Tallarines Verdes Peruvian Green Spaghetti Recipe

Tallarines Verdes is one of our favourite Peruvian pasta dishes to cook at home.

Our homemade Peruvian Green Spaghetti pasta recipe is quick and easy to make, ready to serve in under 40 minutes!

Fork through a bright green bowl of our healthy vegetarian Tallarines Verdes featuring flavourful garlic, onion, spinach, basil, walnuts, parmesan, queso fresco, cream and fresh lime juice.

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Save our Tallarines Verdes Peruvian Green Spaghetti recipe to Pinterest!

What is Tallarines Verdes?

Tallarines Verdes is a traditional Peruvian pasta dish that translates to “Green Spaghetti.” It can also be prepared with other long and thin noodles like linguini and angel hair pasta.

The creation of the famous dish can be attributed to Italian immigrants who came to live in Peru. These resourceful Italians visited local markets and utilized Peruvian staples to create a new national dish that is popular across Peru and in nearby Bolivia and Ecuador.

Tallarines Veredes is prepared by making a creamy homemade Peruvian pesto sauce. There are many variations to the bright green pesto sauce, which are based on family preferences and passed down recipes.

The most common ingredients found in Peruvian Pesto sauce include onion, garlic, olive oil, spinach, basil, walnuts, cream, parmesan cheese, queso fresco and fresh lime juice.

Peruvian chefs and home cooks typically prepare the pesto sauce with a blender or food processor until smooth. Al dente pasta is tossed into the sauce and then served sprinkled with cheese and a spritz of lime juice.

We serve this healthy vegetarian pasta dish as a main course but in Peru you can also find it served as a side dish that often accompanies grilled beef.

Tallarines Verdes recipe ingredients.
Tallarines Verdes recipe ingredients.

Travel to Peru by Making Tallarines Verdes at Home

I love traveling to Latin America.

As a professional food and travel journalist, I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy amazing meals in Central America, South America and the Caribbean, from traditional markets to award winning restaurants.

For over ten years, I’ve been on the hunt for the best Tallarines Verdes recipe. I’ve embarked on culinary adventures at local restaurants in Mexico, CubaBelizeGuatemalaNicaraguaCosta RicaPanamaJamaicaPuerto Rico, Curacao, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil.

In Peru, I’ve forked through steaming bowls of traditional Tallarines Verdes at restaurants in Lima, The Sacred Valley, Cuzco and Puno.

Authentic Peruvian Pesto is known for being a creamy and bright pasta dish. Its ingredients contrast nicely, offering delicious results as rich cheese, walnuts and cream balance out flavourful spinach, basil, onion, garlic and lime juice.

After enjoying your first few spaghetti twirls, you’ll realize why a big bowl of Peruvian Green Spaghetti is a must-try when visiting the Andes!

Traditional Tallarines Verdes features pasta, queso fresco, walnuts, garlic, onion, spinach and basil.
Traditional Tallarines Verdes features pasta, queso fresco, walnuts, garlic, onion, spinach and basil.

Where To Eat Peruvian Green Spaghetti

If you live in a large city in Canada or America you’ll likely have access to a local Peruvian restaurant that serves an authentic Tallarines Verdes.

Haven’t traveled to Peru before? It may be helpful to first sample Peruvian Green Spaghetti at a local restaurant to better understand how the dish is served. You’ll get an idea for the desired thickness of the pesto sauce, favourite pasta varieties and the best toppings to include such as crumbled cheese, fresh herbs and lime wedge.

In Toronto, popular South American restaurants that may offer healthy Tallarines Verdes. include Mira Restaurant, Paracas Peruvian Restaurant, Chotto Matte, Los Chicos Brasa and Aldo’s Restaurant.

Use a blender or food processor to produce a smooth, bright green Peruvian Pesto sauce.
Use a blender or food processor to produce a smooth, bright green Peruvian Pesto sauce.

My Family Loves Tallarines Verdes

As a little kid I always knew we’d be eating pasta when heading up to the cottage in Muskoka after finishing school on a Friday in Markham.

My mom and dad loved preparing pasta on our first night at the cottage after what was usually a grueling drive in rush hour traffic. Pasta is so easy to prepare and very kid friendly. We were always happy to fork through a bowl of noodles topped with a mountain of shredded parmesan cheese.

After graduating university I backpacked through South America for several months and fell in love with Tallarines Verdes, which I wolfed down many times at local restaurants.

After returning home I recreated the dish for my parents. They were thrilled to add a new pasta dish to to their recipe box. My family are Irish so my mom obviously chirped, “this bright green pasta would be a perfect dish to serve at St. Patrick’s Day!”

We often serve this Peruvian Green Spaghetti as a light lunch in the summer or as a side dish to accompany our favourite barbecue like grilled chicken, pork tenderloin or sizzling seafood.

Cook al dente pasta in Peruvian Pesto sauce before serving in large bowls.
Cook al dente pasta in Peruvian Pesto sauce before serving in large bowls.

Is Peruvian Pesto Vegetarian?

Tallarines Verdes is a popular vegetarian recipe from Peru featuring al dente pasta noodles.

Traditional recipes are not vegan friendly as they contain cream and two kinds of cheese. If you are looking to prepare vegan Tallarines Verdes you’ll need to purchase whipping cream, queso fresco and parmesan substitutes.

Serve Tallarines Verdes topped with queso fresco, chopped basil and a lime wedge.
Serve Tallarines Verdes topped with queso fresco, chopped basil and a lime wedge.

Tallarines Verdes Health Benefits

Our Peruvian Green Spaghetti recipe is packed full of healthy ingredients!

Olive Oil is ranked as one of the healthiest fats and is a staple in the Mediterranean diet. It contains vitamins E and K and plenty of beneficial fatty acids and antioxidants.

It is only recently that scientists have begun to identify the components responsible for garlic’s myriad health benefits. Rich in phytochemicals and potassium, garlic helps boost your immune system, fight cancer and protect your heart.

Onions are a humble vegetable packed with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Regular consumption of onions can help boost digestive health and reduce the risk of developing heart disease.

Consuming dairy products (such as milk and cream) provides health benefits — especially improved bone health. Dairy foods provide nutrients that are vital for health and maintenance of your body. These nutrients include calcium, potassium, vitamin D, and protein.

Walnuts offer heart-friendly fats, immune-boosting  copper, and manganese, which helps keep your brain and  nerves healthy.

Packed with folate, vitamin C, and potassium, spinach helps keep your blood, immune system and eyes healthy. 

The eugenol in basil can block calcium channels, which may help to lower blood pressure. The essential oils in the herb can help to lower your cholesterol and triglycerides. Basil also contains magnesium, which can help to improve blood flow by allowing muscles and blood vessels to relax.

A rich source of phytochemicals and vitamin C, limes help boost your immune system and neutralize free radicals that cause disease and skin aging. Lemons also protect against heart disease and help improve blood flow to the brain.

Serve Tallarines Verdes in the summer with grilled steaks or barbecued prawns.
Serve Tallarines Verdes in the summer with grilled steaks or barbecued prawns.

Tallarines Verdes Tips

This healthy homemade Peruvian Green Spaghetti recipe is quick and easy to make at home. We’ve included a few tips for first time pasta makers!

  • Use a large cast iron dutch oven with a high rim to reduce splatter when cooking.
  • We suggest using a high quality rubber spatula spoon when stirring the sauce so you can scrape down the side of the pot and sip to check if it needs to be seasoned further with more salt before spooning into bowls.
  • We’ve used Spanish cooking onions but you could also use shallots, red onion or vidalia onion.
  • Many Tallarines Verdes recipes include evaporated milk so you can substitue it instead of whipping cream if you prefer. It will add additional sweetness.
  • We use walnuts as the nut source in our Peruvian Pesto but you can substitue for pecans.
  • While most recipes feature long and thin pastas like spaghetti or linguine, you can also use tubular pastas that hold sauce well like penne, rigatoni or macaroni.
  • We serve this pasta with a wedge of lime but you could substitute for lemon instead.
Vegetarians can enjoy Peruvian Green Spaghetti as a main course for lunch or dinner.
Vegetarians can enjoy Peruvian Green Spaghetti as a main course for lunch or dinner.

What To Serve with Peruvian Green Spaghetti

In my family we often serve homemade Peruvian Green Spaghetti as a simple lunch all on its own.

If you’re hosting a large dinner party you might want to serve Tallarines Verdes as a side dish served with heartier mains like grilled seafood and barbecued steaks.

We love serving this Peruvian pasta dish with healthy dips, salads and soups like Chupe de Quinoa Gluten Free Peruvian Soup, Vegetarian Chipotle Mexican Bean Soup, Healthy Garlic Lemon Chickpea Avocado Salad, Guasacaca Venezuelan Guacamole and Mexican Queso.

After dinner why not dazzle your guests with one of our popular desserts such as Oat Flour Cookies with Chocolate Chips, Dark Chocolate Lindt Lindor Cookies, Maraschino Cherry Cupcakes Recipe, Cinnamon Babka For Chocolate Lovers or Chewy Easter Toffee Cadbury Mini Egg Cookie Bars, Turmeric Pumpkin Spice Indian Cake or Healthy Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies.

Tallarines Verdes features a bright green sauce thanks to spinach and basil.
Tallarines Verdes features a bright green sauce thanks to spinach and basil.

Storing Peruvian Pesto

If you have leftover Peruvian Pesto you can store the sauce in the fridge in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days. To reheat simply zap it in the microwave or simmer in a saucepan over the stove with fresh al dente pasta.

We love doubling recipes so we can store leftovers in the freezer and save time on cooking in the kitchen. We suggest storing leftover pesto sauce in Pyrex freezer safe containers that have a snug lid so there’s not spilling. They can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Now you're an expert on how to make Tallarines Verdes with homemade Peruvian Pesto Sauce.
Now you’re an expert on how to make Tallarines Verdes with homemade Peruvian Pesto Sauce.

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Best Peruvian Pesto Tallarines Verdes Pasta Recipe

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Tallarines Verdes Peruvian Green Spaghetti

How to make traditional Tallarines Verdes. Our easy Peruvian Green Spaghetti recipe features cream, basil, walnuts, queso, lime and pasta noodles.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Peruvian
Keyword: Peruvian Pesto, Tallarines Verdes
Servings: 6
Calories: 547kcal

Equipment

  • Large pot
  • Collander
  • Food processor
  • Skillet
  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons
  • French knife

Ingredients

  • 450 g Linguine or Spaghetti
  • 1 Spanish Onion chopped
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 4 Garlic Cloves smashed
  • Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • 250 g Baby Spinach
  • 1 cup Basil Leaves
  • 1/3 cup Walnuts
  • 1/4 cup Whipping Cream
  • 1 cup Parmesan Cheese grated
  • 1 cup Queso Fresco crumbled
  • Lime Wedges

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
  • Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the onion, oil, garlic, 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper, walnuts, basil, spinach, cream and 3/4 cups of queso. Process until smooth, about 30 seconds.
  • Transfer the spinach mixture to a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to thicken, 3-5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup reserved pasta water and return to a simmer, then add the pasta and stir to coat. Simmer, stirring every so often, until the linguine is perfectly tender and the pesto no longer appears watery, 3-5 minutes. Stir in the cream.
  • Off the heat, stir in the parmesan cheese, then taste and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving dish, sprinkle with leftover queso fresco, parmesan and chopped basil. Serve with lime wedges.

Nutrition

Calories: 547kcal | Carbohydrates: 46.3g | Protein: 22.3g | Fat: 31.4g | Saturated Fat: 8.2g | Cholesterol: 83mg | Sodium: 442mg | Potassium: 467mg | Fiber: 1.9g | Sugar: 1.1g | Calcium: 242mg | Iron: 4mg

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