Sautéed Kale & Swiss Chard with Garlic and Lemon Recipe

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by Maggie Turansky

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This chard and kale recipe with garlic, olive oil and lemon is one of my favourite quick, easy and healthy side dishes to throw together for a weeknight meal.

It can be cooked in less than ten minutes and it’s the perfect accompaniment to fish (like my red snapper fillets and my rainbow trout!) or another light main.

Too often, cooked greens are overcooked, watery and lacking in flavour but I sought to remedy that with this recipe. A brief sautee in a chili-infused olive oil is all that the fresh kale and chard need to make an absolutely delicious, bright and crisp side dish perfect for any occasion!

So if you’re trying to fit more greens into your diet and want an impressive and tasty side dish to serve, then this recipe is for you!

Sauteed Kale & Swiss Chard
Sauteed Kale & Swiss Chard

How to Make Sautéed Swiss Chard & Kale

This recipe is super simple and relatively straightforward and, therefore, doesn’t really have a lot of steps.

It also comes together super quickly and it’s a great side dish for when you’re cooking something in the oven – you can throw it together while the main meal cooks!

Ingredients for this recipe
Ingredients for this recipe

Start by prepping your greens. Basically, just strip the leaves of the kale and the chard from the stems and give it a rough chop.

I also like to ensure it’s well-washed as these greens can be very dirty. It will look like a lot of greens, but keep in mind that it does cook down significantly.

Prepped greens
Prepped greens

If you’re looking for something to do with any leftover kale or Swiss chard, then you can always stir them into soups like harira or pasta e fagioli or incorporate them into my chickpea curry recipe!

Next, add some chili flakes to a large skillet and cover with good, extra virgin olive oil.

Adding oil and chilli flakes to the pan
Adding oil and chili flakes to the pan

If you want to add a punch of umami and aren’t concerned about making this vegetarian, it could be a good idea to add an anchovy fillet to the skillet, too! It will dissolve as the oil heats up and can be a delicious incorporation! It’s absolutely optional, however.

Set the skillet over medium-low heat and allow the chili flakes to infuse in the oil until the oil is shimmering.

Then, add some finely chopped garlic, stir to ensure it’s evenly distributed and cook for about thirty seconds.

Adding the garlic to the pan
Adding the garlic to the pan

Now it’s time to add your greens. You may have to add them in batches if your skillet is too small to contain all of them.

So add your greens to the skillet, toss to coat in the oil, add a generous pinch of salt and then cover with a lid for a minute or two – just to allow the greens to wilt again.

Adding the greens
Adding the greens

If you need to cook the greens in batches, repeat this step again with your remaining greens.

Once all of the greens have been incorporated and wilted down, remove the lid and toss for a minute or two longer – you want them to be wilted yet still crisp!

Now all you need to do is pour over a bit of fresh lemon juice and taste to adjust for seasoning – adding a bit of salt and pepper if needed.

Cooking down the greens
Cooking down the greens

All that’s left is to serve and enjoy! This dish goes great with an array of different mains, but I think it particularly sings beside a nice simple fish fillet. It can be served with another vegetable side like my sauteed asparagus with sesame and oyster sauce!

Sauteed Kale & Swiss Chard

Sautéed Kale & Swiss Chard with Garlic and Lemon

These sauteed greens are a healthy and flavourful side dish. Perfect served alongside fish, it's simple and easy to make and super tasty.
5 from 2 votes
Servings 2
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  • ½ tsp chili flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 40 g (2 cups) kale stripped from stems and roughly chopped
  • 80 g (2 cups) Swiss chard stripped from stems and roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice


  • Add the chili flakes and 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to a large skillet for which you have a lid. Set over medium-low heat and cook until the oil begins to shimmer and the chili flakes infuse in the oil.
    Adding oil and chilli flakes to the pan
  • Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for about 30 seconds or until very fragrant.
    Adding the garlic to the pan
  • Add the kale and chard – working in batches if your skillet is not large enough – along with a generous pinch of salt. Cover with a lid and allow the greens to wilt slightly for a minute or two. Remove the lid and toss the greens for a minute or two longer, until they are wilted and decreased in size but still crisp.
    Adding the greens
  • Pour over the lemon juice and toss to combine. Remove from the heat and adjust for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if necessary. Serve immediately.
    Cooking down the greens


Calories: 22kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 0.5g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 105mg | Potassium: 251mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 4593IU | Vitamin C: 35mg | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 1mg

Disclaimer: Nutritional information is automatically generated and provided as guidance only. Accuracy is not guaranteed.

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This recipe is an excellent way to enjoy two leafy greens in a really delicious preparation. In fact, this dish is so tasty that you will be surprised by just how good it is for you!

Are you searching for new ways to cook Swiss chard and kale? Have any questions? Let me know in the comments!

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Maggie is the creator behind No Frills Kitchen. She is a world traveller, home cook and recipe developer who loves to experiment with new cuisines and techniques at every chance she gets. No stranger to improvising and making do with the equipment and ingredients she has available, she is passionate about sharing her knowledge with others. Read More

5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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