My boyfriend hates vegetables. He will eat vegetables only if it’s on top of bánh mì or in phở, and even then, it has to be cilantro or mint (respectively). He claims to have “super tastebuds” and I don’t buy it because:

1. He’s a noob, and
2. If he really did, he’d be able to taste the greens in this pasta.

I came up with this pasta recipe by accident. I wanted to cook spinach with garlic and butter and toss it with Alfredo sauce and noodles. While cooking, I had a genius idea to blend it all before mixing with the Alfredo sauce.

Then I had a more genius idea — serve it to my boyfriend to see if he would eat it. He loves it so much, he craves it and asks me to make it all the time.

Spinach Pesto Alfredo

  • Prep Time:10 minutes
  • Cook Time:25 minutes
  • Total Time:35 minutes
  • Servings:6-7
  • Medium


  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 16 oz baby kale (optional)
  • 16 oz baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 package of pasta
  • 2 jars Alfredo sauce of your choice
  • Your choice of cooked protein (optional)
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
Photo by Vicky Nguyen
  • Step 1

    Boil a pot of water (about halfway full) on high heat. While the water boils, move on to your sauce.

    #SpoonTip: Be sure to add a few pinches of salt before the water boils. 

    Photo by Vicky Nguyen
  • Step 2

    Melt half a stick of butter on medium heat in a pan, wok or skillet big enough to hold your leafy greens. Make sure it has a lid.

    #SpoonTip: If you really like butter like I do, you can add more than half a stick. I’ve done a whole stick or ⅔. Just be sure to have at least half a stick in there.

    Photo by Vicky Nguyen
  • Step 3

    While the butter is melting, add 2 tablespoons of minced garlic.

    Photo by Vicky Nguyen
  • Step 4

    Once the butter has melted and mixed with the garlic, add all of the spinach and kale.

    #SpoonTip: I added a third of the kale so to not overpower the garlic and butter. If you want to add more, be sure to add more butter and garlic to complement the kale.

    Photo by Vicky Nguyen
  • Step 5

    Once you’ve added your greens, place the lid over the pan and leave on medium-high heat.

    #SpoonTip: Stir every five minutes to make sure the leaves are mixing with the garlic butter and not sticking to the sides of the pan.

  • Step 6

    Now the water should be boiling. Cook your spaghetti noodles until al dente on medium heat, which means firm to the bite. You want your noodles to be fully cooked, but still a bit chewy. Follow the package instructions and stir occasionally so the noodles don’t stick to the pot.

    Photo by Vicky Nguyen
  • Step 7

    Once your pasta is done cooking, drain your pasta and rinse in cold water. Set aside.

  • Step 8

    Check on your spinach mixture. It should look slightly welted when it’s done.

    Photo by Vicky Nguyen
  • Step 9

    Now blend or puree the spinach mixture until smooth. Do not put the pan away yet. You’ll need this to finish the sauce. One less dish to wash, amiright?

    Photo by Vicky Nguyen
  • Step 10

    Pour the mixture back into the pan you cooked it in (this is why it needed to be big) and add the Alfredo sauce.

    Photo by Vicky Nguyen
  • Step 11

    Stir the sauce with the mixture on low heat until you can’t tell them apart anymore.

    Photo by Vicky Nguyen
  • Step 12

    This next step is only if you opted to cook protein with your pasta. (I usually don’t, but my boyfriend requested protein this time.)

    #SpoonTip: I chose to use frozen fully cooked shrimp. I cooked them and drained the water. I then added salt, pepper, and half a tablespoon of butter.

    Photo by Vicky Nguyen
  • Step 13

    Plate your noodles, add protein if you want, and top with the sauce.

    #SpoonTip: A little sauce goes a long way so be careful not to add too much.

    Photo by Vicky Nguyen
  • Step 14

    Mix and enjoy.

    Photo by Vicky Nguyen