Wondering what to do with excess chard? In this step-by-step tutorial, you’ll learn how to freeze Swiss chard for later use! Information about how long to blanch it and recipes that use frozen chard are also included.
Whether it’s because you grew a ton in your backyard vegetable garden or received one too many bunches in a farm share box, you may have found yourself with too much Swiss chard (or rainbow or red) on your hands! Fortunately, chard can easily be frozen to be used at a later time. Read on to learn how to freeze Swiss chard — the best way to preserve this leafy green!
Cut the chard crosswise at the intersection of the stems and leaves. Slice the stems into pieces. Then, slice the leaves lengthwise into strips and then crosswise into pieces. See How to Cut Swiss Chard for more tips.
Bring a pot of water to a boil. You can blanch both the stems and leaves or just the leaves. If just blanching the leaves, get rid of the stems or better yet, use them to make my Swiss Chard Stem and Beet Tahini Dip. If blanching both, drop the stems into the boiling water first and cook for 1 minute. Then, add the leaves and blanch for 30 to 60 seconds.
Immediately drain the chard (or remove it with a slotted spoon) and plunge it into a bowl filled with ice water. Let it sit for 1 to 2 minutes to stop the cooking process.
Drain the chard. Pat it dry using a clean dish towel or paper towels.
Spread the blanched chard out on a lined baking sheet. I like to assemble it into little clumps. Place the sheet in a freezer, somewhere it won’t get bumped, and freeze until the chard is frozen solid (about an hour or two).
Transfer the frozen chard to a freezer bag or container. Seal tightly, label, and store in the freezer for up to 6 months. Use within 3 months for best results.
Technically, you can freeze chard without blanching it first. If you do this, it will last about a month in the freezer. Follow the steps in this post, minus the boiling and ice water steps. Blanching chard will preserve the quality, taste, and nutrition and greatly increase how long it will keep in the freezer.
Chard leaves should only be blanched for 30 to 60 seconds. Chard stems should be blanched for 1 to 2 minutes.
Frozen Swiss Chard Recipes
Now that you know how to freeze Swiss chard, you may be wondering what you can to do with it once it’s frozen. Frozen chard can be added to hot recipes directly from the freezer. I don’t recommend thawing it first, since it will get mushy. You can stir frozen chard into soups or use it in my Swiss Chard Potatoes, Steamed Swiss Chard, and Baked Eggs with Swiss Chard.
Frozen Swiss chard also works great in smoothies, like my Tropical Swiss Chard Smoothie! However, avoid using it in other raw preparations, such as salads.
I’d love to hear how you like this recipe! Rate/review using the stars on the recipe card or in the comments, and follow the Veg World on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Looking for something totally different? Browse the recipe library.
How to Freeze Swiss Chard
- large pot
- Colander or slotted spoon
- Mixing bowl
- Freezer bag or container
- 1 bunch Swiss chard - can be rainbow, red, or plain
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Fill a mixing bowl with ice water and set aside.
- While the water boils, prepare the chard. Cut the chard crosswise at the intersection of the stems and leaves. Slice the stems into pieces. Then, slice the leaves lengthwise into strips and then crosswise into pieces. If you only want to freeze the chard leaves, get rid of the stems or use them in another way.
- If you are freezing the stems and leaves, drop the stems into the boiling water first. Let them cook for 1 minute, then add the leaves. Cook for 30 to 60 more seconds. If you are just blanching the leaves, only cook for 30 to 60 seconds total.
- Immediately drain the chard and plunge it into the bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. You can also quickly remove it from the boiling water with a slotted spoon instead of using a colander if needed.
- Let the chard sit in the ice water for 1 to 2 minutes before draining. Pat the chard dry using a dish towel or paper towels. You don't want there to be a lot of excess moisture that can lead to freezer burn.
- Spread the blanched chard out on a lined baking sheet. If you are just freezing chard leaves, I recommend making small clumps of leaves grouped together. Put the baking sheet in the freezer, somewhere it won't get bumped, and freeze until the chard is solid, about 1 to 2 hours.
- Transfer the frozen chard to a freezer container or bag. Seal tightly, removing as much air as possible, and label. Place in the freezer. If you are freezing chard stems and leaves but want them to be stored separately, put them into different bags.
- For best results, use the chard within 3 months, but it will last up to 6 months. Add it directly to hot dishes like soups and steamed or sautéed sides. You can also use it in smoothies.
- Leave a rating or review by tapping the stars on this recipe card (above) or in the comments section (at the end of the post)!
- A bunch of chard yields between 4 to 6 loosely packed chopped leaves and 1 cup of sliced stems. This depends on how big the bunch and leaves are.
- I don’t recommend using frozen chard in recipes like salads.
Good luck! – Lizzie