15 Super Substitutes for Swiss Chard

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If you’re in a pinch and need a Swiss chard substitute in a recipe, don’t worry, there are plenty of options.

Here are some of the best substitutes for Swiss chard.

15 Substitutes for Swiss Chard

Here are my top picks for substituting Swiss chard.

1. Mature Spinach 

With a similar dark green appearance and nutritional properties, mature spinach is known to be the most efficient and easily available Swiss chard substitute.

However, do keep in mind that only mature spinach has the same tender crunchiness and mildly bitter taste as Swiss chard that baby spinach lacks. 

How to substitute

Mature Spinach can be substituted for the same amount of Swiss chard in most savory recipes.

Try this classic mushroom with garlic and Spinach.

2. Collard Greens

Another all-year-round available replacement for Swiss chard is Collard greens with higher calcium content and other nutritional values like Vitamins A, B, C, and, K.

A small caution: Collard greens have a nutty and somewhat bitter taste and should ideally be combined with other spices and meat like bacon or ham. 

How to substitute

It is suggested to use 2.5 pounds of Collard greens for every 2 pounds of Swiss chard for cooked recipes.

Easy and healthy sautéed Collard greens with ham hocks. 

3. Mustard Greens

Mustard greens can be both green and red and can well be used to replace Swiss chard with the same smooth yet peppery flavor, and should ideally be added to soups or with other vegetables.

Do remember that Mustard greens tend to have a deeper flavor, slightly thicker leaves, and may be on the spicier side.

Blanching in salted water helps to make it milder. 

How to substitute

Due to the thickness and deep flavors, a slightly lesser quantity of Mustard greens is used to replace Swiss chard.

Southern-style Mustard green recipe.

4. Bok Choy

Bok Choy is a regular in Asian cuisines with crunchy leaves and a flavorful nuttiness.

Its mildly bitter taste makes it another perfect swap for Swiss chard for both cooked and raw dishes.

Do consider the fact that Bok Choy has a much milder flavor and becomes tender quickly when cooked and should be added in the end.

How to substitute

The same quantity of Bok Choy can be used to substitute Swiss chard in soups, stews, salads, and sandwiches.

Bok Choy vegetable stir-fry.

5. Beet Greens

These deep-colored Beet greens have the same nutty and creamy properties as Swiss chard and can be added to stir-fries or as a side dish in most cases.

Do remember that Beet greens are smaller in size than and not as firm as Swiss chard. 

How to substitute

Since Beet greens have a lighter texture, a slightly more amount would bring the same flavors as Swiss chard or salads and sautéed meals.

Sautéed Beet greens.

6. Young Spinach

Young Spinach is the easiest and most economical choice when replacing Swiss chard with the same deep color and crispy texture.

One thing to consider with young spinach is its milder texture which allows it to taste good only in cooked recipes and not in raw salads.

How to substitute

Spinach can be used in the same quantity as Swiss chard for most savory cooked dishes.

Cheese and Spinach omelet.

7. Arugula

Arugula has a bright, acidic, peppery, slightly bitter, and mustard-like flavor making it another great swap for Swiss chard for both cooked and raw meals.

Do keep in mind that the taste of Arugula can be quite bitter at times and this bitterness can be removed by marinating it in lemon juice or citric oil.

How to substitute

For substituting every 2 pounds of Swiss chard, use 2.5 pounds of Arugula.  

Try these healthy and tasty Arugula salads.

8. Cavalo Nero or Black Kale

Cavalo Nero, also known as black kale or black cabbage, or curly dinosaur, has a similar peppery taste and crisp texture when raw.

One thing to remember is that Black kale cooks rather easily and can become tender very easily and should, therefore, only be added to raw dishes and not in cooked meals.

How to substitute

Cavalo Nero can be used in the same amount as Swiss chard for most recipes, both raw and cooked.

Black kale salad.

9. Rhubarb 

Rhubarb is another dark green herb that can sufficiently replace Swiss chard in almost every recipe that requires Swiss chard as roasted toppings or cooked in stews.

A small caution: Rhubarb is known to have an intense and deep flavor, much stronger than that of Swiss chard.

Honey is usually added to balance its intensity.

How to substitute

A slightly lesser amount of Rhubarb with honey or sugar should substitute for Swiss chard in most dishes.

Try these poached Rhubarb recipes.

10. Cabbage

Cabbage is an easily found alternative for Swiss chard with the same crunch and acidic flavors. 

It is important to remember that different types of cabbage taste different. Cabbage also has a lighter color and would need other spices to replace Swiss chard.

How to substitute

Since Cabbage alone cannot replicate the same taste as Swiss chard, lesser amounts should be used in raw dishes like sandwiches or salads.

Try these healthy Cabbage rolls.

11. Dandelion Greens 

Dandelion greens are herbs that are harvested before flowering for their slightly bitter stem and earthy and bitter leaves.

Remember that if your Dandelion greens are picked after flowering, they will taste too bitter.

They are also hard to find in most markets places.

How to substitute

Dandelion greens differ from Swiss chard in their appearance but should be used in smaller quantities due to their intensity.

Delicious Marinated Chickpeas with Quinoa and Dandelion Greens 

12. Kale

Regular Kale is yet another great way to replace Swiss chard in most cooked dishes.

It is easily obtained and is one of the healthiest substitutes for curly and tender leaves.

Do remember that Kale does not have the same spice as Swiss chard or arugula and needs additional spices to get the same flavor.

How to substitute

Kale can be used in the same amount as Swiss chard with other greens, aromatic herbs, and spices or sauces.

Kale scrambled egg stir-fry.

13. Turnip Greens

Turnip greens are often discarded but can be a useful alternative to Swiss chard with its green and spicy leaves.

A few things to consider for Turnip greens is that they are too tough and chewy when raw but can lose some of their spicy bitter flavors if overcooked. 

How to substitute

Turnip greens are comparatively smaller in size and a slightly larger quantity should replace Swiss chard perfectly in soups, stir-fries, and quiches.

Traditional spicy Turnip greens.

14. Lettuce

Lettuce can be a great Swiss chard alternative, especially for raw meals like salads, with the same crispy texture and adaptable nature to blend well with other ingredients.

However, remember that Lettuce does not have as many nutritional properties as Swiss chard does and has a much lighter hue. 

How to substitute

The same amount and number of Lettuce leaves can be used to substitute Swiss chard for salads.

Delicious Lettuce wraps.

15. Broccoli

Broccoli leaves are known to be grassy, earthy, bitter, and mildly spicy making them another great way to substitute Swiss chard in soups and stews. 

Do remember that Broccoli leaves can wilt and lose their crunchiness very easily once cooked and should be added at the end of the recipe for best outcomes.

How to substitute

Broccoli leaves vary in size but can be used in the same quantity as Swiss chard for most recipes.

Try this healthy Chinese Broccoli leaf recipe.

FAQs

What Is The Best Swiss Chard Substitute?

Beet greens, mature spinach, Mustard greens, and Collard greens are known to substitute Swiss chard perfectly in both cooked dishes like pasta, soups, stews, stir-fries, and raw meals like salads and sandwiches.

Other possible substitutes for Swiss chard are Bok Choy, Black Tuscan kale, arugula, and rhubarb.

Can I Use Spinach To Substitute Swiss Chard?

Yes, both mature and young spinach can be used to substitute for Swiss chard. Mature spinach is most often used for raw recipes for its similar texture, taste, and spice.

Young or baby spinach does not have the same crunch and peppery flavor and is best for cooked dishes like soups and pasta.

Do Collard Greens Taste Like Swiss Chard?

Fresh Collard greens do tend to taste very similar to Swiss chard and can be used to substitute each other in most dishes. Collard greens can sometimes be slightly bitterer than Swiss chard. 

Both Swiss chard and Collard greens can sometimes lose some of their peppery bitterness once cooked.

What Is The Difference Between Swiss Chard and Red Chard?

There are no huge differences between Swiss chard and Red chard, except for the color of their stalk and leafy veins. Swiss chard stalk can range from white to yellow, red, and pink. 

Red chard is also known as Rhubarb and it tends to have a more intense and spicier taste as compared to regular Swiss chard.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a leafy green to add to your diet but aren’t a fan of Swiss chard, don’t worry! There are plenty of other options out there.

This guide outlined outlines 15 substitutes for Swiss chard that you can use in recipes or on your own.

Give them a try, and let us know how it goes!


References

https://www.britannica.com/plant/broccoli
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broccoli
https://www.britannica.com/plant/lettuce
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lettuce
https://www.britannica.com/plant/turnip#:~:text=The%20turnip%20is%20thought%20to,and%20are%20used%20in%20stews.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turnip
https://www.britannica.com/plant/kale
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kale
https://kids.britannica.com/students/article/dandelion/273911#:~:text=Dandelion%20greens%20are%20considered%20a,See%20also%20flower%3B%20weed.)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taraxacum
https://www.britannica.com/plant/Brassica-oleracea
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cabbage
https://www.britannica.com/plant/rhubarb
https://www.britannica.com/plant/kale
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lacinato_kale#:~:text=Lacinato%20kale%20(UK%3A%20%2F%CB%8C,cuisine%2C%20especially%20that%20of%20Tuscany.
https://www.britannica.com/plant/arugula
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eruca_vesicaria
https://www.britannica.com/plant/spinach
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spinach
https://www.britannica.com/plant/beet#:~:text=The%20leaves%20of%20garden%20beets,A%2C%20C%2C%20and%20K.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beetroot
https://www.britannica.com/plant/Chinese-mustard
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bok_choy
https://www.britannica.com/plant/mustard
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brassica_juncea
https://www.britannica.com/plant/collard#:~:text=collard%2C%20(Brassica%20oleracea%2C%20variety,and%20vitamins%20A%20and%20C.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collard_(plant)
https://www.britannica.com/plant/spinach
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spinach#:~:text=The%20flowers%20are%20inconspicuous%2C%20yellow,for%2090%25%20of%20the%20total.


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About Pratibha Singh

Pratibha is a popular home chef and loves to prepare some amazing Indian dishes. A foodie to the core she enjoys other cuisines too. She has been cooking since childhood and often prepares meals for her family, friends, and even strangers. Her motto in life: “Always be prepared!”

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