Penne with White Beans and Greens

Green leafy vegetables are brimming with good health and flavor, and are also a classic ingredient in many traditional dishes, such as this simple, plant-based (vegan), gluten-free pasta dish for Penne with White Beans and Greens. Since most of the other ingredients—bean pasta, sun-dried tomatoes, white beans, onion, garlic, and herbs—can be kept on hand, this is a very easy, go-to weeknight meal. 

You can whip up this rustic, one-dish meal in under 30 minutes with only 9 ingredients (not counting pantry staples). Just pick up some greens (or better yet grow them in your garden) at the farmers market or supermarket to add to the stand-by ingredients, and you’re good to go. That’s why this budget-friendly meal should become one of your favorite classic meals on those busy nights—you’ll get in your daily greens allotment faster than you could order takeout! It’s also delicious warmed up the next day for lunch at the office, or even eaten cold as a pasta salad.

It’s really important to fit green leafy veggies—rich in minerals, vitamins, phytochemicals, fiber, and protein—into your daily plant-based diet. Check out my blog on how to Get Your Green Leafies for more information on the health benefits and culinary applications for green leafy vegetables. Paired with a protein-rich pulse (white beans, bean pasta), this Penne with White Beans and Greens is a match made in heaven. All you have to do is serve it with some crusty whole grain bread, and you’ll feel satisfied and content with this delicious, nutritious meal.


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This easy, under 30-minute, one-dish meal is packed with the nutrition power of beans, greens, and olives; it’s completely plant-based (vegan), gluten-free, and budget friendly too.

  • 4 cups water
  • 8 ounces uncooked bean penne pasta* (i.e., chickpea, lentil or bean)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ medium (4 ounce) onion, diced
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano (or 1 tablespoon fresh)
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/3 cup kalamata olives, drained, whole
  • ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 (15-ounce) can white beans** (i.e., cannelloni), rinsed, drained
  • 1 8-ounce bunch fresh greens (i.e., rainbow Swiss chard, mustard greens, spinach, collard greens) sliced coarsely
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • Pinch of kosher salt, optional

  1. Fill a medium pot with the water, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Decrease the heat to medium, add the pasta, and cook for 7 minutes (or according to package directions), until al dente. Drain the pasta and return to the pot, covered, to keep warm.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet or saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, oregano, and black pepper and saute for 4 minutes.
  3. Add the olives, tomatoes, and beans and saute for an additional 3 minutes.
  4. Add the greens, lemon juice, and cooked pasta, stirring gently. Cook for about 4 minutes, just until greens are wilted yet still bright green. Season with salt, if desired.
  5. Serve immediately.
  6. Makes 6 servings (1 1/2 cups per serving)


*Many types of bean or pulse pastas are available, or you may substitute with whole grain (contains gluten) or another variety or shape, such as fettuccine, rotini, or farfalle.

**You may replace the beans with another kind, such as chickpea, kidney, or an heirloom variety. You also may substitute beans cooked from scratch (1 ¾ cup cooked beans per 15-oz can of beans).

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 11 minutes
  • Category: Entree
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 266
  • Sugar: 4 g
  • Sodium: 325 mg
  • Fat: 6 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 43 g
  • Fiber: 9 g
  • Protein: 16 g

Keywords: pasta, penne, white beans, italian

For other plant-based green leafy vegetable dishes, check out:

Mediterranean Persimmon White Bean Kale Salad
Savory Steel Cut Oats with Spinach, Mushrooms, and Tofu
Swiss Chard Pecan Lasagna

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