This 20-minute artichoke pasta is creamy, tangy, and packed with tender artichoke hearts. It's an easy yet restaurant-worthy everyday meal.
The secret to this dish is to blend some of the artichokes and turn them into a creamy, tasty artichoke sauce, which, combined with the pasta, makes a delicious, family-friendly dinner.
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For this artichoke pasta recipe, we use canned artichoke hearts, which allows us to put this dish together in about 15 to 20 minutes.
The artichoke sauce comes together in about the time it takes to boil the water and cook the pasta.
First, we saute quartered artichokes hearts in a skillet with olive oil, shallots, garlic, salt, pepper, a touch of lemon juice, and olives for about 5 minutes.
Second, we blend half of the artichoke-olive mix with parmesan cheese (or dairy-free cheese) to get a creamy and tasty pesto-like artichoke sauce.
Third, we mix the sauce with the remaining artichokes and toss in the pasta.
Honestly, this is such a delicious and crazy easy pasta dish; you will love it!
TIP: Are you curious about artichokes? Here's our ultimate guide on how to cook with artichokes with 10+ easy artichoke recipes.
Go for canned or jarred artichoke hearts, whole or quartered.
Granted, you can make this recipe with fresh artichokes, but you have to clean them and cook them first. Check out our pan-fried artichoke post to learn how to do this.
We like to make this recipe with short pasta, but long pasta works well too. So pick your favorite type. Our favorite is fusilli, rotini, penne, ziti, and rigatoni.
Also doable with gluten-free pasta.
Add extra virgin olive oil to add flavor to the artichokes and sauce.
Shallots & Garlic
Cooked in a bit of oil, they add flavor to the artichoke sauce. You can substitute red or white onions for shallots.
Pitted green or black olives are a huge flavor booster and add a nutty, grassy, and tangy taste to the sauce. They are a perfect flavor match with artichokes, so make sure not to skimp on them.
Our favorites are cerignola and picholine (green olives) and kalamata or gaeta olives for black varieties.
Grated parmesan is a flavor booster, it adds umami, a savory and cheese flavor, and it goes perfectly well with artichokes. It also makes the sauce super creamy.
To make the recipe vegan, you can use either your favorite dairy-free cheese or substitute almonds or pinenuts for the cheese in the same amount. Of course, if you use nuts, you'll need some additional salt too.
Freshly squeezed lemon juice is optional and only necessary if you want to add an extra tangy flavor to this dish.
Generally, canned artichoke hearts are quite tangy already, so go easy with the lemon juice, or your artichoke pasta will be too acidic and tangy.
Fresh parsley is optional; it adds color and freshness. You can also add a few leaves of mint, as they are delicious with artichokes.
Pine nuts are optional; we add them on top to garnish.
Salt and pepper
We use sea salt and black pepper.
Spinach: add two or three handfuls of spinach to the skillet with the artichoke mixture and cook for a couple of minutes until they wilt. You'll get delicious spinach artichoke pasta.
Red pepper flakes: add ¼ to ½ teaspoon if you like a spicier pasta dish.
To a large skillet, warm up the olive oil, add finely chopped shallots and fry gently for 2 minutes.
Add grated garlic, olives, and quartered artichoke hearts, season with salt and black pepper, and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat. Stir often.
Add freshly squeezed lemon juice for an extra tangy flavor and cook for one more minute or until the liquid has evaporated.
Transfer half of the artichokes and olives to a food processor, add grated parmesan cheese and ¼ cup of water and blend until you have a creamy and pesto-like artichoke sauce. Taste it and adjust for salt.
Transfer the sauce to the pan with the artichokes and wait for the pasta to cook.
Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water per package directions. When the pasta is al dente, reserve one cup of pasta water, drain the pasta, and add it to the pan with the sauce.
Tip: you can boil the water and cook the pasta while you make the sauce.
Add ½ cup of reserved pasta water and finely chopped parsley, and toss the pasta in the sauce on medium heat until fully coated.
Add more parmesan, olive oil, salt, pepper, and reserved pasta water if necessary.
Serve immediately. This artichoke pasta is delicious as is.
Or you can top it with toasted pine nuts, a few mint leaves, and a drizzle of good quality extra virgin olive oil.
This artichoke pasta recipe is quite nutritious and fulfilling and doesn't need much else. Serve it with a light side dish with fresh greens, such as:
- Easy side salad: the easiest side salad ready in just 5 minutes!
- Fennel and orange salad with pomegranate seeds and black olives.
- Zucchini salad: an excellent spring salad idea, ready in 20 minutes with finely shaved zucchini.
- Italian tomato salad with heirloom tomatoes, a 5-minute vinaigrette, and fresh basil.
- Easy Italian salad with croutons, lettuce, and vegetables. A great side salad for romantic dinners and family meals!
Spinach artichoke pasta
Spinach and artichokes are delicious, and eating them in this pasta dish is a great way to add more veggies to your plate.
Add 2 to 3 handfuls of baby spinach to the skillet with the artichoke sauce and hearts. Cook for a few minutes or until the spinach wilt. Add the pasta and serve as instructed above.
How to cook pasta?
You'll need a large pot of salted water as follows:
- 8 ounces of pasta (230 grams): cook pasta in 2 quarts of boiling water (8 cups or 2 Liters) with 1 tablespoon of salt (15 grams). Serves 2 - 3 people.
- 12 ounces of pasta (340 grams): cook pasta in 3 quarts of boiling water (12 cups or 3 Liters) with 1 ½ tablespoons of salt (21 grams). Serves 4 people.
- 1 pound of pasta (450 grams): cook pasta in 1 gallon of boiling water (16 cups or 4 Liters) with 2 tablespoons of salt (30 grams). Serves 5-6 people.
How much pasta per person?
Guidelines recommend 2.1 to 3.5 ounces or 60 to 100 grams of pasta per person, depending on your calorie needs.
Pasta portion sizes vary if you have pasta as a main and only meal or if it's part of a 2 - 3 course menu.
Also, remember that a simple pasta with tomato and basil will have substantially different calories and macros than baked ziti with cheese and meat.
Here's a simple summary:
- 3.5 ounces (100 grams) per person if the main meal;
- 2.8/3 ounces (80/90 grams) per person if part of a 2 - 3 course meal;
- 2.5 ounces (60/70 grams) per person if part of a 3+ course meal.
There's no need to rinse canned artichoke hearts; you can simply drain the liquid from the can and use the artichokes as they are.
You can eat artichoke hearts out of a can/jar without cooking them; however, cooking them makes them more delicious.
Make ahead: you can cook the artichokes, make the artichoke sauce up to 2 days in advance, and store it in the fridge in an airtight container.
Refrigerator: store leftover artichoke pasta in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Also, store a cup of reserved pasta water for reheating.
Reheat: reheat in the microwave with a couple of tablespoons of reserved pasta water (or tap water) drizzled on top. Alternatively, reheat on the stovetop in a skillet with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and water.
Freezer: this recipe is not freezer friendly.
More artichoke recipes
If you love cooking with artichokes, get new ideas with these wholesome and easy artichoke recipes:
- Braised artichokes: Italian-style artichokes; braised and flavored the way they do in Rome.
- Easy artichoke pesto: easy and creamy, perfect with pasta and in sandwiches.
- Artichoke pasta bake: get ready for your next Sunday dinner with this comforting pasta bake!
- Steamed artichokes: one of the easiest ways to cook fresh artichokes on a stovetop.
- How to cook artichokes with tips and tricks to clean and eat this delicious vegetable!
- 10-minute artichoke salad with arugula, cherry tomatoes, and a creamy Italian dressing
More 20-minute pasta ideas
For more easy dinner ideas, check out these quick and tasty pasta recipes - they're ready in 20 minutes:
- Red pepper pasta with canned bell peppers, almonds, and sun-dried tomatoes
- Kale pesto pasta: 5-minute kale pesto make a creamy pasta condiment
- Pasta Puttanesca: an authentic Italian meal with olives, capers, and plenty of tomato flavor
- Spaghetti aglio e olio: a 15-minute weeknight dinner idea with authentic Italian flavor
- Easy hummus pasta with store-bought (or homemade) hummus and sauteed mushrooms
For many more pasta ideas, check out our pasta category page.
- Food processor or blender
- 12 ounces pasta any
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 shallots finely chopped. Sub onion.
- 3 cloves garlic grated
- 2 small cans (14 oz each) artichoke hearts quartered
- ½ cup olives pitted
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice optional
- ¾ cup grated parmesan or dairy-free cheese
- ¼ cup water
- 3 tablespoons parsley finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts toasted, optional
- Warm up the olive oil in a large skillet. Add finely chopped shallots and fry gently for 2 minutes. Add grated garlic, olives, quartered artichoke hearts, salt, black pepper, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.
- Add freshly squeezed lemon juice (optional) and cook for one more minute until the liquid has evaporated.
- Transfer half of the artichoke-olives mixture to a food processor, add grated parmesan, water, and blend until you have a creamy pesto-like sauce.
- Transfer sauce to pan with artichokes and wait for the pasta to cook.
- Cook pasta al dente in a large pot of salted boiling water per package instructions. Reserve one cup of pasta water, drain pasta, and add it to the pan with the sauce.Tip: you can boil and cook the pasta while you make the sauce.
- Add ½ cup of reserved pasta water and finely chopped parsley. Toss on medium heat till fully coated in the sauce.Add more parmesan, olive oil, salt, pepper, and reserved pasta water if needed.
- Serve immediately as is, or top with toasted pine nuts, mint leaves, and a drizzle of olive oil.
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Can you please tell me what kind of green olives you are using in this dish ? Looks delicious, and want to make it for New Years Day ! Thanks
I'm so happy you feel like making this dish - so, our favorites are Cerignola or picholine for green olives. They are all huge flavor boosters and add a nutty, grassy, and tangy taste to the sauce.
Happy celebrations! Kindest, Louise