Cheap Dinner

Pineapple Kielbasa Spinach Pasta
Easy Healthy Dinner
Loaded With Fiber and Flavor

A cheap dinner can be simple, quick, healthy and flavorful.  Too good to be true?  Well, you may say it differently after trying this recipe.

Pineapple Kielbasa Spinach Pasta

Total Time:
30-35 Minutes
Prep Time
: 10 Minutes  

Active Cook Time: 20-25 Minutes  
Serving: 4

This pineapple kielbasa spinach pasta was inspired by an out-of-season pineapple in a fall a few years ago.  As you may have already known that pineapple and kiwi may not taste great if it is not in season.  It always causes my tongue itchy.  I know…it sounds crazy.

But I was raised not to throw food away.  What should I do with this pineapple?  Cooking it definitely helps.  Well, why didn’t I make a savory dish out of it, right?  That was how this recipe created.


Talking about loaded with fiber, this pasta recipe definitely fits into that category.  If you love hot and spicy dishes, buy the spicy kielbasa and replace the crushed red pepper with Chipotle adobo sauce.  That was how I did it.  This version is much more family-friendly because not many children would like spicy food.  (Well, I guess my child is an exception.  The spicier, the better.)

Since this pineapple kielbasa spinach pasta recipe is so flavorful, you would not mind the whole wheat or whole grain pasta.  If you haven’t tried it before, I highly recommend you to start with the Barilla brand.  It doesn’t have the strong smell of the whole wheat or whole grain like other brands.

If you want this family dinner purely vegetarian, skipping the kielbasa is totally fine.  It is still very tasty.  Or, look for vegetarian hot dogs/sausage in the produce aisle.  That would be another great opportunity to try something new, right?

The recipe calls for canned pineapple.  If you happen to have a fresh one and it tastes sour or not ripe enough, use it in this recipe.  You will love it.

Cheap Dinner Recipe and Instructions


1 lb (454g) Kielbasa (slice about 1/3” / .8cmthick and I bought the spicy kind)

1 Can (20oz / 567g) Pineapple Slices (cut in chunks and save ¼ cup [2oz / 59g] syrup; feel free to use fresh pineapple)
1 Box (12oz / 340g) Whole Wheat or Whole Grain Penne (any short pasta will be fine in this recipe)
1 Box (10oz / 283g) Frozen Cut Spinach (thawed and squeeze out all the excess liquid)
1 pinch Crushed Red Pepper (I substituted it with 1 teaspoon of Chipotle adobo sauce.)


1 ½ teaspoon Salt (divided)
¼ teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1 tablespoon Canola Oil
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Pot of Water

  1. Bring a big pot of water to a boil
  2. Add 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 tablespoon canola oil and pasta
  3. Quick stir and let it cook per package directions.  
  4. While waiting for the pasta, preheat a big skillet at medium high heat with 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  5. Single layer the kielbasa on the skillet and let it brown about 2-3 minutes each side; brown to your desired doneness.  Add crushed red pepper and spinach and toss to combine
  6. Add pineapple and toss about 2 minutes until the pineapple is warm.  The moisture from pineapple will pick up the brown bit and the flavor from the pan where the kielbasa left.
  7. Transfer kielbasa spinach and pineapple mixture to a plate and put it aside.
  8. Drain pasta about 1-2 minutes before al dente
  9. Put the pasta back into the pasta pot
  10. Add pineapple-kielbasa-spinach mixture and pineapple syrup into the pasta pot
  11. Turn the heat to medium
  12. Toss until the pasta absorbs all the liquid and serve

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