Swiss Chard Pasta

Sunday, June 8, 2014

simple swiss chard pasta – with chickpeas & basil

What’s your favorite green? Right now, I’d have to admit that mine is swiss chard. I have these vivid memories of my mom sauteeing it with garlic and olive oil, and as simple as that sounds, it’s ridiculously delicious. So when I saw a vibrant bunch of red stems at the farmers market, I scooped them with Big Tasty Plans. You can thinly slice them raw into salads or on tacos, blanch them for a savory topping, or gently sauté them with alliums for a rad side dish.

Simple Swiss Chard Pasta

These big, leafy creatures are full of nutrients too. Vitamin K, A, and C are found in the gorgeous leaves and stems, similar to other plants in the chenopod family (think beets, spinach, and quinoa). To ensure your chard has the most nutrients possible, pick ones that have firm stalks and crisp leaves with no browning or yellowing.

Simple Swiss Chard Pasta

Maybe it’s my mom’s Italian background, but I thought these savory veggies would go great with fresh pasta. After window shopping in Eataly, I found some beautiful orecchiette to pair it with. (Do you window shop for food too? Is that kinda crazy?) The tender little “ears” are perfect for scooping up morsels of chickpea, garlic, and onion. Then, the tender leaves of swiss chard and basil swaddle them in green, earthy flavor. Hot dang, this tasty dish knocked my tastebudded socks off!

Simple Swiss Chard Pasta

Simple Swiss Chard Pasta

Though I love swiss chard, I kept the balance of pasta:veggies in favor of pasta. If you like a little more green with your flour, then reduce the amount of orecchiette. Also, feel free to swap the whole wheat pasta with quinoa pasta or another gluten-free alternative.

Simple Swiss Chard Pasta

Simple Swiss Chard Pasta

Hope you enjoy this tasty meal. I made a simple chopped salad on the side, but you could serve something heartier like roasted roots.

simple swiss chard pasta – with chickpeas & basil

Total Time: 20 minutes

Serving Size: 4 people


  • 1 can garbanzo beans or ~2 cups cooked
  • 1 Tbsp high-heat oil
  • 1 small onion – chopped
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 6 swiss chard stalks or ~5 cups chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves – minced
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed basil leaves
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 lb. orecchiette pasta
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • salt


  1. For the swiss chard, cut the stem from the leaf. Finely dice the stem, and cut the leaf into 2-inch wide ribbons.
  2. Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans. Transfer to a small bowl and gently smush with the back of a large spoon or the flat of a spatula. This will help them absorb flavor later.
  3. Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add orrecchiette and cook for 6-8 minutes or al dente. Strain, reserving 1-2 Tbsp of pasta water in separate bowl. Add in olive oil and generously salt.
  4. While pasta is cooking, sauté onion in oil over medium heat for 2 minutes or until softened. Deglaze with wine and add swiss chard, beans, and garlic. Cook for five minutes until greens are wilted. Generously salt to taste and stir in lemon juice. Mix with pasta and serve immediately.

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  1. Posted June 13, 2014 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    I don’t have kale on hand but I do have spinach and I hope to prove this dish is as good with spinach as kale.

    • admin
      Posted June 15, 2014 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

      Both spinach and kale sound delicious! Spinach would probably taste most similar to Swiss chard in terms of flavor and texture though. 😀

  2. Lisa
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    This is one of my favorite dishes to make when swiss chard is at its best. For me I have always felt it needed a little more protein. What a great idea to add chick peas!

    • admin
      Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      Thanks a bunch! I love your swiss chard.

  3. Posted June 8, 2014 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    Miachel, I adore Swiss chard too, though my favorite green will always be humble spinach. My husband used to make fun of me since I always put spinach in everything–breakfast, lunch, or dinner 🙂 I love the idea of using this in tacos!

    • admin
      Posted June 9, 2014 at 12:51 am | Permalink

      Thanks a bunch, Amy! And spinach sounds awesome sprinkled in breakfast. Spinach breakfast tacos?! 🙂

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