Swiss Chard Lasagna with Gruyère and Hazelnuts

When celebrated food writer David Lebovitz is coming to dinner, you have a lot of planning to do. Do you make something fancy? Something casual? Something French? American? After lots of cookbook perusing and soul-searching, I remembered a Yotam Ottolenghi recipe I saw in The Guardian for Swiss Chard lasagna with Gruyère and hazelnuts. And I thought: “Now that’s something David won’t be expecting!”

Start with the Sauce

As with most lasagna recipes, you start with a tomato sauce. This one has garlic that you toast until brown, tomato paste which I toasted along with the garlic (even though that’s not part of the original recipe), and then you add tomatoes. That cooks for a bit and then you blend it together with a hand blender. Set it aside, you’re done with that portion.

A Swiss Chard Lasagna Needs Swiss Chard

The real fun begins after you make the sauce. That’s when you strip the stems off of the Swiss chard, slice them thinly, and then cut up the leaves.

You sauté the stems in olive oil, add half the greens, then the other half, until it’s all wilted. But you’re just beginning! Then you add a bunch of baby spinach, more than you think your pan can hold.

Once that all cooks down, you’re ready to assemble your lasagna.

Lasagna Assembly Time

swiss chard lasagna

The real trick to this lasagna is using oven-ready lasagna sheets. They’re a godsend. Think about how many pots and pans you don’t have to clean by using them! No boiling, no shocking in ice water, no rinsing. And you don’t notice the difference at all.

My other hack is to use a food processor to shred the Gruyère. I bought cave-aged Gruyère which wasn’t cheap, but makes such a difference. Grating it by hand would’ve taken twenty minutes. In the food processor with the shredding disc? It took five minutes.

Let’s Get Baked

The lasagna bakes in a 375 oven for 30 to 35 minutes. And it looks nice at that point, but I’m a broiler junky. And for this lasagna, I wanted to crank on the broiler to give it a little extra pizzazz. Which the broiler does. Just watch it so your hazelnuts don’t burn.

To serve, I made a nice crunchy salad with little gem lettuce and a Dijon vinaigrette with shallots.

It may look squidgy in this pic, but trust me when I say it was a flavor bomb. And David was absolutely delighted! He even said “mmm” when he ate it. What more could you want? Swiss chard lasagna for the win.


Swiss Chard Lasagna with Gruyère and Hazelnuts

A nifty, unexpected lasagna adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi's recipe in The Guardian.
Course Main Course
Keyword Gruyère, hazelnuts, Ottolenghi, Swiss chard
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings 6 hungry people


  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 28 ounces canned chopped tomatoes This is more than Ottolenghi calls for, but I figure you may as well use the whole can.
  • Pinch Sugar If you're into that sort of thing
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds Swiss chard or rainbow chard, leaves and stems separated, leaves roughly chopped, stems thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 pounds baby spinach
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds, lightly toasted I toasted mine in a dry skillet just until fragrant
  • 1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley, stems included
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill I didn't have any, so left it out… but I bet it would've been great
  • 8 dried lasagna sheets Look for oven-ready lasagna sheets
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated Gruyère
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts, roughly chopped Oops I forgot to chop them


  • Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a sauce pan over medium/high heat. Add the garlic and cook until it starts to toast a little. Add the tomato paste and stir around, then add the canned tomatoes. Add a pinch of sugar, a pinch of salt, and pepper and let simmer for ten minutes. At that point, add 1/2 cup water, stir all around. Take off the heat and blitz with a hand blender until smooth. Taste to adjust for salt and pepper.
  • Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large sauté pan. Add the chard stems, a pinch of salt, and cook until soft — a few minutes. Then add half of the chard leaves, another pinch of salt, and cook until the leaves are wilted. Add the rest of the chard leaves, cook until wilted, and then start adding the spinach. Stir and cook on medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until wilted. Add the caraway seeds and some freshly ground black pepper. Turn the heat to low, cover the pan, and cook for an additional fifteen minutes. Stir in the chopped parsley and dill and taste to adjust for salt. Set aside.
  • Heat the oven to 375. Brush a 9X13 pan with olive oil. Cover the base with four sheets of the lasagna. Top with half of the tomato sauce, then half of the cooked greens, then half of the cheeses. Lay on another four sheets of lasagna, the rest of the tomato sauce, the rest of the greens, and the rest of the cheeses. Top with the hazelnuts. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, until golden brown and bubbling. If you'd like a little extra color on the top, turn on the broiler and watch it carefully. Allow to cool for five minutes before serving.

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7 thoughts on “Swiss Chard Lasagna with Gruyère and Hazelnuts”

  1. This sounds great! Do you think it would be okay to assemble the day before, refrigerate, and bake before serving?

  2. I followed the recipe but was disappointed with the result. I think dill and caraway seeds are an odd combo of flavors, and the hazelnuts seemed out of place.

    1. Hi Margaret, sorry to hear you were disappointed! I just looked it up and apparently dill and caraway seeds are from the same family. “Like caraway, dill is a member of the Apiaceae family (as are chervil, parsley, carrot and anise), so it’s no coincidence that the smell and flavour of these flat, tear-shaped, green-brown seeds is remarkably similar to the aforementioned spice.” I think they’re both pretty common in the Jewish food I grew up with (chicken soup + rye bread), so I liked the combo.

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