Sautéed Chard and Onions with Caraway

Feel free to use spinach or kale instead of chard.  Spinach will cook very quickly.  Kale may take longer to wilt.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6.


  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large onions, sliced 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch wide slices, root to stem
  • Salt
  • 1 pound chard, center ribs removed, leaves roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons sherry or red wine vinegar


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1 Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over high heat until the oil is almost smoking. Add the onions and toss to coat with oil. Sauté for 10-12 minutes stirring often, until the onions are soft and browned on the edges. Sprinkle with salt while the onions are cooking.

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2 Add the chard to the onions and mix well with tongs. Once the chard wilts, 2 to 4 minutes, add the honey, caraway seeds, celery seeds, and black pepper. Toss well to combine and cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring often. Add the vinegar right before serving.

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  • bonnie

    Made this with collard greens last night to go with roasted potatoes and keilbasa. It was delicious, and my husband loved it.

  • Alan Brown

    I have recently used caraway seeds in my pie crust that gives it a different flavour.

    • Elise

      Wow, now that’s an idea. Thanks!

  • DK

    Caraway is common in Indian cuisine and i always have it in my pantry. But I only carry White, Apple cider and rice vinegars. Wud any of these work here?

    • Elise

      Sure, apple cider vinegar would work fine.

  • Terry

    I have a recipe for coleslaw made with yogurt and caraway seeds – the best slaw I’ve ever had.

  • Peter

    It’s a hit! Very nice side, thanks.

  • Silverthyme

    Definitely in cole slaw! and in rye bread – for those who don’t like seeds in their bread – grind a tsp or 2 and add to dough.

  • Lindsey

    Made it tonight, did a combo of kale and spinach and it was delicious! Purple kale and spinach made a beautiful color combo.

  • Hanna

    I like to use caraway seeds. They’re nice in stews and soups. Hungarian goulash certainly benefits from an addition of about 1/2 tsp.

  • TexasDeb

    Question: I don’t currently have caraway seeds in stock but do have some fennel seed harvested from our garden. What is the consensus here – would fennel seed make an acceptable substitute in this recipe? If so, should I use the same amount or adjust it at all?

    • Elise

      It could work, though it’s a completely different flavor than caraway. Fennel has a slightly licorice flavor and is the distinguishing flavor in Italian sausage. It sort of depends on your taste and what you like.

  • Ellen Fisch

    I use caraway seeds in cole slaw. My recipe ingredients include green cabbage, Granny Smith apple, carrot, sweet onion (optional), mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard powder, sugar, pepper, celery salt, caraway seeds. I made up the recipe from the flavors I love because I cannot imagine not having cole slaw at certain meals (barbeques and picnics)and most “store bought” slaws are “flat” tasting. Takes minutes to make and is a real crowd pleaser or a delightful side for two. I also bake cookies with caraway. Thanks for the great recipes!

  • Martha

    Ooo…love this caraway and swiss chard! Caraway seeds are a must-have in Kapusta, a Polish Cabbage Soup recipe that my Babci (Polish for grandmother) used to make. The caraway totally makes the dish!

  • Linda

    I love caraway seeds – my husband makes wonderful homemade sauerkraut with just a light sprinkle of caraway seeds. But I’ll never have caraway seeds without thinking of my Hungarian Grandmother – who recommended boiled caraway seeds, cooled and drained, and fed to me as a baby with colic some 50 years ago. My young mother wasn’t interested in the old country recipes – and took me to the local baby doc – who prescribed a very expensive medicine – that smelled, yes, just like boiled caraway seeds!
    This lovely chard is on the menu tomorrow with salmon in parchment paper. Thanks for all of the wonderful recipes!

  • R DiBella

    I use caraway on slow cooked pork with sauerkraut, brussel sprouts, cabbage, asparagus, beets, carrots, spinach, some types of cookies and cakes and in some breads such as Irish Soda Bread, as well as on bbq’d pork chops.

  • Candy

    I like to use caraway seeds in beer bread- as good as soda bread and a lot easier.

  • Pete

    My German grandma always put caraway on pork roasts and in sauer kraut as do I. Love it!

  • Chris S.

    Oh, perfect! We just got both chard and kale from an intrepid CSA that decided to offer bonus weeks in January! The recipe looks delightful. We’ll enjoy cooking it over the holiday weekend. Thanks so much, Elise!!

    Incidentally, for people trying to get to know Swiss chard for the first time, there’s an amazing Swiss chard gratin recipe on Epicurious (just search on for “swiss chard gratin” if I messed up the HTML and the link doesn’t come out right). When asked to bring a dish for Thanksgiving a few years ago, we brought this with some trepidation. Neither the hosts nor our fellow guests had ever encountered kale. To our surprise, everyone raved about it. They’ve insisted on our bringing it every year thereafter, and our hosts have actually gone on to buy kale on their own and experiment with it. So that gratin recipe might make a great introduction to this lovely vegetable for anyone not too sure about it! :)

    P.S. The stems do definitely need to be cut out when cooking the leaves. But those stems also delicious if you chop them and saute them on their own for at least 5 (sometimes 10-15) minutes before adding the chopped leaves. The two together work well and make a very nice dish. The chopped stems are especially good if you have other small chopped things like celery in the recipe — might not be so good with Elise’s lovely caraway recipe here, as everything else besides flavorings is either long (the onion pieces) or delicate (the chopped leaves).

    • Elise

      Hi Chris,
      That gratin looks great, thanks for sharing the link. I usually do cook the stems, love them, though in this dish they wouldn’t really work well for the reasons you mentioned.

  • Bonnie

    I can’t make Oven-baked Country Style Pork Ribs with potatoes, onions and carrots topped with sauerkraut without using a good amount of caraway seeds. It is so-o-o good!

  • ksi

    One of my favourite side dishes is leftover boiled potatoes, sprinkled with caraway, rosemary and maybe some salt, splash a spoonful or so of good olive oil on top and roast till brown. Goes really well with any kind of roast meat or vegetables.
    Also can’t imagine roast or pan-fried chicken without some caraway seeds in the spice mix.

    • Elise

      Love it, what a great idea, thank you!