What is Swiss chard?

Also known simply as 'chard', Swiss chard has large, fleshy, tender, deep-green leaves and thick, crisp stalks. Although they're unrelated, chard is similar to spinach, but with a stronger, more assertive (or, as some think, bitter) flavour.

Different types of chard have different coloured stalks and ribs – some are white, some are golden-orange and some are red (called ruby or rhubarb chard), and there's even rainbow chard. There's very little difference in taste, but ruby chard can have a slightly stronger flavour.

Take a look at our chard recipe collection for some creative cooking inspiration.

When is Swiss chard in season?

All year round, but best from July to November.

Learn how to grow your own swiss chard from the experts at Gardeners’ World.

Choose the best Swiss chard

Go for leaves that are bright green and fresh looking, with no brown discolouration. Stems should be firm. Unlike many vegetables, larger Swiss chard leaves aren't necessarily tougher than smaller ones.

How to prepare Swiss chard

The leaves and stalks should be cooked separately, or the stems cooked a few minutes longer than the leaves, as they are firmer. Wash then cut the stalks from the leaves and leave whole or chop, as required. On some older leaves, you may need to cut out the ribs too. Leaves can be left whole or chopped, as required.

How to cook Swiss chard

  • Leaves: boil (1-2 mins); steam (3-4 mins).
  • Stems: boil (3-4 mins); steam (4-5 mins); stir-fry (around 2 mins); roast (10 mins).

How to store Swiss chard

In the fridge for up to four days.

Alternatives to Swiss chard

Try spinach.

Our top Swiss chard recipes

1. Swiss chard gratin

Swiss chard gratin

It's a fact that any ingredient can be made better by the addition of cheese. Our Swiss chard gratin goes well with venison or a meaty fish like turbot or halibut. Pickling the chard first gives it a very deep, robust flavour that pairs well with the star anise and punchy gruyère.

2. Baked Swiss chard

Swiss chard bake in dish with spoon

Looking for a comforting dish to accompany your Sunday roast? Try our baked Swiss chard – it's a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Try baking these luscious, leafy greens with garlic, cream and plenty of parmesan for an indulgent side dish. Serve golden and bubbling.

3. Quick braised chard & lentils

Swiss chard and lentil salad

Bring some green goodness to a standard side dish with our quick braised chard & lentils with a light olive oil dressing. This nutritious and vibrant veggie recipe is full of colour and texture. It could also be served as a main course for two.

4. Chard, sweet potato & peanut stew

Swiss chard stew in bowl

This wholesome chard, sweet potato & peanut stew is an ideal winter warmer. It's the perfect balance of sweet and savoury, with a deliciously nutty flavour we can't resist. The leftovers will taste even better the next day, when the flavours have had time to intensify.

5. Swiss chard & kohlrabi with lemon juice

Swiss chard with kohlrabi and spoon

Our final sensational side dish is Swiss chard & kohlrabi with a lemon sauce. This healthy bowl of greens is full of fresh flavours and goes well with grilled salmon or a simple chicken breast.