UPDATED June 17th, 2017
If you’re sick of your plain old broccoli and you’re over the kale trend, then you need some rainbow chard recipe idea pronto. After all, half the battle of making a satisfying meal is preparing a dish that looks as good as it tastes, and rainbow chard is undeniably gorgeous on any plate. And as an added bonus, rainbow chard is incredibly good for you. Similar to Swiss chard and other members of the chard family, rainbow chard can be consumed cooked or raw, and it’s loaded with dietary fiber, vitamins A and K, and iron. It’s also low in cholesterol and very low in fat. And if that’s not enough, a 2009 study published in Food, Agriculture and Environment reported that “chard is a rich source of polyphenols, antioxidant compounds that may help lower your risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis and degenerative neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.”
Bottom line: you should be eating more rainbow chard, and because there are so many ways to prepare this green leafy veggie, you won’t get sick of it any time soon. Here are 10 rainbow chard recipe ideas that will make your table look beautiful, make your kitchen smell amazing, and make your body and your taste buds really happy.
Read Related: Getting Beyond Kale: 14 Greens You Need in Your Diet
1. Swiss Chard and Herb Tart It’s hard not to like any dish that comes in a pastry crust, and when the filling is made up of sautéed chard, onions, and a whole lot of cheese it’s nearly impossible not to get excited. This savory tart is perfect for your next dinner party or gathering (or maybe just a cozy night at home with some tasty comfort food), and because it’s not only incredibly yummy but also loaded with healthy green veggies, you don’t have to feel totally guilty about having that second serving.
2. Lemongrass and Ginger Egg Drop Soup with Rainbow Chard If you want a hearty and comforting dish that warms you up from the inside out, this soup is everything you’ve been looking for. Overflowing with nutrient-rich chard and ginger, plus scallions, garlic and egg, this traditional Asian soup is a meal in itself, and it’s really easy to whip up when you want a quick bowl of goodness.
3. Chard Fritters These chard fritters are going to be your new go-to side dish that the entire family enjoys. They are crunchy on the outside, melt-in-your-mouth good on the inside, salty, spiced and a little creamy. Your kids will love them and won’t even realize they’re eating their greens, we guarantee it.
4. Garlicky Swiss Chard and Chickpeas Sautéed rainbow chard works perfectly with chickpeas and creamy feta cheese. While this dish is meant to be a side dish, you could serve it as a first course, or just dig in for lunch. And it seems like you make a lot, but trust us, the chard cooks down fast, so don’t skimp on the quantities when you are cooking.
5. Sautéed Rainbow Chard with Garlic and Lemon So simple yet so delicious, that’s what makes this dish so amazing. It only takes 6 ingredients (and 2 of them are salt and pepper, which barely count), and about 10 minutes to make, and yet it is so delicious and flavorful you’ll want to serve it every day at every meal. Don’t skip the lemon zest, that’s what really adds some refreshingly light flavor to this colorful dish.
6. Orecchiette with Sausage, Chard, and Parsnips Instead of bitter broccoli rabe, which you often see mixed with sausage and orecchiette, this hearty dish uses chard and parsnips to balance the flavor of the sausage and add color to this filling pasta. It’s a one-pot miracle that you’ll want to cook over and over again.
7. Roasted Pear and Rainbow Chard Salad It’s hard to say if rainbow chard is more enjoyable in it’s raw or cooked state, but this salad sure makes the argument for consuming a whole lot of raw greens. And the recipe is so easy. The chard is paired with roasted pears (see what we did there?) which is a perfect combo—the sweetness of the pears balances the flavor of the chard and the champagne vinaigrette plus the creamy, salty cheese makes the entire dish complete.
8. Rainbow Chard, Feta and Orzo Bowls Think of this recipe as a healthier version of a pasta salad. It’s colorful thanks to the stems and leaves of the rainbow chard, all of which are sautéed before adding them to the whole-wheat orzo and feta mixture. Some toasted walnuts add some extra crunch and the result is a tasty bowl that looks as amazing as it tastes. Plus you could make it gluten-free just by skipping the orzo and opting for quinoa instead.
9. Rainbow Chard Slaw Forget boring old coleslaw; this rainbow chard slaw is even more colorful and good for you. It’s full of intense flavors and a mixture of textures so each bite is interesting, plus the slaw works well as a side dish or sandwich topping. Feel free to leave out any ingredients that don’t suit your taste—the beauty of this dish is it is flexible based on what you have on hand and how you like your salads.
10. Spicy Swiss Chard Like spinach and other leafy greens, chard cooks fast, so this entire recipe, start to finish, only takes about 10-15 minutes and in the end you get a dish that is so full of flavor and spice that it tastes like it’s been cooking for hours. The red pepper flakes and garlic really bring out the flavor of the chard, and the sugar balances out the nuttiness and heat of this veggie dish.
Photo 1 courtesy of Food Network.com