Spaghetti with Garlic, Chard, and Pecorino-Romano Cheese
Spaghetti with Garlic, Chard, and Pecorino-Romano Cheese is a perfect meatless dinner and this Swiss Chard Pasta is a classic combination! And see notes in this updated post about making this meatless dish with Fiber Gourmet Light Spaghetti for a version with only 21 net carbs per serving!
Swiss Chard is one of those greens I’m not sure I ever tasted before I started growing it in my garden, but I liked the flavor right away when I tried it. I also love the way you can snip off chard leaves as they get big and the plant will keep producing more leaves all summer and well into the fall. That cut-and-come-again quality makes chard a gardener’s dream plant, especially in Utah where so many leafy greens don’t do well once the hot summer weather gets here.
This simple dish of Spaghetti with Garlic, Chard, and Pecorino-Romano Cheese has Italian Whole Wheat Spaghetti or Fiber Gourmet Light Spaghetti (affiliate link), garlic-sauteed chard, and delicious Pecorino-Romano Cheese, and this tasty Swiss Chard Pasta is something I threw together when I had a big bowl of just-cut chard leaves and was craving pasta. It turned out to be so tasty that the next time I cut chard leaves, I took photos and wrote down the recipe.
If you don’t have a garden with chard, any type of greens could be used here, although sturdier greens like kale would need to cook a bit longer. Look below for other tasty ideas with chard from myself and other bloggers. And if you have a good recipe using chard I’d love to hear about it in the comments. And check out my Salute to Swiss Chard for more Swiss Chard ideas!
What ingredients do you need for this Swiss Chard Pasta?
(This is only a list of ingredients; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- whole wheat spaghetti, or use Fiber Gourmet Light Spaghetti (affiliate link) for fewer carbs
- fresh chard leaves
- minced fresh garlic or minced garlic from a jar
- red pepper flakes
- extra virgin olive oil
- pasta cooking water (remove before draining pasta)
- coarsely grated Pecorino-Romano cheese (see notes)
- fresh ground black pepper to taste
Want a lower-carb version of this Swiss Chard Pasta?
I originally made this recipe with whole wheat spaghetti when I was following the original South Beach Diet, and the nutritional information in the post is for that. Fast forward many years, and now I am becoming infatuated with Fiber Gourmet Light Pasta (affiliate link) that’s made in Italy, tastes just like regular pasta, and has a lot of fiber to reduce the net carbs. And if you use Fiber Gourmet Light Spaghetti (affiliate link) for this recipe it will have 47.6 grams carbs and 26.2 grams of fiber, for a total of only 21.4 grams net carbs! You can make the carbs per serving even lower by using more chard or adding some kind of protein such as sausage to the dish.
More about the Fiber Gourmet Light Pasta:
Both Kara and I are quite smitten with the Fiber Gourmet Light Pasta! This is a high-fiber pasta made in Italy and it comes in Penne, Rotini, Spaghetti, and Elbows. This tastes absolutely the same as regular high-carb pasta made with wheat. The only bad news about this pasta is the price. I haven’t found it in any stores near me, but when I order from Amazon I am careful not to choose the option for only two boxes of pasta; that makes it almost $10 a box. If you get the pack with six boxes it comes out to about $6.66 per box, still pricey but worth it for me when I am craving pasta and don’t want carbs. We’re making more recipes all the time with this exciting new pasta option, just search “Fiber Gourmet” on the website to find other recipes where we have used it.
More Favorite Recipes with Swiss Chard:
If you’re also a Swiss Chard fan, check out my Salute to Swiss Chard for more Swiss Chard ideas!
How to Make Spaghetti with Garlic, Chard, and Pecorino-Romano Cheese:
(This is only a summary of the steps for the recipe; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- Start a large pot of salted water boiling for the spaghetti and when it comes to a boil cook according to package directions.
- A lot of the flavor in this dish comes from the cheese, and I used freshly grated Pecorino-Romano cheese, although a good Parmesan or Asiago cheese would also work. I grated the cheese on the largest side of the cheese grater, and then coarsely chopped it a bit more with a chef’s knife. (Do this first so it’s ready when the pasta is hot.)
- Smaller chard leaves like the one on the left can be just sliced, but if you have larger leaves you should cut away thick stems like the photo on the right. (Don’t throw away the stems; save them until you get enough and make Baked Swiss Chard Stems with Parmesan.)
- I cut all the chard leaves into crosswise strips and then washed them in my salad spinner (affiliate link). If you don’t have a salad spinner, just wash in the sink and blot dry with paper towels.
- Forgot to take a photo of the chopped garlic and hot pepper flakes cooking in the olive oil, but do that before you add the chard to the pan. Use your biggest frying pan.
- It took less than two minutes for the chard strips to be wilted down like this. As soon as the chard had wilted I added 1/4 cup hot pasta cooking water and turned the heat down as low as I could get it.
- Drain the hot spaghetti and toss immediately with the wilted chard, sprinkling in about half the cheese.
- Be sure to save some cheese to add to the top of each serving. Enjoy!
Make it a Meatless Meal:
More Recipes Using Swiss Chard:
- Swiss Chard and Goat Cheese Custard Bake
- Baked Swiss Chard Stems with Parmesan
- Spicy Stir-Fried Swiss Chard
- Swiss Chard Casserole
- Stir-Fried Radish Greens and Swiss Chard
- 8 oz whole wheat spaghetti (see notes)
- salt, for pasta cooking water (I used fine grind sea salt)
- 1 lb. fresh chard leaves, cut into crosswise strips
- 1 T finely minced fresh garlic
- Optional: pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup hot pasta cooking water (remove before draining pasta)
- 1/2 cup coarsely grated Pecorino-Romano cheese (see notes)
- fresh ground black pepper to taste
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, adding a generous amount of salt (enough that the water tastes slightly salty.)
- When water is boiling, add the spaghetti, stir once, reduce heat slightly and boil until the spaghetti is cooked but still slightly chewy or al dente. Consult the spaghetti package for recommended cooking time, but for my Italian whole wheat spaghetti, this took exactly 9 minutes.
- Grate the Pecorino-Romano or Parmesan cheese on the largest holes of a cheese grater, then coarsely chop with chef’s knife, keeping the cheese pieces fairly large.
- Cut chard leaves into crosswise strips about 1/2 inch wide, cutting out large inner chard stems if needed.
- Wash chard strips and spin dry or dry with paper towels.
- In the largest heavy frying pan you have, heat the olive oil over medium heat, add minced garlic (and hot pepper flakes if using) and saute garlic about 1 minute.
- Be sure not to let the garlic get brown or it can easy turn bitter. It’s done when you start to smell garlic.
- Add chard strips all at once and saute 1-2 minutes, just until chard is wilted down to about half the size it was.
- Use a measuring cup to remove 1/4 cup hot pasta cooking water and add to chard, then reduce heat to the lowest possible setting to keep the chard warm.
- As soon as pasta is cooked but still slightly chewy, drain pasta in a colander placed in the sink, then add hot pasta to the pan with the cooked chard and toss.
- I used two large forks to toss the pasta with the chard.
- Add about half the grated cheese and toss again.
- Season to taste with fresh ground black pepper, then divide spaghetti on four individual plates, top each serving with cheese, and serve hot.
Use any spaghetti you prefer; use 4 servings if you’re using one of those spaghetti-measuring discs with holes.
If you want a lower-carb version of this Swiss Chard Pasta recipe, using Fiber Gourmet Light Spaghetti will reduce the net carbs to 21 net carbs per serving.
If you don't have Pecorino-Romano, use any hard grating cheese with a good flavor such as Parmesan or Asiago.
Recipe created by Kalyn.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 331Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 500mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 5gSugar: 2gProtein: 11g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Made with whole-wheat spaghetti or other whole grain or low carb spaghetti, this Swiss Chard Pasta would be a great main dish for phase 2 or 3 of the original South Beach Diet. If you make it with Fiber Gourmet Light Spaghetti (affiliate link) it would be low enough in carbs to enjoy occasionally on a low-carb diet, although probably not low enough for Keto.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
See Leafy Greens or Pasta for more recipes like this one. Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest, on Facebook, on Instagram, on TikTok, or on YouTube to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.