Our recipe for Wilted Chard with Bacon and Garlic makes a side dish that is loaded with nutrition, and with flavor! This recipe makes a lovely holiday side dish–perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas, but is easy enough to enjoy on a weeknight. This recipe can be part of a low-carb, keto, Atkins, or diabetic diet. (Originally published April 2, 2016)


Wilted Swiss Chard in a serving bowl.


The Recipe for Wilted Chard with Bacon and Garlic

A splash of vinegar adds big flavor to this recipe for Swiss chard. We add some buttery garlic goodness and smokey flavor of bacon and it becomes a crave-worthy recipe.


This recipe is quick and easy to make. I find it only takes about 15 minutes. Once the bacon and onions are cooked, the chard only takes about a minute to wilt.  


The Inspiration

Swiss chard is one of the few vegetables that survives my horrific gardening skills.  It endures our tough clay soil and weeks of rain followed by weeks of drought.  Chard refuses to let the weeds choke it out of existence.  Because of the hardiness of this vegetable, I sometimes even have a surplus to play with in the kitchen.  


My experimentation with chard has led to this favorite family recipe.  The recipe has its roots in my mother’s kitchen where she commonly used vinegar and bacon to flavor greens.


How to make this recipe for Wilted Chard with Bacon and Garlic dairy-free

I personally love the buttery goodness of this recipe and like to use butter from grass-fed cows to increase the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in the dish. However, some people are sensitive to dairy products, including butter.


If you happen to be sensitive to dairy, or if you choose to avoid dairy products for some other reason, you can still make this recipe. Simply substitute your favorite cooking fat or oil for the butter. In fact, if you have enough bacon grease that is rendered from the bacon, you can simply use that instead of the butter.


You could also substitute avocado oil, olive oil, or coconut oil for the butter. Be aware that if you use coconut oil, you will add a tropical note to the flavor profile.


Swiss Chard with bacon and garlic overhead shot.

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Is Swiss chard healthy?

Swiss chard may be tasty, but it’s also incredibly healthy. Chard is full of fiber, vitamins like vitamin C, vitamin K and beta carotene, as well as minerals like magnesium, iron, and calcium.


Is chard keto-friendly?

In addition to being loaded nutrients, chard is low in net carbohydrates. How many carbs? A whole cup of raw chard has less than one gram net carb. Because of its low-carb nature, chard makes an excellent addition to a low-carb or ketogenic diet. You could eat a lot of chard before you reach a high enough level to be kicked out of ketosis.


Wilted chard with bacon and garlic on a fork.

What can I substitute for Swiss chard?

If you can’t find any chard, don’t have chard on hand, or if you prefer another type of green, you can substitute. Almost any other green will work. 


Spinach, mustard greens, kale, beet greens, collard greens would make tasty substitutes for the chard. Be aware that the cooking time may be slightly different for each of these. 


What goes well with Wilted Chard with Bacon and Garlic?

This recipe goes very well with many different foods. It would be perfect with our Pork Tenderloin with Mustard Cream Sauce. our Garlic Rosemary Roasted Chicken, or our Paleo Slow-Cooker Pork Roast, or these Keto Sausage Balls from Butter Together. It would even work well with a Thanksgiving turkey, like this recipe from Peace, Love, and Low-Carb.


 Final words

This recipe makes a great vegetable side dish–especially for the fall and winter months. i hope your family enjoys it as much as mine does. 



This recipe for Wilted Chard with Bacon and Garlic makes a side dish that is loaded with nutrition, and with flavor! This recipe makes a super-easy side, but delicious side dish.

Wilted Chard with Bacon and Garlic

A splash of vinegar adds big flavor to this Wilted Chard with Bacon and Garlic recipe. This quick and easy side dish complements almost any roasted meat dish and it's packed with vitamins to boot!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, keto, low-carb
Keyword chard, keto vegeble recipe, winter greens
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 80 kcal
Author Annissa Slusher


  • 4 slices bacon cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon butter (or preferred oil)
  • 1 small red onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 bunch chard washed, dried, with large tough stems removed, and sliced into 1 inch pieces
  • sea salt (to taste)


  1. Place a double layer of paper towels on a heat resistant plate. Heat a large heavy pot with a cover over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until bacon is crisp and brown, stirring occasionally. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and place on the prepared plate with the paper towel to drain.

    cooking the bacon for the chard.
  2. Discard all but 1 Tablespoon bacon grease from pot. With pot over medium heat, add the butter and allow pan to reheat. Add the onion slices and cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are translucent with browned edges. Add garlic to pan and cook for two minutes, stirring constantly.

    Cooking the onions for the wilted chard.
  3. Add vinegar to the pan, stirring to scrape up browned bits. Cook until liquid is reduced by half. Add chard and lightly sprinkle with salt. Stir to combine ingredients. Cover to allow chard to wilt for about 30 seconds.

    Wilting the chard.
  4. Uncover and stir, then replace lid for about 30 seconds. Repeat until chard is wilted as desired. Stir in reserved bacon. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

    Adding the bacon to the chard.
Nutrition Facts
Wilted Chard with Bacon and Garlic
Amount Per Serving
Calories 80 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 15mg5%
Sodium 274mg12%
Potassium 143mg4%
Carbohydrates 3g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 46%1%
Vitamin C 12%15%
Calcium 5%1%
Iron 3%17%
Net Carbs 2g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.