Herb and Garlic Shells with Spinach and Bacon

Most of the pasta dishes on this website are best served as entrees, but pasta can also make a great side dish to serve along side some of your favorite main dishes. So today I thought I would share one of my favorite pasta side dish recipes. It is light and full of wonderful flavors. Let me start by saying,  I am a huge fan of the herb and garlic cheese spreads. Most commonly they are served along side meats, veggies and crackers, but for this recipe I added it to hot pasta so it melted and lightly coated the pasta. While that is delicious on its own, in addition to the garlic and herb flavors you get from the cheese you’ll also find shallots, spinach and crispy bacon.

For this recipe, I used medium shell pasta because that is what I had on hand, but you could easily substitute penne, farfalle or even elbow macaroni.

Herb and Garlic Shells with Spinach and Bacon Recipe

Serves 4 Prep Time: Cook Time:


  • 3 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach leaves
  • 2 cups dried medium shell pasta
  • 3 tablespoons herb and garlic spreadable cheese (such as Rondele)
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste



Start a pot of water for your pasta.


In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until it crisps up, about 5-7 minutes. Transfer to paper towel lined plate and set aside. Reserve 2 teaspoons of pan drippings.


Once your pasta water starts boiling, cook pasta according to package directions. Strain.


Meanwhile, in the same skillet you cooked the bacon in, add 1 teaspoon olive oil. Stir in garlic and shallots. Cook just until softened about 3 minutes.


Stir in spinach, cook 1 minute. It will wilt slightly.


Stir in cooked pasta. Stir in herb and garlic cheese. As the cheese melts, stir to lightly coat the pasta. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Transfer to serving platter, sprinkle with bacon and serve.


While I shared this recipe with the intention that it would make a delicious side dish, it would also make a delicious dinner for two. Enjoy! P.S. Just a little note to everyone, I'll be heading to Kansas tomorrow for a wedding this weekend and I am not sure that I'll have much time to hop on the computer. But I didn't want to leave you guys without recipes for the rest of the week so today I timed some posts so that you will still get recipes for the remainder of the week. I just thought I would mention that I will be gone incase you have a question or comment about one of the recipes and I don't respond respond right away. I hope everyone has a wonderful Memorial Day! :)

Leave a Comment

  • Reply
    May 26, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    Thanks Memoria! I bet turkey bacon would be a nice substitute.

  • Reply
    May 20, 2009 at 7:42 am

    Wow! I love how easy this recipe is! I have some turkey bacon in the refrigerator I could use for this dish. Thanks!