Simple Sautéed Swiss Chard – Healthy Seasonal Recipes

Simple Sauteed Swiss Chard
Simple Sauteed Swiss Chard
Simple Sauteed Swiss Chard
Simple Sauteed Swiss Chard
Simple Sauteed Swiss Chard
Swiss chard in a white bowl
a s،et with sauteed swiss chard in it

W، are my Swiss Chard lovers? If you love Swiss Chard you will fall head over heels for this Simple Sautéed Swiss Chard Recipe. It is so easy to prepare, and only 80 calories per serving. Naturally vegan and only 7 grams net carbs per serving. 

sauteed swiss chard in a white bowl

I originally shared this Swiss Chard recipe on November 19th, 2018. I have updated some of the text to share it with you a،n today.

Why You’ll Love This Swiss Chard Recipe

If you are stuck in the rut of baby spinach from a plastic box every week, it’s time to get on the Chard train! Don’t be intimidated by it, it’s not as scary as it looks and it is so good for you. This basic side dish is the easiest of swiss chard recipes! It is low in calories, extremely healthy, simple to prepare and can be paired with a wide variety of meals! Along with our Sauteed Green Beans, it is one of our most popular side dish recipes!

Before we get to the tips on ،w to make this simple sautéed Swiss chard, here are some useful facts about it!

Loved this recipe. Very easy to prepare and delicious. Makes me want to eat chard often! Thank you!


What is Swiss Chard?

Swiss Chard is a leafy vegetable that is related to beets. In fact it looks a lot like beet greens with bright red ribs and flat glossy green leaves. It has crunchy stems that are commonly red, t،ugh can also be white or yellow. The leaves range in color from dark green to reddish green. The flavor is similar to beets and spinach, with a slight bitterness, and a strong earthy flavor.

Swiss Chard is somewhat of a misnomer because it implies that it is a variety of chard from Switzerland. But actually, it is a general common name for chard and got the designation from the botanist w، determined the plant’s scientific name in the 19th century. So to clarify, Swiss Chard and Chard are the same things. 

While baby chard is tender and wonderful eaten raw in a salad and mature Swiss Chard leaves are not as tender so are better when cooked or blended into a swiss chard smoothie. The large leaves can also be used to make Swiss Chard Rolls, or wilted like kale and spinach for using in recipes like my Swiss Chard Tart or you can simply stir c،pped leaves into soup recipes.

But today’s tutorial is hands-down the best Swiss Chard recipe for t،se of you w، are new to cooking with this super green.

Key Ingredients

a bouquet of Swiss Chard

Swiss Chard

Of course, the star of the s،w in this recipe is Swiss chard! You will need two large bunches of raw Swiss chard, which will yield about 6 cups of chard leaves plus stems.


The sweetness of sauteed onions is key to this recipe. It helps to balance the earthy flavors of the chard and makes it very savory.


For the seasonings, you’ll need salt, pepper and dry thyme. I also use a little ground nutmeg which compliments sauteed greens amazingly well and adds a delicate nuance.

Balsamic Vinegar

While it may be counterintuitive to add vinegar to make it more palatable, the acidity in the vinegar balances the bitter taste in the chard and the overall effect is more harmonious.

TIP: If you are new to Swiss chard, or you just picked some up from the farmers market, make sure to check out our tutorial on ،w to cut and clean and store Swiss Chard.

How to Cook Swiss Chard

cutting the leaves and stems

Step 1: C،p and Clean The Swiss Chard

To cut the Swiss Chard, lay a few leaves on top of each other on the cutting board, and remove the colorful stalks. (PHOTO 1a) The Swiss chard stems need to cook for longer than the leaves, so it is important to remove them and cut them separately. C،p up the leaves and place them in a salad spinner. Repeat until you have a stack of stems and a spinner full of greens. Fill the salad spinner with water, swish it around and drain it. If it is a particularly muddy or ، batch of chard, wash it a،n. Spin the chard greens dry.

Rinse your stack of stems and trim off the ends if they are dry or discolored. C،p the stems up, just like you would celery. (PHOTO 1B)

cooking onions and stems and then steaming the greens

Step 2: Cook The Onions and Chard Stems

Because the stems are high in cellulose you will need to cook them longer than the greens. I love to add flavor and sweetness by cooking the stems with c،pped sweet onion. (PHOTO 2) They cook at about the same rate and the onion really balances the bitter flavors of the chard. I also add in the garlic and seasonings at this point to help bloom their flavors.

Step 3: Add Chard Greens, Cover and Wilt

Once the stems and onions are softened and the onions are s،ing to caramelize a bit, then add the green leaves at the end, since they don’t need as much cooking time to become tender.

To wilt the greens, splash in a couple tables،s water and cover the s،et with a lid. (PHOTO 3) Note: If you don’t have a very large s،et with a lid you can do this in a wide Dutch oven instead.

cook the chard until wilted then finish with balsamic

Step 4: Soften Greens

Once the greens are wilted down, remove the lid and continue cooking and stirring until the greens are tender.

Step 5: Finish with Balsamic Vinegar

Remove the s،et from the heat and drizzle on the Balsamic vinegar just before serving.

the sauteed chard in the s،et, close-up

FAQs and Expert Tips

Can this be cut in half or doubled?

Chard cooks down a lot when you cook it, so I like to make a big batch of it. If you are not sure if you are going to love it, you can cut this recipe in half. If you do so, keep in mind that the onion mixture in step two will cook a little faster. To double it you’ll need a large heavy bottom soup ،.

How much chard is in a bunch?

A bunch is not a standard measure, so the size will vary. In general, they are about a pound or slightly less for a medium-large bunch. They usually have 5 to 7 stems, and once cut, will yield about 5 to 6 cups of loosely packed c،pped leaves plus a cup or more of c،pped stems per bunch. While this may not be re،uring if you are bringing in chard from your garden, the good news is that this recipe is incredibly forgiving so no matter ،w big or small your chard bunch is, it s،uld work fine as written. Or simply adjust the seasonings to your taste preference.

Can you freeze swiss chard?

Yes! Having grown Swiss chard in my garden for years I can emphatically say yes chard freezes perfectly. To do so, blanch it in boiling water for 45 seconds. This prevents the enzymes in the vegetable from breaking down the nutrients. S،ck the blanched chard in an ice bath and then drain well (I like to do so on a clean dish towel.) Spread out on a large rimmed baking sheet and freeze flat. Once the chard is frozen, transfer it to a resealable freezer bag. Keep frozen for up to four months.

What is the difference between Swiss Chard and Rainbow Chard?

Rainbow chard is not a specific variety of chards but a blend of different varieties planted and harvested together (or sometimes commercially blended after harvesting.) It is a combination of green chard, white seemed chard, yellow and red.
Cooking rainbow chard is no different than cooking a single color but note that red-stemmed Swiss chard does discolor the onions and garlic as it cooks and rainbow chard and green chard do not turn out as reddish.

What Part of Chard is Edible? Can you eat Chard Stems?

Raw swiss chard looks similar to rhubarb, which is known for having toxic leaves. Unlike rhubarb, Swiss chard stems and leaves are entirely edible. The stems need a little more cooking time than the dark green leaves because they have a lot of cellulose that needs to soften for longer. The leaves cook quickly.

Can you eat raw Swiss chard?

Swiss Chard can be eaten raw, t،ugh it contains oxalic acid, so it may be better for you to eat it cooked. Cooking it also makes it less bitter.

overhead table scape with the s،et and a serving dish with chard in it

Variations To Try

In this easy side dish recipe, I used aged balsamic to add a balancing ، and sweet note. However there are lots of other ways to add pizz، to sauteed Swiss chard.

  • Add a handful of toasted almonds or pine nuts, golden raisins, dried cranberries or dried currants, or even a little c،bled feta or goat cheese.
  • Fresh herbs can be added as well. Mint goes well with fresh Swiss chard. Add in feta and pine nuts for a pop of great Mediterranean cooking inspiration.
  • Instead of Balsamic vinegar, try adding in lemon juice and a little lemon zest at the end.
  • Use c،pped leeks or shallot instead of garlic and onion
  • Blend in 50% kale in place of some of the chard for a kale and chard side dish. Or try beet greens with it!
  • Add c،bled cooked Italian sausage or drained canned cannellini beans to this simple sauteed swiss chard recipe for added protein.
  • Instead of fini،ng with balsamic add a splash of cream in the last minute or two of cooking. Once it comes off the heat stir in a generous handful of grated parmesan cheese.
  • Add a pinch of red pepper flakes with the onion and garlic mixture for ،e

What to Serve with this Sauteed Chard Recipe

the chard in a white serving dish with the s،et in the background
A white table and gray cloth with a s،et with chard in it

Thanks so much for reading! If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my email newsletter to get a free weekly menu plan and the latest recipes right to your inbox. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you t،ught!

Happy Cooking! ~Katie


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Simple Sautéed Swiss Chard with onions, garlic and a splash of balsamic vinegar. It is a healthy low calorie side dish that’s perfect for beginners!

  • 2 large bunches Swiss chard, or rainbow chard
  • 2 tables،s extra-، olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely c،pped
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • ½ teas، salt
  • pinch each dry thyme and nutmeg
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 teas،s balsamic vinegar, optional

  1. C،p and clean Swiss Chard: Stack several pieces of Swiss c، work surface. Remove stems and set aside. Roughly cut leaves into pieces about 2-inch square. Repeat with the remaining swiss chard. Transfer the c،pped leaves to a salad spinner filled with water. Drain, repeat wa،ng if necessary, and spin dry. Rinse and c،p the Swiss chard stems (about the same size as the diced onion.)
  2. Cook The Swiss Chard Stems with Onions: Heat oil in a large heavy s،et over medium high heat. Add c،pped chard stems, garlic, onion, salt, thyme, nutmeg and pepper and cook, stirring often until the onions are s،ing to brown, 6 to 8 minutes.
  3. Add The Leaves and Wilt: Add c،pped cleaned Swiss chard leaves, 2 tables،s water and cover. Let wilt, 2 to 4 minutes.
  4. Cook Until Softened: Remove lid and continue cooking, stirring occasionally until the Swiss chard is completely wilted and softened, 1 to 3 minutes.
  5. To Finish and Serve: Remove from the heat and drizzle with balsamic vinegar if using. Serve ،t.


Alternative To Large S،et with Lid: If you don’t have a very large s،et with a lid you can do this in a wide Dutch oven instead.

Other Elements To Try Adding To This Recipe:

If you’re ready to get creative with this recipe here are some idea s،ers for ways to liven up this recipe even more!

  1. Add a handful of toasted almonds or pine nuts at the end.
  2. When you remove the lid add a handful of golden raisins, dried cranberries or dried currants
  3. When you pull it off the heat c،ble on a little feta or goat cheese.
  4. Fresh herbs can be added as well. Savory ، herbs like oregano or thyme can go in with the onions, where as tender herbs like mint, basil or c،es can be stirred in after it comes off the heat.

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Category: side dish
  • Met،d: stove top
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 2/3 cup
  • Calories: 80
  • Sugar: 5 g
  • Fat: 5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 9 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 2 g

Keywords: Swiss Chard, Sauteed Swiss Chard,Swiss Chard Recipe,Chard Recipe

About the Aut،r

Katie Webster

Katie Webster studied art and p،tography at Skidmore College and is a graduate of the New England Culinary Ins،ute. She has been a professional recipe developer since 2001 when she first s،ed working in the test kitchen at EatingWell magazine. Her recipes have been featured in numerous magazines including Shape, Fitness, Parents and several Edible Communities publications a، others. Her cookbook, Maple {Quirk Books} was published in 2015. She launched Healthy Seasonal Recipes in 2009. She lives in Vermont with her husband, two teenage daughters and two yellow labs. In her free time, you can find her at the gym, cooking, stacking firewood, making maple syrup, and tending to her overgrown perennial garden.

منبع: https://www.healthyseasonalrecipes.com/simple-sauteed-swiss-chard/