braised swiss chard with cannellini

4 to 6    |   
Prep Time:
15 minutes    |   
Cook Time:
25 minutes

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chard cannellini

This comes from my book Braises & Stews and it’s the most requested veggie dish on this site. Serve as a meatless main over rice or polenta, or as a humble and healthy sauce over pasta, or as a veggie fest all on its own. Use any kind of chard you find at the market: white, red or “rainbow” (a mix of colors). You can use the stems or save them for another recipe (such as this one). If you use them, put them in the pan with the celery, carrot and onion to saute a bit before adding the more tender leaves.

photo credit: Ben Fink for Chronicle Books


1 bunch Swiss chard
1/4 cup olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 can (14.5-oz) chopped tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 can (15 oz) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


Trim the stems and center ribs off the chard (reserve for another use if desired, or chop roughly if using here). Rinse leaves, shake off excess water, and stack leaves on a cutting board. Cut lengthwise down the center, then slice thinly crosswise. Set aside.

In a wide sauté pan or 5- to 7-quart Dutch oven, warm the oil over medium-high heat and add the onion, celery, and carrot (if using chard stems, add them now, too). Cook, stirring, until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds until fragrant, then stir in the tomatoes and red pepper flakes. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until tomatoes break down and sauce thickens a bit, about 10 minutes.

Stir in sliced chard leaves by the handful, letting each addition cook down a bit before adding the next. Stir in the beans. Cover pan and simmer until greens are very soft, about 10 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and pepper.