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Orecchiette in Vegan No-Cook Spinach Sauce

Vegan orecchiete with no-cook spinach sauce
Nathan Congleton / TODAY
4 to 6

Chef notes

There's nothing like a good no-cook pasta sauce for the days when you need to whip something up without a lot of fuss. Simply toss your hot pasta with lima beans, green beans, and tangy garlic spinach sauce for a gorgeous green meal in a hurry. This pasta is called orecchiette, which means "little ear," because of its cupped shape. It is one of my favorites, but feel free to use any other shape you have on hand. Leftovers make a delicious cold pasta salad.


  • 1 pound orecchiette
  • 4 ounces green beans, ends trimmed, chopped into 1-inch pieces (can also use frozen)
  • 10 ounces frozen lima beans, thawed
  • 5 ounces baby spinach
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add orecchiette and cook according to package directions. With about 5 minutes remaining, add green beans and lima beans to boiling pasta water and let cook until they are fork tender and pasta is cooked. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, make the sauce by combining spinach, garlic, oil, water, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a food processor. Process until smooth.

In a large serving bowl, toss pasta with green beans, lima beans, and sauce. Adjust seasoning to taste and serve. Any leftovers can be served warm or cold the next day for a delicious lunch.