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Spinach and Garlic Scape Pasta

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Turn fresh spinach and garlic scapes into a super simple green sauce for pasta. It is so quick and easy that boiling the water is the longest part!

Bowl of large pasta tossed in green sauce made from a mixture of garlic scapes and spinach.

Using fresh veggies and a little pasta is a great way to get a nutritious meal on the table quickly. This simple recipe makes a fabulous pesto style sauce out of fresh spinach and garlic scapes.

The result is bright, garlicky and ready in almost no time at all. Serve it as is for a great meatless meal or add chicken or shrimp to make it even more hearty.

I love it when we get produce in our CSA boxes that is slightly outside the norm. Garlic scapes are not something I have a ton of experience with, so it is extra fun experimenting when we get them.

Last year I roasted some along with fresh radishes. They got kind of crispy and super delicious.

fresh garlic scapes and large leaves of spinach.

This time I was inspired by a recipe that was shared in the newsletter highlighting the week’s produce. It was for a pesto style sauce made from spinach and the scapes.

I altered the recipe a bit to match our taste preferences and we were delighted with the results. So I thought I would share the recipe here so you can try it too… plus this way I can make it again next year!

Tools for Making the Garlic Scape Sauce

This is a perfect time to pull out that food processor! It makes short work of chopping the greens and making the sauce.

food processor bowl with thick paste of garlic scapes, spinach, Parmesan, butter and oil.

Also, if you don’t have a salad spinner now is the time to get one. It is by far the mik ost efficient way to wash your greens and get all of the water back out.

Otherwise you just need a big pot for boiling pasta and a strainer. It really is that easy!

Buzz the Sauce Up

The sauce comes together so quickly you can literally do it while the pasta boils!  Just wash your produce and set up you food processor and you’re half way there.

Don’t worry too much if you have a little more or not quite enough of something. This is very forgiving.

Vintage enameled saucepan filled with pasta tossed in garlic scape and spinach mixture.

Toss the spinach and scapes into the food processor and pulse it a few times to give it a rough chop.

Add the other ingredients and let’er rip until you have a relatively smooth texture. Add salt and pepper to your taste and you are in business!

Now twiddle your thumbs while you wait for the pasta. Pride for a job well done is very much encouraged at this stage.

Dip a mug of pasta water out before you drain the pot. Then toss the pasta in you fresh sauce, adding a little pasta water as needed to thin it out.

It really is just that easy! Serve with a smattering of Parmesan cheese and some chicken or shrimp if desired.

bowl of pasta coated in spinach and garlic scape pesto.

More Easy Pasta Recipes

Pesto pasta salad is another fresh and easy option. Make your own pesto or buy a jar from the store, either way it will be bright and delicious.

Sausage, chard and pasta make another great fresh spring green pairing. That recipe has a creamy sauce that pulls it all together.

Creamy chorizo pasta uses fresh chorizo, bell peppers and onions in a cheesy sauce to make dinner delicious. It is another quick and easy meal that is sure to please.

 If you want something chilled in this hot weather, try my blt pasta salad. I load it with spinach and goodies. It’s a great summer side dish but it’s hearty enough to be a meal as well.

Did you make this great recipe? Please leave a review in the recipe card below!

Bowl of large pasta tossed in green sauce made from a mixture of garlic scapes and spinach.

Spinach and Garlic Scape Pasta

Servings: 8 Servings
Author: Carlee
Turn fresh spinach and garlic scapes into a super simple green sauce for pasta. It is so quick and easy that boiling the water is the longest part!
5 from 6 ratings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 1 pound dry pasta
  • 3-4 cups packed spinach
  • ½ cup chopped garlic scapes
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoon butter
  • salt and pepper


  • Bring a pot of salty water to a boil and put the pasta in to cook to al dente according to the package directions.
    1 pound dry pasta
  • While the water comes to a boil,  wash and dry your spinach and scapes.
    3-4 cups packed spinach, ½ cup chopped garlic scapes
  • Toss them in your food processor and pulse it a few times to roughly chop them.
  • Add the cheese, oil and butter, process until it forms a mostly smooth paste.
    ¼ cup grated Parmesan Cheese, 2 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, 3 Tablespoon butter
  • When the pasta is done, dip out a mug of pasta water before draining. 
  • Return the pasta to the pot. Over low heat, toss the pasta with the sauce. Add a little pasta water if necessary to get the desired consistency. Heat just enough to warm the sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and chicken or shrimp if desired. 


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 366kcalCarbohydrates: 56gProtein: 17gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 321mgFiber: 8gSugar: 3g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating


Monday 29th of June 2020

Garlic scapes!?! It sounds like I need to branch out in my cooking - I have never heard of garlic scapes, but this recipe sounds delicious.


Thursday 2nd of July 2020

Our CSA introduced them to me a few years ago. Now I have fun experimenting with them each spring!

Andrea Nine

Wednesday 24th of June 2020

This looks delightful, the perfect summer dish!


Thursday 2nd of July 2020

Thank you!