A blend of fresh baby spinach, chickpeas, walnuts, and some other goodies makes this spinach sauce the perfect healthy topping for pasta!
Let me start off by saying that I am not one of those crazy-health-junkies who eats nothing but organic, no-sugar, no-salt foods. Heck, I am probably far from it (and totally believe food needs salt!) But sometimes I have cravings, or my body is lacking nutrients and I must make up for them. In this case, my iron has been low. Not surprising with the cooler months, but it is probably the lowest it has ever been and if I want to continue donating blood, I need to work on getting those levels up!
I first made this spinach sauce in November when I had a ton of fresh spinach hanging around and wanted something lighter (I was testing all my dessert recipes for Christmas!) It came together by me throwing everything into my food processor and hoping for the best. And let's just say, I am soooo happy with my food processor. I cannot believe there was a time when I thought they were not necessary... Yeah, I would trade in my blender any day! That being said, this entire meal is made in the food processor (except the pasta) which eliminates a ton of dishes and makes clean up a breeze.
What I probably like most about this spinach sauce is how adaptable it is. I have tried it without the feta and it makes a wonderful vegan sauce! Poured over the correct pasta and this dish is gluten-free. You can add some ingredients here, take some away there. The only probably I ever had was increasing the walnuts to ½ cup. They seemed to overpower the dish and personally, while I did eat it, it was a bit too strong for my liking. Lesson learned, but for the most part, I cannot see anything going wrong with this recipe. My favorite part is definitely the crunch from the water chestnuts, and I was so sad this time around that I did not have a can on hand 🙁
Spinach Sauce with Chickpeas and Walnuts
Make the roasted garlic ahead of time so this meal can be made in 15 minutes or less!
- 4 oz baby spinach
- 1 head of roasted garlic (see recipe link below.)
- Half a lemon, juiced
- 1 cup canned chickpeas + more for topping
- ¼ cup walnut halves
- ¼ tsp. chili flakes
- 1 tbsp. avocado oil or preferred oil
- ¼ cup chopped feta cheese + more for topping (exclude for vegan option.)
- 1 small can water-chestnuts, drained and chopped
- Salt and pepper (exclude salt if using feta cheese)
- In your food processor, puree together the spinach, walnuts, roasted garlic, lemon juice, chickpeas, chili flakes, pepper, and feta if using (if you are omitting, add salt!) Puree and add the 1 tbsp. oil slowly until the mixture is smooth (adding another tbsp. if necessary.)
- Serve the sauce over your favorite pasta and garish with waster-chestnuts, chickpeas, and feta if desired.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 157Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 193mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 5g
(Recipe for roasted garlic.)
This recipe was the first time I experimented with avocado oil and I was so happy! I have had it in food before, and while its nutritional values are great, I am more inclined to buy it because it has a high smoke point. You all know what I am talking about: nothing worse than searing some chicken or steaks at high temperatures on the stove and the smoke starts appearing. It is actually neat how clear the oil is (not going to lie, was totally expecting it to be green!)
Love that you made a sauce out of spinach. Sound so delicious and the crunch from walnuts - awesome.
I love spinach as is, but mixed into this sauce... Perfection!
heather @french press
my iron is super low right now, so I absolutely need this sauce in my life!
It is the winter, I swear it!
I love how easy this is and that I have everything on hand right now!
That green spinach sauce sounds and looks absolutely delicious and am sure I will totally enjoy it over pasta! Very creative way to use these wonderful greens!
I always mix in spinach to my pasta sauce, so I thought why not actually make a sauce of it?! 🙂
Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet
What a great combination of flavors and textures!
Cathy | Lemon Tree Dwelling
What a fabulous sauce! I can think of so many different ways to use it! Delicious!!!
This looks so good and I imagine the feta adds the perfect saltiness to the dish. I think using roasted chickpeas as a garnish would be amazing!
No need for additional salt with the feta 🙂 And the roasted chickpeas sounds like a great addition!
Meg @ With Salt and Wit
This sauce has my name all over it! We are always looking to use spinach in new ways!
Joanie @ Zagleft
This sauce would be great on so many things. I love the combination of flavors.
Stacey @ Stacey Homemaker
I sure do love a green sauce! This would be great on sandwiches, crackers or wraps! The greener the better for me!
Actually, I have put it on my veggie wraps and fell in love even more (I am weird, but great minds think alike!)
Melanie | Melanie Makes
That sauce! Love what you've put together here!
Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet
Oh, the walnuts in this dish - yes, please!
It was a nice change from all the pecans I eat!
Melanie | Melanie Makes
Such a classic pairing - love that it's in ice cream form!