This Swiss Chard Lasagna is packed with nourishing veggies, cheese, and noodles. A vegetarian family dinner that is perfect for cozy dinners and leftover lunches.
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Cozy Fall Dinners
Fall is in the air here in New England. After months of mostly simple and grilled dinners, the time feels right to bring back cozy weeknight classics.
Meat vs. Swiss Chard Lasagna
Of course, there is one thing we don’t totally agree on: our favorite type of lasagna. My boys, now 12 and 14, both love classic meat lasagna. One of our favorites is this simple recipe from Natasha’s Kitchen.
I, on the other hand, love a good veggie lasagna, like this Swiss Chard Lasagna. Fortunately, after years of patience and persistence, my once picky kids now taste most anything. The verdict on this lasagna? They like it! But insist it would taste even better with meat.
And that’s the thing, it’s ok for us to all have our own food preferences. It’s also ok if not every dinner is your favorite dinner. Sometimes you will love it, sometimes you will like it, and other times you try just to be grateful that you are not going hungry!
I started making a version of this recipe years ago when I needed something tasty to make with all the Swiss Chard in my farm share. It’s adapted from a Swedish cookbook, Annas Mat by Anna Bergenström.
Swiss Chard is a hardy green that thrives in the cooler months. It comes in a variety of beautiful colors–from all green to green with red, pink, and yellow. It’s packed with a variety of nutrients, including vitamins A, C, and K, potassium, magnesium, and iron. It’s also loaded with antioxidants, compounds that help fight damage in the body thereby possibly reducing the risk of certain diseases.
In addition to making lasagna, Swiss Chard is tasty when simply sauteed with garlic and olive oil or as the leafy green component of a frittata.
No Swiss Chard? You could also make this with spinach or even kale!
This recipe calls for making your own marinara sauce, to which I have added some shredded carrots for extra flavor and nourishment. That said, when I’m tired or short on time I make this with our favorite store-bought marinara sauce, Rao’s.
The Special Touch
What gives this lasagna that special touch? Freshly grated nutmeg! Combined with the earthy chard and creamy ricotta it’s an irresistible combination. You can also use regular ground nutmeg if you don’t have whole nutmeg on hand.
Happy Cooking! Let me know what you think.
Swiss Chard Lasagna
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 medium onions, chopped (or 3-4 shallots)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 medium carrots, peeled and grated (about 3/4 of a pound)
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
- 1 (28-ounce can) crushed tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons honey or sugar
- salt to taste
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 batch pasta sauce (recipe above) in a pinch? use your favorite jarred sauce to save time, you will need about 28 ounces
- 9 oven-ready lasagna noodles
- 1 bunch Swiss Chard, rinsed and ends trimmed off
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 15-ounce container Ricotta whole or skim-your choice
- 1 piece whole nutmeg (or use 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon ground)
- 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Mozarella cheese plus more as desired
Make Pasta Sauce
- Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or large saute pan with lid over medium heat. Add onion and saute for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and carrot and saute for another 3 minutes or so. Add the canned tomato, Italian herbs, and honey and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer for another 20 minutes or so, while prepping the rest of lasagna.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Fill a large pot or saucepan halfway with water and bring to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and the Swiss Chard. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Carefully transfer the chard to a pasta strainer to drain the water and let cool.
- Once the chard has cooled a bit, transfer to a cutting board and chop. Season with about 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the chard and ricotta to a large mixing bowl. Grate about 1/4 teaspoon of fresh nutmeg and 1-2 tablespoons Parmesan onto the mixture. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to combine.
- Spread about 1/2 cup of pasta sauce onto the bottom of an 8.5 x 11 glass or ceramic dish. Top with 3 lasagna noodles. Next add about 1/3 of the ricotta mixture, about 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, and then about 3/4 cup pasta sauce. Repeat this 3 times total, but on the last layer put the remaining pasta sauce under the mozzarella cheese. Grate any remaining Parmesan cheese onto the top. (You can make it this far in advance and refrigerate until ready to bake if desired).
- Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes or until bubbling and cheese is melted. Remove foil for the last 10 minutes.