Swiss Chard Casserole with Italian Sausage

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Swiss Chard. As we mentioned here, it’s phenomenal stuff. Still, sometimes, even knowing what I do about healthy, in-season produce, it’s hard for me to get over my apprehensions about vegetables. Because this recipe has you wilting the greens first, I think you’ll really feel fancy.

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Imagine all of this cheesy flavor and texture at your table tonight! And it’s so easy to make, everyone is sure to think you’ve been taking cooking classes.  Just spritz flour all over your face and shove some kale in your hair and look tired as you present this flawless dish.


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Look at how fresh and amazing these ingredients look, ready for your efforts. Bechamel sauce, fresh spinach, Provolone, and Swiss Chard are ready to rock your culinary world, baby. And my Greek yogurt Bechamel is so versatile, you’ll even use it for other recipes, as I already have.

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Here, pictured with the spicy sausage, too (newsflash: it really wasn’t that spicy). I love to take pictures of my food, in case you didn’t notice.

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This is the dish as it’s ready to go into the oven. Look at that freshness, that color, and that pop of wow! Tell me that doesn’t look like a healthy, terrific meal. It also reheats wonderfully, transports like a dream, and is only 6 net carbs per very ample serving.


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This recipe is based on the Swiss Chard and Italian Sausage Lasagna from Martha Stewart

Tip: Make this dish in either smaller, 8″ wide ramekins, or in a 12 x 16 casserole dish.

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Swiss Chard Casserole with  Italian Sausage

1 pound (16 ounces, 453 grams) spicy Italian sausage, casings removed, meat crumbled
3 shallots, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
2 bunches Swiss chard, stems removed, leaves cut across into 1/4-inch strips (about 8 cups raw)
3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced crosswise
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Bechamel sauce:
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 onion, diced (about 1 cup)
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse sea salt + 1 tsp pepper
1 large red bell pepper, diced
2 cups heavy white cream milk
2 cups Greek yogurt + (1/2 cup hot water–optional, if your yogurt is super thick)
6 cups fresh spinach leaves (optional)
12 slices thin-sliced Provolone cheese

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large frying pan over medium heat cook sausage, stirring, until cooked through, 6-10 minutes. Move sausage to a bowl to cool, but reserve drippings in the pan.

In the sausage drippings, add shallots and cook, stirring often, until soft and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add chard and cook, stirring frequently, until just starting to wilt, 2-4 minutes. Add garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until chard wilts completely, about 1 minute. Stir in lemon juice. Set aside (chard will continue to wilt and cook).

For the bechamel: Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are slightly translucent, about 4 minutes. Whisk in heavy white cream until slightly heated. Add yogurt and water. Add red bell pepper. Bring to a light boil, stirring often. Simmer, stirring often, until thickened and creamy, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

In a 12 x 16 casserole dish, spread 1/4 of the bechamel, and top with spinach (if you’re using spinach. If not, skip this step). Spread 1/2 chard mixture evenly in each dish, then divide 1/2 of the sausage mixture. Top each dish with a slice of Provolone, a quarter of the bechamel, then the rest of the spinach (if using). Repeat one more time with chard, sausage, bechamel, and the rest of the spinach. Top with the rest of the bechamel. Top with a slice of Provolone cheese.

Bake until cheese is golden brown and sauce is bubbling, 30-35 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.

Makes 12 servings.

Per serving with spinach layer: 324 Cals.; 8 g Carbs.; 2 g Fiber; 6 g Net Carbs. ; 14 g Protein; 26 g Fat
Per serving w/out spinach layer: 317 Cals.; 7 g Carbs.; 1 g Fiber; 6 g Net Carbs. ; 13 g Protein; 26 g Fat

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Comments

  1. CANNOT wait to try this!! LOVE Swiss Chard :)

  2. Sure looks good! I wish you could add in sodium counts…I’m on a low sodium diet and it is so hard ,I know to not to use salt,but other ingredirnts I’m lost…..

  3. That looks amazing, and not one to do a lot of steps, but with swiss chard and spinach AND sausage, got to try it. AND I could not believe the carb count, so low! Thanks, Jamie!

    • I like that you can make the sausage one day, and then just cook up the chard when you’re ready to do it to it. I’m already used to making sauces, so that’s not much work, but having to cook sausage and chard for one meal might feel definitely like more work/steps. That said, I lurb this dish! And I’m with you–surprised at how low-carb it is. I meticulously ran the numbers through a program, and it’s good stuff.

  4. I need to eat lighter, & love chard so bring on the recipes using it.

  5. Robin Lee says:

    Greens are so good. I’ve been making crockpot lasagne with collard greens and it is excellent. Doing the LC Lifestyle i had given up lasagne, but with collard greens i can once again enjoy my favorite dish. i think this recipe would be great crockpot style and will be making it this week. Keep up the great suggestions for us low carbers.

  6. Sounded and looked yummy, so made it tonight. Had to substitute kale for swiss chard as no fresh locally, also used mozzarella as had an abundance of it. It took a an hour and a half to make, and the result was good. My husband and I both loved the flavors.

    A BIG problem with the sauce. It would not thicken at all and we ended pouring most of it off after it baked. I cooked sauce
    double the time the recipe called for, but still would not thicken. I would recommend NOT adding the water. It tasted great but we poured a lot of cream and butter down the drain. Next time I will make it with my favorite white sauce: a large sweet onion and 6 cloves of garlic, chop and add water, microwave till soft, and then puree. Much fewer calories and very low carb, also great flavor.

    With a different sauce, definitely a keeper.

    • Hi! I can’t believe your sauce didn’t thicken! That stinks. I know it’s a thinner sauce, but it should evaporate partially in cooking on the stove and then in baking in the oven. Boo, sauce! Boo, I say! Behave for my readers!

  7. Sheila D says:

    This looks amazing and I’m going to try it sometime. Just a question on the sausage. You mention in the recipe to take the casing off the sausage and crumble it. Just making sure that you remove the casings then cook the sausage meat in a frying pan then crumble? I just found that part confusing.

  8. I simply HAD to have this for dinner last night. JBS shared her experience with the sauce, and the same thing happened to me. It was very watery, so I would omit the water if I made it again. However, I did ladle it up with a spoon cuz it’s SOOOOO gloriously yummy. Thanks for the recipe. I will be making this again ‘n again.

    Two notes on the recipe . . . I’d mention that a large saucepan will be needed for the sauce. Had to wash an extra pan cuz I started out too small.

    Secondly, there seems to be two different directions melded into one for the assembly. One large pan is mentioned, and then two dishes are mentioned.

    Thanks again for this fabulous dish idea!

    • Hi, Tricia! I mention two pans because some folks want to make one, big casserole, and others want to use more than one, for smaller portions. I’ll go ahead and add a note to the water mention and saucepan. Maybe my arid climate requires the water, and others don’t… Thanks for your suggestions!

      • Made this again tonight for guests. Of course, they requested the recipe. It truly is a fabulous dish!!! I didn’t add water this time, so it was less watery, but now I’m curious if it has to do with the raw spinach layer. But really–it’s so delicious, I don’t even care. Thank you for my new weekly dinner staple, Jamie! (From a new and loyal reader!)

  9. Just made it today and had it for lunch – it is delish and thank you for this recipe. I agree with JBS about the sauce…it would not thicken up no matter how long I cooked it. After taking out a serving (my lunch today) I had a pond forming. I sprinkled some Xantham Gum in that corner and stirred like crazy and it thickened on the spot. I loved the flavors and just would eliminate the water next time and have the Xantham Gum handy.

  10. I’m transporting this today an hour to my parents house – it is all assembled but I’m debating whether to cook now or wait til I get to their house. I’m just worried if I put in fridg without cooking it will get too soggy… help!

Trackbacks

  1. […] to have a little Swiss Chard Adventure? Then you positively have to try this Swiss Chard with Sausage Casserole (it is so freakishly perfect). In the mean time, share how you like your chard in the comments […]

  2. […] originally made this dish with the leftover bechamel from my Swiss Chard Casserole. If you’d like, this means you can make this recipe after that one, saving aside some of the […]

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