These 13 Delicious Dinners Have the Side Dish Built Right In

Gotta get your greens. And these lucky 13 recipes slip greens like spinach, arugula, and chard right into the main dish. Hearty, healthy, and delicious, they’re also simple to prepare. Plus, many are one-pot meals, so clean-up won’t be an epic undertaking.

1. Greens with Cannellini Beans and Pancetta

“This is a forgiving recipe and a great way to get your greens,” says Diana. “I eat it as a main dish, but this could easily be fit for four to six sides. Feel free to substitute different kinds of greens depending on what’s in season, and use regular diced bacon instead of pancetta if desired.”

Greens with Cannellini Beans and Pancetta

Photo by Diana

If you like that, try Swiss Chard with Garbanzo Beans and Fresh Tomatoes.

2. Beet and Cheddar Risotto

“This sweet and creamy recipe uses the entire beet,” says Chardonnay Queen. “It’s pink color is a bonus. A glass of Chardonnay goes perfectly with this dish.”

Beet Risotto

Photo by Meredith

3. Utica Greens and Beans

Chef John’s version of Utica Greens features canned white beans. This simple, flavorful beans-and-greens recipe also features escarole, pancetta (or prosciutto), and a bread crumb and Parmesan topping. Finish it off under the broiler.

If you like that, try Chef John’s Beans and Greens with escarole — or his Black-Eyed Peas with Pork and Greens.

4. Pesto Spaghetti Squash

“When making this meal for the first time, I wanted to use items I would normally incorporate with pasta, such as pesto and mushrooms,” explains Shyla. “Serve with some garlic bread and mashed potatoes.”

Pesto Spaghetti Squash

Photo by Allrecipes

5. Goat Cheese Arugula Pizza

A simple pesto-based pizza with arugula, roma tomatoes, garlic, and goat cheese. You’ll add the arugula at the end so it holds onto its fresh bite.

Arugula Tomato Slices and Pesto Sauce

Arugula Tomato Slices and Pesto Sauce | Photo by Meredith

6. Braised Collard Greens

“My Grandma Ollie-Belle made the best ‘greens,'” says THYME4MA. “This recipe is as close to hers as I could come. The ‘pot-liquor’ is the key to great greens! Serve with fresh green onions and black-eyed peas with rice.”

Collard Greens

Collard Greens | Photo by Meredith

7. Spinach Tomato Tortellini

“Cheese tortellini are served in a creamy tomato and spinach sauce,” says Lela. “I love it!”

Spinach Tomato Tortellini

Photo by Melissa Goff

8. Chard Tacos

Delicious as is, but you can also supplement these simple chard tacos with beans and sauteed squash if you like.

Vegetarian Tacos with Chard

Photo by Meredith

9. Chef John’s Minestrone Soup

Swiss chard mixes it up with garbanzo beans, pancetta, and pasta in this rich, filling tomato- and chicken broth-based soup.

Chef John's Minestrone Soup

Photo by Chef John

10. Vegetarian Kale Soup

“This wonderful soup will warm your insides, delight your taste buds, and fill your stomach on a cold winter’s night,” says Donna B. “It is full of dark green kale, potatoes, and cannellini beans.”

Vegetarian Kale Soup

Photo by The Gruntled Gourmand

11. Spinach Enchiladas

“If you like spinach and Mexican food, you’ll love these easy vegetarian enchiladas made with ricotta cheese and spinach,” SADONIA2.

Spinach Enchiladas

Photo by Melissa Goff

12. Spinach Cheese Manicotti

Tubes of manicotti are stuffed with spinach and cheese, covered with spaghetti sauce, and baked to a bubbly beautiful finish.

Spinach Manicotti

Photo by Meredith

13. Skillet Gnocchi with Chard & White Beans

“In this one-skillet supper, we toss dark leafy greens, diced tomatoes and white beans with gnocchi and top it all with gooey mozzarella,” says Breana Lai.


Check out our complete collection of Greens Recipes.


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