Sauteed Swiss Chard and Beans Recipe - These Old Cookbooks (2024)

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Sauteed Swiss Chard and White Beans, an Italian-inspired side dish, comes together quickly with only 4 ingredients – Swiss chard, olive oil, garlic and white beans. Serve it hot with a bit of extra olive oil drizzled on top and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.

After admiring the gorgeous Swiss Chard (also called rainbow chard) at our local farmers market, I finally bit the bullet and brought some home. I knew I wanted to try a healthy Swiss chard recipe, so I went to my collection of old cookbooks.

This Sauteed Swiss Chard with Garlic and Olive Oil recipe came from one of my favorite cookbooks called Vegetables on the Side. Serve this perfect side dish with any grilled meat such as Grilled Pork Shoulder Steak and the Easiest Grilled Chicken Ever.

Try our Steamed Swiss Chard recipe for a simpler side dish.

Table of Contents

Notes About This Recipe:

  • Fresh garlic is always best, but use jarred minced garlic if that’s all you have. I’ve found that jars or roasted garlic are a great substitution for the real thing, and one teaspoon of the jarred garlic equals one clove of fresh garlic.
  • Do not burn your garlic. You only need to cook it for about 30 seconds. If you leave it there longer, it will burn and give an off-flavor.
  • Sauteed Swiss chard recipe calls for white beans. Use whatever cans of white beans you have on hand, but Cannellini, Great Northern Beans or White Kidney beans all work just fine.
  • I would not recommend using a coarse salt to season this recipe because it will give the dish a gritty texture.
  • Sauteed Swiss Chard with White Beans recipe is served best hot, and drizzle with additional olive oil and grated Parmesan cheese to jazz up the recipe.

How to Prepare Italian Swiss Chard and Beans Recipe:

Full Recipe for Sauteed Swiss Chard and Beans can be found below.

Wash chard carefully to remove dirt and sand. Separate the stems from the leaves. Cut the stems into 1 inch pieces and parboil JUST the stems in acidulated water for 3 to 5 minutes or until partially tender. Drain.

Cut the chard leaves into 1 inch strips. Cook JUST the leaves in a skillet over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes in the water that clings to the leaves. Once leaves are wilted, remove from pan and set aside.

Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add the chard stems to the oil and saute until completely tender. Add garlic and cannellini beans and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Stir in wilted rainbow chard leaves and season well with salt and black pepper.

Sauteed Swiss Chard and Beans Recipe - These Old Cookbooks (3)

Notes About Swiss Chard:

Have questions after seeing Swiss Chard (also known as Rainbow Chard) at the grocery store or farmers market? Let’s try and answer some of them!

Is Swiss Chard healthy?

Yes, Swiss chard contains high levels of iron, calcium, Vitamin A,, Vitamin K and Vitamin C.

What are the benefits of Swiss chard?

Swiss chard is a dark, leafy vegetable that is high in antioxidants and vitamins. Adding Swiss chard to your regular diet can help prevent certain chronic illnesses. Swiss chard is also low in calories meaning it is a great weight-loss friendly food option.

Can Swiss Chard be eaten raw?

People usually eat the leaves of the Swiss chard raw more often than the stems. Use the Swiss chard leaves in salads and massage gently with the dressing in a similar way as you would with kale to tenderize the leaves.

What does Swiss chard taste like?

Swiss chard tends to have a slightly bitter taste and the leaves have a delicate texture similar to spinach.

How do you prepare Swiss Chard?

Prepare Swiss chard leaves and stems in two different ways. Typically, you strip the leaves from the stems. Fold the leaf in half. Grasp the bottom of the stem and pull up. This should separate the two parts. If it’s a bigger, tougher chard, fold in half on a cutting board and take a knife along the stem.

Traditionally you prepare Swiss chard leaves the same as spinach and are a good substitution for recipes that call for spinach. Wash the leaves well to remove any excess dirt or sand, because you don’t want a gritty texture to your dish. Cook the chard in the water that clings to the leaves after washing. Do this in a skillet over medium heat until the leaves wilt, usually just 2 to 3 minutes.

Swiss chard stems can quickly turn brown. To prevent this, cut the stem in 1 inch pieces, and boil in acidulated water.

What is acidulated water?

Acidulated water is water that has lemon juice added to it, and typically, 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice added to 1 quart of water will do the trick.

Sauteed Swiss Chard and Beans Recipe - These Old Cookbooks (5)

Our Favorite Green Vegetable Recipes

I love this healthy Swiss chard recipe. Do you love green vegetables? Try our Tangy Wilted Bacon and Kale, Low Carb Sesame Broccoli, Crock Pot Green Beans, Simple Kale Mango Salad, and Instant Pot Braised Kale and Tomatoes. Check out Beyer Beware’s Brussels Sprouts with Onion and Bacon (made in the Ninja Foodi).

Sauteed Swiss Chard and Beans Recipe - These Old Cookbooks (7)

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4.50 from 2 votes

Sauteed Swiss Chard and Beans

Sauteed Swiss Chard and White Beans, an Italian-inspired side dish, comes together quickly with only 4 ingredients---Swiss chard, olive oil, garlic and cannellini beans.

Prep Time5 minutes mins

Cook Time15 minutes mins

Total Time20 minutes mins

Course: Appetizer

Cuisine: American, Italian

Keyword: Italian Swiss Chard, Sauteed Swiss Chard, Swiss Chard and Beans

Servings: 6 people

Calories: 176kcal

Author: Barbara


  • 2 pounds Swiss chard
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 15.5 ounces Cannellini or Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • Salt and black pepper


  • Wash Swiss chard to remove dirt and sand

  • Remove stems from the leaves.

  • Cut stems into 1 inch pieces and parboil JUST the stems in acidulated water (1 quart water with 2 Tablespoons lemon juice added) for 3 to 5 minutes; drain.

  • Cut the chard leaves into 1 inch strips. Cook JUST the leaves in a skillet over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes in the water that clings to the leaves. Once leaves are wilted, remove from pan and set aside.

  • In a large skillet over medium heat; add olive oil. Saute parboiled stems until tender, approximately 5 minutes.

  • Add drained and rinsed cannellini beans and garlic; stirring constantly for 30 seconds (be careful not to burn garlic).

  • Add wilted Swiss chard leaves to the mixture. Season with salt and pepper.

  • Serve hot. An additional drizzle of olive oil and grated Parmesan cheese are optional toppings.


Calories: 176kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 326mg | Potassium: 906mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 9247IU | Vitamin C: 46mg | Calcium: 132mg | Iron: 5mg

Sauteed Swiss Chard and Beans Recipe - These Old Cookbooks (2024)


How do you cook Swiss chard with Martha Stewart? ›

  1. In a large pot, bring water to a boil over medium-high. Gradually add chard and cook until it is just wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a colander to drain, pressing out as much liquid as possible.
  2. In pot, melt butter. Whisking constantly, add flour and cook 1 minute. Whisking constantly, slowly add milk.
Apr 27, 2021

Do you eat the bottom of Swiss chard? ›

Chard stems take a little longer to cook than the leaves, but the whole plant is edible and delicious. It's a little bit sweet in the stems (which have a slight celery-like flavor) and pleasantly bitter in the leaves. Some people prefer to remove the stems from the leaves and cook them separately.

What are 3 ways you can eat Swiss chard? ›

5 things to do with Swiss chard
  • Add chopped fresh Swiss chard to other salad greens.
  • Toss in a handful of chopped Swiss chard to your next stir fry, soup or omelet like in this Swiss chard and navy bean soup or this colourful Eat Your Greens Frittata.
  • Sauté Swiss chard in a little olive oil and garlic.
May 6, 2022

Is it better to eat chard raw or cooked? ›

You can eat these greens both raw or cooked. However, cooking chards improves not only the nutrient availability, but also the taste. Swiss chard is susceptible to foodborne pathogens, like other leafy greens, so be careful about washing this veggie thoroughly before preparing it.

How do you get the bitterness out of chard? ›

Blanch Them

Blanching your greens is key to getting that bitterness level down. Because glucosinolates are water-soluble compounds, a lot of them are leached out into the water, allowing for a less bitter green.

What is the healthiest way to eat Swiss chard? ›

Boil Swiss chard for a healthier side dish.

Bring a pot of water to boil on the stove, and add several generous pinches of salt. Add the chopped stems from 3-4 leaves, and cook for 2-4 minutes until they're mostly tender. Place the leaves in the pot, and cover for 1-2 minutes. The leaves should be wilted.

Who should not eat Swiss chard? ›

This should be avoided by people prone to kidney stones. It contains oxalates that can decrease the body's absorption of calcium leading to kidney stones.

What is chewing holes in my Swiss chard? ›

Chewing Damage

If you see holes or ragged chunks of leaves disappearing and the damage has been occurring slowly, with a little feeding each night, beetles, caterpillars, earwigs or slugs may be the culprits. To distinguish among these four look for signs, or evidence, left behind.

What is eating holes in my Swiss chard? ›

Caterpillars like cabbage worms and cabbage loopers are usually the first thing I suspect when I start seeing holes in the leaves of my Swiss chard plants. Then, there's slugs and snails, which have been known to eat from chard, as well.

When should you not eat Swiss chard? ›

Kidney stone:

Swiss chard contains oxalates that may increase urinary oxalate excretion and predispose some individuals to calcium oxalate stones. As a result, anyone with kidney stones should avoid Swiss chard because oxalates may increase symptoms in certain people.

Is Swiss chard good or bad for you? ›

Health benefits of Swiss chard. Swiss chard is a highly nutritious vegetable. It is a rich source of vitamin K and may help people maintain healthy blood sugar levels and support heart health. It is also commonly known as silverbeet, spinach beet, perpetual spinach, crab beet, and mangold.

Is spinach healthier than Swiss chard? ›

Spinach generally has a far shorter picking season than chard. Spinach have significantly more Vitamins A than chard. Spinach is an excellent source of Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium, Iron. Spinach is a great source of Thiamin, Niacin, Zinc, Phosphorus.

What are the cons of Swiss chard? ›

Contains oxalates.

Like other leafy greens, Swiss chard is high in oxalates, which play a role in the formation of calcium oxalate kidney stones — but you can still enjoy nutrient-dense foods high in oxalates. To help prevent kidney stones, try to stay hydrated, limit sodium intake, and get enough calcium ( 32 , 33 ).

Is chard a laxative? ›

Dark leafy greens like kale, collards, Swiss chard, and spinach contain magnesium, a mineral that helps soften stools, making them easier to pass.

What is the healthiest vegetable in the world? ›

The CDC assigns nutrition density scores to produce based on their concentration of essential vitamins and minerals. Usual suspects like spinach, chard, and beet greens all have scores ranging in the 80s. But the only vegetable to earn a perfect score of 100 is watercress.

Is Swiss chard supposed to be cooked? ›

Not quite as intense as kale, chard can be on the bitter side when eaten raw, but it becomes a pleasant, tender green when cooked. Because of its mild, slightly bitter taste, it pairs well with an acid (like lemon) and a bit of salt (like pecorino or parmesan) to balance it out.

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