Photo of Pasta with creamy spinach pesto by WW

Pasta with creamy spinach pesto

Total Time
18 min
10 min
8 min
When you want a change from basil pesto, you should try this spinach-based pesto recipe instead. It's comforting, delicious, and terrific with long pasta like the spaghetti or linguine we call for here, but it's also great as a sandwich spread, vegetable soup condiment, or even a dip. The pesto is also made with staples like cream cheese spread, olive oil, and garlic, then the whole pasta dish is topped with bright, fresh lemon juice. You can sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese if desired, and/or stir in some roasted cherry tomatoes, just keep in mind that this changes the calorie count.


Table salt

1¼ tsp, divided, or more to taste

Reduced fat whipped cream cheese

2½ Tbsp

Uncooked whole wheat pasta

8 oz, spaghetti or linguine recommended


4½ cup(s), baby variety, washed and dried


2 Tbsp

Olive oil

1½ tsp, extra virgin


2 small clove(s)

Fresh lemon juice

1 tsp, or to taste


  1. 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.
  2. Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, process spinach, water, oil, garlic and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt until smooth; set aside.
  3. Reserve 1/4 cup pasta cooking water and then drain pasta. Return pasta to pot; add cream cheese and stir until melted. Add pesto sauce and toss to combine, adding reserved cooking water if a thinner consistency is desired. Season with fresh lemon juice and salt, if desired. Yields about 1 1/4 cups per serving.