Creamy Braised Swiss Chard with Ham

Beyond Kale – Creamy Braised Swiss Chard with Ham

You can be forgiven for being sick of kale. The hearty green is everywhere: The heavyweight champion of vegetables has become the default choice at juice bars and salad bars and in kitchens. There’s good reason for that. Kale is full of vitamins and antioxidants, and it tastes pretty good, too. But kale is only one of many leafy greens, and it would be a shame to let just one variety overshadow its equally delicious (and nutritious) cousins. Collards are the closest in flavor and texture, but they are chewier and have a slightly bitter edge. Swiss chard braises down to silky tenderness in minutes. Even the humble cabbage cleans up nicely, developing an intense sweetness after a quick sear. These three simple recipes can work as main or side dishes, though no matter how you serve them, they’ll provide some relief from kale fatigue.

Creamy Braised Swiss Chard with Ham


  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 lb Swiss chard, stems finely chopped, leaves sliced into thin ribbons
  • ¾ tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 6 oz smoked ham, diced
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream


In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter and add onions, garlic, chard stems, and salt. Stir often, until very soft but not browned, about 15 minutes. Add broth and ham and bring to a simmer. Stir in chard leaves a handful at a time and simmer 6 minutes, or until tender. Stir in cream, add more salt to taste, and serve.



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