Beautiful, colorful rainbow chard. I love getting a bunch from the farmers market to make something different. This Easy Sautéed Rainbow Chard recipe uses only a handful of ingredients and is quick and easy to prepare. If you've never cooked with rainbow chard before, no worries. This is the perfect recipe to get you started.
What is Rainbow Chard?
When you get a bunch of rainbow chard, you'll see the leafy greens have red, yellow, and white stems. It actually doesn't grow like that. Rainbow chard is three varieties of chard that's sold together. The white stems are Swiss chard, the yellow is golden chard and the third is red chard. Mixed together, it has more visual appeal and more flavor that just one variety alone.
Rainbow chard is actually related to beets. You can use the chard leaves as you would any other leafy green vegetable like spinach or collard greens. The stems are edible (and delicious!) as well. I actually like the taste of the chard stems over the leaves. In this way it reminds be of bok choi with a stem like celery and big leaves on top. It has a slightly bitter taste but less so than other greens.
Making the Easy Side Dish
The first step is to prepare the rainbow chard. Start by chopping up the stems in thin slices or pieces and set aside. As the stems take longer to cook than the green leaves, we'll start cooking them first. Then, chop up the leaves into medium sized pieces. Do worry if you have some of the leaves still attached to the stems. You don't need to be precise - it'll cook up fine either way.
Over medium-high heat, add the olive oil to a large sauté pan or a large pot. I would start with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add another tablespoon if you need more. It all depends on the size of the bunch of rainbow chard. Add in the stems and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add in the chopped chard leaves and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently. It may look like a lot of greens but it will cook down to a much smaller amount.
When it's done cooking, add in the soy sauce. Stir in the salt and pepper. I did not give precise amounts of salt and pepper because it will all depend on the size of your bunch of greens. I would start with ½ teaspoon of both salt and pepper and go from there. Add in the red pepper flakes if you are using them. Serve immediately.
- Instead of rainbow chard, you can use Swiss chard or another variety alone.
- Add a splash of lemon juice for a citrus twist.
- Mince some garlic cloves and add it in the pan with the tasty greens.
- Add some balsamic vinegar towards the end of the cooking.
- Slice up some sweet onions or a red onion and sauté with the stems.
- If you eat dairy, sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
Like most leafy greens, rainbow chard is very versatile. This easy vegan side dish is a great way to prepare it. I hope you enjoy this beautiful and delicious side dish!
Easy Sautéed Rainbow Chard
- 1 bunch rainbow chard
- 1-2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- salt and pepper
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- Start by prepping the rainbow chard. Chop the stems and set aside. Roughly chop up the leaves.
- In a large pan, add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat.
- Add the stems to the pan and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the leaves to the pan and continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- Stir in the soy sauce, salt and pepper. Add the red pepper flakes (if using). Serve immediately.