This Green Pasta Sauce is so good and creamy you'd never guess it's packed with spinach! The sauce is blended and it's a great way to get some extra greens into your diet.
Why This Recipe Works
- It's a great way to sneak greens into your meal - The pasta sauce is made with lots of spinach that you probably wouldn't otherwise eat in one sitting. This makes it a great option if you need to add more greens to your diet without having to eat a big salad.
- It's a healthy alternative to other pasta sauces - It's made with spinach and cashew milk which makes it lighter and also vegan friendly. You can use regular milk or cream too but this recipe is a great option for someone looking for a lighter healthier pasta sauce.
- It's very easy to make - The sauce only takes a minute to blend up and the rest of the recipe is really simple. You can even blend the sauce the night before to save time and use it for lunch or dinner the next day. I don't recommend making it any longer in advance.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Baby spinach - I like using baby spinach instead of regular big spinach leaves because I find the flavor to be a little less bitter and it's usually more widely available. This is what gives the sauce its bright green color.
- Milk - I like using cashew milk for this recipe because it doesn't have much flavor which makes it perfect for any savory dishes. I prefer it over almond milk or oat milk because of this but they work as well. If you don't mind dairy you can use regular milk too.
- Pasta - I'm using spaghetti for this recipe but any pasta shape works - gluten-free or regular.
- Garlic, chili flakes, fresh basil, sea salt - This is where all the flavor comes from
There are three steps to make this dish - blend the sauce, warm it up with sauteed onion, and cook your pasta. It's really easy and perfect for busy days!
- Add all the sauce ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend on high until smooth. I prefer a blender over a food processor because it makes the sauce completely smooth with no pieces of spinach.
- Sautee finely chopped yellow onion with some avocado oil until translucent and a little caramelized.
- Add the sauce to the pan and simmer for a few minutes stirring often. It will thicken slightly on its own but you can add a mix of water and tapioca starch (or corn starch) to help it thicken up.
- Add shredded pecorino to the sauce, or nutritional yeast to keep it vegan and stir in.
- Cook your spaghetti, or another pasta shape, while the sauce is simmering.
- Save some of the pasta water and drain and rinse the pasta. Add it to the sauce and gently toss in the sauce. Add pasta water to loosen the sauce as needed.
- Add lemon juice, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and salt if needed. Enjoy!
- You can serve the pasta as is or with a side of protein or a side salad.
- Protein options - salmon or other fish, shrimp, or chicken. Vegan options would be tofu, slices vegan sausages, or other vegan meat.
- Try this Charred Corn Zucchini Salad with Pecorino on the side to add some more veggies to the dish that aren't a cold salad.
- The pasta will soak up the sauce so it's best eaten right away. If you need to store it, transfer it to an airtight container and store in the fridge for 2-3 days.
- To reheat the pasta, add it to a medium saucepan with a good splash of water to prevent it from sticking and warm it up stirring often.
Spinach! I add a whole box of baby spinach you find in grocery stores so basically this is spinach sauce but with lots of other flavors so you don't actually taste the spinach much at all.
I like using spaghetti but any pasta shape works. You can use gluten-free if needed.
Yes, unless you add the pecorino. To make the sauce cheesy and to add saltiness, I add grated pecorino (or parmesan) cheese to the sauce. You can omit it or add nutritional yeast instead to keep the recipe 100% vegan friendly.
You can blend up the sauce the night before for lunch or dinner the next day but I don't recommend making it any further in advance. Blending the sauce only takes a minute!
More Pasta Recipes You Might Like
Here are three pasta recipes I think you'll enjoy if you like this one! If you want to see all my pasta recipes, check out the Pasta Recipes category. It's always being updated and you might find more of what you like!
- Light Asparagus Pasta with Fresh Basil (similar in flavor but no creamy sauce)
- Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta with Capers and Dill (probably my favorite pasta recipe ever!)
- Brown Rice Pasta with Creamy Cilantro Sauce (also a green sauce but with different flavors)
This green pasta sauce is blended and ready in minutes, all you gotta do is cook your spaghetti, sautee some onion, and warm up your sauce!
- 1 cup milk of choice (I like cashew milk here)
- ¼ cup vegetable stock (or water/more milk)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 140g baby spinach (1 box, approx. 4 cups packed)
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves
- ½ tsp tapioca starch (or cornstarch)
- ¼ tsp chili flakes
- ¼ tsp sea salt (plus more to taste)
- 1 tbsp avocado oil (or other cooking oil)
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 8 oz spaghetti
- A squeeze of lemon (optional but recommended, approx. 1 tsp)
- ½ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese (or parmesan, plus more for serving)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Add the milk, vegetable stock, garlic, baby spinach, fresh basil, tapioca starch, chili flakes, and sea salt to a high speed blender and blend until smooth. The sauce will be thin but will thicken as it cooks later.
- Heat a pan over medium-high heat and add the finely chopped onion and sea salt. Cook, stirring often for 5-7 minutes until translucent.
- Add a splash of vegetable stock or water to the pan before adding the sauce to deglaze so the milk doesn’t burn. Pour in the blended sauce and stir.
- Let the sauce simmer on medium heat for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
- While the sauce is simmering, cook the spaghetti according to package instructions.
- Reserve ½ cup of the pasta water and drain and rinse the spaghetti.
- Add them to the sauce along with a squeeze of lemon, and toss gently to combine. Add pasta water as needed.
- Serve with more Pecorino, black pepper, or more chili flakes if desired.
Saltiness: Pecorino is a very salty cheese so I only add ¼ teaspoon of salt to the sauce. If you’re using parmesan or no cheese at all, I recommend adding a pinch more salt or ½ tsp.
No cheese: To make this sauce completely vegan or vegetarian, you can substitute the pecorino with nutritional yeast. Add 2 tablespoon to the sauce and add more as needed to taste for serving.
Lemon: The lemon is added to bring freshness and a little bit of acidity to the sauce. You can skip it if you don’t have any lemon or substitute it with ½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar which is different but really good.
Storing: Store the pasta in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. Add to a large pan with a splash of water to reheat. If it’s regular pasta, it should be ok. If it’s gluten-free, it might fall apart a little when you warm it up.
Keywords: green pasta sauce