January 28, 2014

Weeknight Kale, Spinach and Goat Cheese Pasta

Kale, Spinach and Goat Cheese Pasta | Fork Knife Swoon

Okay, real talk. As much as I love the idea of starting out the new year as a clean-eating goddess of healthy salads, superfood smoothies and raw, vegan goodness, let’s be honest: it’s the middle of Winter. Winter with the occasional Polar Vortex, and whatever unusually-cold, unnamed weather system this latest snow storm is part of. It’s cold here. Single-digit, wish-I-could-hide-all-day-in-bed, cold.

When dinner comes around, all I want is a big, warm bowl of… comfort. Like steaming, hot bowls of pasta and hearty, savory soups and stews. However, I also would like to still fit in my Spring wardrobe once the weather does warm up, so I’m getting sneaky with my superfoods, and adding them to my favorite comfort food dishes.

Kale, Spinach and Goat Cheese Pasta | Fork Knife Swoon

Kale, Spinach and Goat Cheese Pasta | Fork Knife Swoon

This pasta dish is my perfect compromise. It’s warm and satisfying – hello pasta, I’d like you to meet goat cheese… – and packed with onion, garlic, and a ton of dark, leafy greens. I happen to love the combination of half-spinach/half-kale here, but Swiss chard, Rapini or even broccoli would be really nice in this dish as well. The best part about this recipe (did I mention the goat cheese?) is that it all comes together in less than thirty minutes, which is great for weeknights when I realize it’s 7:30 and haven’t even begun to think about what to make for dinner. Oh, and we happen to already have all the ingredients in the fridge/pantry? Big bonus. You start the pasta water, heat the olive oil, chop the veggies, and the rest falls into place by the time the perfectly al dente penne rigate is cooked.

Kale, Spinach and Goat Cheese Pasta | Fork Knife Swoon

Kale, Spinach and Goat Cheese Pasta | Fork Knife Swoon


Kale, Spinach and Goat Cheese Pasta | Fork Knife Swoon

Weeknight Kale, Spinach and Goat Cheese Pasta

  • Author: Fork Knife Swoon
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 2-4 Servings 1x


  • 1/2 lb dry pasta
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 12 cloves fresh garlic, finely sliced
  • 1 medium yellow or sweet onion, minced
  • 3 cups (packed) kale leaves, rough stems removed and chopped
  • 3 cups (packed) spinach leaves
  • 3 oz goat cheese, crumbled
  • 3 oz Parmesan cheese, finely grated or powdered
  • kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste*


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the pasta al dente according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-heat, until the butter is melted and the oil just begins to shimmer. Add the garlic and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until just softened, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. When the pasta has about two minutes to go, add the kale to the skillet, followed by the spinach, and stir constantly until the greens just begin to wilt. The greens will continue to cook from the heat of the pasta, so be careful not to overcook.
  4. Drain the pasta, then return the pasta to the pot (off of the heat). Pour the greens mixture over the pasta, add the goat cheese and Parmesan, and stir to combine. Serve warm.


You can use any combination of greens in this recipe: spinach, kale, Swiss chard, rapini etc. Also, I find that I don’t need to add salt to this recipe – goat cheese and Parmesan tend to have a fair amount of salt, so add sparingly, according to taste.

Easy Weeknight Pasta with Spinach, Kale and Goat Cheese | Fork Knife Swoon @forkknifeswoon

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  • Reply
    March 23, 2018 at 8:54 pm

    I made this with all kale and added toasted walnuts for extra protein and flavor. It was very tasty, but we did find it dry – I wish I’d read the reviews and added a little broth.

  • Reply
    January 8, 2018 at 10:32 pm

    Only problem with this dish is it’s a little dried then I thought it’d be

  • Reply
    January 8, 2018 at 10:31 pm

    i added bacon to it, and used tasty cheese instead of goats cheese because I didn’t have any. looks and smells delish!

  • Reply
    October 8, 2017 at 9:45 am

    I just made this it was delicious I never had goat cheese before I added green olives ppepe

  • Reply
    August 17, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    Loved,loved,loved this recipe, my kids as well. I added left over cooked chicken and a little bit of chicken broth to give it a little bite more moisture. Definetly one to save! Thanks a bunch!

    • Reply
      August 29, 2017 at 4:03 pm

      Thank you!! This is one of my favorites as well πŸ™‚

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    March 13, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    What can I use as a replacement for goat cheese?

  • Reply
    February 16, 2016 at 11:44 am

    I am Italian and love pasta! I am just starting the recipe but cannot find any converters to give me the dosage in grams . I am going to use my intuition but cannot help feeling disappointed with recipes written only for the US, especially that oz and cups are used differently depending on the ingredient! Veto confusing for us European. I am in the UK. Would you consider adding a converter link to your links, in the future?

  • Reply
    January 6, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    I made it with bow tie pasta and added Kalamata olives and tomatoes. Very very good.

    • Reply
      January 6, 2016 at 6:42 pm

      Thanks Debra! I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, and love the idea of adding Kalamatas!

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