Risotto with Navy Beans and Swiss Chard

20 Sep

The recent rainy weather calls for comfort food, and I found my cozy feeling at the bottom of a bowl of risotto with navy beans and Swiss chard.  Leafy greens, lean protein, and fiber all in the same bowl, it’s comfort food you’ll feel good about eating.  Swiss chard is a nice alternative to spinach when doing a light saute preparation, high in Vitamins A, C, and K.  The leaves are more substantial than spinach and don’t easily become mushy when wilting in the pan.  Besides, how can you resist that beautiful color contrast? 


This recipe, based on a version in Bon Appetit’s September issue, yields about 4 servings as a main dish or 8 servings as a side dish.  

2 tsp olive oil
6-8 large leaves of Swiss chard, center ribs removed and cut into 1-inch squares
1.5 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 medium white onion, diced
1 cup Arborio rice
1/3 cup dry white wine
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
15 oz can navy beans, rinsed and drained (any soft texture bean will work)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper 

  • Heat olive oil over medium heat in medium to large sauce pan.  Add chard and toss until wilted and tender, about 3 minutes.  Remove to plate and set aside.


  • Melt 1 tbsp of butter in pan over medium heat.  Add in onion, saute until soft but not yet brown, about 2 minutes.  Add in Arborio rice, stir constantly and quickly until rice and onion starts to brown at the edges, about 3 minutes.


  • Add wine, stirring constantly while wine evaporates.  Add in 1 cup chicken broth, simmer until broth is absorbed, stirring often.  Add in remaining broth 1/2 cup at a time until all broth is absorbed and risotto is creamy, about 20 more minutes.  Stir frequently during broth addition, otherwise risotto will not cook evenly (and stick to the bottom of the pan). 
  • Mix in sautéed chard, navy beans, and remaining 1/2 tbsp of butter.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Top with grated Parmesan and serve.


I served mine as a side dish with meatloaf (actually it’s a 50% veggie/50% meat loaf), but the nutrition facts below are calculated based on the main dish serving size (1/4 the recipe) as calculated by the Sparkpeople Recipe Calculator.

Nutrition Facts
Per 2 cups (cooked) serving

Calories 317 |Fat 9g |Cholesterol 15g |Carbohydrate 46g
Dietary Fiber 6g |Sugars 2g | Protein 11g

Vitamin A 197% | Vitamin C 49% | Vitamin E 18%
Calcium 19% | Iron 25 %

2 Responses to “Risotto with Navy Beans and Swiss Chard”

  1. Hayley 09/23/2010 at 1:07 pm #

    Totally love the nutrition facts. You’re saying that a main dish serving is 2 (cooked) cups? So us carb watchers could eat 1 cup as a side to a good protein (like your meatloaf) and totally stay in our “GD Allocted Carb Intake.” 🙂

  2. Donna 09/23/2010 at 6:14 pm #

    Yep, 2 whole cooked cups in a serving!

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