This creamy vegan spinach pasta sauce is one the whole family can enjoy. It's quick to make, packed with nutrients and is a great midweek meal. Oil-free and nut-free too.
Now it's time for a really quick pasta sauce made with nutritious fresh spinach, basil, garlic and coconut milk for extra creaminess.
This one comes together in 10 minutes and requires just one pan and the use of a blender or food processor. It's creamy but light at the same time.
Serve it with your favorite pasta (I love using chickpea or brown rice pasta) for a quick, healthy meal everyone will enjoy!
Why you'll love this
It's hassle-free. Simple ingredients, a blender and 10 minutes. That's all you need to create a healthy, creamy spinach sauce. The perfect weeknight dinner.
High in nutrients. This vegan pasta sauce contains almost a whole bag of spinach so is a great way to eat your greens without having to crunch down on kale salad!
Oil-free. The coconut milk makes a nice creamy sauce all by itself (check out all my oil-free recipes).
It's light. Although this is a flavour-packed, creamy sauce, it's on the thinner side which means you get a really satisfying meal without it being too heavy.
Nut-free. Again, using coconut milk means we don't need to add cashews or sunflowers seeds for extra creaminess (here are more nut-free recipes).
Health benefits of spinach
High in iron - Spinach is a source of iron, which we need to help red blood cells bring oxygen to different parts of the body. (In this recipe, it's also paired with lemon juice which is high in vitamin C - great for boosting iron absorption!).
Boosts hydration - Spinach is nearly all water, so it's a great way to stay hydrated.
Helps prevent osteoporosis - It is high in calcium, vitamin K and manganese - all are important for healthy bones.
Helps boost immunity - Spinach is also high in vitamin E and magnesium, both of which support our immune systems and help us fight off illness.
Web MD has lots more info on the health benefits of spinach.
Spinach - You can use fresh or frozen spinach. If using frozen, allow it to thaw first and drain excess water before weighing to avoid making the sauce too thin. I like baby spinach.
Basil - I recommend using fresh basil for this recipe as it packs a flavour punch, but you could also use dried in a pinch - just reduce the amount to 1 tbsp.
Garlic - Can be omitted if needed, but it really rounds the flavour out.
Lemon juice - Gives the sauce a delicious zesty punch and extra freshness.
Coconut milk - Makes the sauce creamy! I recommend using full fat or canned coconut cream for maximum creaminess - see lower fat option below.
Nutritional yeast - Adds a cheesy, savoury flavour.
Pasta - Use your favourite type of pasta. To make this recipe gluten-free, use gluten-free pasta such as brown rice or chickpea pasta.
Leafy greens - Any leafy greens can be substituted for the spinach, such as chard, kale, arugula. Be aware they will change the flavour of the sauce slightly!
Lower fat option - For a lower fat option, use low fat or light coconut milk. You could also use another kind of dairy-free milk such as oat or almond, but do note the sauce will be less creamy. Be aware that using a different milk may make the sauce thinner.
1) Add spinach, basil, garlic, lemon juice, coconut milk, nutritional yeast, salt and black pepper to a blender.
2) Blend on high power for about 30 seconds, or until sauce is completely smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
3) Transfer to a large pan and bring to medium heat. Simmer sauce for 2-3 minutes until fragrant and slightly thicker (this sauce is naturally quite thin - don't worry, it still tastes amazing!).
4) Add your favorite cooked pasta to the pan and stir into sauce.
5) Divide pasta between two bowls and top with extra basil, red pepper flakes or your favourite vegan parmesan cheese.
I also have a web story showing you how to make this creamy spinach sauce for pasta.
Different herbs - Try switching basil for cilantro or parsley to subtly change the flavour of this creamy spinach pasta sauce. I love using parsley when I don't have basil!
Nuts and seeds for protein - If you aren't sensitive to nuts and would like to add more protein to this recipe, add ⅓ cup toasted cashews, pine nuts, walnuts or sunflower seeds to the blender with all other ingredients. You'll get a more savoury, pesto-like sauce.
Use a high-speed blender - This will ensure that your sauce is really creamy and well-blended. Personally, I use a Vitamix (not sponsored or affiliated) and find it gets my pasta sauce super smooth.
Thicken sauce if needed - Depending on factors like the exact quantities of ingredients you use, the thickness of your coconut milk etc., you may find your sauce is thinner than you'd like. If this happens, just stir in a little flour or cornstarch as the sauce is cooking. (I recommend sifting it in through a sieve to prevent clumping!)
Check seasoning - My seasoning preferences may not be the same as yours! Check the taste of the sauce after blending, and add more salt/pepper/lemon juice as desired.
Add roasted veggies for a more complete meal - This will also help the dish go further, and it could probably serve 3 people if you add in 2-3 cups roasted veggies (peppers, cherry tomatoes, zucchinis and mushrooms work really well).
Store any leftover sauce and pasta in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
This sauce can be frozen too! Freeze in an airtight container, and allow to thaw completely before reheating. Freeze the sauce on its own and add cooked pasta only after thawing and reheating (I find pasta is better cooked fresh).
Yes! This spinach pasta sauce is high in iron and various vitamins and minerals because it contains a large amount of fresh spinach. It is oil-free too. As it's made with coconut milk, it's creamy without being thick and heavy.
To increase the protein in this pasta sauce, try adding to the blender either ⅓ cup toasted nuts or seeds, ½ cup white beans or ½ cup silken tofu. (You may need to increase seasoning to account for these additional ingredients.)
More easy pasta & Italian recipes
Vegan Spinach Pasta
- Blender/food processor
- 3 oz fresh spinach (100g) (or frozen, see note below)
- Large handful basil
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice (about one lemon)
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 3 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 7 oz your favourite pasta (about 200g)
- Add spinach, basil, garlic, lemon juice, coconut milk, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper to a blender.
- Blend on high power for about 30 seconds, or until sauce is completely smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
- Transfer to a large pan and bring to medium heat. Simmer sauce for 2-3 minutes until fragrant and slightly thicker (this sauce is naturally quite thin because of the spinach - don't worry, it's meant to be light! It still packs a flavour punch).
- Add your favourite cooked pasta to the pan and stir into sauce.
- Divide pasta between two bowls and top with extra basil, chili flakes or your favourite vegan cheese.
Nutrition per serving
If you’ve tried this vegan spinach pasta recipe, please leave a comment or tip for others below.
I'd love to know how you’ve made it your own!