immediately.

30 Minute Caramelized Shallot, Spinach and Goat Cheese Garlic Butter Pasta I

Also, squiggly cute little pasta: making Mondays better since… now.

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81 Responses to “Caramelized Shallot, Spinach and Goat Cheese Garlic Butter Pasta.”

  1. #
    Raychel — January 21, 2014 @ 12:16 am! Made it tonight and somebody about had to roll me off the couch afterwards I ate way too much because I just couldn’t stop lol So good! It is creamy, fresh, garlicky, a teeny bit sweet & salty, tangy…just every flavor profile in one dish. Definitely gonna be added to my fave weeknight recipe line up.


  2. #
    Shilps — January 26, 2014 @ 6:25 pm

    Whenever I put spinach in my pasta I always have trouble getting the noodles to mix with the spinach. I always have one large blob of spinach that won’t combine well with noodles no matter how much i mix! Any tips?


  3. #
    Melissa — March 4, 2014 @ 8:03 pm

    I finally made this tonight after being pushed around on my meal plan for the past few weeks. Amazing!!!! I can’t wait for leftovers at lunch tomorrow. :)


  4. #
    Donna Mammele — March 30, 2014 @ 11:51 am

    This looks so good! And pretty! I can’t wait to make it!


  5. #
    Ally — April 23, 2014 @ 8:06 pm

    This was AMAZING. I am so impressed by this recipe — I did not expect such complex and delicious flavors. I will most definitely make this again!


  6. #
    Mary McGuire Coury — July 14, 2014 @ 5:46 pm

    This recipe, which sounds great, just did not work for me. 10 minutes for the shallots was way too long, let alone 5 more after adding sugar. I should have chopped the spinach to get a better blend, and the salt-free butter never really yielded brown bits. I love the sound of the flavors, and I love goat cheese, so I’m going to try again.; I think it can be a terrific supper .


  7. #
    Stephanie @ A Magpie in the Sky — July 30, 2014 @ 4:26 pm

    I just had this for dinner, the garlic browned butter is inspired and I love the little reaction as it all bubbles up! I think this may be the best home cooked pasta dish I’ve ever eaten! Thanks for a fab recipe I’ll be making this again and again! P.s. we used onions and chilli flakes with no problems!


  8. #
    Justine — September 3, 2014 @ 9:46 pm

    Just had this for dinner – so so good! (I only used 10 oz of spinach since that’s what the bag was, and maybe 3 ounces of goat cheese. Perfect). Love the hint of sweetness with the spice and tang, and the brown butter, of course.

    I just started reading your cookbook (like a novel), and I already have 10 recipes bookmarked to make – and I only just started the snack chapter. I have a lot of time in the kitchen in my future!


  9. #
    Laura — December 1, 2014 @ 9:09 pm

    My fiancé and I devoured this! We aren’t fans of goat cheese so we used Parmesan instead. It was fantastic. The best part is that I thought it tasted even better reheated the next day! I will definitely be making this again. Thank you!


  10. #
    Christina — January 5, 2015 @ 8:16 am

    Thanks for a great recipe! I made this last night… Came together so quickly! Vey delicious! Bringing some leftovers to work today for lunch :)


  11. #
    Brittany — March 30, 2015 @ 9:24 am

    What kind of pasta was used in this recipe??



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