Add a healthy boost of nutrients to your meal plan with this recipe for easy Sautéed Swiss Chard. Swiss chard is sautéed along with garlic and olive oil and topped with crunchy almonds for delicious plate of greens.
Change up your greens by adding a boost of healthy chard to your recipe rotation. Swiss chard is a green leafy vegetable that is related to beets. Its stems have beautiful colors that are usually red, white or yellow. A mixture of swiss chard color varieties is also known as rainbow chard.
Chard packs an incredible array of nutrients that support many healthy processes in the body. Enjoy it raw or cooked. One of the best ways to eat Swiss chard and to make it taste great is by sautéing it with garlic and extra virgin olive oil.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- All you need is 3 ingredients to make this easy side dish!
- You can easily adapt the recipe to add more texture or flavor.
- The color is stunning coming from the bright yellow, red and white colors in the stems and leaves.
- Cooking Swiss chard makes it less bitter and easier to consume.
Ingredients You Need
- Rainbow Swiss Chard – Find this beautiful leafy green in the spring, especially in May. Choose bright vibrant bunches of swiss chard with no bruising. You can swap fresh Swiss chard for baby Swiss chard.
- Garlic – Use fresh garlic for the best flavor.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil – While olive oil is generally preferred, you can also substitute with avocado oil.
- Salt & Pepper – This will help balance the natural flavors in Swiss chard.
- (Optional) Sliced Almonds – Gives a crunchy texture to the finished greens. If you omit the almonds, the dish will still taste great.
- (Optional) Crushed Red Pepper Flakes or Lemon Juice – Use red pepper flakes for a kick of heat or a splash or two of freshly squeezed lemon juice for more flavor.
There are so many ways to top sautéed Swiss chard: try topping with dried fruit, chopped cashews, pine nuts, feta cheese, goat cheese, Parmesan or a handful of crunchy pumpkin seeds. Add a drizzle of balsamic vinegar glaze for tangy and sweet greens.
Cooking Swiss Chard
One of the best ways to cook Swiss chard is by sautéing it in a large skillet over medium heat. Sautéing brings out the natural flavors and also helps retain a lot of the nutrients in the leaves.
Prepare the Swiss chard – Wash and drain the chard thoroughly. Remove the stems from the swiss chard leaves using a sharp knife. Cut the stems into tiny pieces. The smaller the pieces of stems, the better.
Cook the garlic in olive oil – Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Saute the chard along with the stems – Add the chopped Swiss chard stems and cook for 4 to 5 minutes.
Then, add the chopped chard leaves and stir. Lower the heat to low, cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the leaves are wilted. Add a dash of red pepper flakes or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice for a kick, if desired.
Season and finish the sautéed Swiss chard – Remove from the heat, season with salt and pepper. Garnish with sliced almonds or your favorite toppings.
- Don’t ditch the stems! Make sure to cut the stems into small pieces as they will need to cook longer than the leaves.
- Cook the entire bunch. It may seem like you’re purchasing a lot of chard, but it does shrink down quite a bit similar to the way spinach does. If you do have any raw leftover leaves, stir them into your favorite cooked soup until wilted for additional nutrition and flavor.
- Purchase local greens when possible – Although it’s not always possible, buy local fresh greens when available. The flavor is so much better than store-bought.
- Add lemon juice – If you find that the greens are still too butter after cooking, add a squeeze of lemon juice on top of the sautéed swiss chard to help counteract the bitter taste. You can use a splash of apple cider vinegar, too!
- Serve it as a main dish – While swiss chard tastes great when served as a side dish, you can serve the entire recipe as a main dish topped with your favorite protein like chicken or fish.
The dark green leafy greens have a flavor that tastes like a cross between beets and spinach. They are slightly bitter with a strong earthy flavor. Cook them with a few simple seasonings to create a tasty side dish.
The best way to counteract the bitter taste in greens is by adding sweetness or acidity. You can add lemon juice or balsamic vinegar for acidity or add some honey or maple syrup for sweetness.
There is no difference! They are all the same variety, however, when the different colors are grown and sold together, it’s often called rainbow chard.
Yes! The stems take longer to cook, so they should be cooked in advance of the leaves, but the stems and leaves are both edible.
Spring Vegetable Side Dishes
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Easy Sautéed Swiss Chard
- 1 large bunch of fresh Swiss chard, washed (rainbow chard)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons sliced almonds, (optional)
- Cut or tear away the stems from the leaves. Cut the stems into 1/2 inch pieces. Coarsely chop the leaves into bite-sized pieces.
- Heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add the chopped Swiss chard stems and cook for 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add the chopped chard leaves and stir. Lower the heat to low, cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the leaves are wilted.
- Remove from the heat, season with salt and pepper. Garnish with almonds.