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Easy Spaghetti with Leafy Greens and Pesto

You will love how what seems like a huge pile of greens shrinks into this quick and easy dinner of spaghetti with leafy greens and pesto! While the the pasta water comes to a boil, saute onions, wilt in the greens, and finish with a decent dollop of garlicky pesto!

Spaghetti with Greens and Pesto on white plate with orange napkin and fork

A pound of greens cooks into just about 2 cups of tangy cooked sweetness. You can use any leafy greens for this pasta. I like the slightly bitter flavor of beet greens, so if you come across beets with healthy looking greens attached–you definitely need to make this spaghetti dish.

If you’re using chard, use both the stems and the greens. Slice the stems off the leaves, then dice the stems into small pieces and sauté along with the onions.

fresh beet greens arrange on a baking sheet

Keep a stash of Basil Walnut Pesto in the freezer. Three large dollops of pesto are the easy garlicky-herby seasoning for spaghetti and leafy greens. You can use purchased pesto too! If you don’t have any pesto–mince garlic and add it the sautéed onions.

skillet and plate of spaghetti with Greens and Pesto

Easy Spaghetti with Leafy Greens and Pesto recipe notes:

  • Most any leafy greens that are delicious with pasta: radish greens, arugula, spinach, chard, mustard greens, kale, beet greens. Start with a good amount because greens shrink a LOT when cooked!
  • As with all cooked greens, be sure to stir in an acid at the end of cooking, to sweeten and bump up the flavor. In this recipe we add sherry wine vinegar.
  • A stainless steel pot with pasta insert (affiliate link) makes it so you can remove the noodles when they’re done, without draining the water.
  • Use brown rice spaghetti instead of wheat spaghetti if you don’t want the gluten.
  • Try these other easy pasta with greens recipes: Spinach Fettuccine with Arugula and Tomatoes and Penne Pasta with Mixed Greens.

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This post contains affiliate links. When you purchase products via my links, it doesn’t cost you anything and I earn a tiny commission, which helps me continue to provide free content here on Letty’s Kitchen. Thank you!! 

**This recipe is an update of one I wrote in July 2009, and migrated over from my now defunct blog.

1 comment

  • Wondered what to do with beet green ribs and found your recipe, which sounds worth trying:) Just posted a stirfry beet recipe on Facebook. Had been including ribs, snipped to 1/4″ or less as recommended for chard, but wanted to see if it was common practice. Gonna try your spaghetti soon. Reply · 6 September, 2011

4 from 6 votes (6 ratings without comment)

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