Add a healthy boost of nutrients to your meal plan with this easy recipe for Sautéed Rainbow Chard. Swiss chard is sautéed along with garlic and olive oil and topped with crunchy sliced almonds for a healthy green that makes a great side dish for any meal!

sautéed rainbow chard on a plate with sliced almonds

Change up your greens by adding a boost of healthy chard to your recipe rotation. Swiss chard is a green leafy vegetable that has relation to beets. Its stems have beautiful colors that are usually red, white, or yellow. A bunch 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 rainbow chard and make it taste great is by sautéing it with garlic and using it as a healthy side dish for almost any meal! 

What does Swiss chard taste like?

These dark 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.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • You can use Swiss chard when it’s in season and try something new!
  • The health benefits of chard are amazing and can benefit your overall health and immune system. 
  • All you’ll need is 3 ingredients to make this healthy side dish.
  • 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 for sauteed chard on a cutting board

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Rainbow Swiss Chard – Find this beautiful leafy green in the spring, especially in May. Choose bright vibrant bunches of chard with no bruising. 
  • Garlic & Olive Oil – Garlic is sautéed in the oil to infuse the chard with a great garlic flavor.
  • Salt & Pepper – This will help balance the natural flavors in Swiss chard. 
  • Sliced Almonds – Gives a crunchy texture to the finished greens. If you omit, the dish will still taste great.
  • (Optional) Red Pepper Flakes – This optional ingredient adds a kick of heat if desired.
sautéing swiss chard in skillet

Cooking Swiss Chard

One of the best ways to cook Swiss chard is by sautéing it in a skillet over medium heat. Sautéing helps bring out the natural flavors and also helps retain a lot of the nutrients in the leaves. 

Step 1.

Prepare the chard. Wash and drain the chard thoroughly. Remove the stems from the leaves using a sharp knife. Cut the stems into tiny pieces.

Step 2. 

Cook the garlic in olive oil. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Step 3.

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 for a kick, if desired. 

Step 4.

Season and finish the sautéed Swiss chard. Remove from the heat, season with salt and pepper. Garnish with sliced almonds or your favorite toppings. 

sauteed rainbow chard on a plate with sliced almonds on top

Expert Tips

  • Don’t ditch the stems! Make sure you 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! 
  • Buy local when possible. Although it’s not always possible, buy local fresh greens when available. The flavor is so much better than store-bought.
  • If you find that the greens are still too bitter after cooking, add a squeeze of lemon juice on top to help counteract the bitter taste. You can also use a splash of apple cider vinegar, too!

Variations

  • You can swap Swiss chard for baby swiss chard. This will cook up quickly! 
  • Add a kick of heat to the dish by sprinkling a bit of red pepper flake on top before serving. 
  • If you have any raw leftover leaves, stir them into your favorite cooked soup until wilted for additional nutrition and flavor. 
  • Add a healthy drizzle of balsamic glaze for a tangy and sweet green.

There are so many ways to top sautéed Swiss chard: try topping with dried fruit, chopped cashews, feta cheese, goat cheese, or a handful of crunchy pumpkin seeds. 

FAQs

What’s the difference between rainbow chard and Swiss chard?

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. 

Is Swiss chard healthier than kale? 

Neither is more healthy than the other because they both contain tons of nutrients in varying degrees. Adding more leafy greens to your diet will promote a well-balanaced lifestyle. 

How do I make Swiss chard less bitter?

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. 

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sautéed rainbow chard on a plate with sliced almonds

Rainbow Swiss Chard

Easy sautéed Swiss chard is a simple side dish for any meal.

Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch of fresh Swiss chard, washed (rainbow chard)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds

Instructions 

  • 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 sliced almonds.

Notes

  • Add red pepper flakes for a kick of heat. 
Storing & Freezing
Storing: Cooked Swiss chard can be stored in the fridge for 1-2 days before reheating in a skillet and serving. The longer it sits, the mushier it will become. 
Freezing: Because of the high water content and delicate structure of this leafy green, freezing is not recommended. 
Make-Ahead: You can prepare your Swiss chard ahead of time by chopping and adding to an airtight container with a paper towel at the bottom to catch any moisture. Store in the fridge for up to 2 days before sautéing and serving. 

Nutrition

Calories: 224kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 1g, Sodium: 116mg, Potassium: 321mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 3303IU, Vitamin C: 17mg, Calcium: 72mg, Iron: 2mg