Garlic Sautéed Swiss Chard

Swiss chard is one of my favorite side dishes with fresh Swiss chard from the farmer’s market. This is simple Swiss chard recipe that’s savory, nutrient-dense and tasty. All you do is sauté with a little olive oil and garlic.

Serve this tasty side dish up with healthy main dishes like my Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs, Dijon Baked Salmon and Baked Halibut.

garlic sauteed swiss chard

Swiss Chard

Swiss chard, in all its vibrant glory, has been one of my favorite greens since I was a child and my mom would boil it up and toss some butter on top.

It’s a mild, sweet leafy green and there are many ways you can prepare it. But as a side dish, this garlic sautéed Swiss chard recipe couldn’t be easier or more tasty.

What is Swiss Chard?

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.

What Does Swiss Chard Taste Like?

Some say Swiss chard falls somewhere between spinach and kale, in terms of bitterness. But I find it to be just as sweet as spinach, especially when cooked.

The green leaves can be sliced up and eaten raw in a salad or boiled, roasted or sautéed.

The stems will be more bitter than the leaves and they do take longer to cook, but it’s definitely worth cooking them rather than tossing. Just think of all the vitamins loaded in those colorful stalks.

garlic sauteed swiss chard

How to Make this Swiss Chard Recipe

Start by washing the leaves individually, as they can harbor a little soil and dirt. Then, slice the leaves. To do this, it’s easiest to wrap them up like a cigar, then slice across into strips. Lastly, if you’re keeping the stems (which I do recommend) slice the stem into thin pieces.

Once your chard is all sliced up, heat some olive oil in a sauté pan along with several cloves of minced garlic for a minute. Add the stems, a little bit of water and sauté for 1-2 minutes before adding the remaining Swiss chard leaves. Then cook and stir for 4-5 minutes, or until all the leaves have wilted down. Before serving, sprinkle a little high quality sea salt on top. That’s it!

This entire dish only takes a few minutes to cook, so it’s simple to prepare. It’s also tasty and healthy. A few good reasons why it’s one of my favorite side dishes.

More Healthy Side Dish Recipes

garlic sauteed swiss chard

garlic sauteed swiss chard

Garlic Sautéed Swiss Chard

5 from 20 votes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 8 mins
Total Time: 18 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan
Swiss chard is sautéed with garlic and olive oil for an easy, healthy and delicious side dish.


  • 1 bunch of swiss chard, approx 10 stems
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup water
  • sea salt, to taste


  • Wash and clean the chard leaves. Depending on your preference, you can remove the stems at the bottom of the leaves or keep them and slice them up. Roll the leaves into a cigar-like shape and slice across horizontally into one-inch wide strips.
  • Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan on medium heat. Add the minced garlic and sauté for one minute.
  • Add the water and chard stems and cook for 1-2 minutes, until softened. Add the chard leaves and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes. The chard leaves will wilt down.
  • Before serving, sprinkle with sea salt.

Lisa's Tips


Calories: 56kcal, Carbohydrates: 5.2g, Protein: 2.3g, Fat: 3.6g, Saturated Fat: 0.5g, Sodium: 256.1mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 1.3g
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: how to cook Swiss chard, Swiss chard, Swiss chard recipe
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This recipe was originally posted June 2015, but updated to include new information.

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57 comments on “Garlic Sautéed Swiss Chard”

  1. I use a bit of chicken stock in place of water and chop stems and put them in a couple min. Before the leaves yum yum a couple days and we will have a feed fresh from our garden5 stars

  2. What is the garlic mincer tool you have recommended in the past?

  3. I usually sauté my Swiss chard with garlic and onion. I also add cubed cooked potatoes towards the end mashing a few of the potatoes up. This is delicious recipe5 stars

  4. Let’s just say I’m not a fan of Swiss chard – but this recipe changed my mind! :)5 stars

  5. Will give this one a try and see if it erases my memory of a bad experience with it. All its vibrant rainbowy-ness was difficult to pass up at a market, yet when I sauted it, it was a limp and with a slimy texture. Swiss chard was not at all like kale as I thought it would be. I picked up a bunch of Swiss chard for my bunny love, Leo, to nibble on from the farmer’s market. Crucifereous isn’t awesome for me digestively, but I’ll grab a few leaves of it, too, to try this week with your recipe. Thanks!

  6. I made this recipe but tossed in some onion and absolutely loved it! Glad to finally find a recipe that makes those stems easier to eat.5 stars

  7. Absolutely love Swiss chard, I love this way of cooking them. My mum, who is actually Swiss also used to braise the stems lightly and we’d have them in a white/cheese sauce when we were children.

  8. I grew up eating swiss chard. My father grew it every year in the garden! We even ate it sauteed on a sandwich with some cheese… it’s one of my favorite veggies in My garden now! Thanks for sharing this easy recipe.5 stars

  9. I use this recipe for swiss chard and whenever we have beet greens. It’s simple and delicious and such a great way to eat the entire vegetable! One of our favorite sides to a meal or as an appetizer! Thank you!5 stars

  10. An excellent way to enjoy swiss chard, and plenty other greens too. It’s so simple and the perfect side dish for a lot of meals.5 stars

  11. I loved it! Such an easy and healthy side dish.5 stars

  12. I just love Swiss Chard. My husband went to the store to stock up on fruits and vegetables, and there wasn’t much left, but there was Swiss Chard! This was a delicious fresh dish to make.5 stars

  13. vary good recipe!5 stars

  14. Can sauteed chard be eaten with raw spinach?

  15. I had never bought nor eaten Swiss chard before. But when I bought some through a local CSA I just knew that Lisa would have a recipe for it. And she did not disappoint! So easy and so delicious!5 stars

  16. Thank you so much for this! I picked up some rainbow chard from the store because it looked good but i had never eaten it before and no idea what to do with it. This recipe was so easy and super delicious!5 stars

    • Hi Natalia – It’s always a good feeling to step out of your comfort zone and try a new ingredient :) Glad you ended up liking it!

  17. It was sooo good, I’ll definitely be serving this often. It was so easy to make.5 stars

  18. So good I’m making it again! Definitely a new staple. Thank you.5 stars

  19. Can this dish be meal prepped? How many days can you keep it for?

  20. That was delicious! I just made it. My Kids and I both loved it. Thanks for the recipe!

  21. Great receipt. Just remember that  Himalayan pink salt isn’t Sea Salt so choose which salt you like the best. Not a huge difference in taste. 5 stars

  22. This is wonderful and simple. A frequent flyer in my kitchen. I don’t even add water—the water retained from washing is enough for me. Tonight I added the juice of one lemon towards the end. Delightful!  5 stars

  23. Looks Really Good Making this Tonight Can’t wait!5 stars

  24. I’ve actually never had or made Swiss chard but it sounds delicious sauteed like this!5 stars

  25. So simple and flavor-packed! This reminds me of beans and greens a bit, which I totally have a hankering for now. This would be awesome as a side, or on a crostini.

  26. Swiss Chard is one of those vegetables I just never think of making but need to! Thanks for the inspiration!5 stars

  27. Love this recipe. Simple and full of flavor!

  28. Pingback: 27 Exciting Ways to Cook Swiss Chard - Your Herbal Health Shop

  29. Pingback: 27 Exciting Ways to Cook Swiss Chard | Paleo Grubs

  30. “Swiss Chard” was no where to be found in the produce section. Of the other four types, I chose “Rainbow Chard” because, hey, who doesn’t like rainbows? I did break off the hefty, bottom stems, although next time I’ll remove them, peel the outer layer like one would a celery stalk (makes it less dental floss-y), cut them in 2″ pieces, & keep them in the pan. I LOADED the oil with garlic & let it infuse over low heat. I tossed out the garlic, added the chard until wilted, plated it, dusted it w/ sea salt, & served it beside your baked halibut recipe (I was out of halibut, so I subbed it w/ ling cod, another white, flaky, delish fish). This is a KEEPER. Thank you!