Dinner/ Recipes

green goddess pasta

No, this has nothing to do with the salad dressing.  To be honest, I don’t even really like that stuff.

When I was a little kid, fettuccine alfredo was my absolute favorite dinner.

My mom, however, was always a very healthy cook so whenever we would go out to an Italian or Pizza place, that was when I ordered my cherished alfredo sauce. Still to this day, there’s really nothing as comforting to me as the creamy buttery sauce, delicately coating a bed of hot noodles.

You know what I don’t like though? Feeling comatose after eating a huge bowl of fettuccine alfredo at an Italian diner. And while I love to wear my sweatpants, I don’t love having to wear my sweatpants (read: elastic waist or bust).

So I created this lightened up version of my favorite meal that fills me up without weighing down. It still has pretty much the same ingredients of a classic cream sauce, but you just use less of them….(read: it’s all about portion size)

Vegan whole grain spinach fettuccine (found in the specialty pastas at Whole Foods), a touch of organic cream and butter, farm fresh peas for protein, dry Jack cheese, and a pinch of lemon juice, sea salt and hot pepper flakes.

Done and done.

This pea would be proud!

I love making this dinner for myself when Adam is working late and it’s just me, my bottle of lime mineral water and three episodes of Private Practice ahead of me.

The sauce is deliciously creamy and rich but not pant-popping material.

Cause as much as I love my old college sweatpants, I think I love my skinny jeans more.

Green Goddess Pasta

serves 1

Print this recipe!


2 oz fresh or dry spinach fettuccine (I used a vegan whole grain fresh kind from Whole Foods)

1/2 cup fresh shelled peas

2 tsp fresh lemon juice

2 T cream

1/2 T butter

pinch of salt

1/8 tsp red pepper flakes

1/4 cup grated dry Jack cheese


Cook pasta in boiling salted water. If using fresh pasta, this will only take about 30 seconds–don’t overcook! Drain and reserve 1/4th cup of pasta water. Set aside.

While the pasta is cooking, cook the shelled peas in another pot filled with boiling water. Simmer peas for 10 minutes or until tender. Drain.

In the same pot, melt the butter and whisk in the lemon juice. Add the cream, salt, red pepper flakes and cheese and stir over low/medium heat until slightly thickened. Pour over cooked pasta, add peas and a little reserved pasta water if it seems dry.  Finish with a grind of black pepper.


30 minutes


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  • Reply
    Heather (Heather's Dish)
    June 9, 2011 at 4:47 am

    i absolutely love spinach linguine…the color, the texture, the flavor…it’s all perfect! This sounds amazing Jenna, perfect for a quick summer dinner!

  • Reply
    Molly @ RDexposed
    June 9, 2011 at 4:51 am

    I cannot cook pasta to save my life. I have a Sicilian in my life to cover all pasta dishes and never regret a single bite! I’ll show him this recipe for some inspiration!

    • Reply
      Faith @ lovelyascharged
      June 9, 2011 at 4:59 am

      I’m the same way with rice – can’t do it if there was a gun to my head!

      • Reply
        June 9, 2011 at 8:09 am

        Just so y’all know—I can’t cook rice to save my life either! Why do you think I keep making quinoa all the time?!

        • Reply
          June 9, 2011 at 8:33 am

          LOL Jenna! I can’t seem to cook Quinoa! It always seems to have a funny taste! Rice i can handle! (my next attempt will be Sushi rice!

        • Reply
          June 9, 2011 at 8:47 am

          bahaha I don’t know what I would do without Trader Joe’s microwaveable 3-minute rice 🙂

        • Reply
          June 3, 2012 at 12:22 pm

          Two words: Rice. Cooker.

          It makes great quinoa, too!

  • Reply
    Caroline @ chocolate and carrots
    June 9, 2011 at 4:55 am

    Looks amazing! I love all things green. This just seems like the perfect summer meal. Hello dinner! 🙂

  • Reply
    June 9, 2011 at 5:00 am

    i love fresh pasta! and this looks amazing! i can’t wait to get to whole foods and pick up some!

  • Reply
    Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga
    June 9, 2011 at 5:02 am

    Your pasta looks great and the peas are so VIBRANT and green! I love that!

    The picture of the peapod on the wood cutting board..such a pretty contrast, great photography.

    And great recipe, of course 🙂

  • Reply
    Blog is the New Black
    June 9, 2011 at 5:03 am

    Looks delicious and simple! LOVE!

  • Reply
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat
    June 9, 2011 at 5:06 am

    This sounds so refreshing – and I never say that about pasta!! I love the photos of the peas. Definitely another one to bookmark!

  • Reply
    Liv @ The Salty n' Sweet
    June 9, 2011 at 5:07 am

    This recipe would be perfect for a summer cookout. And those shots (with the green pasta and green peas) are gorgeous!

  • Reply
    Baking 'n' Books
    June 9, 2011 at 5:13 am

    Adam doesn’t like pasta? And yes we know about your jeans…


  • Reply
    June 9, 2011 at 5:19 am

    Tasty and simple. I should keep my eyes peeled for fresh pasta more often.
    Those peas look delicious.
    I’m excited to see what I’ll discover on Saturday at the local farmer’s market.

  • Reply
    Brooke @ Bittersweetb
    June 9, 2011 at 5:26 am

    I’m a total sucker for pasta, and this looks awesome. And I totally vote sweatpants over skinny jeans at this juncture in my life haha!!!

  • Reply
    amy walters, aDESIGNdock
    June 9, 2011 at 5:27 am

    Love the recipe 😉

  • Reply
    Lia {sprightly}
    June 9, 2011 at 5:32 am

    I looove the ingredients written out on the chalkboard, and your photos are looking really beautiful! The pasta looks delicious.

  • Reply
    June 9, 2011 at 5:41 am

    I am so happy to see you returning to “healthy” foods. Cakes and cupcakes are really fun, but this is really real! Thanks so much for the inspirations

  • Reply
    megan @ whatmegansmaking
    June 9, 2011 at 5:46 am

    looks delicious! I’d leave out the peas, but other than that, this is my kind of meal 🙂

  • Reply
    June 9, 2011 at 5:50 am

    wow-that looks amazing. great job. can you give us a little more info on the book you are writing?!

    • Reply
      June 9, 2011 at 8:08 am

      It’s a memoir about my time in culinary school, studying abroad in France and working at a bakery a couple years ago. It has about 50 recipes scattered throughout and will be at bookstores in about a year!

  • Reply
    Holly @ The Runny Egg
    June 9, 2011 at 5:52 am

    I’m glad this has nothing to do with GG Dressing — I do not like the taste of that at all.

    The pasta and peas look so cute together — I love the green!

  • Reply
    June 9, 2011 at 5:55 am

    I live in very rural Kansas where the grocery store is 8 miles away and not much for options. Do you have a recommendation for substituting the dry Jack cheese with something more common? Also, does whole wheat fettuccine work as well as the spinach version, or should I add some spinach to the recipe? Thanks!

    • Reply
      June 9, 2011 at 8:07 am

      Try Parmesan cheese instead :). You can use whatever type of pasta you like!

  • Reply
    June 9, 2011 at 6:02 am

    You are my hero. Thank you for thinking of this. I haven’t had alfredo (even if it’s my favorite) in so long because of the whole stuffed feeling. Ok, ok and the added pounds. Do you think I could substitute spaghetti squash instead of pasta? Why not, right?

  • Reply
    Lauren at Keep It Sweet
    June 9, 2011 at 6:08 am

    This looks delicious, I love fresh peas this time of year!

  • Reply
    Gina @ Running to the Kitchen
    June 9, 2011 at 6:15 am

    I love how green and simple this is. Looks like a great weeknight dinner.

  • Reply
    June 9, 2011 at 6:25 am

    oh weird, i don’t care for the green goddess dressing either ~ i thought it was just me! this looks amazing ~ and i love the name!
    xo ~ kristina@beancakes

  • Reply
    June 9, 2011 at 6:33 am

    Who DOESN’T love alfredo? I think it’s one of the most favored pasta sauces around. The first time I ever cooked for my boyfriend, he requested chicken fettuccine alfredo. The classic thick and creamy sauce is good once in a while, but this green goddess pasta is something I could eat every week. Plus, I love peas!

  • Reply
    mary (sisters running the kitchen)
    June 9, 2011 at 6:42 am

    When my sisters and I were little my mom would always make fettuccine alfredo with spinach linguine! I love your lightened up version. I always enjoyed my fettuccine alfredo with broccoli and sometimes chicken…love the combination of those flavors. Red Pepper Flakes and lemon sound amazing in this dish..can’t wait to try!

    • Reply
      Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray
      June 9, 2011 at 6:50 am

      Mary, I totally agree–I would love to add broccoli to this as well!

      I am a huge fan of taking the guilt out of pasta dishes. This one looks so summery and fresh and mmm. 🙂

  • Reply
    French Heart
    June 9, 2011 at 6:45 am

    OMG–on my way today to Whole Foods anyway…going to make this. Thanks! I love green kinds of pasta too. Kind of a Free Pass from guilt-fairy sitting on your shoulder ‘Are you really going to eat that.’ Yup, sister woman, I am, it’s green!

  • Reply
    June 9, 2011 at 7:13 am

    Looks great. Did I miss the step where you add the cheese? I love cheese…

  • Reply
    June 9, 2011 at 7:15 am

    Mmm so tasty! Love this recipe. The sauce sounds fantastic.

  • Reply
    chloe @ 321delish
    June 9, 2011 at 7:21 am

    I bet some pine nuts would also taste pretty great in that dish!

  • Reply
    Amy @ What Jew Wanna Eat
    June 9, 2011 at 7:22 am

    Ooh I love peas on the spring- yes please!

  • Reply
    Shari @ Chicago Cuisine Critique
    June 9, 2011 at 7:23 am

    This sounds (and looks) incredible. I need to find this spinach pasta at Whole Foods. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  • Reply
    Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray
    June 9, 2011 at 7:35 am

    This looks so good! A perfect summer dish. I would have to add chicken (or maybe tuna?) for hubs.

  • Reply
    R @ Learning As I Chop
    June 9, 2011 at 7:46 am

    Definitely going to try this recipe. Looks delicious

  • Reply
    Dani Eats Veggies
    June 9, 2011 at 8:03 am

    That looks amazing! Pasta is totally my comfort food, too! Will make ASAP!

  • Reply
    June 9, 2011 at 8:09 am

    looks great! I love peas in anything!

  • Reply
    Tabitha (From Single to Married)
    June 9, 2011 at 8:15 am

    mmmm…. looks lovely and yummy too!

  • Reply
    Emily @ Comfortable Home Life
    June 9, 2011 at 8:18 am

    Thank you thank you thank you for this! Growing up in an Italian household, I fell in love with fetuccini Alfredo and other creamy, carby treats. I mus make your version! As always, your photography is gorgeous!

  • Reply
    June 9, 2011 at 8:21 am

    Yum. I love GG dressing … can’t believe you don’t. This looks so fresh and I love all the shades of green playing on the plate.

  • Reply
    Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman
    June 9, 2011 at 8:22 am

    This is such a pretty dish. I love how summery it looks.

  • Reply
    Mama Pea
    June 9, 2011 at 8:44 am

    I am VERY proud.

    And not that your recipe isn’t beautiful as is, but if you wanted to lighten it up and/or make it vegan, you could swap out the butter and cream for a couple spoonfuls of hummus and it would also be delicious. (I have something similar on my site)

    And we’ve seen your skinny jeans…they are super cute and I’m sure you look fabulous in them!

    • Reply
      Baking 'n' Books
      June 9, 2011 at 9:31 am

      I’ve never thought of that…but Hummus goes with anything really!

    • Reply
      Rachel @ I'm Loving Today
      June 9, 2011 at 9:44 am

      I use hummus to make creamy pasta sauce all the time! When I first thought of it, I was worried it wouldn’t hold up well, but it’s really one of my favorite ways to make a not-so-decadent pasta dish. I especially like Sabra’s Supremely Spicy hummus for a totally tasty creamy, spicy pasta dish.

      • Reply
        June 9, 2011 at 3:32 pm

        I can’t do cream (makes my stomach queasy!)

        but I think AVOCADO instead of cream would make a rich
        tasting and delish flavour to this dish !! Yummy 🙂

  • Reply
    June 9, 2011 at 8:49 am

    This looks delicious and I can’t wait to try it! I love that you use real ingredients even though its a lightened up recipe. Pasta is my favorite and I only recently found out peas are a protein source – pretty awesome!

  • Reply
    Brooke @ Veggie Table
    June 9, 2011 at 9:23 am

    Love this dish – will definitely be adding itto my “must make” list

  • Reply
    Rachel @ I'm Loving Today
    June 9, 2011 at 9:42 am

    Yum! This looks so delicious! Just like you, I make my pasta dishes when my boyfriend is away (he claims he doesn’t “like pasta.” Blasphemy!). I’m definitely going to put this one on the top of my “When Eric’s out mountain biking” list! 🙂

  • Reply
    June 9, 2011 at 9:44 am

    I love pasta and Alfredo sauce! I want to try this soon!

  • Reply
    Kelly @ Laughter, Strength, and Food
    June 9, 2011 at 10:03 am

    This looks SO good! Fettuccini alfredo is my favorite food as well and I love lightened up versions! 😀

  • Reply
    June 9, 2011 at 10:05 am

    This looks so insanely delicious! My mom also had a predilection toward making healthier foods, and she used to make a ‘lighter’ fettucine alfredo that was to die for. I stole the recipe from her years ago, and it’s still one of my favorites.

    The addition of peas in your recipe looks amazing! As does the spinach fettucine.

  • Reply
    kaila @ healthy helper!
    June 9, 2011 at 10:13 am

    Gosh this makes me want to live by a Whole Foods even more!!! Fresh vegan whole grain spinach pasta!?!?!? OMG. YES!

  • Reply
    kaila @ healthy helper!
    June 9, 2011 at 10:13 am

    Gosh this makes me want to live by a Whole Foods even more!!! Fresh vegan whole grain spinach pasta!?!?!? OMG. YES!

  • Reply
    Melissa @ Journey to Marvelous
    June 9, 2011 at 10:18 am

    This looks delicious! I also love how summery and light it looks, despite being an alfredo! 🙂

  • Reply
    Jessica @ The Process of Healing
    June 9, 2011 at 10:47 am

    Oh WOW… THANK YOU!!! Fettucini alfredo is my absolute FAVORITE pasta ever so this is perfect!

  • Reply
    June 9, 2011 at 10:50 am

    Green food is just so photogenic and delicious looking. The pasta looks so tender + doughy. Love it!

  • Reply
    Sarah @OC2Seattle
    June 9, 2011 at 11:15 am

    I really like the substitution of dry jack for parmesan cheese and the peas are a nice add too. Definitely a more guiltless version.

  • Reply
    Cait's Plate
    June 9, 2011 at 11:43 am

    Mmm – that looks amazing. You really can’t beat fresh pasta!

  • Reply
    June 9, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    Oh yum, that seems like the absolute perfect summer dish – not too heavy and just light enough! I like your touch with the peas. I don’t eat peas enough but they are such a great addition and can jazz up a simple dish! Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    Holly @ Rust Belt Runner
    June 10, 2011 at 10:03 am

    That does look good!

    I love Private Practice too! My Hubz has been teasing the show is not coming back next season. I don’t even want to imagine that!

  • Reply
    June 11, 2011 at 5:37 am

    Hey Jenna,

    This dish looks really good. I envy your creativity. The dry Jack cheese sounds really interesting though. Got to try this for dinner tomorrow!

  • Reply
    June 12, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    I just made this and it was delicious! I added bacon 😉

  • Reply
    June 13, 2011 at 8:37 am

    I seriously love all things green. I’ve been craving so much green the other day I came home with kale, dandelions, swiss chard, spinach, snow peas, green apples and kiwi. I’m nuts. Can’t get enough of green.

    This pasta looks absolutely delicious!! I could live off pasta.

  • Reply
    Minimalist Shoes | The Runner's Kitchen
    June 14, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    […] The man-friend and I have been eating at restaurants quite a bit lately, but I did manage to cook something on Sunday evening. I put together a simple salad with spinach, rasperries, and homemade citrus dressing, heated up some bakery bread in the oven, and made a spinach fettuccine dish based on Eat, Live, Run’s Green Goddess Pasta. […]

  • Reply
    June 19, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Made this tonight when the husband was out of town. LOVE. 🙂

  • Reply
    farmshare 2011 – week one «
    June 20, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    […] – Wilted some spinach into my Green Goddess Pasta, shredded a little lettuce for a side […]

  • Reply
    June 20, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    Jenna, thanks for posting this – I’ve made it twice now, swapped the cheese and added some other veggies as well, still delicious! Very easy weeknight meal.

  • Reply
    Mmm, nostalgia | drink. eat. play. repeat.
    July 28, 2011 at 4:56 am

    […] when I was bored at work one day being really productive scouring  recipes online and saw one for a “healthier” alfredo, it hit me: sweet nostalgia.  I wanted that comfort food. I wanted to be 8 years old again sitting […]

  • Reply
    recipe: spaghetti with lemon pea sauce — sarah learns
    January 9, 2012 at 3:11 am

    […] this is what i meant. except with a couple changes i had in mind. i don’t keep cream on hand and i […]

  • Reply
    Chris Soares
    February 10, 2012 at 7:39 am

    Hi Jenna, I am so glad I found you! Your recipes are amazing and the best part is… they are so healthy. Today I will try the goddess pasta. Fettuccine alfredo is also my favorite. Can’t wait to try many more of your recipes. About your book, please let me know when it is coming out. Best Chris.

  • Reply
    mitchem kitchen » Kelly +
    June 19, 2013 at 10:29 am

    […] goddess pasta. we got this recipe from one of my favorite blogs eat, live, run and you can get it here. be sure to check out her page, her pictures do much better justice to this delicious […]

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