Healthy Dinner Recipe: Pasta with Collard Greens

Collard greens are a great way to work calcium into your diet without eating dairy. Try this pasta dish for a well-balanced meal.

For the healthiest version of this recipe, use whole wheat pasta. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), half of your grains should be whole grains.

Serves 4pasta with collard greens recipe


  • 1 bunch collard greens, stemmed and washed
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced across the grain
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Ground black pepper
  • 8-12 oz. pasta, whole wheat
  • 1/2 cup cooking water from the pasta
  • 1-2 oz. Parmesan cheese


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt generously and add the collard greens. Blanch for 2 minutes, then using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl of cold water and drain. Squeeze out excess water and cut crosswise into thin ribbons.
  2. In a large lidded frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until tender and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add a pinch of salt, red pepper and garlic. Cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute, and add the collard greens and salt and pepper to taste. When the greens begin to sizzle, turn the heat to low and cover, simmering for 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water, cover and continue to simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes, stirring often, until the greens are tender. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta. Bring the water in the pot back to a boil and add the pasta. Cook al dente, following the timing instructions on the package.
  4. Before draining the pasta, ladle 1/2 cup of the cooking water from the pot into the frying pan with the collard greens and onions. Drain the pasta and toss with the greens. Serve, topping each serving with Parmesan to taste.

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