Drying Swiss Chard LeavesWe stuff our faces with all sorts of stuffed foods these days! We stuff our pizza crusts with extra cheese.  We stuff stuffing into our turkeys.  Even oreos into chocolate chip cookies.  Some of our favorite foods are stuffed by design.  Take the burrito or the calzone.  A burrito wouldn’t be a burrito unless it was filled with that unbeatable combo of meat, rice, and beans.  The calzone would be no more than a hollow piece of baked bread if it didn’t contain your favorite pizza toppings and massive amounts of melty cheese.  We need that delicious stuffing to make meals, well… meals.  So, it doesn’t surprise me when I see the new ways people find to stuff different ingredients into their favorite foods.

What does surprise me is that I didn’t think of doing this sooner.  See, I finally got sick of sauteing swiss chard to eat as a side dish.  I know! While swiss chard has a great bitter flavor, after a while I was searching for something more.  I wanted a way to eat swiss chard as a main meal, and pack it with more flavor than just the taste of vegetable in olive oil.  Since eating soup would be crazy in this heat, stuffing it seemed like the next best way to turn this vegetable a hearty dinner (and therefore ensure that Mr. Big Flavors would want to eat it).

Stuffed Swiss Chard

The stuffing is a simple combination of ground beef, rice, and cheese.  We used some homemade red sauce that we froze a few months back, but jar sauce will work just fine here. Or skip it altogether and just sprinkle some cheese on top.  What’s important here is rolling the swiss chard leaf up tightly so that the filling won’t fall out.  The method is actually quite similar to how we shaped our spring rolls.  The nice part about the swiss chard is that it’s quite forgiving.  So if you don’t roll it quite right the first time, you can easily fix it without having to scrap the entire leaf.

Stuffed Swiss Chard Ready to Bake

Beef & Rice Stuffed Swiss Chard

Serves 4
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 40 minutes
Total time 1 hours, 10 minutes
Meal type Main Dish
Website Ciao Chow Linda


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced or pressed)
  • 1lb ground beef
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup brown rice (cooked)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley (chopped)
  • 1 large head swiss chard (about 18 leaves)
  • 1 jar red sauce (or homemade)
  • 1 cup shredded mozzerella cheese


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a saute pan over medium-low heat, add olive oil. Once hot, add onion and cook for about 3 minutes until translucent. Add garlic, cook 1 minute more.
2. Add beef to pan and break up with wooden spoon. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Cook until beef has browned, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, drain any excess liquid from pan. Transfer to a bowl and let cool. Once cool, mix in brown rice, parmesan cheese, oregano and parsley.
3. While filling is cooling, prepare the swiss chard for stuffing. Bring a pot or large sauce pan with water to a boil. Have an ice bath ready along with a cookie sheet lined with paper towels.
4. Drop 2 swiss chard leaves into the boiling water for about 15-30 seconds, removing just when the leaves have softened. Immediately plunge into an ice bath. Then, lay on the paper towels. Repeat this step with all remaining swiss chard leaves. Use extra paper towels to pat all of the leaves dry.
5. Cut the thick, hard stem away from each leaf. Place 2 TBSP of filling into the center. Roll bottom of the leaf up and over the filling, tucking it under. Then fold in each side of the swiss chard leaf, and finish rolling. Repeat this process with all of the swiss chard leaves.
6. In a large baking dish, spread about 1 cup of red sauce in a thin layer. Place the stuffed swiss chard seam down into the baking dish. Ladle on remaining sauce. Sprinkle shredded mozzerella on top.
7. Cover with foil and bake in oven for 30-40 minutes, removing foil for last 10 minutes of baking. Remove and let cool slightly before serving. Serve with extra parmesan cheese and sauce.

Stuffed Swiss Chard Final

This dish would be great for all seasons.  The meal is hearty, but you won’t feel overly full because there’s no pasta involved.  The swiss chard keeps this dish light, so you can stuff your face but not your stomach.

Looking for some other stuffed foods?

Plated Pork and Napa Cabbage Spring Rolls

Pork & Napa Cabbage Spring Rolls

sandwich closeup

Stuffed Banana Pepper Chicken Sandwiches 

Shared with: Recipe Round Up, Full Plate Thursday, It’s a Keeper Thursday, Fit & Fabulous Fridays

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10 Responses to CSA Chronicles: Beef & Rice Stuffed Swiss Chard

  1. Grace says:

    This looks good, is it an asian dish?

    • Mrs. Big Flavors says:

      It’s not. It’s got more of a meatball in sauce flavor going on. The swiss chard is stuffed with beef and then marinara and mozzerella are layered on top.

  2. Miz Helen says:

    We have had some beautiful Swiss Chard from the garden this year and this is the best idea. I have never thought of using it as a wrap. I can’t wait to try this recipe, it looks awesome! Hope you have a great week end and thanks for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  3. Thanks for linking up at Pin It Thursday!

  4. Miz Helen says:

    Your recipe is featured on Full Plate Thursday this week. Hope you are having a great week and enjoy your new Red Plate.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  5. Excellent dish! I’d like to invite you to share you recipe at Southern Sundays. The party starts tomorrow and I know this would be a hit. Hope to see you there!

  6. Amee says:

    What a great idea! I love these little swiss chard bundles as a change from stuffed cabbage! Thank you for sharing at Fit and Fabulous Fridays! Come back soon. :)

  7. Love this recipe, how yummy! Thanks for sharing on Southern Sundays.

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