Pasta with Swiss Chard and Lemon

Here is another recipe I make all of the time that, incidentally, is vegan. I’m not vegan by any stretch of the imagination, but having a plant-based meal every now and then certainly doesn’t hurt.

Like all recipes that I make on a frequent basis, this one is super simple with regard to both ingredients and preparation.

You will need:

Adapted from this Good Housekeeping recipe
(~ denotes “approximately”)
~2/3 box of vegetable pasta
~3 tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch of Swiss Chard (looks like this)
1 can of garbanzo beans/chickpeas
1 clove of garlic
~1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Juice of 1 fresh lemon

Dry pasta

Boil some lightly salted water in a pot. Add approximately 2/3 of a box of veggie pasta and cook as instructed on the package. No, you don’t have to use veggie pasta, but it’s slightly better for you than plain white pasta and tastes significantly better than whole-wheat pasta.

Swiss chard in the mix

Wash the Swiss Chard and cut off the tough ends. Using your favorite knife, chop roughly into ~2 inch squares. In a large frying pan, heat approximately 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Throw in all of the Swiss Chard (don’t worry, it will get smaller), the can of (twice-rinsed!) garbanzo beans, some salt, pepper, one clove of crushed & chopped garlic, and the ~one teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes (depending on how spicy you’d like it to be). Cook, stirring frequently, until the Swiss Chard has wilted and the garbanzo beans have “popped.”


Drain the pasta. Add to the Swiss Chard mixture and stir. Serve piping hot with a healthy dose of lemon juice. The lemon is the key ingredient here! You need the juice of a real lemon, not the stuff that comes in a plastic container. If it doesn’t taste quite right, add more lemon.

See? What did I say. Very healthy, quite filling, and super easy to make. Enjoy!

Photos by G. 


17 thoughts on “Pasta with Swiss Chard and Lemon

  1. This looks so tasty (damn you make some mouth watering things). Chickpeas are one of my favourite things to eat, haha. I’d probably eat them every day if I had to 🙂

            1. Eating the pasta now! (Ran out of time to make it yesterday cuz grocery shopping took so long). It is fresh & cheesy & delicious! I did sautee the mushrooms as that made more sense to me than eating them raw. Gracias for the introduction to Nigella, I will forevermore eat with joy in my heart. 😀

  2. Looks delicious and hearty, and the added bonus of a vegan meal doesn’t hurt either. I am constantly amazed at the vegan dishes I churn out without meaning to. They happen to usually be pasta dishes. The lemon in this dish sounds fabulous!

    1. I know! I’m “accidentally vegan” a lot of the time, haha. It can’t hurt, that’s for sure! And yes, the lemon truly does make the dish 🙂 If you want more flavor (and some meat), you can make it using bacon, as the original recipe instructs. But this way is basically guilt-free. Now if only I could get myself to tolerate whole-wheat pasta…

      1. We just recommitted ourselves to eating whole-wheat pasta (we’ve done this twice before and broken that commitment within 1 or 2 meals). I love whole wheat everything else, except pasta. I’ll let you know how it goes.

    1. Chickpeas/garbanzo beans (one of those annoying foods that gets two names) are a cheap source of protein for poor college students! As for the chard, my mom wanted to grow some in our garden in Texas. It didn’t live very long, but we did get one batch of this dish out of it. It was one of those cases where we were like, “Oh, now we’ve grown this weird vegetable, what the heck do we do with it?!”

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