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9 Delicious Swiss Chard Substitutes For Leafy Green Lovers

Trying to find a leafy vegetable to use as a Swiss chard substitute? I’m sure you’ll be pleased to hear that there are actually quite a few options to think over.

You’ve probably eaten Swiss chard before if you enjoy dark green vegetables. Swiss chard, with its soft texture and somewhat bitter taste, is a favorite element in many dishes.

It has vibrant and beautiful leaves that can make your food aesthetically gripping!

But what if you hate the taste of Swiss chard or can’t locate any?

The good news is that there are many alternatives to Swiss chard that provide similar health benefits and flavor.

Here I’ll look at several great options and show you how to utilize them in your usual dishes.

Swiss Chard Substitutes featured image | Girl Meets Food

What is swiss chard?

Swiss chard (chard, silverbeet) is a leafy green vegetable related to beets and spinach. It features huge, dark green leaves and strong, vibrant stems in white, yellow, and red.

Swiss chard is flexible and used in raw salads, soups, and stews. It contains vitamins A, C, and K, fiber, and antioxidants and has a somewhat bitter flavor and delicate texture.

Swiss chard is undeniably tasty and full of health benefits! The deep green color of its leaves can add a vibrant touch to any dish.

Swiss chard substitutes

A bunch of Swiss chard lies on a wooden surface | Girl Meets Food

All these attractive vegetables can work as a replacement for chard in many recipes:

  • Spinach

Spinach is incredibly close in flavor to Swiss chard and uses the same cooking methods. It’s a great choice for a nutritious meal because it contains vitamins A and C.

I’ve tried spinach as a substitute for Swiss chard in a soup with lentils. I added some crushed red pepper flakes for a subtle heat which complemented the slight bitterness of spinach.

In dishes like this, be careful not to overcook the spinach, since it can turn too slimy and bitter!

Would you like to know about spinach alternatives? While it is hard to find an exact replacement, there are several flavors that can stand in.

  • Kale

While bitter and firm, it still makes a good Swiss chard alternative. It’s yet another leafy green rich in fiber and vitamins A, C, and K.

It’s possible you’ve guessed from my previous writings that kale-based, hearty soups (like Tuscan kale and white bean soup) are among my favorite foods.

Because of this, I’ve attempted to use the curly leaves of kale in place of swiss chard in a rice soup. It was a very suitable replacement for my taste!

Curious to know its closest substitute? This article on kale alternatives has the answer!

  • Collard greens

Southerners often swap Swiss chard leaves for collard greens. They have an earthy flavor and are rich in vitamins A, C, and K. Soups, stews, and stir-fries use collard greens to add mild taste – less bitter than kale or spinach.

  • Beet greens

The leafy beet tops are silky and tender, similar to Swiss chard. Who would’ve thought this part of beet could be so delicious and useful, not to mention loaded with vitamins A and C?

I’ve talked about this unique option in several of my other posts. It tastes amazing when sauteed with garlic and olive oil!

  • Bok choy

This Asian cabbage tastes like Swiss chard in stir-fries, soups, and stews. Many recipes can benefit from its vitamin A, C, and K content.

Swiss chard is also on the list of best bok choy alternative veggies because these two have the same functional properties.

  • Mustard greens 

This pungent, bitter leafy green can replace Swiss chard in a variety of recipes. You can employ this vitamin A, C, and K-rich vegetable in your favorite stir-fries. 

These pleasantly surprised me when I fried them with some eggs and garlic. What a delicious combo!

  • Arugula

This spicy green can be a Swiss chard replacement in salads and sandwiches. It’s an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K and adds a peppery flavor to recipes.

I think arugula is a wonderful alternative to Swiss chard in salads – try using it in combination with cherry tomatoes, feta and some ancient grain, like amaranth.

If you like the idea, check out these arugula substitutes for similar nutritious vegetables!

  • Watercress

This leafy green vegetable has a somewhat peppery taste and crispy texture. It’s rich in vitamins A and C and may replace Swiss chard in salads and sandwiches.

  • Dandelion leaves

Dandelion leaves are a worthy substitute for chard in salads or sauteed dishes. They have a similar bitter taste and are high in vitamins A and C.

Don’t be fooled by their reputation as weeds! Dandelion greens can be a delicious addition to your meals, especially when mixed with other greens like spinach or arugula.

Swiss chard substitute FAQs

The growing Swiss chard close up | Girl Meets Food
How many calories are in Swiss chard?

A 100g serving of raw swiss chard contains only 19 calories.

Can I use black kale as a green chard alternative?

Yes, black kale (also known as Tuscan kale or Lacinato kale) can be used as a substitute for green chard.

Can I replace Swiss chard with baby spinach?

Yes, baby spinach can replace Swiss chard in some recipes. It’s important to note that it has a milder flavor and a more delicate texture.

What’s the best substitute for chard in sautés?

Kale, collard greens and beet greens are the best substitutes for chard in sautés. They offer a similar silky and tender texture.

BOTTOM LINE: Swiss chard is healthful and delicious, but there are many replacements if you can’t find it or don’t like it. Spinach, kale, collard greens, beet greens and a few more are great ingredients. Simply modify the cooking time and spice for the alternative, and you’ll have a great meal in no time!

What’s your favorite leafy vegetable? Share your cooking ideas in the comments!

Looking for more green options? Discover the best asparagus substitutes and alternatives to basil leaves!