Get updates and action alerts from Friends of Animals by joining our email list. 

Creamy Swiss Chard Pasta With Leeks, Tarragon and Lemon Zest


¾ pound green Swiss chard (1 large bunch), washed and trimmed, or a 5 oz. box of Organic Baby Kale

2 large leeks (10 to 12 ounces each)

5 tablespoons vegan butter

½ cup panko bread crumbs

Kosher salt and black pepper

3 tablespoons nutritional yeast

3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

2 cups vegetable stock

1 cup non-dairy creamer

16 ounces linguine

¾ cup finely grated vegan Parmesan

Fresh tarragon leaves, for garnish

1 Lemon zested, for garnish


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare the chard: Tear the leaves off the stems, separating the leaves and stems. Thinly slice the stems, then coarsely tear the leaves into bite-size pieces. Set both aside in separate bowls.

Prepare the leeks: Trim off the bottom and the dark green portion at the top, halve the remaining white and pale green portion lengthwise, then thinly slice them crosswise. Wash and drain the sliced leeks. Set aside.

Prepare the bread crumbs: In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons vegan butter over medium. Add the panko, season lightly with salt and generously with pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and toasted, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in nutritional yeast, then transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.

Wipe out the skillet. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons vegan butter and melt over medium-high. Add the leeks, chard stems, garlic and thyme, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until leeks start to wilt and soften, about 5 minutes. Add the torn chard, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until just wilted, 2 minutes.

Add the stock and heavy cream, and boil over high until thickened, about 10 minutes. If you’re using baby kale instead of chard, add it after 5 minutes of cooking.

Once the mixture is simmering, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water and cook until al dente. Drain pasta.

Transfer chard mixture to the empty pasta pot. Stir in the cooked pasta, then sprinkle with the vegan Parmesan, stirring vigorously to melt it into the sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper.