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Swiss Chard and Garlic Saute recipe

Swiss Chard and Garlic Saute recipe

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

This is an Italian-inspired recipe. It's the perfect side dish to any meal.

102 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 1 bunch Swiss chard
  • 250ml water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed chillies
  • salt to taste

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

  1. Wash the Swiss chard and cut into 2.5cm strips. Separate the thick and tough stalk sections from the upper leafy strips.
  2. Bring the water and 1 tablespoon of salt to the boil in a large saucepan.
  3. Cook the stalk sections in the salted boiling water for 2 minutes. Stir in the leafy strips and cook until the leaves are wilted and the stalks are fork tender, about 6 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  4. Heat the olive oil, garlic and crushed chillies in a large frying pan over medium heat until aromatic, about 3 minutes. Add the drained Swiss chard, cook and stir for 2 minutes; season with salt to taste.


If you can't find Swiss chard, use spinach instead.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(111)

Reviews in English (84)

by naples34102

Trust me, this really IS authentic Italian cooking! I am Italian, and this has been a staple in my Italian family since probably forever, and has always been my favorite vegetable. You can skip the red pepper flakes if you don't care for the extra bite. Or you can make this with bacon and garlic rather than the olive oil. Another great use for Swiss Chard (easily grown in your garden) is to add it to soups. SO much milder than other greens. It must be washed well, leaf by leaf, and you must make what you THINK is a ton of it because it cooks down so much. The prep, then, is time consuming, but SO worth it! The red-stalked variety is especially pretty, tho' I grow both red and green stemmed for the blend of colors when I make this. Another great thing about growing your own is that as you cut the leaves off, they keep growing back! Can't wait for summer!-17 Jan 2008

by lojo

I grew up eating Italian greens all time and this was delicious! One thing I did differently was to increase the blanching water to 3 cups and being aware that a bunch of swiss chard may not be the same everywhere I kept the salt to 11/2 tsp.I also added diced tomatoes and drained and rinsed cannelini beans. I also increased the garlic. It's a terrific side dish or you can make a meal by adding pasta cooked in the water used to blanch the chard. Great flavor and vitamins!-23 Feb 2009


I've never made swiss chard before and because I read that it's now one of the top ten healthiest foods, I decided to give it a try. When you buy a bunch of the chard, it looks like you could feed a small army with it. For those who've never cooked with it before, let me tell you that surprisingly, it cooks down to nothing. One bunch was only enough for two people, so I needed to add some spinach to it. Karen, we all loved this recipe and it went great with the flank steak I made! Hubby and my daughter are crazy about their greens and they asked for a repeat performance. Thanks so much Karen!-13 Sep 2007

Sauteed Swiss Chard with Lemon and Garlic

This garlic swiss chard stir fry recipe makes not only a tasty entree but is full of antioxidants, readily available and taste delicious.

Swiss Chard is amazing and can find it at your favorite farmers market. They look like dark leafy greens with multicolored stems and taste like a cross between a beet and spinach. When prepared properly they not only taste wonderful but contain a number of health benefits .

Summer is not the time to be slaving around the stove for hours. In fact, a quick saute is all this beautiful, delicate swiss chard requires. This recipe is more of a method and will work perfectly with any leafy green you find at the market. The key is to stop cooking when the leaves turn bright green. Yes, we eat the stems too! If you’ve been serving brown spinach to your family, you are over cooking the greens and likely losing vital nutrients.
Have 5 minutes? Let’s make it happen.


Swiss chard (or sometimes just &ldquochard&rdquo) is a leafy green vegetable. The plant is related to beets but milder in flavor.

Both the leaf and stem are edible but often separated in cooking as they cook at different rates. The hardy stems need to cook longer than the soft, tender green leaves.

Chard comes in an array of colors.

The stems can be found in white, yellow, orange, red and purple. Swiss chard is technically the white stemmed variety while &ldquorainbow chard&rdquo is an assortment of all these varieties in one.

You may see chard, Swiss chard or rainbow chard being sold at the store, it&rsquos all the same plant and tastes the same so don&rsquot let the nomenclature confuse you.

And to be clear, the vegetable is not from Switzerland. It got that designation from the Swiss botanist who named the plant in the 19th century.

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.

Recipe Summary

  • ½ cup chopped hazelnuts
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 anchovy fillet
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 pounds red Swiss chard, leaves torn and stems trimmed into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Toast hazelnuts in a large, deep skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly, 3 minutes or until fragrant. Remove nuts from skillet.

Melt butter in skillet stir in anchovy and garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute or until garlic is toasted and anchovy has broken apart. Add chard, in batches, stirring until wilted. Cook, tossing occasionally, 15 minutes or until tender. Stir in sherry vinegar and nuts. Season with kosher salt and black pepper to taste.


Strip the stems from the chard and set them aside for another use. Chop the leaves coarsely and swish them around in a sinkful of cool water to remove all sand and grit. Fish them out of the water and let them drain in a colander for a minute or two.

Heat the olive oil in a wide, heavy skillet over medium heat. Whack the garlic cloves with the side of the knife and toss them into the pan. Cook, shaking the pan, until golden, about 2 minutes. Carefully stir in as many of the leaves—with the water that clings to them—as will fit comfortably into the pan. Cook, stirring, until the leaves begin to wilt. Continue adding more chard, a handful at a time, until all the chard is in the pan. Season lightly with salt and ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper.

Lower the heat to medium-low, cover the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chard is tender, about 8 minutes. If all the liquid in the pan evaporates and the greens begin to stick to the pan, sprinkle a tablespoon or two of water over them. Check the seasoning, add red pepper and salt if necessary, and serve immediately.

VARIATION: Other Braised Greens
Prepare any of these greens as described below and substitute it for the chard in the above recipe. Note that the longer a vegetable needs to cook to become tender, the more likely it is that the liquid in the pan will evaporate. Keep an eye on the greens if they begin to stick, sprinkle a little water over them from time to time.

Spinach: If you like, leave the stems on tender, young or flat-leaf spinach, but remove the stems from tougher, thick curly spinach leaves. Wash the leaves in a sinful of cold water, swishing the leaves around to remove the sand and grit, then letting them float a minute or two to give the dirt a chance to settle to the bottom of the sink. Lift the leaves from the sink with your hands or a large wire skimmer into a colander to drain. Two 10-ounce cellophane bags of spinach or 3 large bunches of leaf spinach will yield about 1 pound spinach leaves when cleaned.

Swiss Chard: Remove the thick stems and trim the leaves of any wilted or discolored spots. Wash the leaves in plenty of cold water and drain them well in a colander. Large leaves can be cut or torn into several pieces each. Two bunches of about 10 stalks each will yield about 1 pound of leaves.

Savoy or White Cabbage: Cut a small (about 2 pound) head of white or savoy cabbage in half. Keep one half for another use and cut out the core from the second half. Pull off any wilted or discolored leaves and cut the cabbage in 1-inch squares. Separate the layers of cabbage so they cook more evenly.

Broccoli Rabe: Clean the broccoli rabe. One hefty bunch of broccoli rabe will yield about 1 pound of stems and leaves.

Kale: Clean the kale. Two medium bunches of kale will yield about 1 pound of leaves.

Recipe Summary

  • 3 pounds red Swiss chard
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 thinly sliced garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper

Rinse Swiss chard well. Trim tough ends slice stalks about 3/4 inch thick. Slice leaves about 1 inch thick.

In a Dutch oven over medium heat, warm olive oil. Cook garlic until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.

Stir in stalks cook, stirring, until slightly soft, 5 to 6 minutes. Add half the leaves sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sugar. Cover cook until wilted, about 4 minutes. Add remaining leaves sprinkle with another teaspoon sugar. Cover cook, tossing occasionally, until leaves are tender, 8 to 10 minutes.

Uncover cook until liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Stir in red-wine vinegar season with coarse salt and ground pepper.

What is Swiss Chard?

Swiss chard is a delicious leafy green and both the stalks and leaves are edible.

Other Names
Swiss chard is also sometimes just called chard and comes in a variety of colors. If sold by a bunch with various colors, it is referred to as rainbow chard but they are all the same ingredient.

We love swiss chard because it is a super versatile addition to stir-fries and soups, but it also stands up well on its own! Packed with vitamins K, A, C, and E, Swiss chard is a great source of minerals and an excellent source of fiber.

How to Prepare Simple Sautéed Swiss Chard with Onions

  • 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 cut the Swiss Chard, lay a few leaves on top of each other on the cutting board, and remove the stems. Chop 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 dirty batch of chard, wash it again. Spin the chard greens dry. Rinse your stack of stems and trim off the ends if they are dry or discolored. Chop the stems up, just like you would celery.
  • 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 a chopped sweet onion. They cook at about the same rate and the onion really balances the flavors of the chard.
  • Once the stems and onions are softened and the onions are starting to caramelize a bit, then add the green leaves at the end, since they don&rsquot need as much cooking time to become tender.
  • To wilt the greens, splash in a couple tablespoons water and cover the skillet with a lid. Note: If you don&rsquot have a very large skillet with a lid you can do this in a wide Dutch oven instead.
  • Once the greens are wilted down, remove the lid and continue cooking and stirring until the greens are tender.
  • If you want to, drizzle on some Balsamic vinegar. Other ways to add a bit of pizzazz are to add a handful of toasted almonds or pine nuts, golden raisins, dried cranberries or dried currants, or even a little crumbled feta or goat cheese. Fresh herbs can be added as well. Mint goes well with feta and pine nuts. Try it!


  • 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.