Photo: Francesco Tonelli; Styling: Tiziana Agnello
Hands-on Time
19 Mins
Total Time
28 Mins
Serves 4

Here is a lovely twist on beloved pesto for spring. Baby spinach takes the place of most of the basil to give the sauce an earthy flavor. The thick, emerald sauce beautifully coats the flat noodles and serves up big flavor in every forkful.

How to Make It

Step 1

Place spinach in a microwave-safe bowl; cover bowl with plastic wrap. Microwave at HIGH 2 minutes or until spinach wilts. Remove plastic wrap; cool slightly.

Step 2

Place spinach, almonds, and next 5 ingredients (through garlic) in a food processor. Process until chopped. Add broth, juice, and salt; pulse 5 times. With processor on, slowly pour oil through food chute; process until well blended. Scrape into a bowl; stir in half of cheese. Cover with plastic wrap.

Step 3

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain. Toss pasta with 1/2 cup pesto. Arrange about 1 1/2 cups pasta mixture in each of 4 bowls; top each serving with 2 tablespoons remaining pesto and 1 1/2 teaspoons remaining cheese.

Chef's Notes

MyRecipes is working with Let's Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA's MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a trove of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit

Also appeared in: All You, May, 2015

Ratings & Reviews

BrittanyMeinke's Review

January 02, 2014

eTyFairyTale's Review

September 06, 2013

StephanieMS's Review

April 19, 2013
I used dried spices (except for the basil, of course) and I used walnuts instead of almonds. I know the calorie count probably went up, but I was okay with that if it meant that I didnt have to go to the grocery store. The pesto is amazing, seriously.

jmeleeS's Review

April 04, 2013
Very easy recipe to make and the pesto is absolutely delightful! I left out the fresh thyme (didn't miss it), added extra garlic (for personal tastes) and added quartered grape tomatoes to the pasta water for the last 5 minutes of boil time to give it a little color / additional veggies. Overall, I would definitely make this one again, but I did think the pesto was a bit dry, so I would recommend leaving some pasta water in the pot after draining to help lighten the sauce and get a nice even coat on the noodles. Also, I tried to go a bit healthier and used whole wheat pasta in this one - disaster; the wheat flavor overwhelms the pesto (even with the strong herbs & garlic), so definitely don't try this one with whole wheat pasta. Served with some simple seasoned and grilled chicken; very filling and great portion sizes. A keeper; enjoy!

debbieshuman's Review

March 31, 2013
This was so easy to make and was delicious. I didn't change anything in the recipe except I did add extra olive oil because it seemed a bit dry. It made the perfect amount for four servings.

daneanp's Review

March 22, 2013
This went together quickly and was very flavorful. Had to sub chicken broth for the veggie broth as that is what I had on hand. I would cut back or omit the oregano next time, it seemed to over power the dish. I used fresh pasta and the whole thing went together in like 15 minutes, maybe less! It would be good to add some fresh sauted veggies as there was a good deal of pesto for the amount of pasta.

TheMomChef's Review

March 18, 2013
Absolutely fantastic! I love pesto but find the original version to be too overpoweringly basil. This remedies that and creates a dish the entire family can enjoy. The almond blends deliciously with the basil and spinach. It was a glorious meal. You can read my full review at Taking On Magazines:

danidemi's Review

March 01, 2013
This sauce was delicious!! Definitely earthy and rich as the description states. I doubled the recipe, afraid I wouldn't have enough sauce and let me tell you.....a little goes a LONG way with this sauce!! I also used a small food processor so it was kind of messy.