Goat Cheese Pasta

Goat Cheese Pasta

Prep: 15 mins

Cook: 12 mins

Total: 27 mins

Servings: 4 servings

This goat cheese pasta is an excellent alternative to a heavier Alfredo sauce. The tangy flavor of the goat cheese complements the lemon and garlic notes, while fresh basil and spinach add to the color and texture of the dish.

It’s a quick and easy option for a meat-free meal. The cook time depends on the kind of pasta used, and whether it is fresh or dry. Dry pasta takes up to 12 minutes to cook, while fresh pasta takes just 2 to 3 minutes. Fettuccine is a great pasta to toss with a creamy sauce, but feel free to substitute with a similar pasta shape, such as tagliatelle, linguine, or spaghetti.


  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed, minced

  • 5 cups spinach leaves (about 5 ounces), coarsely chopped

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped

  • 10 to 12 ounces fettuccine, fresh or dry

  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 6 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled, divided

  • Chopped basil or parsley, optional garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Goat Cheese Pasta

  2. Fill a large pot with 4 quarts of water and add 4 teaspoons of kosher salt. Bring the water to a boil over high heat.

    Goat Cheese Pasta

  3. Meanwhile, place a large saucepan over medium heat and add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic; cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the chopped spinach and basil and cook for about 2 minutes, or until wilted. Remove the pot from the heat.

    Goat Cheese Pasta

  4. Add the pasta to the water and bring back to the boil—cook the pasta following the package directions. Reserve about 1 cup of the pasta cooking water and then drain the pasta thoroughly.

    Goat Cheese Pasta

  5. Add about half of the hot cooking water and the pasta to the spinach mixture along with the lemon zest, juice, the pepper, and about 4 ounces of the goat cheese. Place the pot back over medium heat and cook, stirring gently, until the cheese is melted and the pasta is hot. Taste and add salt, as needed.

    Goat Cheese Pasta

  6. Transfer the pasta to a serving bowl.

    Goat Cheese Pasta

  7. Garnish servings with the remaining crumbled goat cheese and chopped basil or parsley, if desired.

    Goat Cheese Pasta


  • Make sure to salt the pasta cooking water with about 1 teaspoon per quart and bring the water to a full rolling boil before adding the pasta.

Recipe Variations

  • Toss about 1 cup of halved grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes into the pasta along with the lemon zest, juice, and goat cheese.
  • Garnish the pasta with toasted pine nuts. To toast the nuts, spread a handful in a dry skillet and place the skillet over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 to 3 minutes. Or toast them in a 375 F oven for about 6 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 420
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 24g 30%
Saturated Fat 8g 41%
Cholesterol 20mg 7%
Sodium 1381mg 60%
Total Carbohydrate 36g 13%
Dietary Fiber 7g 25%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 20g
Vitamin C 26mg 132%
Calcium 399mg 31%
Iron 10mg 58%
Potassium 1183mg 25%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.


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