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Pasta with Creamy Spinach Pesto | No Thanks to Cake

I've always associated basil with pesto, and never considered that you could use alternate greens! Check out this spinach pesto, and prepare your tastebuds for an explosion!


  • 1 ¼ tsp. table salt, divided or more to taste
  • 8 oz. uncooked whole-wheat pasta, spaghetti or linguini recommended
  • 4 ½ cup fresh spinach, baby variety, washed and dried
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 1 ½ tsp. olive oil, extra virgin
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 ½ Tbsp. reduced fat cream cheese
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • crushed red pepper flakes (optional)


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil (use 1 teaspoon salt). Add pasta and cook as package directs until al dente, about 8 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, process spinach, cream cheese, water, oil, garlic and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt until smooth; set aside.
  • Reserve 1/4 cup pasta cooking water and then drain pasta. Return pasta to pot. Add pesto sauce and toss to combine, adding reserved cooking water if a thinner consistency is desired. Sprinkle with garlic salt and crushed red pepper flakes, if desired.