This creamy vegan spinach pasta recipe is packed with everything you could want: vibrant herbs, zingy lemon, toasted pine nuts and garlic, and a creamy spinach and creme fraiche sauce that pairs perfectly with tagliatelle (or let’s face it, any pasta of your choosing!). This easy recipe is a great way to pack a superfood into a tasty recipe, making this creamy spinach sauce perfect for adults and kids alike.
I love pasta any time of year, but this is a particularly good recipe for the summer. Fresh spinach and herbs paired with the zing of a freshly juiced lemon and a good dollop of vegan creme fraiche…you just can’t beat it! This pasta recipe uses simple ingredients to make a deliciously creamy sauce that is ready to be used in just a couple of minutes, making it the perfect weeknight dinner when you don’t have much time.
More pasta recipes you might want to check out include this orzo mac and cheese, greek pasta salad, or this Vegan Summer Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes, Feta, & Basil.
Let’s dive into exactly how to make this delicious vegan spinach pasta and a few different serving suggestions.
Benefits of Spinach
We all know that spinach is considered a superfood, but have you ever considered why that is? This vegan spinach pasta is absolutely delicious, but it’s also packed with nutrients and goodness! Here are a few of the major benefits of spinach:
- High in Vitamins and Minerals: Spinach is a rich source of vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as folate, iron, and calcium. These nutrients are essential for maintaining healthy bones, teeth, skin, and immune system.
- Low in Calories: Spinach is very low in calories, making it a great food for people who are trying to maintain a healthy weight. One cup of raw spinach contains only about 7 calories – although note that the vegan creme fraiche does increase the calorie count for this recipe.
- Rich in Antioxidants: Spinach contains a variety of antioxidants, including flavonoids and carotenoids, which can help protect the body against oxidative stress and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
- Good for Digestive Health: Spinach is high in fibre, which can help promote healthy digestion and prevent constipation. It also contains compounds that can reduce inflammation in the gut and promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria.
- Specifically regarding a vegan diet, spinach is an excellent source of iron, which can be harder to get from plant-based foods than from animal sources. Eating spinach with foods that are high in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, can help enhance iron absorption.
How to make this vegan spinach pasta
Scroll down to the recipe card for the full quantities and instructions for this recipe. To be honest, however, after you’ve made this creamy spinach pasta a couple of times, you’ll probably be able to eyeball most of the ingredients to make the recipe perfectly fit your tastes.
First, bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil and add your tagliatelle. Cook it according to the package instructions and then drain, making sure to reserve 2/3 cup of the pasta water.
Next, heat up some olive oil in a separate pan and add minced garlic and pine nuts. Saute them for around 3 minutes, until the garlic turns golden and fragrant and the pine nuts are slightly toasted.
Then, transfer the garlic and pine nuts into a blender. Add some spinach, parsley, basil, lemon juice, and the reserved pasta water. Blend until the mixture becomes smooth and creamy.
Pour the sauce back into the saucepan and put it on low heat. If you’re using creme fraiche and vegan mozzarella, add them to the saucepan and stir until everything is combined. Once the creme fraiche is fully integrated into the sauce, add the cooked pasta and stir until it’s evenly coated with the sauce.
Don’t forget to season the pasta according to your preferences. You can even serve it with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, and perhaps a squeeze of extra lemon juice and shredded basil leaves for added flavour.
Voila! Your delicious and healthy pasta dish is now ready to be served. Enjoy!
This vegan spinach pasta is best served immediately, however, you could make the sauce ahead of time and store it in the fridge. Simply heat the sauce and stir in the creme fraiche just before you eat.
The spinach sauce (before the creme fraiche is added) is also a perfect recipe for freezing, so you could batch prep this sauce for future meals to keep your whole family happy!
If you have leftovers, store the pasta in an airtight container for up to 3 days, and reheat in the microwave or on a stove with a splash of water. Make sure the pasta is piping hot before serving.
Here are some serving suggestions for this vegan spinach pasta:
- Garlic Bread: Garlic bread is a classic side dish that pairs well with any pasta. You can easily make your own by spreading some vegan butter on sliced bread and topping it with garlic, herbs, and vegan cheese. Make sure you use it to mop up all that saucy goodness!
- Salad: A simple salad can be a refreshing complement to this rich and creamy pasta. You could try a green salad with a light vinaigrette, or a tomato salad with more fresh basil and balsamic vinegar.
- Roasted Vegetables: Roasted vegetables, such as courgettes, peppers, and mushrooms, can add some extra flavour and nutrition to the meal. You could serve them stirred into the pasta itself or simply grilled or roasted on the side.
- Vegan Parmesan: Sprinkle some vegan parmesan on top of the pasta for an extra layer of flavour and texture. If you prefer to avoid vegan cheeses, nutritional yeast is a good alternative.
- Wine: A glass of wine can be the perfect accompaniment to this pasta dish. You could try a light and crisp white wine, such as a Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc (perfect for summer days!) or a medium-bodied red wine could also be a good match.
These serving suggestions are just a few ideas to get you started. Feel free to experiment and find the combinations that work best for you and your guests!
Here are a few ways you could adjust or add to this recipe that would be just as delicious:
- Add in crispy plant-based bacon bits for some added crunch
- Alternatively, toast some more pine nuts in a little olive oil and top the pasta with them
- Roast a tin of drained chickpeas and stir them into the pasta for added crunch and protein
- Add an avocado to the spinach sauce to make it extra creamy
- Roasted vegetables such as courgette, aubergine, red peppers, and red onion are all delicious added to this recipe, and bulk it up so you can enjoy even more portions.
- Grate some lemon zest into the sauce to give it some extra zing
- Sprinkle vegan parmesan cheese over the pasta
- Add in some vegan chicken chunks for extra plant-based protein
- Blend white beans into the vegan spinach sauce to make it creamy and higher in protein
- Add nutritional yeast to the sauce for a cheesier flavour
- If you can’t find vegan creme fraiche, you could use cashew cream instead
- Add some roasted cherry tomatoes to the dish for a burst of sweetness
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can I use a different type of pasta instead of tagliatelle?
A: Absolutely! You can use any type of pasta you prefer or have on hand. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time according to the package instructions.
Q: I don’t have a blender, can I still make the sauce?
A: Yes! Instead of using a blender, you can use a food processor or even a hand-held immersion blender to blend the sauce ingredients until smooth.
Q: Can I omit the pine nuts if I have an allergy or if I don’t have any on hand?
A: Yes, you can definitely omit the pine nuts. You can substitute them with other nuts, such as almonds or walnuts, or simply leave them out altogether.
Q: Can I use regular mozzarella instead of vegan mozzarella?
A: Yes, you can use regular mozzarella if you prefer. Just keep in mind that it won’t be a vegan dish anymore.
Q: How can I store any leftover pasta?
A: Store any leftover pasta in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop with a splash of water or vegetable broth to keep it from drying out.
Q – Can I use baby spinach leaves for this recipe?
Yes, it doesn’t matter if you use baby spinach leaves or large spinach leaves for this easy pasta recipe – they’ll both achieve the same result!
Other pasta recipes you’ll love:
- Vegan Summer Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes, Feta, & Basil
- Quick & Easy Courgette Pesto Pasta
- Butternut Squash and White Bean Pasta
- Vegan Creamy Sausage Pasta
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp pine nuts
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 100g spinach leaves
- 20g parsley
- 20g basil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2/3 cup of reserved pasta water
- Salt and pepper
- 1 dollop (2 heaped tablespoons) vegan creme fraiche
- (Optional) 40g vegan mozzarella alternative
- 225g tagliatelle
- (Optional) red pepper flakes
- Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil and add your tagliatelle. Cook al dente according to the package instructions and drain, reserving 2/3 cup of the pasta water.
- Heat your olive oil and add your minced garlic and pine nuts, sauteing for around 3 minutes until the garlic is golden and fragrant and the pine nuts are slightly toasted.
- Tip the garlic and pine nuts into your blender, and add the spinach, parsley, basil, lemon juice, and reserved pasta water. Blend until smooth.
- Pour the sauce back into the saucepan and put it on low or medium heat, adding the creme fraiche and vegan mozzarella if using.
- Once the creme fraiche is combined with the sauce, stir in your cooked pasta and coat it with the sauce. Season with salt and black pepper according to your preferences.
- Serve with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, and perhaps a squeeze of extra lemon juice and shredded basil leaves!
This vegan spinach pasta is best served immediately, however, you could make the sauce ahead of time and store it in the fridge. Simply heat the sauce and stir in the creme fraiche just before you eat. The spinach sauce (before the creme fraiche is added) is also a perfect recipe for freezing, so you could batch prep this sauce for future meals to keep your whole family happy!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 3 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 340Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 47mgSodium: 239mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gProtein: 12g