I’m always on the hunt for good kid-friendly recipes! I’ve been making this green pasta for years now and my kids devour it!
I love this easy green pasta as it is a great way to sneak those green vegetables into my kid’s meals and I’m always looking for ways to add an extra boost of nutrients to my kids’ diets. The bright green color also makes it fun to eat and my kids get a kick from eating a bowl of green pasta.
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Not only is this a kid-friendly and pantry-friendly weeknight meal but if you’re not a fan of corned beef for Saint Patrick’s Day try green pasta instead!
Green Pasta Ingredients
Pasta – I use either bowtie also called Farfalle pasta or orecchiette pasta for this recipe. I prefer orecchiette as those little bowls just hold the sauce perfectly! However, it is harder to find sometimes and bowtie pasta works great! Cavatappi is also a good choice for this green pasta recipe.
Spinach – This adds so many vitamins and nutrients to this kid-friendly green pasta and provides some bright green color to the dish! I use frozen chopped spinach in this dish to keep it easy but you can use fresh spinach as well. I love sneaking spinach into my kids and this green pasta is a great way to do so!
Pesto – Pesto is the other ingredient that makes this green pasta. While I love using fresh pesto and highly recommend it if you make you’re own, jarred works as well and is what I usually use as it’s pantry-friendly. Be sure to buy a good brand of pesto sauce for the best flavor.
Alfredo Sauce – This provides rich creaminess to the sauce. You’re welcome to make your own alfredo sauce but I use the jarred as it’s again pantry-friendly and makes this recipe perfect for those busy weeknights. Combined with the pesto the alfredo sauce makes a creamy green pasta sauce.
Italian Sausage – Adding Italian sausage makes this a complete meal! I use regular or sweet Italian sausage but if my younger kids aren’t home for dinner, I’ll use the hot Italian sausage and spice things up a bit!
Parmesan Cheese – Adds additional creaminess with its rich and salty flavor.
Garlic – Add a little garlic when browning your sausage because you can never have enough garlic!
Making Green Pasta
This dish is kid-friendly and a great weeknight meal as it’s quick to make!
Cook the pasta per the package instructions.
Meanwhile, brown your Italian sausage and diced onion in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the sausage is cooked through. Add the garlic and saute for a minute or two.
Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
Strain the pasta and pour the sauce into the pasta and stir until well combined! I do this all in the pot I cooked the pasta in for easier clean up!
Garnish with parmesan cheese and serve with garlic bread!
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- 1 lb Pasta such as Bowtie or Orecchiette
- 1 Tbls Olive Oil
- 1 lb ground Italian Sausage
- 1 medium Yellow Onion, diced
- 1 package frozen Spinach, thawed and drained
- 3 cloves minced Garlic
- 2 jars Alfredo Sauce
- 1 jar Pesto Sauce or 1/2 cup homemade Pesto Sauce
- 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
- Cook pasta according to package directions and drain.
- While pasta cooks, in a large skillet over medium-high heat brown the ground Italian sausage and diced onion until the sausage is cooked through.
- Add the garlic and saute for an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Add the thawed and drained spinach, parmesan cheese, Alfredo sauce, and pesto. Stir to combine and heat through over low heat.
- Mix the sauce In with the pasta. I mix it together in the big pasta pot!
- Serve hot with garlic bread and a salad!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 489Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 800mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 21g
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How do I store leftovers?
Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4-5 days in the fridge. As always please refer to the USDA Leftovers and Food Safety recommendations.
Can I use hot Italian sausage to make green pasta?
Absolutely, I usually don’t as I have small kids yet but I have in the past and it’s delicious!
For an added kick, add a pinch of red pepper flakes when you’re browning your sausage!
What type of pasta is best for green pasta?
I love orecchiette pasta best but Farfalle or bow tie pasta, shells, or rigatoni are all good choices! Basically, whatever type of pasta you have in the pantry will work! Cavatappi also works great!
Can I use fresh spinach instead of frozen?
Yes! When I use fresh spinach in my green spinach pasta, I add it to the pasta water just before draining (and I mean JUST before) as it doesn’t take spinach long to wilt. Drain your pasta and spinach and add to the green pasta sauce.
Can I boost the nutrition in this green pasta dish?
Absolutely! Try boiling your pasta in homemade vegetable broth to make super green pasta and enhance the flavor! Or add a scoop of my favorite greens powder.
If you haven’t tried green pasta yet, you definitely should! All of my boys request seconds (sometimes thirds from the teenagers), plus it’s pantry-friendly and quick to make!