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three bowls of quick and healthy green sauce pasta

Quick & Healthy Green Sauce for Pasta

  • Author: Alex Aldeborgh
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4-6 1x
  • Category: main dish
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free


This vibrant spinach and basil green sauce for pasta is a delicious way to get in your greens. Make it tonight for an easy weeknight dinner win! Ready in 30 minutes or less.


  • 6 oz bag of baby spinach
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 1 lb rigatoni pasta
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1.5 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare an ice bath with ice and water in a large bowl.
  2. Add spinach and basil to boiling water and cook for 30 seconds. Use tongs or a slotted spoon to quickly transfer to the blanched greens to the ice bath. Set aside.
  3. Keep the water boiling, and add the pasta. Cook according to package instructions.
  4. While the pasta cooks, heat olive oil in a skillet over low-medium heat. Add sliced garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, while the pasta cooks, being careful not to burn the garlic.
  5. To make the sauce, add the blanched spinach and basil, sauteed garlic and olive oil, parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and a generous shake of salt and pepper to a food processor or blender. Blend until completely smooth, with very little chunks remaining. Sauce will be quite liquidy.
  6. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water. Return the pasta to the hot pot or a large mixing bowl.
  7. Pour sauce over the pasta and add a few tablespoons of the reserved pasta water. Toss well to distribute the sauce so that each noodle is evenly coated.
  8. Serve immediately, with shredded parmesan cheese if desired. 


  • This pasta tastes good cold and keeps well in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Keywords: green pasta sauce, vegetarian, gluten free