Substitute for Swiss Chard: A Guide to Leafy Green Alternatives

February 10, 2023
Last updated on February 10, 2023
Substitute for Swiss Chard: A Guide to Leafy Green Alternatives

Swiss chard is a popular green leafy vegetable that has been enjoyed for its unique flavor and versatile uses in the kitchen. It is a staple ingredient in many dishes, adding a delicious and nutritious touch to salads, soups, stews, and more. Whether you are a seasoned cook or just starting to explore your culinary skills, you will find that Swiss chard is a key ingredient that you cannot do without.

However, there may come a time when you find yourself in need of a substitute for Swiss chard. Perhaps you are unable to find it in your local grocery store or it's not in season. Or maybe you're simply looking to switch things up and try something new. Whatever the reason, finding an adequate substitute for Swiss chard can be a challenge, especially since it is known for its unique taste and texture.

What's The Best Substitute for Swiss Chard?

Whether you are preparing a meal for your family or entertaining guests, we guarantee that you will find a substitute that will make your dishes just as delicious and nutritious as when you use Swiss chard.

When it comes to finding a substitute for Swiss chard, there are several options to choose from. Each substitute has its own unique flavor and texture, making them suitable for different dishes. To help you make the best choice, we have rounded up the top substitutes for Swiss chard that will impress your taste buds and elevate your dishes to the next level.

1. Spinach

This dark leafy green is a classic substitute for Swiss chard. It has a mild flavor and tender texture that makes it a great addition to salads, sandwiches, and even smoothies. Spinach is also packed with nutrients like iron, calcium, and vitamins A and C, making it a healthy and delicious option.

2. Kale

Kale has a more robust flavor than Swiss chard and is a great choice for dishes that require a little extra flavor. It's also a good source of fiber, protein, and vitamins A, C, and K. Its hearty flavor and tender texture make it a perfect addition to soups, salads, and frittatas.

3. Collard Greens

Collard greens have a slightly bitter taste and a sturdy texture that makes them a good choice for sautéing or steaming. They are also a good source of vitamins A and C, calcium, and iron.  Looking to use collard greens as a substitute for Swiss chard in dishes like a smoked turkey sandwich or a rice bowl? No worries, collard greens work great in those dishes and even in soup!

4. Beet Greens

These greens have a similar flavor profile to Swiss chard and are a good choice for dishes that require a mild flavor. Beet greens are a good source of vitamins A and C, iron, and potassium. Its mild flavor and tender texture make it a perfect addition to salads, soups, and stuffed pasta dishes.

5. Turnip Greens

Turnip greens have a slightly bitter taste and a tender texture, making them a good choice for dishes that require a bit of bitterness. They are also a good source of vitamins A and C, iron, and calcium.  Turnip greens are an excellent ingredient to include in dishes such as gratins, soups, and quesadillas.

Preparation and Use

These healthy and flavorful greens can be used in a variety of dishes, from salads to soups to gratins. Whether you're using Swiss chard, collard greens, beet greens, or turnip greens, here's what you need to know to prepare and use them in your cooking.

Cleaning and Cutting

Before using leafy greens, it's important to clean them thoroughly. Rinse the leaves under cold running water, and pat them dry with a paper towel. Then, chop the leaves into bite-sized pieces and discard any tough stems. Depending on the recipe, you may want to chop the leaves into thin ribbons or rough chop them for a more rustic texture.

Cooking Techniques

Leafy greens can be cooked in a variety of ways, including sautéing, steaming, roasting, and baking. When sautéing, simply add a few tablespoons of oil to a hot pan and cook the chopped greens until tender, about 3 to 5 minutes.

When steaming, place the chopped greens in a steamer basket over boiling water, and cook until tender, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Roasting and baking are a bit more hands-off, and they add a delicious charred flavor to the greens. Simply place the chopped greens on a baking sheet, drizzle with a little oil, and cook in the oven until tender and slightly crispy.

Flavor Pairings

Leafy greens have a mild flavor that pairs well with a variety of ingredients. Try sautéing with garlic and red pepper flakes for a simple and spicy side dish. Or, add to soups, stews, and pasta dishes for a healthy boost of nutrition. And, don't forget about using leafy greens in salads! Simply mix with your favorite ingredients and a tangy vinaigrette for a delicious and healthy meal.


In conclusion, Swiss chard, collard greens, beet greens, and turnip greens are all healthy and delicious leafy greens that can be used as substitutes for each other in a variety of dishes. Whether you're looking for a tasty side dish, a hearty soup, or a flavorful gratin, these greens are sure to satisfy.

With their mild flavor and versatile cooking methods, you can easily incorporate these leafy greens into your cooking for a healthy and delicious meal. So, don't be afraid to experiment with these greens and discover the many ways that they can enhance your cooking!

Profil Picture Iris Janine Freeman

Meet Iris Janine Freeman, a freelance copywriter and food blogger from the East Coast. When she's not busy crafting the perfect words for her clients, Iris can be found experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen or planning her next travel adventure.

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