Creamy Spinach & Avocado Pasta (“Green Noodles”)

Sometimes red sauce gets old. Even the crazy-good Roasted Balsamic Tomato Sauce I made and froze last summer just doesn’t sound so great to me. Unless it’s on pizza. Pretty much anything on a pizza is on my nice list these days.

Clearly I’m still having carb cravings.

After my kids inhaled this brightly colored pasta (which was odd because they don’t usually like pasta that much), I started thinking of other colors and vegetable combinations I could try.

Butternut squash & carrots would make a gorgeous orange. Summer squash & yellow bell peppers would work for yellow. I’d considered doing a purple pasta sauce with a beet base, but Bev beat me to it. (aka… did the work for me. Thanks, hon!)

I’ll give those a whirl, and get back to you.

Speaking of vegetables, this is a great one if you have gobs of spinach you need to use up. The sauce gets a lot of its flavor from the garlic, a big dollop of Greek yogurt, and some fresh Romano cheese, but I threw an avocado in the sauce just for kicks. And because it was also green. Smart move –  it gave it an extra dose of creaminess without having to add a lot of cheese. Fresh basil would have been a great addition, too!

This is also reason #92574 why you should have an immersion blender in your kitchen.

I think this was my 4-year-old’s second pile. You go, girl.

P.S. We served this with some Parmesan-Ranch Chicken Strips (made with a homemade Ranch mix!)

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Creamy Spinach & Avocado Pasta

Ingredients:

6-8 ounces of pasta (I used brown rice spaghetti)
2 Tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
pinch of salt, more to taste
3-4 big handfuls of spinach (about a 10-12 ounce bag)
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and cut into large chunks
1/2 cup grated fresh Pecorino-Romano or Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish

Directions:

Get the pasta cooking in a very large pot of salted boiling water. When it's finished, drain pasta from the pot, setting aside about 1/2 cup of pasta water. Return pasta to large pot and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for about 1-2 minutes. Add a pinch of salt and the spinach to the saucepan (Yes, the pan will be full. Just stuff it all in.) Cover pot and reduce heat to medium-low. Let the mixture cook for about 4-5 minutes or until the spinach is completely wilted.

Add the yogurt, avocado, and 2-3 Tablespoons of reserved pasta water to the spinach mixture. Stir it a bit, then buzz it up with an immersion blender. (If you don't have one, transfer to a food processor or a blender. Blend well, and return sauce to the pot.) Stir in the cheese, and add more pasta water if it seems too thick.

If your pasta is still hot, simply toss the pasta and sauce together in a large serving bowl. If it's not, then combine the past and sauce in one of the pots (preferably the larger one) and cook over medium low until everything is hot. Add salt and pepper, to taste and serve with a sprinkle of grated cheese.

Nat's Notes:
1. If it were summertime, you better believe a handful of fresh basil would have made it into this sauce.

from Perry's Plate

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33 Responses to “Creamy Spinach & Avocado Pasta (“Green Noodles”)”

  1. 1

    cassie — April 11, 2012 @ 11:48 am

    Love the Greek yogurt added to this, will definitely add that next time. Looks wonderful!

    [Reply]

  2. 2

    Kayla — April 11, 2012 @ 11:58 am

    Yeah, this one is going on the menu immediately. I have a pesto recipe that includes an avocado and I LOVE it. That hit of creaminess is awesome. Can’t wait to try this one!

    [Reply]

  3. 3

    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — April 11, 2012 @ 1:12 pm

    This is so filled with goodness! Yum!

    [Reply]

  4. 4

    Bev Weidner — April 11, 2012 @ 2:30 pm

    GUUUUURL. I’m in.

    [Reply]

  5. 5

    Kathryn — April 11, 2012 @ 3:05 pm

    I love pasta with green sauce! Pesto, spinach, arugula, whatever! But I’ve never tried avocados before. I wonder if they turn a little brown the next day? I like the greek yogurt idea. I’ve used a couple tbs. of cream cheese in the past and really liked the flavor.

    [Reply]

    • Natalie replied: — April 11th, 2012 @ 3:20 pm

      We had leftovers the next day, and I didn’t notice it turning brown. Maybe the acidity in the yogurt helps it from turning brown?

  6. 6

    Sarah B. — April 11, 2012 @ 5:09 pm

    Where do you find brown rice pasta? That sounds way more appetizing than whole wheat.

    [Reply]

    • Natalie replied: — April 11th, 2012 @ 5:28 pm

      Would you believe they have it in the bulk section of a grocery store here? (Winco) I’ve also seen it at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and some regular grocery stores in the pasta or gluten-free section. I think it’s a lot less heavy than whole wheat pasta, but it can get really gummy if it’s cooked too long.

    • Sarah B. replied: — April 11th, 2012 @ 5:32 pm

      Thanks for the tip! I’m so glad I stumbled upon your blog a few weeks ago. I can’t wait to try some new things soon!

  7. 7

    Cara — April 11, 2012 @ 6:13 pm

    Carbs smothered in avocado? You don’t have to convince me :)

    [Reply]

  8. 8

    Kendall — April 12, 2012 @ 2:10 am

    Hello from Australia! I have just discovered your website, and as a vegetarian I am so excited about all the lovely things to cook. I made the ‘green noodles’ for dinner tonight and they are delicious (just like your daughter, I had to go back for seconds)! I look forward to trying out lots of your other recipes. : )

    [Reply]

  9. 9

    Carrie & Kiss My Whisk — April 12, 2012 @ 9:17 am

    This looks so green, creamy and delicious! Can’t wait to give it a go!

    [Reply]

  10. 10

    Heidi @ Food Doodles — April 12, 2012 @ 11:02 am

    Mmmm, looks delicious! I need to try this out on my kids! Occasionally I’ll make homemade pasta with spinach blended into the actual pasta(it makes it an awesome green color!) and they love it, how awesome would that be with this sauce? :D

    [Reply]

  11. 11

    Kristin — April 12, 2012 @ 2:14 pm

    Brown rice spaghetti?! Sounds awesome. Never heard of it. I’m definitely trying this!

    [Reply]

  12. 12

    Joanne — April 12, 2012 @ 6:59 pm

    I’ve made Oh She Glows’s version of this, which DOES have basil and it’s kind of the best thing ever. It doesn’t have spinach though, which now I’m thinking would add the best nutritional kick!

    [Reply]

  13. 13

    Lauralee — April 15, 2012 @ 3:20 pm

    I came across this recipe and was so happy I had all the components to make it happen. I just finished eating it- and it was delish!! I added some sauted shrimp to the top of it bc I need a little protein. The rest of the recipe I followed to a “T” and it was quick and easy. I plan on adding this to my rotation! It was put together in the time it took to cook the noodles. Thanks for the great dinner :D

    [Reply]

  14. 14

    Rachel Cooks (formerly Not Rachael Ray) — April 16, 2012 @ 5:42 am

    Oh man, I could eat this every day. Easily!

    [Reply]

  15. Pingback: Meal Idea Monday… On Tuesday? Creamy Spinach and Avocado Noodles « Food Tidings Blog

  16. 15

    Jenna — April 19, 2012 @ 4:42 pm

    This was incredible! I’d been wanting to try Giada’s version (with arugula), but tried this first since spinach was on hand. Our entire family loved it! I am not usually a fan of cooked spinach, so I was kinda nervous- but the taste was just right. Thanks for a great, healthy recipe!

    [Reply]

  17. Pingback: Spaghetti & Spinach Avocado "Pesto" | Ari's Menu

  18. Pingback: Creamy Spinach and Avocado Pasta from Perry’s Plate | naturally domestic

  19. Pingback: Creamy Spinach and Avocado Pasta from Perry’s Plate | naturally domestic

  20. 16

    Megan — May 16, 2012 @ 8:48 pm

    I can’t wait to try this. I’m new to your recipes. I am super curious what you served with the noodles. I can see something else on the plates.

    [Reply]

    • Natalie replied: — May 16th, 2012 @ 9:15 pm

      Welcome Megan! I made some Parmesan-Ranch Chicken Strips (a cleaned up version using homemade buttermilk dressing mix). I just barely posted that recipe so it’s still on the front page of the blog. I also added a link to it in this post just now. Thanks for reminding me!

  21. 17

    Jenny Friden — May 30, 2012 @ 8:58 pm

    This was so good! Even the four year old tried it and liked it. We are having it again next week.

    [Reply]

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  23. 18

    Mary Frances — September 18, 2012 @ 4:10 pm

    Thank you so much for this recipe. I’ve made it loads of times since you posted, and when I saw my 16 month old devouring it (yet again) tonight – this time with the addition of cherry tomatoes – I knew that the time had come to delurk and say thank you.

    [Reply]

    • Natalie replied: — September 19th, 2012 @ 9:15 pm

      You’re welcome!! I’m glad you all liked it and that you decided to “delurk” lol. Hope I see you again soon! :)

  24. 19

    Courtney @ CardioQueen — February 22, 2013 @ 9:47 pm

    I made this tonight, and we LOVED it! The avocado made such a creamy sauce, but this is such a healthy dish! Carbs, veggies, and healthy fats all in one easy meal! Thanks for posting it! :)

    [Reply]

  25. Pingback: Creamy spinach pasta | bonjourhan

  26. 20

    Ellen Trexler — October 10, 2013 @ 9:24 am

    I recently discovered your site, and couldn’t be happier with your recipes. After going Gluten free and Non-GMO as a result of my roommates eating habits, I’m always looking for great “Real Food” recipes, and this is certainly one. SO easy and absolutely delish! I added Basil, some crushed red pepper, and lemon juice and eliminated the butter, substituting EVOO. I may even thin it a bit and use as a salad dressing. I could eat this everyday of the week! Thanks!!

    [Reply]

  27. 21

    caro — January 11, 2014 @ 5:36 am

    I just made it for lunch and it was really good :) Thank you for the recipe, it is definitely a keeper !

    [Reply]

  28. Pingback: Meatless Monday: Avocado-Spinach Pasta | windykitchen

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