Lemon Swiss Chard Pasta

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A quick and easy lemon and garlic-infused pasta with swiss chard. A blend of capers and green olives get swirled into the sauce, providing just the right amount of acidity and flavor. This pasta is delicious and easy to make; it’s perfect for weeknight dinners. Vegan & Gluten Free options.

We’ve been making an adaptation of this pasta for quite a long time. It began with a ludicrously huge bundle of swiss chard from the rancher’s market (see here). At home, we cooked the greens down in a garlic-studded olive oil sauce. Then, at that point we threw in a lot of pasta and a couple of storeroom fixings in just in case. Furthermore, actually like that, the blend stuck.

We frequently allude to this formula as one of our “storeroom pastas” since it inclines intensely on containers and essential storage room things. Things like garlic, onion, red pepper drops, tricks, and pasta noodles. Fortunately, it likewise just needs around 20 minutes of cooking time. While the pasta heats up, the onion and garlic relax and mix into the olive oil. Then, at that point we make it one stride farther and barrage a speedy “umami bomb” of a glue – produced using green olives, escapades, and new lemon. It spices up everything up with a bit of corrosiveness and additional character. The completed pasta most certainly shouts “garlic!” and “lemon!”, as opposed to “olives!” and “capers!”…but don’t be tricked, the last two truly assist with making this dish (despite the fact that you can’t see them). Pasta water assists with emulsifying the sauce. Then, at that point, everything gets showered with cheddar, since we’ve yet to meet a pasta that isn’t better with cheddar.


For this dish, you can utilize whichever sort of swiss chard addresses you: rainbow, red, green, and so forth We utilize both the stalks and the leaves. The stalks are durable and set aside more effort to cook than the leaves, so cut the stalks slim so they cook rapidly. In the event that you don’t approach chard, another durable verdant green would function admirably all things being equal. Lacinato kale would be our best option of substitute, however you can get innovative!

  • How to make this recipe gluten free: Use gluten free pasta noodles. Personally, we prefer gluten free noodles that use a blend of alternative flours (such as corn and rice). Often, for best results you may want to consider cooking the noodles for less time than listed on the package. But if you already have a favorite brand, go with what you know and love.
  • How to make this recipe vegan: For the cheese, use a vegan parmesan cheese substitute or skip it altogether. For the butter, either use a vegan butter substitute (like Miyokos or Earth Balance sticks) or add an extra tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Leftovers: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. Reheat the next day. You might want to squeeze a bit of fresh lemon and add a sprinkle of salt to help brighten the flavor again the next day.

Lemon Swiss Chard Pasta


  • 10 oz / 285 g linguine pasta
  • ⅓ cup pitted green olives (e.g. Cerignola)*
  • 2 tablespoons capers + 1 teaspoon brine (from jar)
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion (or 2 small), diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 bunch swiss chard (rainbow or green), chopped**
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup finely grated parmesan or other hard Italian-style cheese***
  • ¼ cup minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon butter (or olive oil)
  • For serving: Salt, pepper, extra Parmesan or other hard Italian-style cheese


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta until al dente, according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water before straining the noodles.
  2. Meanwhile, add the pitted olives, capers, brine, lemon juice and zest to a food processor. Pulse until it forms a rough paste, scraping down the sides as needed.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion until it’s very soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Saute for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant. Stir in the swiss chard and cook until it begins to wilt, about 2 minutes. Add the pasta, salt, olive and caper mixture, butter, and a ½ cup of the reserved pasta water to the pan. Toss to coat the noodles. Sprinkle in the grated cheese, and slowly add as much of the remaining ½ cup of pasta water as needed to coat the noodles. Taste and adjust seasoning with more salt and pepper as needed. Sprinkle parsley on top.
  4. Divide the noodles into bowls; top with extra cheese, salt and pepper. Enjoy!


  1. We much prefer the flavor and texture of olives sold whole (with the pit intact), rather than olives sold pitted. You can easily remove the olive pits at home: Use the flat end of your knife to gently squash whole olives on a cutting board. The olive will split, and you can pull out the pit with your fingers. Measure ⅓ cup of olives after pitting.
  2. Chard stalks take longer to cook than chard leaves, so slice the stalks smaller than the leaves.
  3. Imported Parmesan cheese typically contains animal-based rennet. If you wish to avoid this, look for hard Italian cheese labelled as “vegetarian friendly” or that list “microbial enzymes” (instead of rennet). For a vegan option, use a dairy-free parmesan substitute, or skip entirely.
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