Easy Swiss Chard

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Easiest way to make Swiss chard! Cook in olive oil with garlic and crushed red pepper.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Looking for an easy way to get more greens in your diet? Try this simple sautéed Swiss chard recipe.

In the spectrum of greens, Swiss chard lies between spinach and kale—not as tender as spinach, not as tough as kale. But like spinach, you can easily sauté it in some olive oil in just a few minutes.

The stems can be tough. You can either remove them and discard (or boil and toss with butter), if some of the stems are tender, just sauté them first before adding the leaves, to give them more cooking time.

By the way, not only is chard packed with vitamins (vitamins K, A, and C), it also is anti-inflammatory and helps the body manage blood sugar. It’s in the same family as beets, spinach, and quinoa. Even more reasons to eat chard!

For this easy sauté we are cooking the chard in just a little olive oil with some thinly sliced garlic and red pepper flakes. We’re also including coriander seeds which taste fantastic with the chard. If you don’t have coriander, you can skip it, but if you do have it it will make this simple swiss chard dish truly special.

Recipe and photos updated, first published 2005.

Easy Swiss Chard Recipe

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2-4 (depending on the amount of chard)

The coriander seeds are optional because not everyone has them in their spice rack. But if you do, please use them! Coriander is wonderful with chard.


  • 1 large bunch of fresh Swiss chard
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • Pinch of dried crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of whole coriander seeds (optional)


1 Prep the chard stalks and leaves: Rinse out the Swiss chard leaves thoroughly. Either tear or cut away the thick stalks from the leaves.

Cut the stalk pieces into 1-inch pieces. Chop the leaves into inch-wide strips. Keep the stalks and leaves separate.

2 Sauté garlic and crushed red pepper flakes: Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan on medium high heat. Add garlic slices, crushed red pepper, and coriander seeds (if using), and cook for about 30 seconds, or until the garlic is fragrant.

3 Add Swiss chard stalks: Add the chopped Swiss chard stalks. Lower the heat to low, cover and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.

4 Add the chopped leaves: Add the chopped chard leaves, toss with the oil and garlic in the pan. Cover and cook for 3 to 4 more minutes. Turn the leaves and the stalks over in the pan.

If the chard still needs a bit more cooking (remove a piece and taste it), cover and cook a few more minutes.

Serve immediately.


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Showing 4 of 80 Comments / Reviews

  • Jim Seiler

    Good idea to par boil/ pre sautee stems. Like to add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste (thicken to taste), a little crushed red pepper, and raw sugar to taste – my mother-in-law always sweetens her sauce a bit, a little oregano, and any kind of grated hard cheese. Use a big pot with cover to cook chard down (sautee everything in the pot first – why wash another pan…)

  • Debra Hubner

    I had 4 carrots sitting in my crisper so I cut them in thick matchsticks and cooked them together with the stalks. It was colourful and an excellent side to my grilled burger.

  • CA

    This is a great recipe. I do a couple of things differently, though. First of all I have to tell you that I do a lot of cooking on my propane grill (I don’t have an exhaust fan in my kitchen) so there isn’t as much grease and smell in the house this way. I put a large cast iron skillet on the grill and heat up avocado oil. I add chopped onion and sauté them first then follow the recipe as directed. Delicious! By the way, I don’t mind the chopped up stalks so just cook them at the same time. Personally I like the softness of the leave and crunch of the stalks. Thanks

  • Pamela Green

    I like to steam or simmer the chard (leaves only) until tender, drain, then make a roux with butter and flour, and add the chard back in after the roux colors up a little. It cuts the bitterness a bit.

  • Keith Prickett

    I use this same method, but I typically sneak a splash of soy sauce in right before I cover it. Yum!

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