Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Cindy Barr
6 servings (serving size: about 1 1/3 cups)

Canned beans are a great pantry staple with lots of protein and fiber. To help reduce sodium in regular canned beans, we rinse and drain them.

How to Make It

Step 1

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain pasta in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water. Place pasta in a small bowl. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, tossing gently. Set aside, and keep warm.

Step 2

Return pan to medium heat. Add oil, garlic, and pepper; cook 2 minutes or until garlic is lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, tomatoes, and beans; cook 2 minutes. Add pasta; cook 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add reserved pasta water and arugula, tossing gently to combine. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice and cheese. Serve immediately.

Chef's Notes

MyRecipes is working with Let's Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA's MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a trove of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit

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Ratings & Reviews

3 1/2 stars

December 03, 2015
I've made this a few times and it is pretty good for a quick, easy pasta dish.  I use spinach though as the family doesn't care for arugula.  There are never left overs so I keep making it.  Cheap meal but flavorful.

E11even's Review

August 02, 2011
The reviews were so good, but like the one other negative one, we threw this all away. What a waste of good food, but it was awful.

emmmdee's Review

July 15, 2011
This is one of my boyfriend's and my favorite go-to meals, though we usually leave out the arugula.

PghGourmet's Review

June 18, 2011
Rarely do I dump an entire meal down the garbage disposal, but neither my husband nor I could take more than a couple of bites of this dish. Based on previous reviews, I expected so much more, but the textures and combinations of flavors just didn't sit well with us.

bariolio's Review

November 04, 2009
My husband and I just loved this recipe. I used whole wheat angel hair for the pasta & a dash of cayenne instead of pepper flakes. The rest was made exactly as written. I also cooked the arugula a bit more than specified. I was a bit afraid of all the garlic, but it all blended very well. I'll definitely make again!

apparently's Review

October 20, 2009
OK, but not more than that. My kids will happily eat spinach, but did not like the arugula in this recipe. Could have used some more beans and a bit more acid bite.

Monica3's Review

October 12, 2009
I was a non-believer, but I am glad I gave this recipe a shot. It is a delicious, filling, protein-laden vegetarian option. I gave it four stars because I did not think it is guest-worthy, unless the guests are vegetarians. I followed the recipe almost exactly, except that I only cooked enough spaghetti for one serving and mixed with a bit of the sauce. I will cook the spaghetti as I need more.

azlall2's Review

September 08, 2009
This was good, but I wouldn't make it again because CL makes a better version of this that is much easier. Look up Cavatappi with spinach, beans and asiago. For the 20th anniversary of Cooking Light, the editors rated this their best pasta dish in 20 years. For the Cavatappi, I put the oil, garlic, red pepper and beans in a bowl earlier in the day, and the beans soak up/infuse all that flavor without cooking. Then at dinner, you run a knife through spinach while the water boils, but the spinach in the bowl on top of the beans, put the hot pasta on top of the spinach to let it wilt a minute. Dinner is served. That cavatappi dish is nearly identical to this Garlicky Spaghetti dish, but the flavor is much better on the easier cavatappi recipe.

Saecca's Review

September 01, 2009
When I saw this recipe, I was skeptical of a salad/pasta mix recipe. But I pressed on. The meal was amazing! I added pan-seared bay scallops (because my husband said a pasta wouldn't fill him up). The scallops just added to the beans and tomatoes. I loved this recipe, and it was simple as heck to make (we had just moved into our new place, and this came together with minimal pots and pans).

kiall1's Review

August 21, 2009
Excellent and easy weeknight recipe. I sub'd spinach for the arugula. I am trying to serve vegetarian meals at least twice a week; this recipe is ideal.