Creamed Swiss Chard (Better than Spinach)

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Swiss Chard is a staple in my garden. For one thing, not many insects eat it. Perhaps it is because it has such a high oxalate content (I’ll get into that later). Two other reasons I love it in my garden are that it has a long growing season and because it is simply beautiful, especially the rainbow chard. Some people love the flavor of chard when sauteed in olive oil alone. I have to say that I am not one of those people. I love chard “in” dishes where it is enhanced with other flavors. I feel the same way about spinach, which is why I often simply find spinach recipes and use swiss chard instead. This creamed chard recipe is one of those, and I think I like it even better with chard.

Morbi vitae purus dictum, ultrices tellus in, gravida lectus.

GARDEN

COOKING

SWISS CHARD

HARVEST

Oxalates in Swiss Chard

Before I get into this recipe, I want to give a brief warning about the very high oxalate content in Swiss Chard. Oxalates are an organic compound found in varying amounts in foods like greens, sweet potatoes, tea, and almonds. Oxalic acid binds with minerals in the food to create oxalates. It can also bind to minerals in our bodies to create these oxalates that are eliminated in our urine. However, if you have ever had a kidney stone (I have), then you know that sometimes these oxalates can be painful. Some people’s bodies are more prone to creating kidney stones than others, so definitely be aware of that. Too much oxalate can also be toxic to our brains, as noted in this article by Price-Pottenger. The normal amount of oxalate consumed by most people is about 120 mg per day, according to this article. One half cup of steamed Red Swiss Chard has over 900 mg of oxalate and steamed Spinach has about 700 mg per 1/2 cup. White stalked Swiss Chard contains 500 mg.

According to nutritionfacts.org, 30% of oxalates are reduced by steaming, and 60% of oxalates are reduced by boiling. Oxalate is water soluable, so it does leach out into the water when boiled. That is great news, because many recipes can use boiled chard rather than sauteed. You can also diminish the effects of oxalates by consuming calcium-rich foods along with your spinach or chard.

This isn’t meant to steer you away from eating chard at all, but just knowing how food affects your body helps you eat the healthiest for you. I have had kidney stones in the past before I ever ate Swiss Chard, and I have not had one since… and I’ve eaten a lot of chard.

Morbi vitae purus dictum, ultrices tellus in, gravida lectus.

This is a very simple recipe really. There are only three parts:

  1. Saute the onions and Chard
  2. Make the cream sauce
  3. Add the cooked chard

I’ll go through this in steps, though, so you can see how it all comes together.

Morbi vitae purus dictum, ultrices tellus in, gravida lectus.

Note: I only use the green part, and compost the stalks. Just hold the chard by the stalk and either pull the green off or use your knife to slice it off quickly. Then just roll all the leaves together and chop.

Step 1: Saute Onions and Swiss Chard (or boil chard first)

Morbi vitae purus dictum, ultrices tellus in, gravida lectus.

Cook the onions and chard until onions are soft and chard is wilted. About 5-8 minutes.

Step 2: Make Roux

Morbi vitae purus dictum, ultrices tellus in, gravida lectus.

Once butter melts, add the flour and cook over medium heat for a few minutes until all the flour grains are coated in butter, but before it burns.

Step 3: Make Cream Sauce

Morbi vitae purus dictum, ultrices tellus in, gravida lectus.

Once the butter and flour are combined, pour the milk and/or cream into the pan and whisk until it is smooth. Add the nutmeg now.

Step 4: Add Cream Cheese

Morbi vitae purus dictum, ultrices tellus in, gravida lectus.

Once the sauce is smooth, add the cream cheese and stir until it’s melted and the sauce is smooth.

Step 5: Add chard and onions

Morbi vitae purus dictum, ultrices tellus in, gravida lectus.

All that is left is to add the sauteed onions and chard to the cream sauce, and season to taste.

Final Step: (Optional) Sprinkle with cheese of choice and place under a broiler to get a nice cheesy crust.

Morbi vitae purus dictum, ultrices tellus in, gravida lectus.

Pour creamed spinach into an oven safe dish and sprinkle with cheese. (Gruyére, Swiss, Cheddar, or Parmesan are great). Place in the oven and broil for about 5 min, until cheese begins to darken.

Full Recipe in Details

This is a rich recipe, so it’s perfect for special occasions like a Mother’s Day brunch or anniversary meal. It can be made with any milk or ceam combination.

Morbi vitae purus dictum, ultrices tellus in, gravida lectus.
INGREDIENTS
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped

  • 4-6 stalks Swiss Chard, stalks removed, greens chopped.

  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • 3 tablespoons flour

  • 2 cups milk, cream or half-n-half

  • 1/4 cup cream cheese

  • 1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg

  • Salt and Pepper to taste

  • 2 Tablespoons grated cheese to top

GUIDE / INSTRUCTIONS
  • 1

    Heat olive oil over medium heat

  • 2

    Add chopped onions and chopped chard

  • 3

    Cook until onions are soft and chard is wilted.

  • 4

    Remove onions and chard from pan and add butter.

  • 5

    Heat butter until melted and add flour, stir to combine.

  • 6

    Once flour and butter are combined, cook for additional minute over medium heat, careful not to burn it.

  • 7

    Add milk and whisk until it is smooth. It will look like pancake batter.

  • 8

    Add cream cheese and stir until combined.

  • 9

    Remove cream sauce from heat and add sauteed onions and chard. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  • 10

    Pour into oven safe dish, sprinkle with grated cheese, and broil until cheese is bubbly and turning darker.

  • 11

    Serve as a side dish or as a filling for crepes, puff pastry, or even as a hot dip.

creamed spinach crepe
NOTES

To reheat after being refrigerated, it is best to heat in a pan over low-med heat until melted.

Share this recipe

Full Recipe in Details

This is a rich recipe, so it’s perfect for special occasions like a Mother’s Day brunch or anniversary meal. It can be made with any milk or ceam combination.

Morbi vitae purus dictum, ultrices tellus in, gravida lectus.
INGREDIENTS
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped

  • 4-6 stalks Swiss Chard, stalks removed, greens chopped.

  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • 3 tablespoons flour

  • 2 cups milk, cream or half-n-half

  • 1/4 cup cream cheese

  • 1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg

  • Salt and Pepper to taste

  • 2 Tablespoons grated cheese to top

GUIDE / INSTRUCTIONS
  • 1

    Heat olive oil over medium heat

  • 2

    Add chopped onions and chopped chard

  • 3

    Cook until onions are soft and chard is wilted.

  • 4

    Remove onions and chard from pan and add butter.

  • 5

    Heat butter until melted and add flour, stir to combine.

  • 6

    Once flour and butter are combined, cook for additional minute over medium heat, careful not to burn it.

  • 7

    Add milk and whisk until it is smooth. It will look like pancake batter.

  • 8

    Add cream cheese and stir until combined.

  • 9

    Remove cream sauce from heat and add sauteed onions and chard. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  • 10

    Pour into oven safe dish, sprinkle with grated cheese, and broil until cheese is bubbly and turning darker.

  • 11

    Serve as a side dish or as a filling for crepes, puff pastry, or even as a hot dip.

creamed spinach crepe
NOTES

To reheat after being refrigerated, it is best to heat in a pan over low-med heat until melted.

Share this recipe

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