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Garlic Sautéed Swiss Chard

Garlic sautéed swiss chard is one of my favorite side dishes with fresh swiss chard from the farmer’s market. It’s a simple swiss chard recipe that’s savory, nutrient-dense and tasty.

garlic sauteed swiss chard

Swiss chard, in all it’s 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.

For more delicious side dish recipes, make sure to check out my Mashed Cauliflower with Garlic and Herbs, Celery Root Puree with Balsamic Roasted Beets and Green Beans with Shallots and Lemon.


garlic sauteed swiss chard

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Garlic Sautéed Swiss Chard

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


  1. 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.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan on medium heat. Add the minced garlic and sauté for one minute.
  3. 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.
  4. Before serving, sprinkle with sea salt.

Lisa's Tips

My favorite sauté pans are my All Clad pans, which I’ve talked about on my Minimalist Kitchen video.

Always opt for a high quality sea salt, like this Himalayan salt.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 4 servings, Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 56
  • Total Fat: 3.6g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.5g
  • Sodium: 256.1mg
  • Carbohydrates: 5.2g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 1.3g
  • Protein: 2.3g
All images and text ©Lisa Bryan for Downshiftology

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

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19 comments on “Garlic Sautéed Swiss Chard”

  1. 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. 

    Rating: 5
  2. 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!  

    Rating: 5
  3. Looks Really Good Making this Tonight Can’t wait!

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

    Rating: 5
  5. 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.

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

    Rating: 5
  7. Love this recipe. Simple and full of flavor!

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

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

  10. “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!