Sautéed Swiss Chard Ribs with Cream and Pasta

Swiss chard ribs, sautee in butter and cream, served with pasta.

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

The Swiss chard I planted last spring survived the winter to vigorously return this year. Last week we made a yogurt dip with the leaves of some swiss chard I picked. The ribs from that bunch went into this dish, which was so good we ate it up before I could get a photo. The basic recipe for the chard comes from The Victory Garden Cookbook. Just straight with the cream and butter, the chard is too rich, but mixed in with pasta (we used rice penne pasta) it is superb.

Sautéed Swiss Chard Ribs with Cream and Pasta Recipe



  • 1 lb swiss chard, yielding 2 cups of chopped ribs
  • 1/4 cup (half a stick) butter
  • 3/4 to 1 cup heavy cream
  • Enough dry pasta to make about one quart of cooked pasta (use rice pasta if gluten-free is required)
  • Salt and pepper


1 Separate the ribs from the greens. Cut the ribs into 1/2-inch to 1-inch pieces. Blanch the ribs in lightly salted boiling water for 3 minutes.

swiss-chard-stalks-1.jpg swiss-chard-stalks-2.jpg

2 Melt butter in a saucepan on medium heat. Add the drained, blanched ribs and simmer for 4 minutes. Add heavy cream and cook until cream reduces by two-thirds.

3 While the cream is reducing, cook up your pasta according to the pasta's package directions.

4 Mix creamed chard with pasta. Season lightly with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Serves four.

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Showing 4 of 16 Comments

  • Amy

    Oh yum! For such a simple recipe this was surprisingly delicious! Even my picky eaters ate it!

  • Daphne

    I sauteed a bit of red pepper in the butter before adding the chard ribs. It added nice color.

  • Kyleen

    Could I substitute chopped red cabbage for the swiss chard?

  • Elise

    Kalyn – excellent! We’ll look forward to hearing about great chard recipes from you later this summer?

    Hi Jeff – Indeed it is pretty colorful, though by the time the cream cooks down, much of the vividness of the color has dimmed.

    Hi Kyleen – uh, no. At least I wouldn’t. Doesn’t sound particularly appetizing. But then again, what do I know? If you do try it, let us know how it went.

  • Kyleen

    Well I didn’t substitute the red cabbage. Just followed the recipe instructions like a good girl. :o) I did put a little garlic-infused olive oil on the pasta after it cooked to keep it from sticking (I made more than I needed to use in other things). It’s good, but not very flavorful. I think next time I’ll add a few crimini mushrooms.

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Sautéed Swiss Chard Ribs with Cream and Pasta