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.

Artichoke pasta with fork and lemon

Check out our Easy Pasta Recipes

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.

artichoke pasta in a bowl with a fork

Ingredients

Artichoke pasta ingredients

Artichoke hearts

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.

Pasta

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.

Olive oil

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.

Olives

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.

Parmesan Cheese

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.

Lemon Juice

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.

Parsley

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

Pine nuts are optional; we add them on top to garnish.

Salt and pepper

We use sea salt and black pepper.

Add-ins

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 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon if you like a spicier pasta dish.

Artichoke pasta in a bowl with lemon

Instructions

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.

Artichoke and capers in skillet

Add freshly squeezed lemon juice for an extra tangy flavor and cook for one more minute or until the liquid has evaporated.

Fried olives, capers and artichokes

Transfer half of the artichokes and olives to a food processor, add grated parmesan cheese and 1/4 cup of water and blend until you have a creamy and pesto-like artichoke sauce. Taste it and adjust for salt.

Artichoke pesto in a blender

Transfer the sauce to the pan with the artichokes and wait for the pasta to cook.

Artichoke pesto in a skillet

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.

pasta in a skillet

Add 1/2 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.

artichoke pesto and pasta in a skillet

Serve immediately. This artichoke pasta is delicious as is.

Artichoke pasta with fork and lemon

Or you can top it with toasted pine nuts, a few mint leaves, and a drizzle of good quality extra virgin olive oil.

Artichoke pasta with fork and mint leaves

Serving Suggestions

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:

Variations

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.

Tips

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.

Questions

Do I need to rinse canned artichoke hearts?

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.

Do you have to cook artichoke hearts from a jar?

You can eat artichoke hearts out of a can/jar without cooking them; however, cooking them makes them more delicious.

Storage

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:

More 20-minute pasta ideas

For more easy dinner ideas, check out these quick and tasty pasta recipes – they’re ready in 20 minutes:

For many more pasta ideas, check out our pasta category page.

Artichoke pasta in a white bowl

Artichoke Pasta

By: Nico Pallotta
5 from 1 vote
This 20-minute artichoke pasta is creamy, tangy, and packed with tender artichoke hearts. It's an easy, everyday, yet restaurant-worthy 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.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Course: Main
Cuisine: American Italian

Equipment

  • Food processor or blender

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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.
    Artichoke and capers in skillet
  • Add freshly squeezed lemon juice (optional) and cook for one more minute until the liquid has evaporated.
    Fried olives, capers and artichokes
  • 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.
    Artichoke pesto in a blender
  • Transfer sauce to pan with artichokes and wait for the pasta to cook.
    Artichoke pesto in a skillet
  • 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.
    pasta in a skillet
  • 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.
    artichoke pesto and pasta in a skillet
  • Serve immediately as is, or top with toasted pine nuts, mint leaves, and a drizzle of olive oil.
    Artichoke pasta with fork and mint leaves

Video

Artichoke pasta in 20 minutes

Notes

Nutrition information is for one serving of artichoke pasta out of four servings.
SUBSTITUTIONS
Artichokes: sub fresh artichokes for canned/jarred ones. You need to clean and pan fry them first. To do so, follow our guide on how to cook with artichokes.
Parmesan: sub pecorino Romano for parmesan. To make it vegan, sub dairy-free cheese or almonds + peanuts for cheese.
Shallots: sub onion, white or red.
Pine nuts: sub toasted and crushed hazelnuts.
VARIATIONS
Spinach artichoke pasta: add 3 handfuls of baby spinach to the skillet with the sauce, stir and cook for a couple of minutes until the spinach wilt. Add pasta and finish 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?
Here’s a simple summary:
3.5 ounces (100 grams) per person if is 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.
MAKE AHEAD & STORAGE
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.

Nutrition

Calories: 555kcal, Carbohydrates: 75g, Protein: 19g, Fat: 20g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 9g, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 16mg, Potassium: 334mg, Dietary Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 484IU, Vitamin B6: 0.2mg, Vitamin C: 7mg, Vitamin E: 2mg, Vitamin K: 57µg, Calcium: 208mg, Folate: 28µg, Iron: 2mg, Manganese: 1mg, Magnesium: 71mg, Zinc: 2mg
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Nico and Louise in the kitchen

Hi! We are Nico & Louise

Welcome to The Plant-Based School, a food blog with easy, tasty, and wholesome recipes.

Our aim is to help you and your family eat more veggies through delicious recipes with simple ingredients.

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4 Comments

    1. Hi Amal, yes you can. The marinade might be flavored so make sure to adjust salt and red pepper flake amounts in accordance (so you don’t end up with a very spicy or very salty pasta dish) 🙂
      Happy cooking! Louise

  1. 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

    1. Hi Jan,
      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