Garlicky Sautéed Swiss Chard

published Jul 15, 2022
Sautéed Swiss Chard Recipe

Any variety of swiss chard is wonderful is this simple side dish preparation.


Prep8 minutes

Cook9 minutes to 11 minutes

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Swiss chard in serving bowl
Credit: Photo: Kelly Marshall | Food Stylist: Greg Lofts

A simple bowl of sautéed Swiss chard is a side dish that pairs with just about every dinner, be it roast chicken, pasta, or even takeout pizza. Unlike other leafy greens like kale and mustard greens, Swiss chard isn’t naturally bitter. Instead, it’s mild and sweet, making it a delicious option for those who are sensitive to the bitterness of other greens.

Because the stems are tender enough to also be cooked, Swiss chard is wonderfully no-waste. The stems and veins come in a rainbow of colors — red, yellow, pink, and white — which make for cheerful results if you combine them (although selecting just one hue is 100% okay, too).

How to Cut and Cook Swiss Chard

While the stems of Swiss chard are tender enough to be cooked and eaten alongside the leaves, they do require a few more minutes of cooking time. That’s why you’ll chop the stems separately and give them a head-start in the skillet, sautéing them in olive oil before adding garlic, red pepper flakes, and, finally, the chard leaves. The leaves are cooked until just wilted, then the skillet is covered to allow the leaves to steam for a few minutes. A final squeeze of lemon juice lends a touch of brightness to the easy side.

What to Serve with Sautéed Swiss Chard

Credit: Photo: Kelly Marshall | Food Stylist: Greg Lofts

Sautéed Swiss Chard Recipe

Any variety of swiss chard is wonderful is this simple side dish preparation.

Prep time 8 minutes

Cook time 9 minutes to 11 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info


  • 2

    large bunches Swiss chard (1 to 1 1/2 pounds total)

  • 3 cloves


  • 1/2

    small lemon

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    red pepper flakes (optional)

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt, plus more as needed


  1. Tear the stems from the leaves of 2 large bunches Swiss chard. Trim the bottom dried-out ends, then slice the stems crosswise on a slight diagonal into 1/2-inch pieces. Stack the leaves and coarsely chop them. Keep the stems and leaves separate. Thinly slice 3 garlic cloves. Juice 1/2 small lemon until you have 1 tablespoon.

  2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large, wide, high-sided sauté pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the chard stems and cook, stirring, until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, if desired, and sauté until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds (do not let the garlic brown).

  3. Add the chard leaves a few handfuls at a time, stirring after each addition so that it starts to wilt, about 2 minutes. Add 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and toss to combine. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chard is just tender, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the lemon juice and stir to combine. Taste and season with more kosher salt as needed.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.