Penne With Swiss Chard and Roasted Red Peppers

Penne with Swiss Chard and Red Peppers
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Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

Calories 197
Fat 6g
Carbs 28g
Protein 8g
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 (1 cup each)
Amount per serving  
Calories 197
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 11mg 4%
Sodium 173mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 28g 10%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 2g  
Includes 0g Added Sugars 0%
Protein 8g  
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 140mg 11%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 464mg 10%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Total Time 20 min
Prep 5 min, Cook 15 min
Servings 6 (1 cup each)

This is a quick and easy pasta dish that looks beautiful on the plate and combines the flavors of two colorful vegetables and feta cheese. It can be served hot or cold. You may prefer the shape and mouth-feel of penne pasta, but you could use other shapes of pasta, such as spirals or farfalle bowtie pasta.

Penne pasta with greens and red pepper makes a great side dish for grilled chicken. If you have fresh red peppers, you can roast them at the same time you are grilling the chicken. You could substitute other greens for swiss chard, such as spinach, kale, or beet greens.

This recipe has about 200 calories per serving. It is high in vitamin A and vitamin C. Pasta is the carbo-loading friend of long-distance walkers and runners. If you aren't planning on participating in a marathon, simply practice portion control and enjoy it.

This dish can be made gluten-free by using gluten-free pasta. Vegans can leave out the feta cheese or use a vegan soy cheese.


  • 6 ounces penne pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
  • 1 pound Swiss chard (fresh)
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers (cut into strips)
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese (crumbled)


  1. In a saucepan, boil the pasta as directed on the package. When the pasta is done, drain it and place the pasta in the serving bowl. Toss it with 1 tablespoon of olive oil or butter. The butter or oil will keep the pasta from sticking together.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, wash the Swiss chard or spinach (or combination of the two), removing any long stems. Spin them in a salad spinner to remove the excess water or pat them dry.
  1. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan.
  2. Toss the Swiss chard or spinach into the frying pan and swiftly stir it in the oil just until the greens are wilted about 30 to 60 seconds. Add a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar and stir, then remove from heat.
  3. Add the spinach or Swiss chard to the pasta.
  4. You can use canned roasted red peppers, and simply take them out of the jar and cut them into strips about 1 to 2 inches long and add them to the pasta. You may prefer to roast your own red peppers, especially if you are serving the pasta with grilled chicken.
  5. Add the crumbled feta cheese.
  6. Toss gently together and serve.

Cooking and Serving Tips

Serve as a colorful side dish with grilled chicken or fish. You can serve it hot or cold, making it a good choice for a potluck or picnic. When taking it to an event, keep it chilled until it is ready to be reheated or served cold.

Refrigerate leftovers in a sealed bowl.

Leftovers will keep well in the refrigerator for up to five days. It's a great dish to take to work for lunch the next day, either eating it cold or reheating it in a microwave.

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

Once you've tried this recipe, you can change it up in many ways:

  • Make it a one-dish meal by adding chopped chicken rather than serving the chicken separately. It's a great way to use up leftover roasted chicken.
  • You can enjoy this dish without the cheese, especially when you serve it with chicken or fish.
  • To boost the protein in this dish, you can add cooked beans, garbanzos, or lentils.
  • Roasted yellow or green peppers could be used in addition to or instead of red peppers. Other roasted vegetables can also be added, including carrots, broccoli, onions, and cauliflower.
  • You could use frozen spinach in a pinch, but you need to drain it well after defrosting or heating it, and you wouldn't saute it. Wring as much liquid out of the defrosted frozen spinach as possible to eliminate off-flavors. Then add a little balsamic vinegar to the spinach and toss it with the pasta.
  • Experiment with different greens for this pasta dish. The leafy tops of many vegetables from the farmers market make a great substitute and don't need to go into the compost bin. Beet greens, radish greens, kohlrabi greens, and broccoli leaves are good choices. Salad greens that are starting to wilt can also be quickly sauteed and added. Kale, collard greens, and mustard greens can be used as well.

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