Sautéed Swiss chard recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Side dish
  • Vegetable side dishes

Turn Swiss chard into a quick and easy green side dish with this simple recipe. You could also use spinach or a mixture of greens.

7 people made this

IngredientsServes: 2

  • 4 rashers streaky bacon, chopped
  • 30g butter
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic puree
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard (300 to 400g), stems removed, leaves cut into 2.5cm pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:10min ›Ready in:25min

  1. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Place the chopped bacon in the pan and cook until starting to brown.
  2. Melt the butter in the pan. Stir in the lemon juice and garlic paste. Add the Swiss chard to the butter mixture. When the leaves begin to wilt, place a cover on the pan and increase heat to medium-high. Allow the chard to cook while covered for about 4 minutes. Stir the chard leaves to coat with the butter mixture. Season with salt and pepper.


Use pancetta cubes instead of bacon. Or leave the bacon out all together for a vegetarian version.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(154)

Reviews in English (112)

by naples34102

Ohhhhh, don't discard the stems! Like most Italians, I've eaten Swiss Chard all my life and I'd have to say it's my favorite vegetable. The cooking method in this recipe is pretty accurate, but...don't discard the stems! Slice them as you would celery, then cover with water and simmer until tender, then add them to the leaves. The stems of Rainbow chard are particularly pretty and add great texture and contrast, not to mention flavor! I don't bother making a garlic paste, mincing the garlic is perfectly fine. Lemon is not something I routinely add and I found I liked it, tho' I only gave it a squeeze from a half lemon. I didn't use as much bacon either, tho' the term "one bunch" of Swiss Chard is vague, so certainly add all ingredients to taste. For those not familiar with Swiss Chard it is mild, tender and a little sweeter than spinach - not bitter at all like other greens. The effort involved to wash, trim and cook it is well worth it!-29 May 2010

by cinderelly007

This was simple and delicious. I added onions and extra virgin olive oil, but the bacon & garlic are the key flavor enhancers. Yum!-10 Sep 2008

by MsMonica

Garlic and bacon, what's not to love? And the added zip of the lemon was great... I didn't think it needed salt & pepper and skipped it altogether. 4.5 stars! Because even though it's delicious, I would like something a little easier on the heart. Sidenote: be sure to chop the chard into manageable pieces; it does not wilt down the same way spinach does, just fyi.-29 Mar 2010

Recipe Summary

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 4 pounds rainbow or ruby chard&mdashthick stems discarded, inner ribs removed and cut into 2-inch lengths, leaves cut into 2-inch ribbons
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

In a large pot, heat 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Stir in the garlic and cook over moderately high heat until lightly golden, about 1 minute. Add the chard leaves in large handfuls, allowing each batch to wilt slightly before adding more. Season the chard with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until the leaves are softened and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 8 minutes. Transfer the chard to a bowl. Wipe out the pot.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pot. Add the chard ribs and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the wilted chard leaves and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl, sprinkle with the lemon zest and serve right away.

It’s a funny name, that Swiss Chard. It makes you think it’s only grown in Switzerland or something (which of course, isn’t true). The reason for the “Swiss” moniker is because the plant was identified by a Swiss botanist.

Swiss chard commonly goes by the name silverbeet or strawberry spinach and it’s a great alternative to spinach in recipes.

Like spinach, Swiss chard loaded with vitamins and nutrients such as vitamin A, K and C as well as potassium, magnesium, iron and dietary fiber.

What’s notable on Swiss chard though is the stems, which can range in color from white, to yellow to red and all the colors of the rainbow in between. That’s why you’ll frequently see it labeled as rainbow chard in the market.

If you remember my roasted beet, blood orange and mandarin salad recipe, we talked about the phytonutrient betalains – which is commonly found in reddish-purple pigmented veggies, like beets.

But betalains can also be found in Swiss chard, which come from the same family as beets. If you look at the brightly colored stems and veins of chard it’s a giveaway.


  • Fill a sink with cold water and wash the Swiss chard to remove any grit. Transfer to paper towels and let dry for a couple of minutes (it’s fine if a little water clings to the leaves).
  • Remove the thick part of each stem by cutting a V-shaped notch partway into the leaf. Split each leaf in half lengthwise by slicing down the center rib. Stack the halved leaves (in batches if necessary) and cut them in half crosswise to get 4- to 6-inch pieces.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Working in batches, pile the Swiss chard into the pan, turning and tossing gently until the leaves begin to wilt and turn glossy. Add a new batch of leaves as the previous batch wilts and makes room for more.
  • When all the Swiss chard is wilted, sprinkle in the garlic and a little salt and toss well. Lower the heat to medium low, cover, and cook for 4 minutes. Remove the lid, raise the heat to high, add the red pepper flakes, and continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes so that much of the liquid evaporates the leaves should be tender but not overly soft. Serve immediately.

Sautéed Swiss Chard with Gremolata: In a small bowl, combine 2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest (from about 1 lemon), 1 small clove finely chopped garlic, and 2 Tbs. minced fresh parsley. Sauté the chard as directed in the basic recipe. When the chard is tender, toss with the gremolata and serve immediately.

Sautéed Swiss Chard with Slivered Almonds & Browned Butter: In a small sauté pan, melt 2 Tbs. unsalted butter over medium heat. Add 1/3 cup slivered almonds, reduce the heat to medium low, and cook, stirring often, until the nuts are golden and the milk solids in the butter turn a nutty brown. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice. Keep warm. Sauté the chard as directed in the basic recipe, replacing the garlic with 2 Tbs. finely chopped shallots. Sprinkle the almonds and butter over the finished chard and serve immediately.

Sautéed Swiss Chard with Anchovies, Parmesan and Breadcrumbs: Sauté the chard as directed in the basic recipe. Add 6 drained, minced anchovy fillets and 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano at the end and toss. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup fresh, toasted breadcrumbs and serve immediately.

Asian-Style Swiss Chard with Ginger & Peanuts: Sauté the chard as directed in the basic recipe, but add 1 Tbs. minced fresh ginger, 1/2 red bell pepper, cut into very thin strips, and 1 tsp. granulated sugar along with the garlic. At the end, sprinkle with 1/4 cup coarsely chopped unsalted roasted peanuts and serve immediately.

Sautéed Swiss Chard with Sun-Dried Tomatoes & Feta: In a small bowl, combine 6 oil-packed sun-dried tomato halves, drained and cut into thin strips, 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese and 1/2 tsp. lightly chopped fresh thyme. Sauté the chard as directed in the basic recipe. Add the feta mixture at the end, toss, and serve immediately.

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I thought the red pepper flakes were a little too strong. Iɽ probably try it without next time, but some sort of replacement spice/flavoring would be good. Otherwise, chard (plentiful at the farmer's market!) cooked wonderfully.

I made this recipe, following the directions exactly, and it was delicious. Quick, healthy and delicious, what more could you want.

I'm not the hugest fan of either spinach or Swiss chard, but I'm always interested in finding good recipes because I know these vegetables are so good for me. That said, this is a really delicious recipe. I think that the inclusion of garlic, olive oil, and red pepper makes the Swiss chard ever so much more palatable and tasty. I'm a convert!

This was my first time cooking any type of chard. I am glad it was a success because I am sure to get a lot in my farm share. I also chopped up the stalks and cooked them for about 4 minutes then added the leaves. I then added it to some left over pasta w/ pesto. YUM!

Good basic dish for my spring time repertoire. I added 2x the garlic and a bit more red pepper. For a real treat, add 2-4 strip of chopped cooked bacon when you add the garlic. It gives the greens an underlying smokiness that improves this basic dish to sublime.

Not bad. Chard is remarkably nutritious raw, so I didn't want to overcook it. I steamed the stems, chopped them up and added them, plus some diced turkey bacon.

I gave it three forks because I think for Swiss Chard it is a good recipe-but I think I'm not a big chard fan. It's lovely to grow in the garden, but I much prefer the flavor of spinach. I had some swiss chard at a potluck recently that had some tomatoes added which helped a bit-so I'll keep trying!!

My favorite swiss chard recipe, I have made this one many times. I have made others using the stems as well but for this I cut almost all the way along both sides and use the leaves. Very classic side dish good as a counterpoint to a rich main like Italian sausage.

Very very good. I sauteed the stems for a few minutes before adding the leaves, and added a bit more garlic. I garnished it with some shaved Parm-Reggiano. Realllly nice.

) for larger chard leaves (which is the norm), they generally mean to get rid of the stems. you CAN eat them, but to do so, you need to cut them in small pieces and cook quite a bit longer than the leaves. once in a while, you'll find baby chard, which has smaller, more delicate stems that you can just toss in with the leaves. it's my favorite kind for that reason.

Can I ask a stupid question? I've never had chard before. When it says "stems trimmed", does that mean the stems are discarded, or that the ends of the stems are trimmed and discarded, and the rest of the stems, along with the leaves, are used?

I burned this dish while fighting with some frozen lobster meat and it STILL tasted amazing. Can't wait to try it without the crispy burned leaves and overcooked garlic!

Fast, healthy, and delicious. Excellent in the middle of the week. Chicken broth was a nice addition

This was a great recipe, and since I had some extra Port in my cupboard, I added about 1/2 c. to this recipe, and the chard turned out sweet and wonderful!

I grew swiss chard last year because I got free seeds-now its a must have in the garden. This recipe is wonderful I've also added some chicken broth with a little parm on top. Can't wait for spring.

This was delicious, but I fingd with chard that if you cut the stems from the leaf and saute them first for a minute, and then throw in the leaves after softening the stems, the chard is more evenly cooked at the end.

This was fabulous! My first time making swiss chard at home. It was very easy and delicious. I wouldn't change a thing!

The shorter cooking time is definitely in order. Used a combination of red and green chard, and threw in some yellow raisins for the sauteeing. My favorite kind of recipe: simple, delicious, flavorful, attractive, and healthful.

I'm Greek, and traditionally we boil Swiss Chard until it's completely limp and soggy. Well not anymore! I love this recipe because it's fast as can be and it's taking an old favorite and making it just that much better.

Easy, but just okay--not much flavor. Needed something more.

Very tasty & simple to prepare. Some of my guests had not tried chard before my dinner party, now they love it!

This was a very tasty side dish. Simple to prepare. A nice alternative to spinach.

I make this recipe almost every week. It has just the right level of spice from the red pepper flakes and garlic. And it's simple enough that my children will occasionally eat it.

Simply splendid or splendidly simple, not sure which, but it is a fabulous dish. If you serve it to someone and they profess not to like it you can safely assume that you have a dangerously demented person on your hands. I upped the garlic and the hot pepper flakes and it worked even better for me but it still works wonderfully well if you follow the original specifications.

So good! I used the red-stemmed chard and added a little more cook time on there and didn't add any salt. Taste it before you decide to salt it, chard is already naturally rich in sodium.

Sautéed Swiss Chard

  • 1 Large Bunch Chard
  • 2 Tbl Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Sliced Onion
  • 2 Cloves minced Garlic

1. Wash chard, keeping some of the water on the leaves. Remove and chop stalks. Chop leaves into 2 inch pieces.

2. Heat oil in wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute for about 30 seconds or until you began to smell them. Add the chopped stalks and cook for another few minutes until the stems begin to cook. Add chard leaves. Saute for 3-5 minutes or the leaves begin to wilt. Serve warm and enjoy!

Variation: Add a few splashes of balsamic vinaigrette or red wine vinegar at the end to change-up the flavor!

Tip: Any type of chard will work in this recipe, they all have similar taste. It may look like a lot of chard when you put it in the pan. Keep in mind that chard will greatly reduce when cooked. This recipe will make about 2-3 servings.

Swiss Chard with Apples Recipe FAQs

I’m short on time, can I skip caramelizing the onions?

Yes! I’ve made this dish tons of times without caramelizing the onions. It will still taste good, but definitely doesn’t compare to the depth of flavour that cooking the onions low and slow provides.

What if I don’t have coconut aminos?

Coconut aminos isn’t essential to this recipe so you could always omit it and/or double the amount of balsamic vinegar.

Can I use a different green?

This recipe is delicious with a number of leafy green vegetables like kale, collard greens, mustard and beet greens. If you live in North America you can take advantage of a number of these spring greens that are currently in season. Besides Swiss chard, keep your eye out for things like local spinach, arugula, Tatsoi and watercress.

If you loved this recipe I would appreciate it if you would give it a rating and review. Be sure to snap a picture of the finished product and share it with me on Instagram by tagging @healmedelicious and using the hashtag #healmedelicious.

Looking for more AIP Veggie Side Dishes?

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Sautéed Chard with Onions and Garlic serves 2-3

  • 1 bunch fresh Swiss chard (approx. 15-18 leaves), washed and chopped into smaller pieces
  • 1 small sweet onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil (optional) or red wine vinegar or lemon juice (optional)

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, combine coconut oil, onions and garlic and sauté until the onions are slightly browned. Add the chopped chard and turn heat to medium-low. Cover with a lid and let the chard wilt, and then stir it into the onions and garlic. Serve as is, or I like to add a drizzle of olive oil and a splash of apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar for a little extra zip.

Simple Sautéed Greens

The obsession with this is real. And it’s been on regular rotation in our house every week since March. I know a lot of us have stepped up on our CSA game to help our local farmers (community support agriculture) and the amount of greens I get on a weekly basis is intense.

So intense there is just no way I could possible eat them all in salads. So Simple Sautéed Greens to the rescue. Below you’ll find one of my all time favorite recipes to cook any type of green. Kale, Swiss Chard, Collard Greens… you name it. If it’s leafy and hearty, it’s going to work well in this recipe. Once you’ve got these wilted down, you can serve them any which way. I made you a video if that makes it easier too! It’s over in the culinary school tab with all my other go-to veggie hacks!

Sauteed Swiss Chard Stalks with Olive Oil, Garlic, and Parsley

Notes Using chard leaves: This is an excellent recipe to keep in mind if you have used chard leaves in pasta, soup, or a cooked salad. You can keep the trimmed stalks in the refrigerator for 2 or 3 days. Or, if it is the leaves that are going to be left over after doing this dish, try to use them within 24 hours. The leaves can be used in pasta dough to dye it green, or together with cheese, for the filling is a variety of stuffed pastas. The leaves are also good in soup, delicious boiled and served with olive oil and lemon juice, or sautéed with olive oil and garlic.

Dietary Consideration healthy, vegan, vegetarian

Five Ingredients or Less Yes

Taste and Texture garlicky, sharp


  • 2½ cups Swiss chard stalks, cut into pieces 1½ inches long
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1½ teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • Salt
  • Black pepper , ground fresh from the mill


Wash the chard stalks in cold water. (See note below about using the chard leaves.) Bring 3 quarts water to a boil, drop in the stalks, and cook at a moderate boil until they feel tender when prodded with a fork, approximately 30 minutes, depending on the stalks. Drain and set aside.

Put the olive oil and garlic in a sauté pan, turn on the heat to medium. Cook and stir the garlic until it becomes very lightly colored, then add the boiled stalks, the parsley, salt, and pepper. Turn the heat up to medium high, tossing and turning the stalks to coat them well. Cook for about 5 minutes, then transfer the contents of the pan to a warm plate and serve at once.