Karen Washington’s Swiss Chard and White Beans Recipe | PBS Food

Karen Washington’s Swiss Chard and White Beans

Enjoy swiss chard and white beans as a meal or side dish. Read more about Aube Giroux's time with Karen Kitchen Vignettes.


Yield: Serves 4

Course: ,


  • 2 medium onions, chopped (Karen recommend red onions for taste and color)
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 large bunches of swiss chard (rinsed, bottom stems removed, and loosely chopped)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika or chipotle
  • A pinch of dry oregano, thyme, and sage
  • 1 tsp salt (more or less to suit your taste)
  • 2 tsp tamari sauce (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • About 1/2 cup of vegetable stock or water
  • About 1 1/2 cups of cooked white beans
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese


  1. In a heavy-bottomed pot or pan on medium heat, cook the chopped onions in the olive oil until softened and fragrant. Add the garlic, herbs, paprika, cayenne (if using), and salt. Cook for another two minutes or so. Add the tamari sauce and water, and then the chopped chard, a giant handful at a time, stirring in between to coat each addition of chard with the onion mixture. It will seem like you are adding a lot of chard but it will shrink right down as it cooks.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook the swiss chard mixture until the chard leaves are fully tender, around 10 to 15 minutes. Add the white beans and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and sprinkle on the grated parmesan. Serve on its own, or with a slice of good crusty bread or a bowl of your favorite cooked whole grain.
Presented by: