Beef-Stuffed Swiss Chard Rolls With Yogurt Sauce 4.000

Dixie D. Vereen for The Washington Post

Apr 29, 2015

The inspiration for this dish comes from Serbian native Svetlana Watkins, who learned how to substitute sorrel leaves for the traditional grape leaves used in stuffed-greens recipes in Greece and Turkey.

Here, chard bundles are treated to hints of paprika and cinnamon, in the filling and in the cooking liquid.

Make Ahead: The filling can be cooked, cooled and refrigerated up to 3 days in advance.

4 - 5

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4-5 servings; makes 10 rolls

  • 1 1/2 cups plain whole-milk or low-fat yogurt (not Greek)
  • 10 large Swiss chard leaves
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, cut into small dice
  • 2/3 cup water, plus 1 tablespoon for the filling, if needed
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 4 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Place the yogurt in a medium bowl and keep it at room temperature until ready to serve.

Swish the chard leaves in a large bowl of cool water to clean them; pat dry. Fold each leaf in half lengthwise and slice out the bottom and central portions of the stem, working from the center of the leaf downward. (You want the two halves to stay connected up top.) When unfolded, each leaf should look like an upside-down V. Finely chop the stems you just removed.

Make the filling: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the chard stems and onion until tender, about 10 minutes, adding 1 tablespoon of water if the skillet runs dry. Add the beef, tomato paste, 3 teaspoons of the paprika, the cinnamon, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper. Increase the heat to medium-high; cook until the beef loses its raw look, breaking it up as it cooks, about 5 minutes. Remove it from the heat.

Work with one chard leaf at a time. Lay a leaf on a work surface, positioning it with the slit ends at the top, so it now resembles a regular V. The bumpy side of the leaf should face down and the concave part should face up. Scoop 1/4 to 1/3 cup of filling onto the leaf near the bottom, then tightly roll it up burrito style, pushing in the sides and forcing the slit top together as you encase the filling. Tuck back any filling that pops out. Transfer the packet to the skillet, placing it seam side down next to the remaining filling. Repeat with the remaining chard leaves and filling.

Sprinkle the remaining 1 teaspoon of paprika and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper into the remaining 2/3 cup of water; pour it into the skillet around the rolls. Bring the liquid barely to a boil over medium heat, then cover the skillet, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the rolls are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the rolls to a platter. Whisk the yogurt vigorously, then spoon it over the rolls. Serve right away.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Yogurt Culture: A Global Look at How to Make, Bake, Sip, and Chill the World's Creamiest, Healthiest Food," by Cheryl Sternman Rule (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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