Garlic Sweet Potato Noodles with Pancetta and Baby Spinach

Garlic Sweet Potato Noodles with Pancetta and Baby Spinach

Happy Mother’s Day! If you’re a mother, I hope you’re spending it relaxing and not...

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Happy Mother’s Day! If you’re a mother, I hope you’re spending it relaxing and not lifting a finger. If you’re not a mother, I hope you’re making some mother out there feel special and loved.

Moms are the best, they really are. Of course, my mom is the world’s greatest mom. Don’t try to fight me on it, it’s true!

I mean, check out this picture of her photo-bombing my Dad and I… how could you NOT love her?


I attribute most of my personality characteristics to my mother. My father definitely gave me my work ethic and my focus. No doubt. Not that my mom’s a slump, but my father is a hard-working entrepreneur who rarely falters.

Oh, and don’t be alarmed by his face. He does that from time to time, like here…


Or here…

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But my mom. You know when you see those really corny greeting cards? The ones that you skim just for the heck of it – they’re in a really spiral-y cursive and there’s all sorts of butterflies and swirls. Yes, those.

Well, as corny as they are, my mother is ALL of those corny descriptors- she’s caring, loving, honest, genuine, supportive and understanding. She’s my best friend and regardless of what kind of mood I’m in, she’s always there for me… and our whole family. Family photo below, sans my older brother.

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She’s taught me so much in my life about being a woman and growing up and coming into my own. Most importantly, she told me to never compare myself to others and that there’s a solution to every problem (something her father taught her.)

My mom is so affectionate. Every time I hold on to Lu during a hug for one extra second and he starts to wiggle out, I think of my mom – she used to squeeze me so hard (in a I-love-you-so-much-I-could-squeeze-you-until-your-eyeballs-pop-out way.)


Anyway, Happy Mother’s Day to everyone today. If you’re coming back after spending the day with your mom, here’s a seriously flavorful pasta dish that won’t take you much time. It’s all in one pot, so don’t worry about the cleanup.

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The cubed pancetta works so well with sweet potatoes, because pancetta itself is a bit sweet. Add olive oil, basil, and garlic to that and you’ve got a dreamy bowl of pasta.

I love baby spinach – it’s not as overpowering as regular spinach and is perfect for small side salads or a dish like this, where you want to fit in some greens but don’t want them to overwhelm the other flavors.


How did you spend your Mother’s Day?




Garlic Sweet Potato Noodles with Pancetta and Baby Spinach

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 2


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove minced (about 1.5 tsp)
  • 1/2 cup diced white onions
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup cubed pancetta
  • 1 large 350g+ sweet potato, peeled, Blade C
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 4 large basil leaves chopped
  • 3-4 packed cups of spinach


  • Place a large skillet over medium heat and add in the olive oil. Once the oil heats, add in the garlic, red pepper flakes and onions and cook for about 2 minutes or until onions are translucent.
  • Add in the sweet potato noodles and pancetta and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine and let cook for a few minutes (about 2) and then add in the chicken broth and basil. Let fully reduce and then cook for 2-3 minutes or until sweet potato noodles are cooked through (taste to test.) Towards the end, add in the baby spinach and let cook for about 2 minutes or until spinach is wilted.
  • When done, divide evenly into bowls.

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with love, Ali

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Recipe Rating


  • Not that we can't guess, but what amount of spinach did you add?
  • This meal looks so good! This is a sweet post about your mom and I love the funny faces your dad makes!
  • Thanks for this, but where do you find a spiralizer that can do sweet potatoes? I've tried, and it actually broke the blade on the spiralizer, and I had to ask for a new one! MEC
    • I just spiraled 2 sweet potatoes and didn't have any problem at all. Maybe it is the brand. I have a Padermo.
    • Pampered Chef's spiralizer comes out March 1st. I was Able to try one at a sneak peak of it and used a sweet potato. It worked beautifully!
    • The Paderno spiralizer (available on Amazon) works for sweet potatoes with no problem. (Be alert to other brand names that are very similar, and select Paderno.) Not only is it sturdy, spiralizing is just fun! I joke that it's like a Playdough Fun Factory for healthy cooks--LOL.
  • BTW, can you please insert the nutrition information on the printed page for each recipe? Sure, one can copy it, past it into a Word document, and then print it separately. But it would be so much more convenient to get it with the abbreviated recipe. Thanks.
    • Yes, I will work on this - it's very time consuming to put the nutritional information together (which I just started).
      • Actually, the information is already right there on the longer "Inspiralized" version; it's merely a question of having them include it in the "abbreviated" recipe that is printed when you click "print this."
        • Right- I have to manually enter that information. I'll definitely be doing this in the future!
    • She has to do a lot of work to switch it, seems easier to copy and paste into word and print if YOU need it that way! Happy spiralizing!!!
  • We made this tonight and it was delicious! I am slowly becoming obsessed with my Paderno. Thank you for all of your wonderful recipes!!
  • I just bought my spiralizer last weekend. This was my second meal. It was great. I made it veggie so I had to make a few adjustments, but it was great. I left the sweet potato a little crisp. Is this what you do? I was thinking if it was cooked too much it would turn to mush. I second Michael's suggestion about putting nutrition on the printed page. On a side note, my spiralizer went through sweet potato with out any issue (though my blades are pretty much new). I bought some beets, we'll see how that goes.
    • So glad you liked the recipe! Thanks for trying it out - I will definitely work on the nutritional information.
  • Got my spiralizer a few weeks ago, reading your blog, woke up to this recipe and decided this was it. This would be the first recipe. Had it for dinner and holy cow, was it good!!! I was a little worried because I sent my husband to the store for ingredients and he came home with a big white sweet potato, but it was just as fantastic as I imagine an orange one to be. I don't think you can hurt this recipe if you have to make tiny tweaks here and there. I had no idea if the potatoes would get soft enough (I'm paranoid) and the liquid got soaked up almost immediately, so I added a little more and it was fine. Seriously. This was such an easy dish to make and now my house smells like comfort food and I don't feel guilty about that in the least. Thanks!!
    • I am SO happy to hear this! Yes, sweet potatoes vary by location - some stores don't properly name the yams, so they're typically "southern sweet potatoes" or just "Sweet potatoes." It's tricky, but they all taste delicious! So happy you're liking the spiralizer.
  • This looks so incredibly good to me right now! And what a sweet post. I squeeze my sons with love too and I love reading that. Your mom seems awesome.
  • I bought my Paderno a couple of weeks ago and we are loving it!! Even my three year old loves the 'fun' sweet potato chips and spiralized cucumbers! I have a question... what is pancetta? The photo was this recipe it looks like you are using ham? Also, do you know if you can freeze 'zoodles' or sweet potato spirals?
    • You can look at this post to learn about freezing spiralized veggies: Also, pancetta is like Italian bacon! You can find it in your local grocery store in the deli aisles, most likely.
      • Thank you for the information! I was hoping for better results with freezing the veggies to save time and money. Living in Wisconsin fresh veggies can sometimes get expensive when out of season. Thank you again for your wonderful blog! I have been trying hard to lose weight and you have made veggies fun again! THANKS!
  • Sweet potato noodles? Brilliant! I just bought the spiralizer you recommended and I think a vegan version of this recipe will be my first. Yum!
  • This dish is excellent!! My husband was skeptical of these recipes when I first found this blog (being an addict of pasta, pizza and nachos); now I've found out he's told his whole office about the spiralizer and Ali!!
    • Yay!! I'm so glad to hear you liked it and that your husband is a convert. My work is done :)
  • I LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog. I have tried several recipies and have never been disappointed! Thank you for helping me feed my family healthy and fun food!
  • This was really good. I made it with bacon instead of pancetta, since I was in empty-out-the-fridge-mode... and served on a bed of fresh spinach rather than steaming it. Tasty! Thank you!
      • Made it again tonight! I live on a small Hawaiian Island and can't get pancetta so use bacon instead. I love your recipes but I think this has to be one of my favorites..
        • I'm so happy to hear that! Thank you so much for letting me know. I've never been to Hawaii and it's on my top 5 places to visit! Maybe in a few years on my honeymoon!
  • Another great one, Ali! Thanks! I just made this but used zoodles instead and used an uncured ham-steak as my protein and it's delicious! Such a nice flavor combo and that little kick of garlic and red pepper is yummy! Can't wait to try out another dish...tomorrow!
  • Made this for dinner last night - amazing! So flavourful. Even my boyfriend whose only experience with sweet potato is with sweet potato fries (which he hated - don't know how that is even possible!), admitted the noodles were nice. Every small step to get him away from his bread and pasta diet is a win in my book :-)
  • I made this last night for dinner with just a couple of changes - I doubled up on the garlic, rendered the pancetta at the beginning to release more flavor, and used vegetable bouillon in place of the chicken (it's what I had in the cabinet.) We served this with some fresh arugula and a bit of EVOO on the side. The fresh, peppery flavor of the arugula complemented this perfectly, and the dish will definitely go into our "rotation." I think that next time I might spiralize the sweet potato on the "B" blade (thicker) or cook for just a few minutes less so that it will hold up a little better between stovetop and table. At any rate, this was DELICIOUS for a Friday night quick supper! FOUR STARS!!
  • can you bake sweet potatoes? and as the slices, not the noodles?
  • Ali, do you ever make anything bad? I doubt it! This is soooo good! I did substitute turkey bacon for the pancetta and used a spinach/arugula mix instead of baby spinach. Used only half of a large sweet potato and thought while cooking it I had so much that there would be enough for lunch the next day! HA! Ate the whole thing! Your recipes are delicious, your videos are adorable, your family sounds like so much love and fun, and congratulations on your engagement. You are truly blessed.
  • This was so delicious! I didn't have basil so I used thyme and it kind of reminded me of Thanksgiving :) I just recently got a spiralizer and all of the recipes of yours that I've tried have been fantastic - thank you!!
  • hello - just you microwave your sweet potatoes before you spiralize them? Mine are always so hard!
  • I loved these Garlic Sweet Potatoo Noodles with Pancetta.... so good for dinner... and then couldn't wait for the leftovers at breakfast with a water-sautéed egg on top!! Yum! Pretty too!!
  • I don't know how this can be only 1 serving with the potato itself being 300 calories alone and that's what your calories say are for the whole serving....