Sauteed greens with cannellini beans and pancetta

    35 min

    This is a forgiving recipe and a great way to get your greens! I eat it as a main, but this could easily be fit for four to six sides. Use bagged kale if you're in a hurry, and feel free to substitute different kinds of greens depending on what's available.


    Greater London, England, UK
    22 people made this

    Serves: 2 

    • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 small red onion, chopped
    • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
    • 1 bunch kale, stems removed and roughly chopped
    • 1 bunch beetroot greens, stems removed and roughly chopped
    • salt to taste
    • 2 rashers pancetta or streaky bacon, chopped
    • 1 (400g) tin cannellini beans, drained

    Prep:20min  ›  Cook:15min  ›  Ready in:35min 

    1. In a large frying pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and cook until soft. Add the crushed garlic cloves and cook a minute more. Add the chopped greens and season with salt to taste (be conservative at this point - you can always add more!). Partially cover the pan and cook over medium heat.
    2. Meanwhile, microwave the chopped pancetta or bacon on high for 3 minutes. Drain the dripping and add the crispy chopped pancetta to the kale mixture and stir. Add the cannellini beans and stir to combine. Cook partially covered for 5 more minutes, until the flavours have combined and the greens are tender.

    Cook's note

    Other greens you could use include spinach, rocket (though remember its peppery flavour!) and chard. To note, I used the greens from the tops of three beetroots. Also, I've used chickpeas in place of cannellini beans, which tastes just as good.
    Keep in mind that the pancetta in this recipe is a condiment - you can add more or less to taste. For a vegetarian version of this dish, try omitting the pancetta and topping with a grated hard cheese like Parmesan, or tossing with crumbled feta.


    If you've got leftovers, but not enough for a full meal, toss the mixture with a small-shaped pasta and top with grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano.

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    Reviews in English (7)


    Took shortcuts. i used bagged and washed kale (1/2 a 500g bag)  -  28 Jan 2009


    Used different ingredients. used spinach instad of beetroot  -  26 Jan 2009


    The whole family loved it! I was looking for some other way to cook kale and this combination is simple, easy and so tasty.  -  28 Aug 2016