Rainbow Chard Noodles

Derek Wagner

Nick's on Broadway, Providence

Rainbow chard is a beautiful leafy green with tons of flavor. At Nick’s, Derek Wagner’s restaurant in Providence, Rhode Island, the chef uses the colorful, flavorful but rarely used chard stems in a number of ways, including shaving, dicing, slicing, and pickling. In this recipe, Wagner cuts the stems into strips and cooks them as you would pasta. This method also works well with beet stems. 


  • 1 bunch rainbow chard stems
  • Kosher salt
  • Ice water for shocking 


Put a pot of water on the stove to boil and salt generously.

Trim the chard stems into strips that are approximately the same length and width. Add the stems to the boiling water and cook for about 10 minutes, until tender. Remove from heat, strain, and shock in an ice water bath to stop the cooking. Serve in any of the following preparations: 

Toss the cooked stems with butter and herbs; or add crumbled goat, feta, or blue cheese and garnish with toasted bread crumbs, toasted walnuts, or toasted whole grains such as rye seed, wheat berries, quinoa, or spelt. 

Toss cooked stems with a sauce of your choice, as you would pasta. Add them to spaghetti to lighten it up, or replace pasta with the chard noodles for a gluten-free meal. 

Stir-fry the chard with ginger, garlic, scallions, basil, cilantro, and chiles (pictured). Serve with or in place of noodles in Japanese, Korean, Thai, or Chinese stir-fries or soups. 

Layer the cooked chard stems into a frittata with sweet corn, greens, and cheese. 


From Waste Not: How to Get the Most from Your Food by The James Beard Foundation/Rizzoli Publishing.


2 cups cooked chard noodles