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Sauteed Swiss Chard is healthy, easy side dish that comes together in just minutes and goes with almost anything from grilled chicken to fish to pasta. This recipe works just as well with rainbow chard.

We are always looking for ways to eat more veggies and introduce them to our kids in ways they will also love. Some of our other favorites are Easy Oven Roasted Cauliflower, Stir-Fried Baby Bok Choy, and Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Apples.

wilted swiss chard greens in a pan

Easy Rainbow or Swiss Chard

Whenever I go to the farmer’s market, I always find myself admiring the beautiful bunches of leafy rainbow or swiss chard and wondering what I should make with it. One of my favorite (and underrated) recipes on this site are these vegetarian swiss chard and pinto bean burritos. But it’s much more frequent that we make this simple sauteed swiss chard instead as a quick and easy side dish to go with whatever I’m planning to serve for dinner.

From what I hear from friends and neighbors, we all too often get in ruts by serving the same old vegetables prepared in the same old way. Adding variety is a great way to get more veggies in your life and it’s especially important for kids to expand their palates and get adventurous trying a veggie that they might like more than standard broccoli.

Rainbow chard is an especially fun one because of the beautiful, vibrant colors that can really appeal to our eyes as much as our stomachs. If you are new to using swiss chard, this is a great starting point. After making this, try adding it to soups and other dishes!

chopped and sauteed rainbow chard and onions in a pan

Recipe Ingredients

  • Swiss chard: Fresh swiss chard or rainbow chard has tough stems that you will want to cook longer than the leaves, which wilt quickly. Be sure to wash it well to get rid of any dirt or grit that sometimes clings to the stems.
  • Olive oil & butter: I like using a combination of the two for the best flavor.
  • Onion & garlic: Half of a chopped onion and a couple of garlic cloves add wonderful depth of flavor to the swiss chard without taking over.
  • Salt & pepper: Vegetables like swiss chard taste so much better when properly seasoned with a little salt and pepper to taste.
  • Balsamic vinegar: While you could leave this ingredient out, it adds so much depth and richness that is really wonderful.
a bunch of rainbow chard surrounded by other ingredients

How to Make Sauteed Swiss Chard

  1. Prep the vegetables: Thoroughly clean the swiss chard with cold water to remove any dirt or grit. Separate the leaves and stems. Chop the stems into small pieces using a sharp knife. Slice the leaves into roughly 1- to 2-inch pieces. Chop the onions and garlic.
  1. Saute: Heat the oil and butter in a large pan over medium-high heat until the butter has melted. Add the stems only (hold off on the leaves for now), onion, and garlic, then season with the salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions and swiss chard stems have softened and the onions start to brown.
  1. Finish: Add the swiss chard leaves and a little water, then cover and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes until the leaves have wilted. Remove the lid and cook for another 2-3 minutes until everything is tender. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and serve immediately.

What to serve with sauteed swiss chard

There are so many main dishes that will go well with this recipe. Here are just a few of our favorites:

a close image of sauteed rainbow chard with onions

Recipe Tips

  • Storage: Leftovers will keep well in the fridge for 2-3 days in an airtight container. They can also be added to soups for more bulk. I haven’t tried freezing this recipe but I imagine it would turn out okay.
  • Adding cream: A tasty twist is to stir in 2/3 cup of heavy cream during the last minute of cooking before serving. Sometimes I will also add pine nuts or pecans for a toasty crunch.
sauteed swiss chard in a nonstick pan

More Interesting Veggie Sides

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Sauteed Swiss Chard
Yield: 4 servings

Sauteed Swiss Chard

Sauteed Swiss Chard is healthy, easy side dish that comes together in just minutes and goes with almost anything from grilled chicken to fish to pasta.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch swiss chard or rainbow chard
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (optional)

Instructions

  1. Clean the swiss chard thoroughly by rinsing well with cold water to remove any dirt or grit. Separating the leaves from the stems and chop the stems into small pieces, while cutting the leaves into roughly 1- to 2-inch pieces.
  2. Heat the oil and butter in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the swiss chard stems, chopped onion, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions and swiss chard stems have softened and the onions start to slightly brown, about 6-7 minutes.
  3. Add the swiss chard leaves and the water, then cover and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes until the leaves have wilted. Remove the lid and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until everything is tender. Stir in the balsamic vinegar.

Notes

  • Variation: A delicious variation is to stir in 2/3 cup of heavy cream during the last minute of cooking before serving. You could also add pine nuts for some toasty crunch.
  • Storage: Leftovers will keep for 2-3 days in the fridge in an airtight container and can be reheated in the microwave.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 89Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 446mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 2g

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Farmer’s Market Week is always the first week in August. Whether you have a great local farm stand or market, are a member of a CSA or purchase your fruits and vegetables at the supermarket, follow our Pinterest board, for great recipes including those for appetizers, drinks, breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and more.

Here’s more Farmer’s Market Week Recipes

Starters and Sauce Recipes

Side Dishes Recipes

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Dessert Recipes