Tallarines Verdes (South American Green Noodles)

Tallarines Verdes (South American Green Noodles) in bowls

The Spruce / Ana Zelic

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
257 Calories
12g Fat
30g Carbs
10g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 257
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 5g 23%
Cholesterol 18mg 6%
Sodium 206mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 30g 11%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 10g
Vitamin C 11mg 53%
Calcium 227mg 17%
Iron 4mg 25%
Potassium 576mg 12%
*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.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

South American tallarines verdes (green noodles) have a green pasta sauce made with both spinach and basil, similar to a pesto sauce. The sauce also has lots of queso fresco cheese and is creamier than traditional pesto sauce.

These noodles might just become a staple around your house as they're so good and so easy to make. Simply cook the pasta, make the sauce, and then toss them together. In about 30 minutes, this dish can be on the table, making it perfect for a weeknight dinner. 

Serve these delicious noodles as a main course with boiled yellow potatoes and green beans, or as a side dish to accompany steak or chicken.

“The sauce was so flavorful with a perfect consistency. The color was a beautiful vivid green, and the sauce clung nicely to the pasta with the perfect sauce to pasta ratio. Next time I make this, I’ll garnish with a bit of fresh hot red chili rings.” —Diana Andrews

South American Green Noodles (Tallarines Verdes)/Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 3 cups packed spinach, about 4 1/2 ounces

  • 1 cup packed basil leaves, about 1 ounce

  • 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco cheese

  • 1/2 cup milk, more if needed

  • 1 pound pasta, such as spaghetti, fettuccine, or linguine

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Tallarines Verdes (South American Green Noodles) ingredients

    The Spruce / Ana Zelic

  2. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil.

    Water in a pot on a burner

    The Spruce / Ana Zelic

  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil until it shimmers. Sauté the onion and garlic until soft and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

    Onions and garlic in a pan with a wooden spoon on a burner

    The Spruce / Ana Zelic

  4. Add the spinach, basil, cheese, and milk to a blender and process, working in batches if necessary, until smooth.

    Spinach, basil, cheese, and milk in a food processor

    The Spruce / Ana Zelic

  5. Add cooked onions and garlic to the blender and continue to process, adding a little more milk if necessary, until you have a smooth mixture. Reserve the skillet, you will use it again.

    Spinach mixture in a food processor

    The Spruce / Ana Zelic

  6. Cook the pasta until al dente according to package directions.

    Pasta cooking in a pot on a burner

    The Spruce / Ana Zelic

  7. While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in the reserved skillet. Pour the sauce from the blender into the skillet and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce is just heated through, 3 to 4 minutes. Keep the sauce warm.

    Spinach pasta sauce in a pan with a wooden spoon on a burner

    The Spruce / Ana Zelic

  8. Drain the pasta, add it back to the pot and toss with the sauce. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Serve immediately.

    Tallarines Verdes (South American Green Noodles) in a pan with a wooden spoon

    The Spruce / Ana Zelic

Recipe Variations

  • Sprinkle Parmesan cheese or crumbled queso fresco on top of the plated noodles.
  • Add 1/4 cup walnuts or pine nuts to the blender when processing the spinach and basil leaves for additional texture and flavor.

How to Store

Any leftovers of this dish should be placed in an airtight container and stored in the refrigerator. It should be eaten within one to two days.