Rainbow Chard & Sweet Cherry Pepper Croquettes ((Your tastebuds won’t believe this is super healthy))

Rainbow Chard & Sweet Cherry Pepper Croquettes ((Your tastebuds won’t believe this is super healthy))

Before I even start to tell you about this recipe, I want to thank you for at least clicking on this post. I mean really – rainbow chard is not an ingredient that makes your mouth water at the sound of its name! (haha) And, I have to admit, sometimes chard can naturally be pretty bitter. BUT – not this time! I have figured out the perfect way to cook with it & am so excited to share my ‘discovery’ with you!


In the past, I have parboiled my chard leaves and stuffed them with delicious fillings, you can read about my Chard Rolls and Pasta-less Lasagna Rolls by clicking on the links embedded in these recipe titles. The recipes are tasty and will be on repeat stays for our menu because I love the mildly bitter flavor that is inherent to dark leafy greens. 


It would be nice to incorporate chard & keep it’s leafy flavor a whisper instead of a scream. Enter Chard Croquettes!


I have to detour for a moment. WOW!! I mean WOW!!! I have a bounty of chard this year! It is gorgeous, really show-stoppingly beautiful in my front gardens. A few days ago, my builder and some subcontractors came to the house to work on a few repairs & these burly men wanted to know what ‘these plants’ were. They were not totally clueless, because I made them guess and they guessed rhubarb! Great guess, rainbow chard & rhubarb look similar – I was impressed!


When I told him it was rainbow chard, my builder was shocked to find out I grow it and actually eat it – really, shocked.  He went on to say just how beautiful it was in my landscaping. I felt a bit of satisfaction, knowing I am doing something with my gardens totally different from anything he has ever seen. I love bringing edible ornamentals into the flower beds!


Now back to our regularly scheduled program: the trick to removing the bitterness from chard…is…steaming it! Here are the specifics:

  • Remove the entire rib from each chard leaf
  • Rinse the leaves off under cold running water
  • Place the rinsed leaves in a salad spinner and spin them silly
  • Steam the chard on the stove top for 8 minutes or so


  • Remove the steamed chard from the steamer & allow it to cool for 10 minutes
  • Squeeze all of the remaining water out of the chard – for about 1 pound of chard, I extracted over 1 cup of water


  • Once all the drips of water are gone, finely chop the chard


  • the end

There you have it, the secret to tasty chard is steaming it!


I got the idea for these rainbow chard croquettes from Whole Foods (WF’s). A few weeks ago, I was shopping and the deli at WF’s was giving out tasty samples of spinach croquettes. I asked what the binder in the croquettes was (sneaking info for later duplication & use haha!!) — for all she knew I had a food allergy, which BTW I don’t and didn’t insinuate… Even still, she blurted out the entire ingredient list!! BONUS! As a thank you & because they tasted so darn good, I purchased 4.


I hope you will give this recipe a whirl, I think you’ll be surprised and have cause to feel good about yourself. You chose healthy, you chose homemade – good job! Oh, and you are good enough, you are smart enough & doggone it, people like you! 


Are you wondering what I have dolloped on top of these beauties?? Braum’s Jalapeño Dip! ((yum.)) Sour Cream, a homemade spicy dip or salsa would also be a perfect partner to the croquettes. Truth is, they are excellent all by themselves.

Rainbow Chard & Sweet Cherry Pepper Croquettes
Yields 8
These garden-fresh chard croquettes taste indulgent - spicy, a bit salty made with creamy ricotta and a smidge of crunchy panko. Finally, an indulgent treat that leaves of feeling good about yourself!
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
25 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
25 min
241 calories
20 g
51 g
11 g
15 g
7 g
151 g
571 g
3 g
0 g
4 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 241
Calories from Fat 100
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 11g
Saturated Fat 7g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 51mg
Sodium 571mg
Total Carbohydrates 20g
Dietary Fiber 2g
Sugars 3g
Protein 15g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 1 lb rainbow chard, prepped and ready to steam*
  2. 1 &1/2 c ricotta cheese
  3. 1 T of your favorite fresh herbs (I used some basil, thyme & chives), finely chopped
  4. 1 small egg
  5. 1/2 c fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  6. 6 oz panko
  7. 4 oz hand-shredded parmesan
  8. 3 sweet cherry peppers, seeded & finely chopped
  9. zest of one lemon
  10. sea salt & pepper to taste ((about 1/2 t each))
  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Using a steaming pot (similar to a double-boiler system -- see picture) steam the chard for 8-10 minutes. Once steaming is complete, remove and allow to cool. (I had to steam the chard in 3 batches, really I probably could have crammed it all into 1 or 2 batches)
  3. Squeeze any remaining water out of the steamed leaves & finely chop.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl, while chard is steaming, combine all remaining ingredients.
  5. Add the chard to the ricotta mixture and stir to completely combine.
  6. Form mixture into balls using a 1/2 c scoop. Place balls (evenly spaced) onto a parchment lined baking sheet and lightly press balls into 1" thick disks.
  7. Bake 20-25 minutes, until medium golden brown & hot throughout.
  8. Makes 8
  1. *If you don't have access to rainbow or swiss chard, spinach or collard greens are a great substitute.
Food for a Year: https://foodforayear.com/