I love two things about this recipe: First, it comes together incredibly quickly and I'm a fan of dishes that take little prep work and you can pop them in the oven to finish cooking, leaving you time to get other parts of a dinner ready. Second, I love how customizable it is. You can personalize it without having to modify the foundation of the recipe. The components can be easily substituted with your personal favorites — Swiss chard could be spinach, or kale; olive tapenade could be kalamata olives; kidney beans could be black beans, and so on. I also used quinoa-corn flour pasta shells as a gluten-free option for the pasta noodles, since this ingredient is also as customizable as you need it to be, and I enjoy how colorful it makes the final dish. It makes a delightful main for a lunch or dinner, and the leftovers are excellent. This recipe is adapted from the website The Kitchn.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 40 minutes

Total time: 50 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

Swiss Chard and Goat Cheese Casserole


  • 1 large bunch Swiss chard, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 cups whole wheat pasta shells
  • 3/4 cups crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup canned kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons olive tapenade
  • 3 tablespoons capers
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large pot, bring 4-5 cups of water to a boil. Add in the pasta noodles and cook them until they're al dente. Drain them, and stir in a tiny bit of olive oil to keep them from sticking. Set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat, and add the onions. Saute them until they soften and turn translucent. Then add in the garlic, tomatoes, and Swiss chard. Stir and allow the mixture to cook until the chard has just barely wilted down.
  3. Remove the chard and tomatoes from the heat and stir in the goat cheese, kidney beans, olive tapenade, capers and half of the Parmesan. Stir in the pasta, and season the entire mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Pour the pasta mixture into a 1- or 2-quart casserole dish and sprinkle remaining Parmesan over the top. Place in the center rack of the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until the casserole is heated through.
  5. Serve hot, and enjoy!

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Jaymi Heimbuch ( @jaymiheimbuch ) focuses on wildlife conservation and animal news from her home base in San Francisco.

Swiss Chard and Goat Cheese Casserole
A classic recipe that tastes like it came right out of grandma's kitchen.