Sautéed Swiss Chard with Lemon and Garlic

4.34 stars average

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This garlic and Swiss chard sauté with lemon makes not only a tasty side dish, but is full of antioxidants, is readily available, and tastes delicious.

Freshly squeezing lemon juice onto sautéed swiss chard with lemon and garlic.

Busy days are not the time to be huddled around the stove for hours. In fact, a quick sauté is all that this beautiful, delicate Swiss chard requires. This sautéed Swiss chard with garlic and lemon is more of a method, and will work perfectly with any leafy green you find at the market. The key is to stop cooking when the leaves turn bright green. Yes, we eat the stems too! If you’ve been serving brown spinach to your family, you are over cooking the greens and likely losing vital nutrients. Have 5 minutes? Let’s get started.


  • Olive Oil: Starting your sauté with a smooth, rich olive oil not only sets you up for success, but also gives you lots of antioxidants that help protect the body from cellular damage.
  • Swiss Chard: Swiss Chard is amazing, and you can find it at your favorite farmers market. They look like dark leafy greens with multicolored stems, and taste like a cross between a beet and spinach. When prepared properly, they not only taste wonderful, but contain a number of health benefits.
  • Sea Salt: Enhances the flavor! While you can use any salt, sea salt is minimally processed and contains additional minerals, such as iron and potassium.
  • Garlic: Pungent and spicy flavor, with nutty nuances, that mellows and sweetens as it cooks. Garlic is one of my favorite ingredients to cook with.
  • Red Chili Flakes: This mixture of the dried red pepper with the chili seeds adds a great kick of heat to the entrée. While optional, I highly recommend trying it.
  • Lemon Juice: Fresh lemon juice added after the chard has finished cooking beautifully blends and balances the flavors of the dish.
Chopping swiss chard

How to make Sautéed Swiss Chard with Lemon and Garlic

To begin your sautéed Swiss chard, you’ll want to start out by roughly chopping your Swiss chard into bite sized pieces.

Adding swiss chard to saute pan

After chopping your chard, heat your olive oil in a sauté pan. After your pan and oil are heated, add your Swiss chard carefully, so the oil doesn’t splatter.

Adding salt to saute pan

Season with the sea salt and some pepper, then sauté for 2-3 minutes. Watch it carefully, you’re looking for the leaves to be bright green, much more than that and you’ll have overcooked them.

Liz freshly grating garlic into the pan of sautéed swiss chard.

After your chard has sautéed for a couple minutes, freshly grate your garlic cloves into the pan. This recipe is meant to be easy and quick, so if all you have is pre-minced or grated garlic, go ahead and use that!

Adding spice to saute pan

If you’re looking to add more of a kick to this dish, mix in the red chili pepper flakes with your garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.

Plating sauteed swiss chard

Remove from the pan and plate your sautéed Swiss chard, ideally it hasn’t been in the pan for more than 4-5 minutes total. Grab a freshly sliced lemon and squeeze the juice onto the chard, giving it a good toss, and serve! Again, going for ease, if you don’t have fresh lemon juice, bottled will be just fine.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I use something other than chard?

Yes, of course! Like I mentioned above, this recipe is more of a method. You can do this with spinach, kale, bok choy, or any other leafy green you like.

Do I have to use fresh ingredients?

Not necessarily, but fresh garlic and lemon juice will give you a stronger flavor than jarred or bottled.

How do I store sautéed leafy greens?

Store your sautéed Swiss chard in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer. In the fridge, it should stay fresh for 3-5 days if properly stored. If kept in airtight containers or freezer bags, it will last months if frozen.

If you like this recipe, here are a few others you should give a try:

Liz enjoying a plate of sautéed swiss chard with lemon and garlic.

Haven’t tried chard before? I promise it’s worth trying, and you might even discover your new favorite leafy green!

Your fork is waiting.

Sauteed Swiss Chard with Lemon and Garlic

Sautéed Swiss Chard with Lemon and Garlic

4.34 stars average
This garlic and Swiss chard sauté with lemon makes not only a tasty side dish, but is full of antioxidants, is readily available, and tastes delicious.
PREP: 5 minutes
COOK: 5 minutes
TOTAL: 10 minutes

Recipe Video


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 cup Swiss chard (roughly chopped)
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 2 cloves garlic (grated)
  • ½ teaspoon red chili flakes (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  • Pre-heat a sauté pan on medium high heat then add olive oil.
  • Sauté chard in olive oil for 2-3 minutes until leaves turn bright green. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add garlic and chili flakes and sauté additional 30 seconds.
  • Remove from heat and toss with lemon juice just before serving.

Last Step:

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Excellent source of Vitamins A and C, good source of iron.


Calories: 52kcalCarbohydrates: 4.9gProtein: 2gFat: 3.6gSaturated Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 371mgFiber: 1.8g
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