Pasta with Beans and Greens

By April 7, 2020May 3rd, 2024Recipes

Freshly cooked pasta combined with bitter greens, savory white beans, and a fresh squeeze of lemon will transform your pasta into a classic dish! This dish is great to make from canned and frozen goods you probably have in the kitchen. It can be made almost in one pot making cleanup simple. On top of that, it is a completely balanced meal containing carbs, veggies, protein, and a little fat from the olive oil.

Pasta with Beans & Greens

Serves 6-8



1 lb pasta, preferably whole wheat

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 medium onion, diced

7-10 ounces greens, coarsely chopped, like kale, spinach, broccoli rabe, or collard greens*

1 15-ounce can of beans, preferable white, drained and rinsed

3 tablespoons olive oil

Pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper to taste

2-3 tablespoons lemon juice (optional)

8 ounces cheese, grated, such as parmesan or mozzarella (optional)

*Fresh or frozen greens will work here. If using frozen, thaw according to package instructions and drain well before adding in step 3. Because the greens are already cooked, you only need to cook them until heated through, not the 3-5 minutes for raw greens.



  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente, 1-2 minutes before perfect doneness. Drain pasta, reserving ½ cup of the pasta water.
  2. While pasta is cooking, bring a large skillet to medium-high heat. Once skillet is hot, add olive oil. When the oil is shimmering, add onions and pinch of cayenne pepper and saute until translucent (about 5-7 minutes). Add garlic and saute for an additional 2 minutes. 
  3. Add greens and saute until soft, but still bright green, about 3-5 minutes. Add beans and then the pasta and reserved pasta water. Simmer until the sauce has thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste. If using, add lemon juice to taste and grated cheese.

Download Recipe