Swiss Chard with Crisp Apples

by on January 15, 2013
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Swiss Chard with Crisp Apples

Before I get to today’s recipe, I have some exciting news: Yesterday I was quoted in an article called “How to Go Vegan” in the New York Times Well column. I was thrilled to have the chance to share my ideas with a wider audience, and I hope that those of you who are trying to become vegan will find my suggestions helpful.

Now, on to the recipe. If you want to like Swiss chard but find it too bitter, this one is perfect for you!

Rainbow ChardOf all the greens, I think chard is the most beautiful. At the end of every summer, I plant a few large pots with tiny Rainbow chard seedlings, and over the fall and early winter, they grow to fill the planters with their dark green, red-, yellow-, or white-veined leaves. The red is the most vibrant (and stays colorful even through cooking) but I have a particular fondness for the yellow, whose leaves are a lighter, greener green. However, as much as I try, I haven’t been as happy with chard’s flavor. Though the leaves are tender, I find their flavor more bitter than kale and even mustard greens. Though I continue to cook with it, I’ve really just sort of tolerated the taste of chard.

But when I cut the largest leaves of chard from my garden a few days ago, the last we’re likely to have for another month or two, I was determined to actually enjoy this crop and started thinking that what it needed was some sweetness to balance out the bitterness. As many of you know, I have a habit of mixing fruit into my vegetables, so I started thinking, “What’s in season right now that might go well with chard?” The answer was, of course, apples. I love the bright, crisp flavor of Honeycrisp and SweetTango apples and just happened to have some in a basket in my kitchen, so I cut up two of them to cook along with the chard. But that didn’t seem like quite enough sweetness, so I added some plumped raisins. The results were delicious! The apples and raisins complement the chard so well that there isn’t a trace of bitterness. My husband and I loved the combination, and E, my greens-hating daughter…well, let’s just say she ate it. I’ve come to have realistic goals when it comes to my teenager and greens!

Swiss Chard with Crisp Apples

Swiss Chard with Crisp Apples

Swiss Chard with Crisp Apples

Course Side Dish, Vegetable
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 80 kcal
Author Susan Voisin


  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 2 pound bunches swiss chard about 1 pound 12 ounces
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 crisp red apples (such as Honeycrisp) cored and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce tamari, or coconut aminos
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Place the raisins in a small bowl and pour enough hot water on them just to barely cover. Set aside.
  2. Cut the stems off of the chard. Trim and discard the bottoms of the stems if they’re dry, and chop the stems into 1/4-inch slices. Set the sliced stems aside. Cut the leaves in half lengthwise and then slice into 1/2-inch strips. Keep the sliced leaves separate from the stems.
  3. Heat a deep, non-stick dutch oven or wok. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until they begin to brown. (If necessary, add water a tablespoon at a time to prevent sticking.) Add the chard stems and apples and cook for another 2 minutes.
  4. Drain the raisins, reserving the water. Add the raisins and the chard leaves to the pan and stir well. Add 1 tablespoon of the raisin water to the pan and cover tightly. Stirring every minute or two, cook until the chard is tender, about 6 minutes. Remove the lid and cook briefly to boil off any excess moisture. Remove from the heat, stir in the soy sauce and apple cider vinegar, and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.
Nutrition Facts
Swiss Chard with Crisp Apples
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 80
% Daily Value*
Sodium 383.9mg 16%
Total Carbohydrates 18.9g 6%
Dietary Fiber 3.9g 16%
Sugars 11.2g
Protein 3.1g 6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


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{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

1 moonwatcher January 15, 2013 at 4:07 pm

Hi Susan!

This is a wonderful post about chard, and I love the treatment with fruit! And talk about synchronicity! My next post is about, yes, you guessed it–Rainbow Chard. Great minds. . . πŸ™‚ I think they will compliment each other nicely. Beautiful photos!! I loved seeing the light through the chard leaves.




2 Susan Voisin January 15, 2013 at 5:05 pm

What an amazing coincidence! I can’t wait to see your post!


3 stephanie January 15, 2013 at 5:41 pm

Woo hoo! Swiss chard in a hot salad? YES!!! I love FatFree Vegan Kitchen! Thank you!


4 Michelle @ Eat Move Balance January 15, 2013 at 7:04 pm

Congrats! And I love the recipe idea! Swiss chard and apples sound like a great complimentary combo.


5 Anna@stuffedveggies January 15, 2013 at 8:20 pm

Congrats on the NYT interview – great advice!

You’re a great spokesperson for a vegan way of eating. You seem so friendly and approachable.

I gained new respect for you when I read where you live- I traveled thru there a few years back and while the people were lovely, I had a LOT of trouble finding vegan food to eat.


6 MaryAnn January 15, 2013 at 9:49 pm

Just wanted to say that it was the NY Times article that led me to you. My lucky day.


7 Susan Voisin January 15, 2013 at 11:06 pm

Welcome! I hope you find lots of recipes to try!


8 Jeanne January 15, 2013 at 10:21 pm

I read the NYT post and so agreed with your comments! It was a fun perspective to read about you and to realize you are the person behind the wonderful recipes we enjoy every week!


9 Radhika Sarohia January 15, 2013 at 11:11 pm

This looks great! Very healthy
And I’ve always put the stems into compost, I didn’t know you could just chop them up and include them, I will be doing that from now on πŸ™‚


10 Marsha January 16, 2013 at 12:47 am


The recipe sounds great, and I know I’ll love it since I’m already a chard lover. And I really enjoyed reading your comments in the NYT article. Great going!



11 MaryAnn Rocco January 16, 2013 at 6:42 am

This sounds wonderful. I can’t wait to try this one. Thank you!


12 wendy (healthy girl's kitchen) January 16, 2013 at 8:51 am

Susan, I was so excited when I saw you quoted in that NYT article! I was practically jumping for joy.


13 Susan Voisin January 16, 2013 at 11:05 am

Thanks, Wendy! It was an amazing opportunity that just came out of the blue, and I’m so glad Tara happened upon my nutritional yeast post. I had no idea that the article would be titled “How to Go Vegan”–if I had, I probably would have been too intimidated to think straight!


14 Molly January 16, 2013 at 8:58 am


It was a delight to read your comments in the N.Y.T., like having something good happen to a dear friend.
Is there any chance that you will someday publish a cookbook? Your website is wonderful and extremely helpful, but it would be even better to have an actual book to flip through and to cook with.


15 Susan Voisin January 16, 2013 at 11:03 am

Thanks! I’m seriously considering (finally) writing a book because so many people have told me that they would prefer to have recipes in print rather than online. I just need to figure out how to do it and still put as much energy into this blog, which is my first priority. We’ll see!


16 Chessie January 16, 2013 at 9:22 am

This recipe sounds delish, as do all your recipes.

I’ve heard other people say they find chard bitter, but I have never tasted bitterness in chard in all the years I’ve grown it and eaten it (including from the store). Could this be one of those flavors that depends on your personal chemistry? Maybe some people detect it and others don’t, the way some people find cilantro soapy and disgusting, while others enjoy it.


17 Susan Voisin January 16, 2013 at 11:01 am

You might be on to something there. I’ve had people tell me that they find kale bitter, but I’ve never tasted that at all. I also wonder if it has anything to do with the soil and water where it’s grown.


18 Sally January 16, 2013 at 9:55 am

Hi Susan –

I am kinda with you on the chard – I grow things in my garden I like to look at but not eat – eggplants come to mind. I have grown the white round ones, the Japanese ones, regular eggplant, all kinds of eggplants and cook about one per year LOL

But I also want to thank you for tirelessly trying new things and helping us. This week I tried on my own to make a bean burger with guidance from 2 of your recipes and let’s just say we ended up with burritos. This morning I did some experimenting on bran muffins to make them vegan and fat free and … ummm … worked from the recipe on the bag of bran and … tweaking still required.

So far every thing I have made following your recipes has been great – from impossible Pumpkin Pie to the enchilada casserole. Thank you for your wonderful contribution to so many people – you have saved the rest of us much frustration and tweaking.


19 Sally January 17, 2013 at 5:03 pm

I just wanted to add that reason I was messing with Susan’s burger recipes: I am very allergic to oats which were used in one recipe and avoiding rice for a while after the consumer reports/federal warning on arsenic in rice, as we ate a whole lot of rice … so I needed to work around oats and rice … otherwise no need to mess with Susan’s recipes. And if I had really drained the beans … πŸ™‚


20 stephanie January 16, 2013 at 10:51 am

Congratulations on making it to print in the NY Times! That is a wonderful accomplishment! I can’t think of a better person to speak on behalf of vegans everywhere. I hope you saved the article!


21 Susan Voisin January 16, 2013 at 10:59 am

Thanks for your kind words, stephanie! I bought two copies of the print version! πŸ™‚


22 Delisa Renideo January 16, 2013 at 11:48 am

Hi Susan,
Thanks for this idea! Adding something sweet to greens really helps a lot of people who don’t really care for greens on their own.

Along those lines, I’ve discovered that steaming red cabbage and kale together provides the sweetness (cabbage) with the kale (bitter) and makes it SO delicious.

Thanks for always providing great, healthy ideas!



23 ZolaLuna January 16, 2013 at 4:52 pm

I am dabling in introducing more veggies into my diet and we bought some swiss chard – of course once I got home I said to myself – Great, now what do I do with it?

Well this was fabulous. I am one of those many people who was raised on meat and some white carb to go with, so I was hesitant to say the least, but I am very suprised and grateful to have found your site. I can’t wait to start feasting on your other recipies/ideas.

A new swiss chard fan, thanks to you.


24 Zoe January 16, 2013 at 8:59 pm

The NYT quotation was great! This morning I was so happy, since the article talked to my favorite vegan blogger! I am glad the Well section is opening dialogue about vegetarian and vegan options, the comments on the article are pretty entertaining πŸ™‚


25 Stephen@HappyHeart January 17, 2013 at 7:44 am

Such a simple recipe but incredibly tasty! Delicious! Made it before I even got around to commenting!


26 Catrina January 17, 2013 at 9:30 am

To start, I have to say that when I don’t know what to make for dinner, I visit your page first! I’ve never been disappointed! If producing a cookbook gets your recipes out to more people, than by all means and more power and well wishes to you!
I make a version of this salad with raw chard that I learned in a cooking class before christmas. I add roasted butternut squash and cooked quinoa and grapes. It’s a complete meal and lasts a day or 2 in the fridge. Love it!


27 Grandpa Ron January 17, 2013 at 3:15 pm

This blew the sox off last nights supper! My local store was out of chard and I substituted bok choy (hey, they kinda look alike, right?) , and all anyone talked about was how great it was!

Thanks, Susan. It’s a keeper.


28 Naomi January 18, 2013 at 12:28 pm

This is a great use for Swiss Chard! I think the raisins make it great, though. They really are a great idea for giving greens a nice touch. Thanks for the recipe πŸ™‚


29 jose January 18, 2013 at 3:47 pm

I have just started since yesterady to use your recommendations…my family and i are starting a new diet is still unconclusive… it vegan——-vegetarian……anywaze we are ammatures at this and have reduced significantly our consumption to in some countries call it pets….lol
I really like your recipes i am using them on daily basis now…and i love i love it…please keep on.
Today i will try to surprise my wife with the swiss chard dish….i did win her heart yestarday with the korean kale dish….was awesome…thanks


30 Raine January 18, 2013 at 8:23 pm

I love swiss chard!! I grew it for the first time this year and am completely hooked. Thanks for sharing this recipe!


31 Connie January 19, 2013 at 9:31 am

This recipe looks wonderful, and I plan to try it tonight. I really, really want to like chard – so beautiful, nutritious, easy to grow and always available at any farmer’s market, but every time (and every way) I’ve tried it in the past it always came out with a slightly fishy taste. I think your recipe might be the one that changes my feelings about chard!


32 sharon January 19, 2013 at 12:51 pm

Loved this recipe. I’m back to eating properly and the flavors in this recipe made it sooooo easy!


33 Sarah January 20, 2013 at 10:53 am

Congrats on the NY Times article – that’s exciting!


34 S January 21, 2013 at 1:09 pm

Looks like a delicious recipe! Toddler friendly also.

Looking forward to preparing this


35 rita January 23, 2013 at 6:32 pm



36 Fitness Education January 28, 2013 at 9:24 am

I do believe in having salad diet once in a day either for lunch or dinner. Its really amazing and i like the idea of adding raisin. Raisin works as anti oxidant. I would be adding them too in my vegetables…


37 Debbie @ healthy eating plan January 30, 2013 at 6:01 am

I loved your recipe, it’s good for my healthy diet tips πŸ™‚
Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚


38 liz March 25, 2013 at 7:54 pm

Wow! My first experience with swiss chard! I’m sold! Thanks for a great idea


39 Leigh-Anne D April 14, 2013 at 7:01 pm

Made a half recipe of this for the hubby and me with a side of coconut (milk) rice. It was terrific. Thank you for sharing!


40 Susan June 16, 2013 at 8:03 pm

hi Susan. Our community garden had an abundance of swiss chard this weekend. This was a recipe I have been storing in my ‘try this recipe’ folder. It was delicious! Wonderful combination of flavors. Thank you Susan for your consistently delicious recipes. You have helped to make me a better cook for my family.


41 Phyllis Towns October 16, 2014 at 6:35 pm

I made this for our family dinner last night for myself & my daughter-in-law as she is the only one who will eat vegan with me! What a fabulous dish! We both loved it. I had a large quantity of chard from my garden & definitely felt as you – I love the idea of it but the bitternes is a turn off. Your recipe is the BOMB! I had a sub crasins for raisins as I didn’t have any. It didn’t matter as the recipe is so very good! Thank you so much as I have tried so many different recipes trying to find something to help me like chard better & this is the only one that worked. I will be cooking my chard like this from now on! BRAVO!!!!!!! ❀️


42 Amanda February 1, 2015 at 12:40 pm

I do not like swiss chard so far either, although as I was making this I tried a half leaf as a wrap with a strongly spiced hummus and veggies and I didn’t taste the bitterness either.

Of course I discovered, as I was making it that I am out of ACV so I am trying it with red wine and balsamic as a test. I wouldn’t have changed the recipe if I had the vinegar in the house though. I added a squeeze of lime with the balsamic. Both experiments were successful. The red wine is sweeter.


43 Amanda February 1, 2015 at 1:56 pm

Pecans or walnuts are a great addition


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