This Basil and Greek Yogurt Pasta Sauce is pure genius! Luscious and creamy, this "no butter and no cream" basil infused sauce is tossed with tender shell pasta and can be on the table in 15 minutes - less if you make the sauce ahead!
About this Greek Yogurt Pasta Sauce recipe:
In the "favorite dinner category," pasta ranks right up there! From my mom's Spaghetti Meat Sauce to this Pork Ragu or this pasta frittata, I've rarely met a pasta recipe I didn't love.
But this yogurt pasta sauce is in a class all by itself. Made without any cream or butter, it's luscious - creamy and a bit tangy, and not too rich!
If you've been reading ACT for a while, you KNOW I love yogurt! From Lemon and
What you'll need:
full fatgreek yogurt works beautifully in this pastasauce but if you can't find any (yeah, that would be me!) low- fat or even non-fat works well!
- Use a good quality parmesan cheese here - the intense flavor of a good parm is worth the splurge!
- Fresh basil - if I don't have any basil growing in my yard, my favorite trick is to buy a basil plant instead of cut stems. After plucking off the leaves for the sauce, I just plop the plant into my herb pot and
viola! I have basil leaves for my next recipe!
- I love this pasta with yogurt sauce served warm - but it's also fabulous cold! If you happen to have any sauce leftover - save it! It makes a fantastic salad dressing (thinned with a bit of water) or a terrific dip for veggies!
- Pasta - I used medium shells ("conchiglie") to go with this pasta yogurt sauce, but any
medium sizedtubular pasta like rigatoni works! Ridged is better - since it really holds the yogurt sauce!
Tips on How to make this Greek Yogurt Pasta Sauce:
- Gather your ingredients!
- Blend the sauce ingredients: I used a food processor, but you could also use a blender. In a pinch, you could chop the basil and garlic by hand, but the sauce won't be quite as smooth.
- Set aside ½ of the sauce: You need to gradually add the sauce to the pasta so it doesn't break.
- Cook the pasta: I used a medium shell pasta for this. While you don't need a shell pasta, you do want a ridged pasta to hold all that luscious sauce!
- Add the sauce: If you've made the yogurt sauce ahead of time (which you totally can do - make sure it's at room temperature. If the sauce is cold, it's will (a) chill down the hot pasta, and (b) increases the chance the sauce will break.
- Serve! If you have leftover sauce, pass that along with extra parmesan. Garnish with fresh basil if you like.
- Leftovers - any leftovers are great refrigerated and served as a pasta salad! Just don't try and re heat the sauce!
If you loved this
Pasta with Basil Yogurt Sauce
- 1 lb. rigatoni or medium shell pasta
- 1 cup 2% greek yogurt
- 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup fresh basil packed
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- ¾ cup parmesan cheese grated
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes optional
- ¼ cup toasted pine nuts optional
- In the bowl of a food processor combine the yogurt, olive oil, basil, garlic, parmesan cheese, pepper and salt.
- Process until all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Measure ½ of the sauce into a large bowl and set aside
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Season water with salt.
- Add the pasta and cook until al dente - about 12 minutes. Drain.
- Add the pasta GRADUALLY to the yogurt sauce. If you add it too quickly the sauce will break.
- Add more of the yogurt sauce if needed.
- Garnish with the chopped tomatoes and pine nuts if desired.
- Extra sauce can be passed separately or refrigerated for 2 days.
Although I love this pasta served warm, it's also delicious served cold as a pasta salad.
Lana @ Never Enough Thyme says
Wow. I don't think I've ever combined pasta with yogurt, but I can totally see this working. And I mean really working well. Delicious and so much better for you than the usual heavy cream. Great recipe, Nancy!
Vicki Bensinger says
Great info and tips. Your pasta sounds delicious and looks beautiful. Nice blog, it's my first time stopping by.
Aww... thanks so much! Glad to have you as a reader!!!
Did this recipe exactly! Okay, well not exactly, we're vegan so we substituted nutritional yeast for parmesan and used coconut yogurt turned out fabulous!!!!
Thank you for the recipe!
So glad you liked it and even happier that you were able to adapt the recipe!!! Hmmm.... I've never had coconut yogurt and I am now intrigued - definitely going to have to try it!
this sounds amazing! I'm going to make the same version you did with coconut yogurt and nooch, can't wait!
I hope you like it and thank you so much for stopping by!!!
sounds great! But I'm not clear on steps on the 2 halves of sauce. Set one aside, put the pasta on one and then stir in the other?
Sorry about that! The sauce recipe makes a fair amount so since some people like it with less sauce than others, I suggest using about 1/2 of the recipe to start. If it isn't "saucy" enough you can always add more of the sauce!!!
Cynthia Hutchinson says
This is a wonderful sauce, I will definitely make it often! Thanks
Nikki Reynolds says
I made this tonight for dinner tonight and it was amazing!!! Great recipe! Thanks for sharing!
Hi Nikki!!! I am so happy you took the time to post and I am sooooo happy you liked it!!!
What about heating the sauce before adding to pasta?
Hi Sarah! Great question - I didn't heat the sauce because yogurt can break. The pasta is hot enough to heat the sauce so I didn't have to risk it breaking!!!
Donna Sherwood says
Hi Nancy and Readers:
I just happened upon this site and found it very interesting. Reading the other posts has been helpful too. I am getting ready for the blizzard coming to MD 22 JAN 16. So, this recipe is on the list to try. We have been told to MDFEMA to do grocery shopping for a week!
Hi Donna!! I hope you enjoy the pasta and that you stay warm and cozy during the storm!!!
Gloria Lanyon says
This recipe has become my favorite pasta dish.
Karen (Back Road Journal) says
Your tip about the yogurt sauce breaking if it gets too hot is absolutely right. Adding just a little at a time is the way to go. Your pasta looks delicious.
Thanks Karen! I love working with yogurt but you do need to be careful when adding it to hot dishes!!!
I've never made a pasta sauce with yogurt. Such a great idea. Sounds as rich and creamy as cream! 🙂
I really do love this sauce - it's creamy with a built-in- kick - which I always love!!!
I made this and it was delicious! Tossed with hot pasta, some broccoli and turkey sausage, and some pasta water to bring it all together. Yum!!!