Stuffed Swiss Chard Leaves – Pazi Sarma Dolma with Meat

There are so many varieties when it comes to stuffed vegetable dishes. Grape leaves are extremely popular, but they are certainly not the only option. In Turkey and Greece, we almost found a way to stuff any variety of vegetables. Chard leaves, bell peppers, squash blossoms, mushrooms, cabbage leaves, zucchinis, eggplants, tomatoes, etc. The list goes on!

The fillings can also get very creative, but the rice and ground meat are the most popular versions. I love every kind, either vegetarian or meat.

Nevertheless, the following recipe is a special one. I call it the Protein Explosion. In recent years, kale got so popular all around the globe due to its health benefits. However, some people are unaware that chard is also very impressive when you consider its exceptional nutrition.

*Just 1 cup (about 175 grams) of cooked Swiss chard contains about 3.3 grams of protein. Plus, it is loaded with antioxidants, flavonoids, carotenoids, potassium, manganese, folate, fiber, vitamin K, A, and C. There is no doubt that we should include leafy greens in our diet for better health. Swiss Chard is a weight-loss-friendly food and a perfect selection for anti-inflammatory diets.

Stuffed Swiss Chard Leaves with Meat

Recipe by OzgurCourse: MainCuisine: Turkish, GreekDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time




Total time






  • 2 bunches of Swiss chard (about 10 to 15 leaves)

  • 225 g ground beef (8 ounces)

  • 100 g (1/2cup) rice (3.53 ounces)

  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1 large onion

  • 5-6 leaves of fresh parsley – chopped

  • 1/2 teaspoon mint powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 lemon – freshly squeezed

  • Salt and ground pepper to taste


  • Preparing the leaves
  • Wash the chard leaves well, and place them in a large glass bowl.
  • Pour hot water on the chard leaves. Wait till they get soft (boiled).
  • Once they are ready, take them out of the hot water.
  • Remove the stems in the middle with knife.
  • Keep the stems as we will use them later on when cooking.
  • Stuffing
  • Grate the onion into a separate bowl.
  • Add ground beef over the onions.
  • Pour in the lemon juice.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of tomato paste.
  • Wash the rice and drain, and then add to the beef mixture.
  • Add in all the spices and the thinly chopped parsley.
  • Blend them well – the stuffing is ready.stuffed cahrd leaves
  • Making Rolls
  • Place a leaf on the counter and gently press with your thumb in the middle. This will help to soften the thick part in the middle that separates the leaf into two.
  • Add 1 ½ tablespoon of ground beef stuffing. Leave some space from the sides.
  • Fold the edges and roll the leaf with stuffing.
  • Once all the leaves are rolled, we are ready to cook them.
  • Sauce
  • Get a medium bowl.
  • Add a tablespoon of tomato paste.
  • Add 1 cup of hot water.
  • Blend the tomato paste with water.
  • Add a pinch of salt.
  • Cooking
  • Get a medium size pan and place all the stems that you cut earlier to create a layer.
  • Place the stuffed rolls on top.
  • Pour in the sauce.
  • Drizzle olive oil on the leaves.
  • Place a flat plate or a smaller lid on top. This is to keep the stuffed chards in place.Placing dish over the stuffed chard leaves
  • Pour in more hot water until all the chard leaves and the lid is covered.
  • Cook over medium heat until the sauce starts to boil.
  • Turn down the heat, and cook over low heat for about 30 to 40 minutes.
  • Remove the plate or the lid you placed on top, and carefully take out the stuffed chards.


  • If you have any extra stuffing mixture left, you can carve a few medium size potatoes or tomatoes and fill them up. Feel free to cook them the same way.

Is chard a superfood?

Swiss chard is packed with disease fighting antioxidants. You can get your daily need of Vitamins K and A just from a small portion of cooked chard leaves. Note that it is also high in vitamin C and E.

Protect yourself from chronic diseases by consuming healthy leafy greens such as chard, arugula, kale, romaine lettuce, and spinach.

What is the best way to eat Swiss chard?

You can steam cook or sauté Swiss chard. Either way will produce tasty dishes. Chard is widely used in stews, casseroles, and soups. Also, try using raw chard leaves in your salads.

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