Macaroni with Greens, Lemon, and Parmesan
Macaroni with Greens, Lemon, and Parmesan has amazing flavors going on for a meatless dinner idea; if you want less carbs, use more greens and less macaroni. Use Leafy Greens to find more recipes like this one.
Through the years I’ve tried quite a few recipes that featured some combination of pasta and greens, and I don’t think it’s any secret that kale is probably my favorite leafy green. So while I was a little ambivalent about the mustard greens I used when I first created this recipe, this time I absolutely swooned over the dish with Ready-to-use Organic Mixed Baby Kale.
Macaroni with Greens, Lemon, and Parmesan is a different take on the usual pasta/greens combo, in particular because of the way the generous amount of lemon zest accents the flavor of the kale. If you’re not a fan of kale, collard greens or swiss chard would also taste good in this dish. And for a lower-carb version just use a lot more greens and less pasta.
(Macaroni with Greens, Lemon, and Parmesan was first posted in 2006; updated with better photos and instructions in October 2012.)
This recipe could certainly make a great veggie and pasta side dish (and maybe you can tell your kids that it’s Macaroni and Cheese with Kale!) But truthfully, for a Meatless Monday dinner I would happily eat a big bowl of this with a nice green salad on the side.
Start cooking the pasta in salted water; then zest two large lemons, and then squeeze the juice. (You will only need 1 tablespoon of juice for this recipe, but just freeze the extra lemon juice.) If you’re using larger greens you’ll need to chop them up but with the Ready-to-use Organic Mixed Baby Kale, we just washed it in the salad spinner. Heat the oil in a heavy frying pan; then add the garlic and lemon zest and saute 1 minute. Add the greens and cook until they’re wilted. This will take just 2-3 minutes for baby greens and about 5 minutes for larger chopped greens. Drain the pasta, saving 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water. Add the hot pasta, lemon juice, and reserved pasta cooking water to the pan. Turn off heat and mix in the Parmesan cheese and serve hot.
More Vegetarian Recipes with Kale:
Spaghetti with Kale and Tomato Sauce from Bell’alimento
Baby Kale and Mozzarella Quesadillas with Sriracha-Ranch Dipping Sauce from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Vegan Red Curry Tofu with Kale and Brown Rice from The Perfect Pantry
Macaroni with Greens, Lemon, and Parmesan (Meatless Monday)
Macaroni with Greens, Lemon, and Parmesan has amazing flavors and is a great meatless dinner choice.
- 2 cups (dry) Dreamfields Low-Carb Macaroni or whole wheat macaroni
- 1 tsp. salt for pasta cooking water
- 1 bunch greens such as kale, collards, mustard greens, or swiss chard (see notes)
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- zest from 2 lemons
- 1 T lemon juice (I would freeze the extra juice to use later)
- 2 T olive oil
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
- Cook Dreamfields Low-Carb Macaroni in a large pot of salted water until barely al dente (about 8-9 minutes, but follow cooking time on the package of pasta).
- Reserve 1/4 cup cooking water before draining.
- While pasta cooks, zest the lemons and squeeze the juice and finely chop the garlic.
- Save 1 tablespoon of juice for this recipe and store or freeze the rest.
- Wash greens in a salad spinner and spin dry.
- If using larger greens, slice crosswise into 1 inch wide ribbons, discarding stems. (Baby greens don’t need to be sliced.)
- Heat olive oil in large frying pan, add garlic and lemon zest and saute 1 minute.
- Add greens and saute until wilted, about 5 minutes for larger greens or 2-3 minutes for baby greens.
- As soon as pasta is al dente, save 1/4 cup cooking water and then drain the pasta well and add to greens/garlic/lemon mixture, with lemon juice and reserved pasta cooking water (as needed.)
- Stir in Parmesan cheese and serve hot, with additional cheese to be added at the table if desired.
I used 8 oz. Ready-to-use Organic Mixed Baby Kale.
This recipe created by Kalyn.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Suggestions:
Made with reduced-carb or whole wheat pasta, this Macaroni with Greens, Lemon, and Parmesan would be a great dish for phase 2 or 3 of the South Beach Diet. (Remember that if Dreamfields pasta is cooked for a long time or reheated it increases the glycemic index, so this recipe is probably only for phase 3 if reheated.) It’s too high in carbs for a low-carb diet plan, but you could use less pasta and a lot more greens if you want a lower-carb version.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You can also Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
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