Hardy Greens/ Hearty Pasta Dishes/ Pasta Entrées/ Vegan Recipes

Pasta with Greens, Chickpeas, and Olives

pasta with greens, chickpeas, and olives from Wild About Greens

This quick and nourishing pasta recipe combines greens with chickpeas and olives for a tasty, healthy dish. Specifically, this recipe calls for chard, kale, or spinach, but you can use a combination or even substitute broccoli rabe or mustard greens. My personal favorite in this dish is chard, as it’s so good in the Italian-style trio of pasta with greens and legumes. Just add a colorful salad and you’ve got a meal. Recipe from Wild About Greens* by Nava Atlas.

Pasta with Greens, Chickpeas, and Olives

Serves: 4 to 6


  • 10–12 oz rotini, rotelle, or cavatappi (spiral pasta, see note)
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2–3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 10–12 oz chard, kale, or spinach, any variety
  • 3 medium, ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 1 (15–16 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup pitted, oil-cured olives (such as Kalamata), sliced
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano leaves, or 1 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/4–1/2 tsp dried hot red pepper flakes, optional
  • pine nuts, optional


  1. Cook the pasta in plenty of rapidly simmering water until al dente, then drain and transfer to a large serving bowl.
  2. If using any variety of chard, cut the leaves away from the stems and chop coarsely or cut into ribbons. If you plan on using the stems from chard, trim an inch or so away from the bottom, then slice thinly. If using kale, strip the leaves from the stems, and cut into narrow ribbons or small bite-size pieces. Thinly slice the stems if you plan to use them, otherwise, discard. Stem larger spinach leaves and chop coarsely; if using baby spinach, use the leaves whole.
  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic and bell pepper and sauté over medium heat until the garlic is lightly golden and the bell pepper softens, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the greens and stir in quickly to coat with the oil. If using spinach, cover and let it wilt for 30 seconds or so. If using kale or chard, add a couple tablespoons of water, cover, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, just until wilted and bright green.pasta with chard and chickpeas
  5. Add the tomatoes, chickpeas, olives, and oregano. Stir together and cook, stirring frequently for 3 to 4 minutes, or until everything is heated through.
  6. Combine the mixture from the skillet with the pasta in the serving bowl and toss together. Season with salt, pepper, and optional red pepper flakes. Sprinkle optional pine nuts over the pasta, and serve.


In this dish, I used a spelt rotini, but you can use any kind of short twisty pasta, and of course go for a gluten-free variety if that’s your preference.

*This post contains affiliate links. If the product is purchased by linking through this review, VegKitchen receives a modest commission, which helps maintain our site and helps it to continue growing!

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  • Reply
    May 30, 2012 at 9:51 am

    This looks great, I think I’ll make it for dinner tonight. And, glad to hear you’re releasing a new cookbook, I’m a long-time fan of yours!

  • Reply
    June 8, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    This is a wonderful dish! I’ve been making this for a while now using kale, bowtie pasta and sundried tomato. It’s colorful and pleasing to the eye and the kitchen smells like you’ve cooked all day.

  • Reply
    June 24, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    Thanks, Julie and Bren! This is actually from the new cookbook, Wild About Greens, and I hope you enjoyed the recipe —

  • Reply
    February 17, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    I made this for the first time tonight. I used kale and 4 big cloves of garlic (we love garlic!) and it was so tasty! Thanks! 🙂

  • Reply
    February 18, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    Glad you enjoyed it, Dawn. I actually made it (yet again!) tonight. Seems like these are ingredients I always have on hand.

  • Reply
    February 20, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    Oh this looks so delicious. I always have chickpeas on hand so this will be a great recipe to try!

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