Smoky Garlic Swiss Chard

The only time I buy Swiss chard at the store is when the kale and collard section is looking pretty lousy. Other than that, I only eat Swiss chard when it’s in season in my parents’ garden and I happen to swing by around that time for a visit. Even then, it’s not my first pick of the crops, but I’ll accept the variation it gives to my diet.

I’m not sure why I have a slight aversion to chard. Maybe it’s the one too many times I was forced to eat it at a friend’s house growing up. I get that feeding a vegetarian child can be challenging, but I wouldn’t say Swiss chard stewed in orange juice is the solution. I’ve heard it’s a classic pairing, but I’ll take my OJ in a glass, not spread on my plate of chard. The thought still makes me cringe and steers me away from the leafy green veggie almost every time I’m at the store.

However, recently I decided to give it another go. On my latest grocery trip, just one bunch of kale sat alone on the produce section shelves, growing yellower by the second. It seemed silly not to grab the far more beautiful bunch of red-stemmed Swiss chard just an arm’s distance away.

I ended up just making a simple saute, using smoked paprika and garlic to mask some of its earthy flavor. I’d deem this the perfect dish for those skeptical of chard. It’s more spicy and flavorful than anything, while playing off the tenderness of the leaves, the attribute I do love about this green. Serve as a healthy side or mix into pasta dishes or omelets.

Smoky Garlic Swiss Chard

Yield: Serves 2-4


  • -1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • -1 bunch Swiss chard, chopped
  • -3-4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • -3/4 - 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • -3/4 tsp. smoked paprika
  • -2 (1-inch) wedges of lime, squeezed
  • -Fresh ground sea salt, to taste


  1. In a large saute pan, heat oil over medium-high. Saute garlic, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes.
  2. Add Swiss chard, smoked paprika, red pepper flakes, and a few grinds of salt around the pan. Cook until chard is tender, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.
  3. Add squeeze of lime wedges. Stir. Remove from heat, and serve.

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  • Reply
    Big Hungry Gnomes
    March 14, 2012 at 7:10 am

    This looks delicious and I can’t wait to try it out. The chard and orange juice,however, sounds pretty discusting and your aversion to chard is completely understandable. I think the best ploy for getting veggies into children is getting them interested in the growing bit as well as the eating bit. For instance, I will always be a huge fan of Kale because I can remember helping my grandpa grow it in his back garden, even if my version of helping was probably no more than running about with a trowel in my hand.

  • Reply
    Nicole, RD
    March 14, 2012 at 8:39 am

    Only YOUR photography would make me want to dive into a bowl of chard and inhale it all. This looks delicious!

  • Reply
    Hannah (BitterSweet)
    March 14, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Your story here sounds very familiar… I almost never, ever buy swiss chard. Such a shame, since it has so much potential! I’ll have to pick some up and start with your recipe- It looks like a tasty way to introduce this leafy green back into my life. 🙂

  • Reply
    March 14, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Ooooooh a squeeze of lime? This sounds fancy and delicious! I like the flavor combos going on here–I cannot wait to go to the farmers market and buy some chard now 🙂

  • Reply
    Gardens and Garlic
    March 14, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    Ok, so I have never tried chard, but this makes me want to. I may have to give it a go. The pictures makes it look like it would be delicious.

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