Swiss Chard & Potatoes

This is a dish my husband grew up enjoying only his Mother used broccoli rabe when she made her version and it reminds me of real country peasant food. You can just imagine an old Nonna picking potatoes and greens from her garden and then cooking them together in this dish.

You can use any greens you prefer including Swiss chard, chicory, broccoli rabe, and even spinach though heartier greens work better than spinach in my opinion. Though it isn’t the most attractive dish to look at, it is delicious and very hearty. You could also add some sautéed pancetta or bacon if you like, although we prefer it just the way it is.

You can mash the potatoes even more, but I prefer to have my potatoes in larger pieces. I would serve this dish with grilled or roasted meat, and sausages in particular work really well.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 

Swiss Chard & Potatoes

Swiss Chard & Potatoes

Yield: Serves 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

This Italian peasant dish would be perfect served with grilled or roasted meat.


  • 1 Pound Swiss Chard (Or Other Greens - See Notes Above)
  • 1 Pound Potatoes, Peeled & Cut Into Quarters
  • 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 Large Garlic Cloves, Peeled & Minced
  • Fine Sea Salt & Cracked Black Pepper
  • 1/2 to 1 Teaspoon Red Hot Pepper Flakes


  1. Wash the chard and trim the stems, then cut the stems into 1 inch pieces.
  2. Fold the leaves together, and cut into 1/2 inch strips.
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil then add the potatoes and cook until just almost tender, about 20 minutes.
  4. Add the stems from the chard and cook another 10 minutes, then add the leaves and cook until wilted.
  5. Drain the potatoes and chard very well in a colander.
  6. In a large heavy skillet, heat the oil over medium heat and add the garlic.
  7. Season the oil with salt and pepper and add the red pepper flakes.
  8. Add the Swiss chard and potatoes, then cook over medium heat, stirring often, and mashing the potatoes gently as they cook, for about 8 minutes.
  9. Taste, and adjust seasonings as needed, then serve warm.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 2 cups
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 180Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 245mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 5gSugar: 2gProtein: 4g

Did you make this recipe?

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  1. Hi Deborah, this looks very good – especially if you want something down-to-earth and filling.

    The pancetta or bacon you mention could only make it better. If using either of those: at what point would you cook the pancetta or bacon? When you cook the other things in skillet, or cooked separately, and then added near the end?

  2. Thanks so much for the recipe. Have wanted to fix this for sometime. It looks so much like the recipes my neighbors in the old neighborhood prepared sometime ago. Trying for dinner tonight with a sprinkle of grated Italian cheese.

  3. Delicious! Thank you! My 6 year old gave the chard a thumb’s up. I didn’t wilt the chard leaves beforehand, and it turned out just fine (and it retains more of their nutrients by not boiling first).

  4. Thank you for this recipe. My grandma always made this when I was a kid. I’ve made it in the past but it wasn’t the same. I was just boiling everything, I didn’t know about the frying pan part! She called it Men-aye-ha, but I have no idea how to spell it. Do you know if there is an actual name for this recipe?

    1. Every region has their own name for different dishes so it probably was something she learned depending on what region of Italy she came from.

  5. This was amazing!  I will be following your recipes now. I added some lemon juice at the end and some onions,  but creating a hash from these ingredients was genius!!

  6. This looks lovely. I got some chard in my surprise farm box, and was looking for something different than plain sauteed leaves (because nobody in the family likes it that way) 🙁
    I’m confident that this will be a hit, and we can stop immediately composting the chard.

  7. I haven’t made this yet but I have fond memories of eating this at my in-laws’ (husband is half Italian). I have a garden with chard and know I will make this. Thanks or the trip down memory lane 🙂

  8. Wow!!! Just made this again, still surprisingly flavorful and delicious for how simple and easy it is. I smacked the garlic and left it whole since I find a lot of fried minced garlic to be heavy. I didn’t bother peeling the potatoes either so overall it was very little work. First time I made it with silverbeet chard, second time with the greenish outer leaves of radicchio, which taste more like regular chicory. Both were amazing but the chard was the clear winner. Delicious as a veg+starch side dish for a lemony main dish or on its own as a light meal, maybe with a bit of parmesan on top. Interestingly when I tried to find this recipe again I discovered that the chard version is also a national dish of the Dalmatian coast of Croatia! For me it’ll definitely be a go-to recipe for all sorts of greens.

  9. I’ve made this quite a few times in many different ways. As written it’s delicious, but I tend to use up what I have. I think my favorite version is with Swiss chard, and adding browned Italian sausage and a can of cannellini beans. A perfect one pan meal.

  10. Just made this tonight, and it is amazing. I used chard, fennel bulb tops and stems, Napa cabbage, and parsley, and also put in a serrano pepper. It’s so good!!! And it uses a lot of greens, which sometimes I feel like I don’t have any new recipes for. Thank you for the recipe 🙂

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