Delicious Italian Swiss Chard Recipe for a Healthy Meal

Buongiorno! As an Italian chef, I am excited to share with you one of my favorite recipes – Italian Style Swiss Chard. Swiss Chard is a beloved vegetable in Italian cuisine and is commonly used in many traditional dishes. This recipe is a perfect example of how we Italians take simple ingredients and turn them into something delicious and satisfying.

Swiss Chard is a leafy green vegetable that is packed with nutrients, including vitamins A, C, and K, as well as fiber and minerals. It has a slightly bitter taste that pairs well with the other ingredients in this recipe, such as garlic, capers, and extra virgin olive oil.

In this article, I will guide you through the steps to make this authentic Italian style Swiss Chard recipe. It is a versatile dish that can be served as a side or a main course, and it is perfect for vegetarians and vegans. With this recipe, you will be able to taste a little bit of Italy in your own kitchen.

So, grab your apron and let’s get started!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Italian Style Swiss Chard
Italian Style Swiss Chard

This Italian style Swiss chard recipe is the perfect dish for anyone looking to add some authentic Italian flavors to their meal. Not only is it healthy and packed with nutrients, but it’s also incredibly delicious and easy to make.

If you’re a fan of sautéed greens, you’ll love this recipe because it takes Swiss chard to the next level. The combination of garlic, capers, and crushed red pepper flakes adds a depth of flavor that’s hard to resist. It’s the perfect side dish to accompany any meal, and it’s versatile enough to be paired with a variety of proteins.

One of the best things about this recipe is that it’s incredibly easy to make. All you need is one bunch of Swiss chard, some garlic, extra virgin olive oil, and a few other simple ingredients. In just a few minutes, you can have a delicious and healthy side dish that’s perfect for any occasion.

But perhaps the best reason to love this recipe is that it’s a great way to incorporate more vegetables into your diet. Swiss chard is a nutrient-dense leafy green that’s packed with vitamins and minerals. By adding this recipe to your meal plan, you’ll be doing your body a favor while also enjoying a delicious dish.

So, whether you’re looking to add some authentic Italian flavors to your meal or just want to incorporate more vegetables into your diet, this Italian style Swiss chard recipe is the perfect choice. Trust me, once you try it, you’ll be hooked!

Ingredient List

Let’s take a look at the ingredients you’ll need to make this Italian Style Swiss Chard Recipe. Be sure to gather all of the necessary ingredients before you begin cooking. Fresh rainbow Swiss chard is the star of this recipe, but you’ll also need extra virgin olive oil, garlic cloves, capers, crushed red pepper, salt, and water. Here is the complete list of ingredients:


  • 1 bunch Swiss chard (about 1 pound)
  • 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup water

The Recipe How-To

Now, let’s get to the most exciting part: the recipe itself! Here’s how to make the Italian Style Swiss Chard Recipe.


  • 1 bunch swiss chard, stems and leaves separated and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons capers


  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat until shimmering.
  2. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add the chard stems and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until they start to soften.
  4. Add the chard leaves and water and season with salt. Cover the skillet and cook for 5-7 minutes, until the leaves are wilted and the stems are tender.
  5. Stir in the capers and cook for another minute.
  6. Serve hot and enjoy!

This recipe is incredibly simple and can be ready in under 20 minutes. If you want to turn this dish into a main course, you can add some white beans or serve it over some orecchiette pasta. You can also pair it with some mashed potatoes or a side salad for a complete meal.

Tips for Perfect Results:

  • Make sure to chop the chard stems and leaves separately, as they have different cooking times.
  • Don’t be afraid to add more garlic or red pepper flakes if you like your food spicy.
  • You can also add some chopped tomatoes to the skillet for extra flavor.

Now that you know how to make this delicious Italian Style Swiss Chard Recipe, it’s time to head to the kitchen and start cooking!

Substitutions and Variations

There are a few substitutions and variations you can try with this Italian style Swiss chard recipe to suit your taste and dietary preferences. Here are some ideas to get you started:

– Swiss chard: If you can’t find Swiss chard, you can substitute with other leafy greens like kale or spinach. However, keep in mind that the cooking time may vary depending on the type of greens you use.

– Oil: While extra virgin olive oil is the recommended oil for this recipe, you can also use other oils like avocado oil, grapeseed oil, or coconut oil. Just make sure the oil has a high smoke point so it doesn’t burn during cooking.

– Garlic: If you’re not a big fan of garlic, you can reduce the amount or omit it altogether. You can also use garlic powder instead of fresh garlic for a milder flavor.

– Capers: If you don’t have capers on hand, you can substitute with chopped olives or pickles for a similar briny flavor.

– White beans: If you want to add some protein to this dish, you can add cooked chickpeas, black beans, or cannellini beans instead of white beans.

– Pasta: Instead of orecchiette pasta, you can use other pasta shapes like penne, fusilli, or spaghetti. You can also use gluten-free or whole wheat pasta if you prefer.

– Potatoes: If you want to turn this side dish into a main course, you can serve it with mashed potatoes or make Swiss chard fritters (also known as crispeddi or chi giri in authentic Italian cuisine).

These are just a few ideas to help you customize this Italian style Swiss chard recipe to your liking. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different ingredients and flavors to make this dish your own.

Serving and Pairing

This Italian Style Swiss Chard Recipe is a versatile dish that can be served in many ways, making it perfect for any occasion. Here are some serving and pairing suggestions that will take your dish to the next level.

This dish can be served as a side dish, a main course, or as a vegetarian dish. If you’re serving it as a side dish, pair it with a protein such as roasted chicken or grilled fish, or serve it alongside a pasta dish. It also works well as part of a vegetarian spread, paired with other vegetable dishes and a grain salad.

As a main course, consider adding white beans or orecchiette pasta to bulk it up and make it more filling. Top it with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil for added flavor.

If you’re looking for a fun and creative way to serve this dish, consider making Swiss Chard Fritters (Crispeddi chi Giri) as a unique appetizer or snack. These fritters are made with mashed potatoes and sautéed Swiss chard leaves and stems, then fried until crispy. They’re a great way to use up any leftover Swiss chard and make a delicious and authentic Italian dish.

This dish pairs well with a variety of beverages such as white wine, red wine, or sparkling water. For an authentic Italian experience, pair it with a Chianti or a Pinot Grigio.

No matter how you choose to serve this Italian Style Swiss Chard Recipe, it’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser. With its flavorful combination of garlic, capers, and red pepper flakes, it’s a dish that will leave your taste buds wanting more.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

This Italian Style Swiss Chard Recipe is a fantastic dish that can be made ahead of time and stored for later use. Whether you’re meal prepping for the week or planning a dinner party, this recipe is perfect for those who want to save time in the kitchen without sacrificing flavor.

To make this recipe ahead of time, simply follow the instructions as normal and then let it cool to room temperature. Once cooled, transfer the dish to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to three days. When you’re ready to serve, reheat the dish in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes or until heated through.

If you have leftovers, they can also be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. To reheat, simply transfer the desired amount to a microwave-safe dish and heat on high for 1-2 minutes, or until heated through.

Another great way to use leftovers is to add them to mashed potatoes for an easy and delicious side dish. Simply mash boiled potatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper, and then stir in sautéed Swiss chard stems and leaves.

Whether you’re serving this dish as a side or a main course, the Italian Style Swiss Chard Recipe is sure to impress. With its authentic Italian flavors and hearty vegetables, it’s a dish that everyone is sure to love.

Tips for Perfect Results

To ensure that your Italian Style Swiss Chard Recipe turns out perfectly, here are some tips and tricks to follow:

1. Don’t overcook the chard leaves – Swiss chard cooks quickly, so take care not to overcook the leaves. They should be tender, but still have a slight crunch.

2. Use fresh rainbow chard – The fresher the chard, the better the flavor. Try to use rainbow chard for a pop of color, and make sure to rinse the leaves well to remove any dirt or debris.

3. Saute the chard stems separately – Chard stems take longer to cook than the leaves, so saute them separately in a bit of olive oil before adding the leaves to the pan.

4. Experiment with different beans – While white beans are traditional in this recipe, feel free to experiment with other types of beans, such as cannellini or garbanzo beans.

5. Add some crushed red pepper for a kick – If you like a bit of spice, add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes to the pan while sauteing the chard.

6. Serve as a side dish or with pasta – This recipe is versatile and can be served as a side dish or tossed with orecchiette pasta for a heartier meal.

7. Try making chard fritters – For a fun twist on this recipe, mix mashed potatoes with sauteed chard and form into patties for delicious chard fritters (also known as crispeddi or chi giri).

8. Pair with an authentic Italian potato salad – Serve the Italian Style Swiss Chard Recipe as a side dish with an authentic Italian potato salad made with boiled potatoes, olive oil, garlic, and parsley.

By following these tips, you’ll be sure to create an authentic Italian-style Swiss chard recipe that is both delicious and nutritious.


Before we wrap up this Italian Style Swiss Chard Recipe, let’s tackle some frequently asked questions to ensure that you get the most out of this dish. I’ve compiled a list of the most common questions and concerns that you might have, and I’ve come up with the best answers and solutions to help you cook this recipe with ease and confidence. So, let’s dive in and address any doubts or queries that you may have about this delicious and healthy dish.

What is the best thing to do with Swiss chard?

Chard is a versatile vegetable that can be prepared in various ways. It can be steamed or sauteed and adds a delicious flavor to soups, stews, casseroles, frittatas, and quiches. While the leaves are typically green, the stalks come in a range of colors. Additionally, young chard leaves are a great addition to salads when consumed raw.

How do you cook Swiss chard so it’s not bitter?

When preparing chard, it’s important to keep in mind that the stems require more cooking time than the greens. To enhance the taste and add a touch of sweetness, I usually cook the stems with finely chopped sweet onions. This not only helps both the stems and onions to cook evenly but also creates a well-balanced flavor profile for the dish.

How do I prepare Swiss chard for eating?

When it comes to Swiss chard, it’s important to keep in mind that the amount of raw chard you start with will significantly decrease once it’s cooked. This is because the stalks are thicker than the leaves and therefore take longer to cook. To prepare, I suggest chopping the stalks into 1 inch pieces and cooking them in a pan with 1/2 cup of water per bunch. You can either sauté or steam the stalks before adding the leaves to the pan. Once the stalks are cooked to your liking, add the leaves and continue cooking until they are wilted.

Bottom Line

: In conclusion, this Italian Style Swiss Chard Recipe is a perfect way to incorporate a healthy and delicious vegetable into your meals. With its unique blend of ingredients and flavors, this recipe is sure to impress your taste buds and leave you wanting more. The recipe is easy to follow and can be adjusted to your liking by substituting or adding your favorite ingredients. Whether you’re looking for a side dish or a main course, this recipe is versatile and can be paired with a variety of different dishes. So, what are you waiting for? Give this recipe a try and experience the authentic Italian flavors of Swiss chard. Happy cooking!

Italian Style Swiss Chard Recipe

Swiss chard is a delicious easy to grow green that is super beautiful to boot – the stalks can be pearly white, brilliant red or even vivid yellow. This is a fast & tasty way to prepare the swiss chard cranking out in the garden. I can make a mea of it with a couple of poached eggs & a little grated Parmesan/Romano cheese. Received from D_M on gourmet-recipes-from-around-the-world; thanks D_M!

  • 3 lbs swiss chard
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic (minced or pressed)
  • 1 tablespoon capers, mashed
  • 3 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  1. Trim stem ends of chard. Thinly slice stems crosswise up to base of leaves; set slices aside. Reserve a few whole leaves to line serving dish; coarsely chop remaining leaves.
  2. In a 6 to 8 quart pan over medium high heat, stir oil, garlic and capers until garlic is slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Add chard stems; stir until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in chopped leaves, part at a time if pan if full, cover and cook until wilted, about 4 minutes.
  3. Mix in vinegar; season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish a serving dish with reserved chard leaves; spoon greens along side.
Side Dish
< 15 Mins, Beginner Cook, Chard, Easy, European, Greens, Healthy, Inexpensive, Low Cholesterol, Low Protein, Vegetable

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