Rainbow Chard Bowls

These rainbow chard bowls are a delicious weeknight dinner! With 10 ingredients, they're easy to make, but they pack a punch of flavor.

Rainbow Chard & Feta Orzo Bowls

As a kid, I was obsessed with everything rainbow – my Rainbow Brite doll, a fresh new Crayola 64 pack (with built in sharpener!), and best of all – the rainbow-neon terminal at O’Hare airport. Pure magic. Nowadays, I have a new grownup rainbow obsession: rainbow chard.

Cooking with Rainbow Chard

If you’ve never cooked with rainbow chard before, it has a slightly bitter, earthy taste that I love to pair with sweet, tangy, and nutty accents. Aside from its gorgeous vibrant color, it has a special superpower: it’s kind of two vegetables in one! Not only can you use the chard leaves, but the chard stems are also delicious – they add a lovely crunch to a stir fry, a simple vegetable side dish, or a bowl like this one. Just sauté them for a few minutes before adding the greens to the pan, or pickle them for an extra bright pop.

Rainbow Chard & Feta Orzo Bowls

Rainbow Chard Bowls

These bowls are simple and warm. They put the rainbow chard front and center, so they’re a great way to feature a big bunch of greens from the farmers market. To make them, I cooked some whole wheat orzo and tossed it with a little olive oil, garlic, Dijon, and lemon. (Mustard and chard are a really terrific flavor match). I topped each bowl with a healthy serving of sautéed rainbow chard, a little feta cheese, and some toasted walnuts.

Quick beauty tip: you’ll want to serve these bowls with the ingredients assembled rather than tossed together. (As the colors run together it’s just not the prettiest!).

Rainbow Chard & Feta Orzo Bowls

Rainbow Chard Recipe Variations

These rainbow chard bowls are easy to vary depending on what you have in your pantry. Here are a few ways I like to change them up:

  • No orzo on hand? Toss the chard leaves with spaghetti, or assemble the bowls with quinoa or farro.
  • Add a handful of golden raisins to each bowl – the pop of sweetness is excellent alongside the earthy Swiss chard!
  • Use pine nuts or toasted almonds in place of the walnuts.
  • Swap the feta for crumbled soft goat cheese.
  • Use a splash of red wine or sherry vinegar instead of the lemon.

Let me know what variations you try!

Rainbow Chard & Feta Orzo Bowls

If you love these rainbow chard bowls…

Try this rice bowl, this poké bowl, this quinoa bowl, or this adzuki bean bowl next!


4.9 from 10 reviews
Rainbow Chard Bowls
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
These rainbow chard bowls are perfect for a light & healthy weeknight dinner. They come together in under 30 minutes!
Author:
Recipe type: Main dish
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 cup uncooked whole wheat orzo
  • 1+ tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • A few squeezes of lemon
  • 1 small bunch of rainbow chard (about 4-5 leaves)
  • ⅓ cup feta cheese
  • ¼ cup toasted walnuts
  • Sea salt and fresh black pepper
Instructions
  1. Prep your chard by slicing off the coarse parts of the stems and dicing them. Coarsely chop the greens and set aside.
  2. Cook orzo in a pot of salted boiling water according to package directions (or about 9 minutes).
  3. In a medium bowl add 1 tablespoon olive oil, minced garlic, dijon mustard, lemon, salt and pepper. Once your orzo is done cooking, drain it and then add it to this bowl and toss. (the heat of the pasta will gently cook the raw garlic). Taste, adjust seasonings and set aside.
  4. In a medium skillet, heat a few teaspoons of olive oil, then add the chard stems, salt and pepper. Next, add the chard leaves and toss until just wilted (less than 2 minutes). Finish with a squeeze of lemon and remove from heat.
  5. Assemble bowls with orzo, chard, feta and toasted walnuts.
Notes
Make this gluten free by subbing quinoa for orzo.
Make this vegan by skipping the cheese and topping it with a few capers.

Cutting Board: Calphalon Kitchen Essentials from Target
Knife: Miyabi Birchwood 7″ Santoku

39 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. This looks delicious!!! I love rainbow chard and I love how quickly I can cook up this bowl.

  2. This sounds delicious. I need some more rainbow chard in my life. And a huge yes to the neons at O’Hare! The best part of flying back into town. 🙂

  3. Ileana from alittlesaffron.com
    02.05.2015

    Ooh, so pretty! I am guilty of sometimes tossing those stems… okay, no more! I will saute or pickle them. 🙂

  4. Rainbow Chard is certainly the Adriana Lima of the vegetable world and it makes for a pretty darn good looking salad. Asante sana for the beauty tip.

  5. Love the colors this recipe offers! Sounds like the lemon & feta bring a nice tanginess to the dish – can’t wait to try it!

  6. Looks so delicious and fresh! I love orzo, there is a store here that sells this amazing orzo salad with spinach, bocconcini and sundried tomatoes.. I could eat a tub of it.

    Leslie
    http://www.alifewellconsumed.com

  7. I love your action shots and I love rainbow chard! This looks amazing, pinning 🙂

  8. I love the simplicity of this recipe and how the chard totally shines. Especially with that mustard, danggg, I need to try this!

  9. I haven’t tried chard since becoming an adult. I had a semi-traumatic chard experience as a kid and I never really recovered.

  10. dawn
    02.06.2015

    This looks like something yummy to try… I’m avoiding wheat… so I may substitute brown rice pasta or quinoa pasta… but WOW.. this really looks pretty in the pictures even though you say the colors start running

    • jeanine
      02.06.2015

      Yep, you could definitely sub in quinoa or brown rice pasta. Ha, after you start eating it and mixing it around, it gets a little ugly.

      • Kelly from Delightfullydisheveledmom.com
        02.08.2015

        Hi Dawn, My husband has a gluten intolerance too. Tonight we made this with wild rice since I had some on hand. We loved it! Thanks for the recipe Jeanine! It was delicious. I will definitely be making it again.

        • jeanine
          02.09.2015

          Hi Kelly – I’m so glad you liked it! Glad it was delicious with rice too 🙂

  11. I loved Rainbow Brite, too! This recipe looks great, though. I adore orzo and find it so under-used! Thanks!

  12. Foodeaser
    02.07.2015

    Great meal specially for vegeterian…

  13. Sherrie from withfoodandlove.com
    02.07.2015

    Rainbow chard is the best, one of nature’s shining stars, xo!!

  14. violet from seaoflovespells,com
    02.08.2015

    that’s a great dish I cant wait to make it for my family.ty

  15. Lorna from foodisnotenough.uk
    02.09.2015

    If healthy food looks as beautiful as this, then it’s always a bit easier to pass on the alternative juicy burger. I can’t wait to try this in the summer when I’ve finally let go of my warming soup bowl!!

  16. Allison
    02.09.2015

    This recipe looks amazing! The only problem
    is that I have a strong aversion to mustard. Would you be able to recommend anything I could substitute? Thank you!

  17. lucy from lucysways.com
    03.17.2015

    this looks delicious and beautiful!! yum!

  18. Amy Norris
    06.09.2015

    We had this for dinner, and it lives up the hype! Huge fan of rainbow chard now.

  19. Agata
    10.07.2015

    if I could give this recipe 10 stars I would!!! just made it and am in love!!!

  20. Judi
    01.05.2016

    Just made this exactly as described but served withbrown rice be ause i had some cooked already. Great. And saved half for my dinner tomorrow

    • jeanine
      01.06.2016

      Love the idea of using brown rice – thanks! SO glad you liked it 🙂

  21. Amy from wormsinmysalad.com
    07.22.2016

    I made this for me and my vegetarian 11 year old. It was a huge hit! I should have cooked the stems just a little longer, though, for her taste. We receive chard in our CSA often. I have a feeling this recipe will easily become a favorite. Thanks for sharing it!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.31.2016

      Hi Amy – I’m so glad it was a hit!

  22. Jules
    08.24.2016

    This was SCRUMPSH!! I just got this colorful chard at the farmers market, but wasn’t sure what to do with it. This recipe came up when I searched, and boy is it a keeper! The stems add a wonderful crunch! Easy and sooooo good, all my faves, nuts, cheese, sautéed greens and pasta. I added a bit of shallot when cooking the greens..my husband (big meat makes the meal guy) also thought it was fantastic. I love lemons too, everything just gets brighter!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.08.2016

      Hi Jules – I’m so glad you both loved it!

  23. sld6615
    08.29.2016

    I made this as part of dinner last night–as a side dish, rather than individual bowls–and LOVED it. I used red quinoa, cashews instead of walnuts, and a larger amount of chard because I happened to have a huge bunch. It was delicious. Even my husband, who isn’t always the biggest fan of vegetables, loved it–and he said his favorite part was the chard (not the cheese or nuts, amazingly). Kudos for a great recipe with an oft-overlooked veggie!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.08.2016

      I’m so happy to hear that you both loved it – thanks for commenting!

  24. Melissa Brooker
    02.02.2017

    I’m eating this as we speak and woooow! I love it! I love rainbow chard but get stuck on ideas to use it, I was excited when I found this! It’s a bowl of my favourite things! The Dijon mustard is perfect with the chard! Thanks so much.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      02.02.2017

      oh yay, I’m so glad you’re loving it! Thanks for letting me know!

  25. Natasha
    03.21.2019

    Delicious and really tasty.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.