Garlic Sautéed Swiss Chard


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Swiss chard is one of my favorite sautéed greens. It’s quick, easy, and tastes delicious with fresh garlic. So next time you see those vibrant red stems at the market, grab a bunch and whip up this recipe!

A plate of sauteed Swiss chard.
Photo by: Gayle McLeod

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. If you’ve made my sauteed spinach or bok choy recipes, you know I’m partial to a quick sauté!

But, What Is Swiss Chard?

With a name like that it makes you think it’s grown in Switzerland! But the reason for the “Swiss” moniker is because the plant was identified by a Swiss botanist. But what’s notable on Swiss chard 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, though I most often find the red stem variety in my market.

And if you were wondering, yes, Swiss chard is a member of the beet family. Those vibrant colored stems and veins are a giveaway! That means it’s loaded with the phytonutrient betalains, which is found in reddish-purple pigmented vegetables.

Ingredients for sauteed Swiss chard.

Sautéed Swiss Chard Ingredients

All that’s needed is a beautiful bundle of Swiss chard leaves, freshly minced garlic, olive oil, a splash of water, and sea salt. But here are a few things to note: 

  • It’s also called silverbeet or rainbow chard. If you don’t see “Swiss chard” at the market, look for these other names instead.
  • Don’t toss the stems! They will be a bit more bitter than the leaves, and they do take longer to cook, but they’re definitely worth cooking rather than tossing. Just think of all the vitamins loaded in those colorful stalks.

Is Swiss chard bitter? 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.

How To Make Sautéed Swiss Chard

Wash and prep the leaves. Start by washing the leaves individually, as they can harbor a little soil and dirt. Then, remove the stems at the bottom of the leaves and slice them up. Roll the leaves into a cigar-like shape and slice across horizontally into one-inch wide strips.

Chopping Swiss chard on a wooden board.

Cook the garlic and stems. Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan and cook the minced garlic for a minute. Add the stems and a bit of water, and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes before adding the remaining leaves. 

Sauteing Swiss chard in a pan.

Add the Swiss chard leaves. Cook and stir for 4 to 5 minutes or until all the leaves have wilted down. Then, sprinkle a little sea salt on top for a savory touch before serving. If you’re storing away for later, this will keep in the fridge for 3 to 4 days in an airtight container. 

Cooking Swiss chard in a pan.

Serving Suggestions

  • Add this to your eggy breakfasts. I love to toss this into scrambled eggs with other leftover ingredients. But it’s also great in egg muffins or omelets.
  • Plate it with any entree. You can serve this alongside any main, such as baked chicken breasts, baked salmon or baked halibut. If you’re vegetarian, make this a part of a cilantro lime rice bowl with other roasted vegetables and a drizzle of sauce. 
Sauteed Swiss chard.

More Sautéed Vegetables

I hope you enjoy this sautéed Swiss chard as much as I do! If you make it, I’d love to hear how it turned out in the comment box below. Your review will help other readers in the community.

Sauteed Swiss chard on a white plate.

Garlic Sautéed Swiss Chard

5 from 28 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 8 minutes
Total: 18 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan


Swiss chard makes for the best-sautéed vegetable side dish. It's quick, easy, and tastes delicious with fresh garlic!


  • 1 bunch of swiss chard, approximately 6 to 8 stems
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup water
  • kosher salt, to taste


  • Prep the Swiss chard. Remove the stems at the bottom of the leaves and slice them up. Roll the leaves into a cigar-like shape and slice across horizontally into one-inch wide strips.
    Chopped Swiss chard.
  • Cook the garlic and stems. Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan on medium heat. Add the minced garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Then, add the water and chard stems and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until softened.
    Cooking garlic and Swiss chard stems.
  • Add the leaves. Cook for an additional 4 to 5 minutes, until the chard leaves wilt down.
    A pan of cooked Swiss chard.
  • Serve. Before serving, sprinkle with kosher salt, to taste.
    Sauteed swiss chard on a plate with a fork.

Lisa’s Tips


Calories: 37kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 0.4g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 0.5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 27mg | Potassium: 55mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 0.2g | Vitamin A: 734IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 0.3mg
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: how to cook Swiss chard, Swiss chard, Swiss chard recipe
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

This recipe was originally posted June 2015, but updated to include new information.

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Amazing and delicious. First time cooking Swiss chard, Added Everglade seasoning and smoked garlic as my seasoning. Enjoyed it with cauliflower rice and curried chicken.5 stars

  2. I’m from Germany, Munich. First time I’ve tried this receipt. It works very well and my wife is very happy! Now there is a big garlic smell in our house- but nevermind :-)

  3. Hi Lisa,
    I live in Australia; just so you know others around the world are using your site.
    I have had several autoimmune illnesses occur over the past 7 years. Slowly for some and very quickly for others.
    Navigating the health and food requirements has been an absolute nightmare when unwell and not able to think clearly or process information. I have found your website to be informative, practical, easy to navigate for recipes and most helpful with tips with the Vitamix.
    Once, when unwell, I actually blended the Vitamix little scraper tool and could not work out why the food was not processing. Great demonstration as to the strength of the motor and the blades! The tamper works brilliantly when employed as designed.
    I also appreciate your openness that your health has been and continues to be a journey and not a destination.
    Kind regards,

  4. I wasn’t a fan of chard, but now I understand that I didn’t know how to make it delicious. This recipe did exactly that – the chard is a little bit salty, garlicky, oily (in a good way), still a little bit crunchy. I was eating out of the pan (not embarrassed) 😁
    Thank you for this awesome recipe!!! I will definitely make it again! ☺️5 stars

  5. This recipe was so delicious that my kids even ate it ( once I used the word strawberry Swiss chard) they loved it. Will most definitely make it a part of our vegetable meal regularly. Thank you for a healthy most delicious side dish.

  6. That sounds delicious.
    Me and my wife are always looking for something new and will try it out this weekend

  7. Just tried your recipe and it was very good.  I added a hot Indian pepper for some zip and it worked great. 

    Simple and easy side dish. 

    Thanks 5 stars

  8. Our garden is overflowing with swiss chard, as it is every year. It’s so easy to grow. We eat it A LOT, prepared just this way. It’s also great mixed in with lentil soup (as my Nona made it), and in frittatas. We’ve even mixed it into risottos…

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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!

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

    1. 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!

  20. 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

  21. 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

    1. Wonderful! Glad you enjoy the recipe Rick. And love the addition of lemon at the end! :)

    1. You’ll definitely have to give it a try Emily! I love it as much as spinach, especially the rainbow swiss chard. :)

  22. 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.

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

    1. You’re welcome! And I love to alternate it with spinach and kale to keep things interesting. ;)

  24. “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!

    1. There are several variety of chard…but any will do. They’re all yum! Glad this recipe was a keeper! :) x

      1. After dinner, I could tell how chock-full of minerals the chard is / was because of how rough the backs of my teeth were. That’s always a good sign! Again, thanks for all you do for us. :) xo