Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Swiss Chard and Goat Cheese Custard Bake Recipe (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free)

This tasty Swiss Chard and Goat Cheese Custard Bake will help you eat your greens.

Swiss Chard and Goat Cheese Custard Bake Recipe (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free) found on

(This ultra-delicious Swiss Chard and Goat Cheese Custard Bake is today's pick for the month of  Daily Phase One Recipes.  I love this flavor combination, and I'd eat this for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  You can see all the recipes from the month by clicking Daily Phase One Recipes.  Check after the recipe for Phase One Flashbacks from this day in 2012 and 2013.)

My food preferences have changed since I've been writing this blog, and one good change is the way I've developed such an appreciation for greens.  I confess that before I started growing them in my garden, I never cooked much with Red Russian Kale, dark green curly kale, or Swiss chard.  Now these uber-healthful greens have turned into something I love experimenting with every year when the garden is producing them, but I've also started buying greens from the store more often.

I've made a few different breakfast dishes with greens baked into the eggs, but this Swiss Chard and Goat Cheese Custard Bake is a bit different, with a generous amount of goat cheese (the soft type that comes in a log) combined with milk and then mixed into just enough eggs to bind it together into a barely-firm custard.  I loved the flavor combination with the Swiss chard, goat cheese, and other cheeses, and although you could certainly eat this for breakfast I've been eating it for a light dinner for the last couple of days.

This recipe was inspired by one I saw in Greene on Greens, a vegetable cookbook I bought used on for a few dollars after my nephew Jake recommended it.   The book was first printed in 1984, and tastes have changed a bit since then.  I lightened up the recipe quite a bit, switching olive oil for butter, using milk instead of heavy cream, and using lower-fat cheeses.  I also left out the bread crumbs so I could eat this for phase one.  Even with those changes this was creamy and delicious, something I'd eat a small slice of paired with something light on the side.

To chop the swiss chard leaves, pile up a bunch of them and slice one way.

Then turn the cutting board and slice through the leaves the other way.

If you're using chard from the garden, give then a good wash in a salad spinner after you've chopped them and spin until they're very dry.

In a large frying pan, saute the onion in some olive oil until it's just starting to brown.

Then add the chopped Swiss chard all at once and use a large turner to keep turning it until all the chard has wilted.

Cook the chard a couple of minutes, just until it's wilted down like this; it will finish cooking in the oven.  Turn off heat and let the chard cool a little.

I used the bowl attachment of the immersion blender to mix the milk and goat cheese, but you could let the cheese soften on the counter and mix it by hand.

Then beat the eggs with some salt and pepper.

Then mix the goat cheese and milk mixture, mozzarella, and 2 T of Parmesan into the eggs.

Stir in the wilted Swiss chard and onions.

Pour the mixture into a round casserole dish that you've sprayed with olive oil or nonstick spray., and sprinkle the coarse ground Parmesan over the top.

Bake at 350F/180C for about an hour, or until the mixture is completely set and lightly browned on top.  (I tested with a toothpick to make sure the center was done.)  Serve hot for breakfast, brunch, or a light dinner.

Swiss Chard and Goat Cheese Custard Bake
(Makes 6-8 servings, recipe inspired by Green Timbale in Greene on Greens.)

12 oz. Swiss chard leaves, chopped
1 T olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
5-6 oz. goat cheese (Use the soft goat cheese that comes in a log)
1/2 cup milk (I used 2% but lower fat would also work)
8 eggs
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup grated mozzarella or other low-fat mild cheese
2 T + 2 T grated Parmesan (preferably freshly grated)

Preheat oven to 350F/180C.  Remove swiss chard stems and save for another use.  Pile up the swiss chard leaves in a stack and slice in 1/2 inch slices one way, then turn the cutting board and slice the other way to make chopped pieces of chard.  (You will probably have to do this in a couple of batches.)  If needed wash the chopped chard in a salad spinner and spin until it's very dry.  Chop the onion into pieces about 1/4 inch.

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan (big enough to hold all the Swiss chard.)  Add onion and saute 4-5 minutes on medium-high heat, just until the onions are barely starting to brown.  Then add Swiss chard, all at once.  Use a large turner to turn the chard as it cooks until it's all wilted, about 2-3 minutes.  Turn off heat and let the chard cool slightly.

Combine the milk and goat cheese.  (I did this with the bowl attachment of an immersion blender, but you can let the cheese soften and stir it together by hand.)  In a large bowl, beat the eggs until the yolks and whites are all combined, then season with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.  Stir the milk/goat cheese mixture into the eggs and then add the mozzarella and two tablespoons of the Parmesan.  Add the chard and onions and stir so it's well distributed in the egg mixture.

Spray a round casserole dish or springform pan with olive oil or nonstick spray.   (Use a pan that's 8 or 9 inches in diameter.)  Put the egg/chard mixture into the pan and top with the other two tablespoons of Parmesan.  Bake for one hour, or until the mixture is fully set and lightly browned on top.  

Serve hot for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or a light dinner.  This will keep for several days in the fridge and can be reheated for a minute or two in a microwave.

South Beach Suggestions:
With a generous amount of leafy greens and using low-fat goat cheese, milk, and mozzarella, this recipe would be a good choice for any phase of the South Beach Diet.  For phase one I would limit portion size to a small slice of this with something something light on the side like Ottolenghi's Perfect Lettuce Salad, Chopped Greek Salad, or just some browned turkey breakfast sausage, depending on what time of day it was.

Phase One Flashbacks:
January 22, 2012:  Vegan Lentil Chili with Roasted Red Peppers, Olives, and Green Onions
January 22, 2013: Crunchy Napa Cabbage Asian Slaw with Sugar Snap Peas, Radishes, Almonds, and Cilantro

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

Ten More Tasty Ideas with Swiss Chard:
(Recipes from other blogs may not be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Spicy Asian Stir-Fried Swiss Chard from Kalyn's Kitchen

Hot Swiss Chard Artichoke Dip from Farmgirl Fare

Swiss Chard and Mushroom Squares from Kalyn's Kitchen

Swiss Chard with Olives from Simply Recipes 

Spaghetti Squash and Chard Gratin from Kalyn's Kitchen

Swiss Chard, Potato, and Parmesan Frittata from Food Blogga

(I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

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Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!

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Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and this blog earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!

More to Chew On:


  1. Well I know I'd love this. It's green! I like the changes you made and think in the long run, this would appeal to my palate far more. It reminds me of a cross between a quiche and a souffle.

  2. This is a very healthy and full of flavor recipe.
    Kind regards.

  3. Thanks everyone, so glad people are liking what I ended up with here!

  4. What a gorgeous quiche, Kalyn. Crustless too!

  5. Glad I 'stumbled' upon this! :)

    Anyway...I'm on a goat cheese mission of sorts; seems I've had a season of trying all sorts of dishes using goat cheese more than anything else. And am so happy I have; it adds such a great element to dishes. This looks wonderful!

  6. Nisrine, Kathy, and Barbara, thanks for the nice thoughts about this. I am totally on that goat cheese bandwagon too.

  7. I just cut back my chard so should be getting lots of nice new growth in a week or so. Love goat cheese with anything / everything. Funny, though, our goat cheese 'in a log' is a semi-soft cheese with an edible rind - like a brie. For soft, melting cheese it comes in a carton - like your Chavrie (I think).

  8. I've definitely developed a love of greens also, with swiss chard being my favorite! This sound like such a great bake!

  9. Katie, that is interesting! Never seen that type here that I can remember.

    Thanks Joanne. I am really loving the swiss chard this year.

  10. Delicious!! Your recipes are inspiring! My family and I are starting phase 1 and its nice to have so many recipes to choose from!
    Thank You! :)

  11. This looks like it would be even more delivious with some roasted red peppers... they would liven up the look of it and give great flavor.

  12. This looks lovely & I cannot wait to try it. I've just begun low carb eating style, (I don't call it a diet or I'll quit) to combat a 71 pound weight gain from 2 yrs of prescription steriods. Your recipes will be an enormous help & do thank you for taking the time to share.

    PS.. I just purchased Greene on Greens from Amazon, at 36 cents plus shipping. Such a deal!

  13. Kelly, you're welcome and I'm so glad to hear the blog is helpful.

    I'm always happy when people experiment with my recipes, so if you like the idea of adding roasted red peppers, go for it. Would love to hear how you like it.

    Jay, I wish you all the best in your new eating plan. I know it will work if you stick with it. And don't you love getting a good deal like that on a book!

  14. I love the little decadent zing the goat cheese adds to the recipe.

    I made a dish last weekend similar to your recipe, but added some garlic, a little lemon zest and provolone in place of the mozzarella. (It's what I had in the house.)

    Your recipe would make a wonderful appetizer too. Just bake in a larger pan so that it is thinner. Then cut into bite sized squares. I know they'd dissapear in a flash!

  15. Thanks CJ! I love that idea of making little appetizer size portions!

  16. Our friends make the best goat cheese. We enjoyed some that they'd just made on Sunday for our group picnic. I'm passing on this recipe to them and saving it for myself for those times when they share. ;-) Kalyn, I had no idea that you were fairly new to your love of greens. That's so inspiring since you make so many wonderful dishes with them now. You're converting folks! :-)


  17. Shirley, until a few years ago I never cooked or ate greens. I've come a long ways since then! Love the idea of homemade goat cheese; how wonderful.

  18. I can't wait to make this. Do you think it would freeze well? A friend just had a baby and I'd love to pop some in her freezer if it would reheat well.

  19. I'm doubtful about freezing this due to the more custardy base than my usual egg casseroles, but it will definitely keep in the fridge for quite a few days and reheats just great in the microwave.

  20. Looks wonderful! It is funny, I almost posted a tart I made a few weeks ago with swiss chard, Love your custard idea, splendid for gluten-intolerant folks!

  21. Thanks, so glad you like it. And don't you just love Swiss chard (or is it called silverbeet there?)

  22. Isn't it funny how our tastes change? They say kids' taste buds change when they're ten, but I think adults also change. I love all the summer vegetables, but I have to say I started craving the heartier greens as the weather has gotten cooler. This looks like a nice brunch!

  23. Thanks Jeanette. I do agree that the seasons make our tastes change as well as maturing! I'm loving the chard lately.

  24. I feel like my track record with greens this year is not good, even though I agree they are delicious. This is a really nice option for individual portions, packed with all that great green nutrition.

  25. TW, maybe my system is craving greens!

  26. Yay! Thanks for this! My CSA is really sending home the greens, and it is hard for me to find ways to make them vegetarian and tasty. :)

  27. I don't eat greens often, but I'd love to try this.

  28. Awesome recipe...I love greens.I never thought about using it in this way.I like your idea of breakfast dishes with greens baked into the eggs. I wish you had the recipe on here.

  29. Sheryl, glad I can help you use that CSA produce!

    Barbara, I think this has so much good flavor that I bet you'd like the greens.

    Von, if you look in the left sidebar for the recipe archives category for "eggs" you can easily find those recipes.

  30. Made this last night and am a big fan of the Chard. Came out great, probably a little thinner than yours- I only had 5 eggs in the kitchen. Also reheated great in the microwave at work for lunch.

  31. Rebecca, so glad you liked it!

  32. You had me at "custard" ~ Cheers!

  33. This could be one of those wonderfully done custard which are beneficial to my diet program. Goat cheese will add a better twist on this.

  34. I am way behind keeping up with your blog, shame on me!

    Love this recipe, like you, I learned to love greens not too long ago, maybe in the past 5 or so years. Cannot have enough now, and Swiss chard is one of my favorites!

    I'm saving this one!

  35. Thanks everyone who is saying nice things about this! And Sally fun that we are both now reformed greens-lovers!

  36. This looks amazing! I read your blog all the time Kalyn and I think this is the first time I've commented so a big THANK YOU is due! I love your recipes and your support for a healthy lifestyle. If you ever come to Spain you have a foodie friend in me!

  37. Lauren, thanks for commenting, and how fun to hear from someone in Spain. My brother lived there for a few years, so it's definitely on my want-to-go list!

  38. Kalyn - do you know what size your baking dish was? I don't own a round one, but I do have a 2.5 quart oblong one. Would that change how this baked?

  39. I am growing swiss chard in my garden for the first time this year and was looking for recipes when I came across this. It was wonderful! I hope you don't mind I reposted it on my blog. Thank you for a great recipe. I love your blog!

  40. Bonnie, I'm glad to hear you are enjoying the blog!

  41. Do you think this would work with cream cheese instead of goat cheese? BTW, your blog is great! I've been on the South Beach Diet for a couple of months and I've lost 36 lbs. I have your delicious recipes to thank! Hopefully I can shed another 27 lbs.

  42. Anna, I think it might work, but cream cheese is higher in fat and calories and also a thicker texture, so I might use a little less.

  43. I've had that cookbook since 1984 and even made the original dish - once. Too much fat and back then never thought to lighten it up. Thanks for this, Kalyn, I'll be making it soon!

  44. Christine, hope you enjoy! Yes, all the recipes in that book are a bit much!

  45. I cooked this according to the directions and substituted low fat buttermilk because it seemed like a good idea (and I wasn't sure how long that bm was going to last past the expiration date). The recipe is wonderful - I added just a touch of nutmeg and cayenne (not enough to taste, but enough for added depth). One recommendation would be to cook the greens down till they are dry. I noticed that after I let it cool and cut it, it seeped moisture. Very nice recipe and will be making it again!

  46. Interesting idea to use buttermilk!

  47. I have made this recipe about 4 times and I can say it is good every time. The last 2 times I have put 1 lb of lump crab (just mixed right in) and wow is that good!

  48. Rich, I think I MUST try your version with the crab!


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