This delicious and easy green pasta sauce is a perfect replacement to that boring old jar of marinara in your cupboard. Not only is it tasty, it’s easy to make and filled with nutrients!
I fell in love with this recipe the first time I tried it out. I typically stay away from pesto-like sauces because I’m allergic to just about every nut out there (and many pesto varieties contain nuts). So I was excited to try something pesto-like, but not quite pesto.
Plus, this sauce is a great way to get in those extra greens as well! The spinach and basil are not only nutritious, they add a great flavor to the pasta and a wonderful color. You won’t even think about the fact that you are eating your veggies, I promise.
This recipe is a creative way to switch up your typical pasta sauce, plus it’s super nutritious and easy to whip up in a pinch. This recipe will absolutely have your guests asking for the recipe, you can’t go wrong!
Ingredients for this green pasta sauce
I love this recipe because it doesn’t require too many ingredients and it’s really hard to mess up. All the ingredients add a wonderful flavor profile that will have you asking for more (and more):
- Garlic: I just use minced garlic from the jar.
- Parmesan: I recommend using grated parmesan versus shredded.
- Olive oil: Extra virgin olive oil works great for this recipe, but any type will do. I don’t recommend using alternative oils since the olive oil adds a lot of good flavor.
- Chicken bouillon cube: If you want to make this recipe vegetarian, I recommend replacing the water with vegetable broth and omitting the chicken bouillon cube.
- Lemon juice: Fresh squeezed is always best!
You can make this recipe gluten free by using a gluten free pasta variety. You can also make it vegetarian by omitting the chicken bouillon cube and adding in vegetable stock or broth instead of the water.
This recipe is jam packed with a ton of awesome nutrients that help fuel your body and make you feel great. A few of the ingredients that are especially great for your health include spinach, basil, garlic, parmesan and olive oil.
There is some evidence to suggest that garlic has many health benefits, including reduction in LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol), reduction of high blood pressure and possible reduction in cancer risk.
Parmesan is a good source of calcium, which is a nutrient that is typically lacking in the average person’s diet (about 30% men and 60% women don’t consume enough calcium).
And finally, olive oil is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats, which both have been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol and risk for heart disease.
Tip: If you trying to save some money, try using frozen spinach. It’s just as nutritious as fresh and lasts for months in the freezer.
How to make green pasta sauce
This green pasta sauce recipe is so easy to make, it takes me about 20 minutes to prepare it and even quicker if I need to.
- Saute the spinach, basil and garlic in olive oil.
- In a blender, add hot water and chicken bouillon cube. Stir until the cube dissolves.
- Add the spinach, basil and garlic, along with the remaining ingredients into the blender.
- Blend until smooth and add to cooked pasta.
As you can see it’s super straightforward. All you will need is a blender and a pan to saute the basil, garlic and spinach. If you want to use chicken or vegetable broth, you can use this in place of water and omit the chicken bouillon cube.
Is this sauce like pesto?
While this sauce is similar to pesto, there are a few key differences that make it unique. First, this sauce contains spinach. Most pesto sauces only include basil, which gives it its green color.
Next, pesto usually contains pine nuts or other nuts. This recipe is 100% nut free (believe me, I’m allergic to most nuts).
Along with this, this recipe includes lemon juice and a chicken bouillon cube. Personally, I think these ingredients add some really great flavor that pesto doesn’t have.
Is green pasta sauce healthier than marinara sauce?
These recipes have pretty different nutritional profiles, so it’s hard to compare, but here are a few big differences.
This green pasta sauce is olive oil based, so it’s rather high in fat compared to marinara sauce. Now, this being said, this isn’t the worst thing! The main source of fat is from olive oil, which is heart healthy and good for you compared to things like butter or fatty meats.
Next, the green pasta sauce is very high in vitamin A and K due to the spinach and basil. Marinara sauce also has some vitamin A and K, but is especially high in potassium due to the tomatoes in the sauce.
To sum it up, both options are healthy pasta sauce options. They just have different nutrient profiles. If you are looking for a sauce higher in healthy fats, vitamin A and K, try the green pasta sauce. If you need more potassium, marinara sauce is a better choice.
Tips to make the recipe even better
The first tip is to make sure the chicken bouillon cube is fully dissolved before adding in the other ingredients. To ensure this happens, use hot water and stir until completely mixed.
I made the mistake of not letting it dissolve completely my first time testing this recipe and ended up with a huge chunk of cube in my pasta. Not fun!
If you tried out this recipe and liked it, please comment below and share. Also remember to tag me on Instagram and TikTok!
Easy Green Pasta Sauce
- 1 lb pasta any shape
- 1 bag (6 oz) spinach
- 1 cup basil
- 1/4 cup hot water
- 1 cube chicken bouillon
- 1/2 cup parmesan
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
- Place a skillet on medium to low heat. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil to the skillet once heated and sauté the spinach, basil and garlic until wilted.
- In a blender, add hot water and chicken bouillon cube. Stir until dissolved.
- Add spinach, basil, garlic along with parmesan, remaining olive oil (3 tbsp) and lemon juice to the blender.
- Blend until smooth and pour over cooked pasta. Mix until all pasta is coated with the sauce. Serve and enjoy!