9 Best Swiss Chard Substitutes

Swiss chard is a great leafy green vegetable that’s loaded with vitamins and nutrients. One of the best things about this vegetable is its versatility in terms of cooking methods.

It’s available year-round and has a mild flavor, which makes it easy to use in both sweet and savory dishes. Swiss chard isn’t just for cooking though; you can also eat it raw or add it to salads! You can either sauté it, roast it, or use it in soup-making.

While most people can get their hands on Swiss chard rather easily, it’s not the case for everyone. If you can’t seem to find it in your local market but prepare a recipe that calls for Swiss chard, you can use a substitute.

There are nine other greens vegetables that can be used as Swiss chard substitutes if you’re looking to try something new!

Some of the best substitutes for Swiss Chard are Mature Spinach, Mustard greens, Collard Greens, Rhubarb, Beet greens, etc.

Below, I’ll talk about how you can swap these handy ingredients in place of Swiss chard in your recipes and why you should.

What is Swiss Chard?

Swiss Chard Substitutes

Swiss Chard is commonly known as “silverbeet” or “chard”. It is a green leafy vegetable that belongs to the same family as beets, spinach, and quinoa.

Swiss chard looks similar to leafy vegetables like collard greens and beet greens. Swiss Chard has thick stalks with large leaves that are green in color.

Each stalk has several veins running through it which are red or white in color. The leaves of chard can range from pale green to dark green depending on the variety.

It is one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat because it’s high in fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamin C and A. It contains powerful antioxidants that help fight cancer-causing free radicals.

9 Best Swiss Chard Substitutes

1. Mature Spinach

Mature Spinach is a tasty substitute for Swiss chard in most dishes. It is bigger than regular or baby Spinach.

Spinach tastes similar to the leaves of chard, but it doesn’t have any crunchy ribs inside.

The stems are also much thicker than those of Swiss Chard, making spinach a good substitute for cooking where you want hearty greens instead of something that’s crisp and tender.

2. Mustard Greens

These leaves have a slightly peppery flavor and a similar texture to Swiss chard, making them a great substitute.

The shape will also be familiar as they come in the same thick, lance-shaped as chard does. They come in different colors just like Swiss chard.

Mustard greens come in many varieties and can be found with smooth, frilly, or curly edges.

3. Collard Greens

Collard Greens

Collards are a hearty green that works as a great substitute for Swiss chard.

The leaves of collards are thick and sturdy, and when cooked, they develop a mild but deep flavor and go great in soup.

Collard greens also provide the same nutritional value as Swiss chard does. Collards can be found in different colors such as light green, dark green, or purple.

4. Rhubarb

Rhubarb is one of the best substitutes for Swiss chard you can use. It’s a leafy vegetable that adds great texture to any dish.

The stalks of rhubarb are tart and crisp, making it an excellent addition to pies, jams, jellies, sauces, or chutneys. It is usually paired with strawberries because the tartness of the rhubarb balances the sweetness of the strawberries.

5. Beet Greens

The dark green leaves that grow directly off your beets are actually more nutritious than the root itself.

Beet greens are also loaded with nutrients, which is what makes them a great substitute for Swiss chard. They have an earthy flavor and can easily be used in a variety of dishes, whether it’s raw or cooked.

6. Dark Leafy Greens

Escarole Substitutes

Other dark leafy greens that can be used in place of Swiss Chard are beet tops, mustard greens, turnip greens, collard greens, spinach, and escarole.

These greens have a similar taste to Swiss Chard and can be used in most recipes that call for it as a vegetable. 

They also have the same nutritional value as Swiss Chard, which is why they’re considered great substitutes.    

7. Bok Choy

Bok Choy

Bok choy is a great substitute for Swiss chard because of its crunchy texture and a mild taste.

It tastes very similar to chard, but the leaves are more spoon-shaped than oblong as they come from the stalk of the plant.

Bok Choy is great in soups and stir-frys because it can retain its crunchy texture even when cooked.

8. Broccoli Rabe (Rapini)

Broccoli rabe, also known as rapini, makes a very good substitute for Swiss chard. It has an earthy and slightly bitter flavor that is similar to Swiss chard.

The leaves are slightly more narrow than those of swiss chard, but it’s still a great vegetable to try out if you’re looking for something new.  It can also be sautéed or eaten raw in salads.

9. Black Kale

Black kale makes a great substitute for Swiss Chard. It is dark green in color, has thick stalks, and tastes slightly bitter.

When cooked, the leaves of black kale become tender but still have a crunchy bite to them.  They also keep their deep green color even after cooking which can contrast beautifully with other vegetables in the dish.

With its thick stalks, it’s also a great choice to use in place of chard when making soup.

There you have it! These are the 9 best swiss chard substitutes that you can try out.

What Does Swiss Chard Taste Like?

Swiss chard tastes very similar to spinach, but it has a slight bitterness that may be unpleasant if the leaf is eaten raw. 

When cooked, swiss chard becomes slightly translucent and even more tender. If you’re looking for something new for dinner tonight pick up some of these vegetables instead of Swiss Chard.

Which Chard Is Healthiest? 

Beet greens, Swiss chard, turnip greens, and leaf lettuce are all very nutritious vegetables. However, the healthiest one is Swiss chard since it has a high level of vitamins A and K which promote good vision and bone strength.

What Is the Difference Between Green Chard and Swiss Chard?

Green chard is one of the names for swiss chard; however, it can also refer to other leafy vegetables like beet greens.  

Swiss Chard, on the other hand, is a green vegetable that has thick stalks and large leaves.  Both of these vegetables are very nutritious and can be added to soups, stocks, or other dishes.

Is Chard Similar to Spinach?

Yes, chard and spinach are both leafy vegetables that can be used in salads or as a side dish.

While the stalks of swiss chard tend to be thicker than those of spinach, they still have the same taste.

Chard tends to stick out more when compared to spinach because it is an oblong-shaped vegetable.

Can You Substitute Cabbage for Swiss Chard?

Yes, cabbage can be used as a substitute for swiss chard. Cabbage is a vegetable that has a high level of vitamin C, which promotes good eye health and helps strengthen the immune system. Both vegetables have a similar taste when cooked and have similar nutritional values.

If you’re looking to add some cabbage instead of swiss chard to your dish, it’s a great idea to use cabbage in place of swiss chard when making soup or adding it to stocks.

How Do You Make Swiss Chard Less Bitter?

To make swiss chard less bitter, you can blanch it before adding it to a dish.  Take the leaves and boil them in hot water for about 15 minutes to remove most of the bitterness.

After boiling them, you can drain and rinse them with cold water to stop the cooking process and keep their bright green color.  

Alternatively, you can cook swiss chard in boiling chicken broth which is known to reduce the bitterness of vegetables. 

Adding spices like garlic and onions while cooking can also help reduce the bitterness of swiss chard.

Final Words

If you’re looking for a leafy green vegetable with lots of vitamins and nutrients, Swiss chard is the way to go. It’s versatile in terms of cooking methods too – it can be sautéed, roasted, or used as an ingredient in soup-making.

You can use Swiss chard in so many different ways, but if you’re looking to branch out and try something new, here are some other leafy greens that have similar nutrient values as well.

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I’m a passionate food blogger on a journey to become a go-to person who can help others prepare delicious foods. I share recipes, food substitutes, and other cooking tips. Read more about my journey...

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