Spaghetti with yogurt sauce

March 15, 2010  •  Category: ,


This is a homestyle dish combining  a little pasta and the dairy always  on hand, yogurt! Not the kind of dish likely to figure on the menu of a Lebanese restaurant in Sydney or Washington or Paris, but ours nevertheless and highly ingrained in our culinary habits.

To liven up the yogurt sauce a bit of garlic and (or) cilantro or parsley pesto is added. Garnish is usually fried pine nuts.

Speedy, taking less than 15 minutes to prepare, delicious, healthy, what more can one ask for?


  • 8 ounces of spaghetti (can substitute any other pasta)
  • 4 cloves of garlic (more or less depending on taste-I tend to add more), mashed in a mortar with salt
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro, stems discarded and leaves chopped fine (can substitute parsley)
  • olive oil, as needed
  • 1/4 cup of pine nuts fried in a pat of butter or oil
  • 12 to 16  ounces of yogurt (depending on whether you like yours on the dry side or smothered in sauce)


  1. To speed things up, mash the garlic with salt, heat some olive oil in a small skillet and fry the garlic and cilantro for thirty seconds, until the fragrance is noticeable. Set aside.
  2. Boil the spaghetti till done. Add a bit of olive oil to it to keep it shiny and smooth.
  3. Mix the cilantro pesto with the yogurt and add to the spaghetti. Sprinkle with pine nuts. Serve.

I am submitting an entry to the Presto Pasta nights #155.


52 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Nicole @ MGC says:

    This looks like a great dish. It’s such a great idea to liven up the yogurt. Looks beautiful!

  2. Christine's Recipes says:

    Aw, the pasta looks fab with the creamy sauce. Haven’t used yogurt to make pasta sauce, sounds great and healthy.

  3. Faith says:

    This looks like such a light, flavorful, and refreshing pasta dish! I love the crunch of the pine nuts in there!

  4. The Little Teochew says:

    Brilliant idea! Instead of cream, it’s yogurt. I should really try this. It looks so creamy, yet so healthy. And vegetarian too. 🙂

  5. peachkins says:

    I love yogurts but I never thought it would go well with pasta. I wish I could taste this yummy pasta dish of yours!

  6. anncoo says:

    I really like this pasta, looks light and refreshing.

  7. Mimi says:

    What a light and fresh pasta. It doesn’t hurt that it’s fast to make either.

  8. Adele says:

    Wonderful dish! Fast, easy, ingredients available, but doesn’t it look wonderful? Will definitely make this for my husband.

  9. The Curious Baker says:

    Snap! I was just about to go out and buy a tub of laban, truth be told I wasn’t a fan of it when I lived in Dubai but they were gulping it down like it was going out of fashion. I thought of baking with it and sweetening up a bit in a bit of an arabic nostalgia moment, but putting it on spaghetti, sounds interesting!

  10. Citrus Quark says:

    this looks delicious. i can’t wait to try it.

  11. Sushma Mallya says:

    So creamy and such a delicious spaghetti….very nice recipe to try….

  12. Ivy says:

    Is this a Lebanese recipe Joumana? I have made pasta lots of times combining pesto with yoghurt or pesto with feta, instead of using fresh cream and it’s really great.

  13. Katie says:

    Love this – always have yogurt in the fridge. Parsley for me, tho. Perfect side dish.

  14. Barbara says:

    Never occurred to me to use yogurt with pasta, Joumana! And I’ve got every single one of those ingredients in my pantry or fridge right now. Can’t wait to give this healthy pasta dish a try!

  15. Simply Life says:

    Oh my gosh! I’m drooling over that at it’s only 8am! 🙂

  16. rebecca says:

    looks delicious great use of yogurt going to Turkey in May have you been any tips? rebeccasubbiah at yahoo dot com

  17. Azita says:

    great dish, delicious and healthy! what a wonderful idea! thanks.

  18. noobcook says:

    I’ve tried pesto pasta but adding yoghurt is something new to me – and it looks really good!

  19. TastyTrix says:

    Substituting yogurt for cream is so smart, and it gives a dish such a pop of flavor. I love this.

  20. Happy Cook says:

    I love cilantro, but here hubby and daughte don’t love them, they do like but then as a garnish or something like that.
    This looks so so good. And i love that you used youghurt.

  21. oum mouncifrayan says:

    j’aime les salés avec du “snober”!
    merci du partage!

  22. Arlette says:

    Marhaba Joumana

    I love to come here, and enjoy your food and recipe and more, to remember some of the recipes which I completely forgot since I moved here… This sauce is one of the them… I used to like it with lots of garlic…EMMMM Yummy
    Shahaytini ya binit….

  23. Rachana Kothari says:

    I do that too:) It tastes really good… Lovely clicks!

  24. the wicked noodle says:

    I have immediately bookmarked this healthy, yummy recipe! I absolutely can not WAIT to try it!

  25. Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella says:

    Delicious! I’ve made something similar using an Amy Sedaris recipe and it turned out so gorgeous and creamy. Instead of pesto she used a greek cheese but I do love the idea of using yogurt for the cream 😀

  26. MaryMoh says:

    Simple and delicious. I love the pine nuts to go with it.

  27. Natashya says:

    I just made a faux alfredo last night with yogurt and we loved it. Your pasta looks wonderful! I love the liberal use of herbs.

  28. chau says:

    not sure if it will keep me full tho

  29. sweetlife says:

    I adore this-cilantro is my fav herb and the addition of yogurt-yum!!


  30. 5 Star Foodie says:

    The sauce with yogurt and cilantro pesto sounds amazing, yum!

  31. aurelie says:

    voilà une recette de pâte comme je les aime, riche en saveurs … et en soleil …
    merci pour tes visites
    Bises Aurelie

  32. SathyaSrihdar says:

    Spaghetti with pesto sauce looks delicious and creamy,,, it looks perfect with perfect snaps.thanks for sharing dear,,, take care and always keep cute smiling..

  33. T.W. Barritt says:

    This is a lovely dish – simple ingredients and so fresh. I love these types of recipes.

  34. Cherine says:

    I had forgotten about this dish! My mom used to make it long time ago and I used to looove it… thanks for sharing this recipe!!

  35. Julie says:

    Des fois, c’est bon de revenir à la simplicité dans la cuisine. Les pâtes sont toujours une valeur sûre mais ta sauce a l’air vraiment très crémeuse et savoureuse, ça me tente bien!! Gros bisous!

  36. Tiny Urban Kitchen says:

    I love it! A creamy dish that *seems* unhealthy but isn’t at all!

  37. PJ says:

    As I always say-I love anything with yogurt.Looks sooooo delicious..

  38. Ruth says:

    What a glorious dish. The photos are fabulous and the pasta has me drooling. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights. We’re always looking for wonderful noodle dishes so I hope you join in the fun often.

    Your blog is wonderful and I’ll be back often.

  39. The Food Hunter says:

    Looks delicious. I’ll try it!

  40. Elizabeth says:

    This looks fabulous! I’d definitely order it if it was on the menu….

    I love putting yoghurt into pasta as well – it’s great with beets, pinenuts and fennel seed…

  41. Kathryn says:

    Sounds very tasty! Going to put this on my “to try some time” list. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  42. Ann says:

    I am making this tonight…will keep you posted!!

  43. Mercotte says:

    je découvre ton agréable blog et je le trouve très sympa de belles et simples recettes très appétissantes et originales enfin en ici avec leur petit brin d’exotisme ça fait du bien!

  44. TastyTrix says:

    I had to tell you – I needed a quick dinner and I just made this – SO good! I had to sub sunflower seeds for pine nuts, and I sprinkled a bit of sumac on top just because. It was a hit! (And I was just teasing about you telling us where to get something … you always make me crave things, for real.)

  45. Velva says:

    This beautiful dish is perfect for the summer. This dish is also proof that simple is really best.

  46. Zoubida says:

    This was our lunch. I used german egg noodles and a balkan-style full-fat yogurt. Mmmm… We couldn’t stop eating this. It’s so good ! My sons loved it. I love it. I put it in our household weedays fast-easy-delicious cooking repertoire.

  47. Michelle says:

    I made this for lunch a few days ago and really, really loved it! I used full-fat Greek yogurt so it was a little more indulgent but totally worth it. I also used whole wheat spaghetti. So good, creamy and flavorful! Love the garlic, cilantro and pine nuts flavors with the yogurt. Pairing yogurt with pasta is something I had never done before finding your blog, but I’m so happy about the discovery!

  48. Mary says:

    It is my favorite dish. I am cooking it a little different. you may see it in

  49. elham says:

    This is not lebeness

  50. Cecil Koos says:

    Really like reading your helpful hints as I think it’s essential that you have some form of focal point when you are trying to be fit and healthy. Diets can be so dull if you don’t get some type of encouragement and I always find a great deal of helpfull guidance whenever searching different blogs. It also helps in getting some encouragement for planning a variety of dishes rather than the identical veg week in week out.

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