Rainbow Chard with Bone Broth and Bacon (Paleo, AIP, GAPS, Wahls, Whole30)

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cooked recipe served on a white plate

“This is a universal idea – to connect the garden with the kitchen and with the table and back to the garden again.”
~ Alice Waters

A Fun Way to Eat the Rainbow

With bacon for flavor, bone broth for nutrient-density, and rainbow chard for beauty and a bounty of micronutrients, this recipe is one of my new favorites. Interestingly, most chard recipes tell you to cook only the leaves and discard the stems, but the stems are not only edible, they’re full of nutrients you can’t find elsewhere. If we’re using food as medicine, we don’t want to throw our medicine away!


Dr. Terry Wahls recommends we eat 3 cups of greens daily, and the more variety the better. That’s because every green (and every vegetable actually) has a unique micronutrient profile that helps our bodies heal. Let’s find out what gorgeous chard has to offer:

  • Antioxidants: Chard leaves contain 13 different antioxidants, including kaempferol, which promotes heart health, and syringic acid, which regulates blood sugar.
  • Eat the Stems: The stems contain betalains, which are natural anti-inflammatories and also help support our bodies’ natural detoxification pathways. Doesn’t that sound like a perfect prescription for someone with autoimmune disease?
  • Healthy Bones: 1 cup of chard provides 374% of your daily need for vitamin K. People who have higher levels of vitamin K have greater bone density, while low levels of vitamin K can lead to osteoporosis.
  • Brain Support: In addition to helping build strong bones, vitamin K also supports brain function and is essential for memory, cognition and development of the myelin sheath.
  • Vitamins: Chard is also a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium and manganese. Since vitamins A and K are fat-soluble vitamins, be sure to cook your chard with plenty of healthy fats, to help you absorb these valuable nutrients.

adapted from Rachel Ray

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Phoenix Helix Recipe Archive

Rainbow Chard with Bone Broth and Bacon (Paleo, AIP, GAPS, Wahls, Whole30)

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  • Author: Eileen Laird
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2-3 servings



  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Cut the slice of bacon into small pieces and scatter across the bottom of the skillet.
  3. While bacon begins to cook, peel and dice the onion. Add it to the bacon and stir to blend.
  4. Next, prepare the rainbow chard. First, cut off the thick bottom stems and slice them like celery. Add them to the skillet and toss to blend.
  5. Cut the chard leaves away from the remaining center stems, and throw the skinny center stems away. Rip the leaves into small pieces and rinse them through a salad spinner, if you have one. Otherwise, rinse them and pat them dry with a clean towel. Add the chopped leaves to the skillet and toss to blend.
  6. Scatter the raisins over the top of the skillet and then add bone broth.
  7. Cover skillet and turn heat to medium-low. Set timer for 7 minutes.
  8. When timer goes off, stir everything in the skillet. The chard leaves will be starting to shrink at this point. Cover pan again and set timer for another 7 minutes.
  9. When timer goes off this 2nd time, add a generous sprinkle of salt (and pepper if using). Toss to blend and taste. Add more if needed.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Side Dishes
  • Method: Stovetop

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23 comments on “Rainbow Chard with Bone Broth and Bacon (Paleo, AIP, GAPS, Wahls, Whole30)”

  1. This recipe is excellent. Very rich flavor. Barely enough for two. Even my husband enjoyed the dish which is saying a lot. He’s a great cook and very picky.

  2. Recipe sounds delish,but I am always disappointed when adding liquid to recipes with bacon. The bacon gets soggy and unappetizing.

    1. Try the recipe first. It’s really delicious. You crisp the bacon in the first step, and in my opinion it doesn’t get soggy – it has a great texture and its flavor permeates the broth. But there are a lot of recipes out there – it’s absolutely fine if this one doesn’t appeal to you. Everyone’s tastes are different.

    1. That’s a myth that’s not founded in science, Susan. Olive oil is quite safe and healthy to cook with. Chris Kresser did a good review of the science here if you want more information: https://chriskresser.com/is-it-safe-to-cook-with-olive-oil/. That said, you can certainly substitute any of your favorite fats in this recipe. I’ve made this with lard, tallow and duck fat as well – all delicious!

  3. Yum! I’m always looking for ways to get more bone broth in {aside from drinking it straight, ha!} This dish is colorful and looks delicious!!

  4. This sounds so delicious, and I think I would like it even better the next day, cold, after the ingredients have had a change to love up on each other 😉 what do you think?

  5. LOVE chard! Great recipe Eileen. Fresh and savory. Speaking of fresh and savory..I had leftover prosciutto wrapped asparagus for breakfast. Ha ha. I eat anything I can in the mornings, and often it’s leftover dinner (that Paleo/AIP/SCD)…you know how it is. I really try to avoid feeling hungry.

    Have a great week.


  6. Hi Eileen, this recipe looks great. Just want to ask you about natural sugars on AIP. I noticed raisins in this menu and another menu’s ingredient is maple syrup. How often should you consume natural sugars on AIP? Generally, I dont eat fruit but would a piece be OK once or twice a week? My Dr informed me that sugar drives estrogen levels (mine are high). Thanks for taking the time to read my email.

    1. Hi Eileen. Fruit and unrefined sugars are definitely allowed in moderation on the AIP. Since you know you’re sensitive to sugar, fruit’s probably your best choice because it’s more nutrient dense than maple syrup. I actually have fruit every day – usually 1-2 servings.

  7. I love Swiss Chard, but don’t like the texture of the stems in the rainbow variety. I much prefer the white-stemmed variety. Is it as nutritious? I usually prepare it with mushrooms as well. Yum!

    1. I’m sure the white stems still have some nutrition, but not as much as the colorful stems. The colors indicate the high levels of betalains mentioned in the article, and each color has a different set. The brighter the color of foods, the more antioxidants they contain overall. Both red and golden beets are good sources of betalains as well.

    1. Hi Kathy. If you look at step 4, you’ll see directions to slice the thick, lower stems like celery and throw them in the pan. It’s only the remaining skinny center stems that you throw away.

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