Swiss Chard Pesto

This summer I’ve been motivated to experiment with new recipes thanks to my CSA delivery and an abundance of vegetables.  A beautiful bunch of swiss chard had been sitting in my fridge for almost a week, and was desperate to be made into a delicious creation.  Swiss chard pesto sounded like the perfect summer night meal.

Swiss Chard

I knew I wouldn’t be home from work until late that evening, so I took a few minutes in the morning to prep the vegetables.  I washed the leaves, removed the stems, chopped the leaves, and placed them in a tupperware with a paper towel (to maintain freshness), and put the container in the fridge.

When I got home from work, I placed a pot of water to boil on the stove, and got working on my pesto.  This recipe was totally free hand, but I absolutely LOVED the end results and will be making this many times in the future!

I first lightly steamed the swiss chard in the microwave, and used my magic bullet to combine the ingredients.  This would be much easier in a food processor as I had to do it in batches.  I served the swiss chard pesto over Trader Joe’s pesto tortellini, which was fabulous and surprisingly nutritious (all pronounceable ingredients and low in fat & sodium).  Delish!

Pesto Tortellini


  • 3/4 bunch swiss chard, cleaned, steamed, and chopped
  • 1 ounce fresh parmesan
  • 1 ounce pistachio nuts
  • 4 sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1/4 cup basil
  • 2 – 4 TB water
  • salt to taste


  • Lightly steam chopped swiss chard.  1-2 minutes in the microwave is perfect.
  • In food processor combine swiss chard, parmesan, pistachio nuts, sun-dried tomatoes and basil.
  • Stream in olive oil.
  • Add water for desired consistency.
  • Season with salt.

Nutrition Information: Serves 4

114 calories, 9 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 5 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fiber, 5 grams protein, 236 mg sodium

*This serving size is large, and as you can see I used a lot of pesto on my pasta (it was approximately 1/4 of the recipe).  I was able to make the portion size larger with using more greens and less fat.  Normal pesto is much higher in calories due to the copious amounts of olive oil, so you may want to watch your portion size more carefully with traditional or store bought pesto.

Nutrition Tidbit: Swiss Chard

  • Swiss Chard is a nutritional powerhouse!
  • It is loaded with vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, manganese, potassium, iron, vitamin E and fiber.
  • The combination of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients have been associated with decreased risk of cancers (particularly colon) and improved overall health due to the myriad of nutrients.
  • Low in calories and high in nutrients, leafy green vegetables should be a part of our daily diets.
  • While swiss chard does contain calcium, the high levels of oxalates Asdecrease the risk of absorption.
  • With very high levels of vitamin K, those on blood thinners need to be aware of their leafy green vegetable intake, including swiss chard.  Speak with a nutrition professional for more guidelines on appropriate consumption.
  • Choose swiss chard with bright green leaves.  Avoid bunches that have leaves that are yellowing or browning.
  • Store unwashed in your refrigerator.
  • If you have too much on hand, blanch and freeze the swiss chard for later use.

3 Responses

  1. what a terrific recipe! this is my kinda dinner….

  2. I am definitely going to have to try this. Greg and I love pesto, but I always avoid it due to the excessive amounts of olive oil. I love that your version has so little. Thanks for sharing.

    We just sent in an application to join a CSA, so we are really excited. I just hope we get accepted into it. It would be so nice to always have a great selection of fresh produce. Like you mentioned in a previous post, it is fun to try new things too.

  3. […] when I got home! I also threw together a quick, homemade Swiss Chard pesto, which I had seen on Nutrition by Eve. I had a nice size batch of swiss chard from my CSA basket this week. Check out some of the […]

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