Stuffed Swiss Chard

by | Feb 27, 2023 | Spring

Swiss chard is a nutrient-packed green that can be used in a variety of dishes, but have you ever tried stuffing it? It’s a fun and creative way to elevate your greens and make a dish that’s sure to impress. Nutritious leafy green wrapping for filling? Stuffed swiss chard is all you got! It has a unique shape and texture that make them ideal for wrapping and filling. Unlike other stuffed vegetable dishes that use zucchini, eggplant, or peppers, Swiss chard leaves are more pliable and can be folded and wrapped around a filling without splitting or breaking.

Stuffed Swiss chard can be filled with a variety of ingredients, making it a versatile dish. The filling can be vegetarian, including meat or cheese. They can include grains, vegetables, herbs, and spices, allowing a range of flavor combinations.

Blanched chard leaves are used in this wrap with herb-laced bulgur.  Another interesting fact about Swiss chard is that it’s been used in cooking for centuries. In ancient Greece and Rome, Swiss chard was prized for its medicinal properties and was often used in traditional remedies. Today, Swiss chard is a popular ingredient in many cuisines around the world, from Italian pasta dishes to Middle Eastern stews.

So why not try stuffing Swiss chard for your next meal? It’s a fun and flavorful way to enjoy your greens, and you’ll be getting a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals in the process. Plus, your taste buds will thank you for the delicious and creative dish. They are lovely changes from the standard braised grape leaves.

Health Benefits:

  • Rich in vitamins and minerals: Swiss chard is a good source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as potassium, magnesium, and iron. These nutrients are important for maintaining healthy bones, skin, and immune function.
  • High in fiber: The filling of stuffed Swiss chard often contains grains and vegetables, which are high in fiber. Fiber is important for maintaining healthy digestion, reducing the risk of heart disease, and promoting feelings of fullness and satiety.
  • Low in calories: Stuffed Swiss chard is a relatively low-calorie dish, particularly if the filling is vegetarian or includes lean protein sources such as chicken or fish. This makes it a good option for those looking to manage their weight or reduce their calorie intake.
  • Antioxidant-rich: Swiss chard is rich in antioxidants such as beta-carotene and lutein, which help to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. This can reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • May improve blood sugar control: The fiber and protein in stuffed Swiss chard can help to regulate blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity, which is important for managing conditions such as diabetes.

Ingredient Substitute:

  • Swiss chard leaves: You can use other greens like spinach, kale, or collard greens instead of Swiss chard leaves. The texture and flavor may differ slightly, but the substitution should work in most recipes.
  • Coarse bulgur: If you don’t have bulgur, you can use other grains like quinoa, couscous, or rice. Adjust the cooking time and liquid amount according to the substitution.
  • Long green Korean peppers or poblano chile: You can use other mild chili peppers like Anaheim, Cubanelle, or bell peppers. Alternatively, you can use a small amount of red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper to add some heat to the dish.
  • Turkish red pepper paste: If you don’t have Turkish red pepper paste, you can use other chili pastes or sauces like harissa, gochujang, or sambal oelek. Adjust the amount according to your taste preference and the spiciness level of the paste/sauce.
  • Plum tomato: You can use other types of fresh tomatoes like roma or beefsteak tomatoes. Alternatively, you can use canned diced tomatoes or tomato sauce if fresh tomatoes are not available.
  • Fresh lemon juice: You can use other types of citrus juice like lime or orange juice. If you don’t have fresh citrus, you can use bottled juice as a substitute.

Stuffed Swiss Chard

Stuffed Swiss Chard

Nadine Nelson


  • 1 medium Swiss chard leaves, stems, and ribs removed
  • 1 cup coarse bulgur (about 6 ounces)
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 long green Korean peppers, or 1 poblano chile, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Turkish red pepper paste (see *Note)
  • 1 plum tomato, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1/2 cup mixed chopped herbs, such as parsley, dill, and mint
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper


  • In a large pot of boiling salted water, blanch the chard leaves until bright green, 1 minute.
  • Drain the leaves and rinse under cold water.
  • Drain again and carefully pat the leaves dry with paper towels.
  • In a heatproof medium bowl, cover the bulgur with boiling water. 
  • Cover and let stand until the water has been absorbed and the bulgur is tender about 15 minutes.
  • In a skillet, heat the 3 tablespoons of oil. 
  • Add the onion and cook over moderate heat until translucent, 4 minutes.
  • Add the peppers and cook until softened 5 minutes. 
  • Stir in the red pepper paste.
  • Add the diced tomato and cook until sizzling 1 minute.
  • Remove from the heat.
  • Stir in the bulgur, herbs, and lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper.
  • Spread a chard leaf out on a work surface; overlap the leaf to fill the space where the rib was. 
  • Mound 3 tablespoons of the filling on the lower third of the leaf. 
  • Bring the lower end of the leaf up and over the filling and roll up tightly, folding in the sides as you go.
  • Repeat with the remaining chard leaves and filling. 
  • Arrange the stuffed leaves on a platter. Drizzle with oil, season with salt, and serve.


*Note: Turkish red pepper paste, also known as biber salcasi, is available at specialty stores.
Storage Instructions:
  • Stuffed Swiss chard can store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. 
  • Allow the stuffed Swiss chard to cool completely before storing it. Leaving it at room temperature for too long can increase the risk of bacterial growth.
  • Place the stuffed Swiss chard in an airtight container or cover it with plastic wrap. This will help prevent moisture loss and protect it from any potential contamination in the fridge.
  • If you have leftover sauce or broth, store it separately from the stuffed Swiss chard. This will help prevent the dish from becoming too soggy or overcooked.
  • When you’re ready to reheat the stuffed Swiss chard, you can either microwave it or heat it in the oven. Be sure to heat it until it’s hot all the way through (165°F/74°C) to ensure food safety.