Swiss Chard & Ricotta Pie (Low Carb & Gluten Free)

You may remember that a few months ago Jones Dairy hired me to develop some recipes for their website, using their delicious gluten free sausage products.  One of the recipes I came up with was a quiche, using their gluten free mild breakfast sausage rolled out as the crust.  It came out great (I’ll post links to the recipes when they go live over on the Jones Dairy site), and I wanted to use the same crust concept for some other low carb recipes here on IBIH.  Since I still had some rolls of the sausage they sent me to use in the recipes, I decided to fool around with it this weekend.

My in-laws had an abundance of swiss chard from their garden recently and were kind enough to share, which made me happy because my garden did not cooperate at all this year!  I love rainbow swiss chard so much for both it’s beauty, and it’s flavor – but you could also substitute spinach in this recipe if you can’t get, or don’t like Swiss Chard.

 

I chopped and sauteed the rainbow chard with eggs, ricotta and mozzarella cheese (among other things) and it made a delicious filling for the sausage crust.  I tried it several different ways, and my favorite was made in the mini muffin pan as shown in the photo above.  It can also be made in regular cupcake size, tart size, or in one large pie that can be cut into wedges.  If you are vegetarian you can omit the sausage crust altogether and it’s still very tasty. 

The mini muffin size make a perfect one-bite party appetizer, while the cupcake size is perfect for a quick breakfast or lunch when you’re in a hurry.  I even enjoyed them cold, right out of the fridge, though hot is preferable. 

You may find that you need a little extra sausage if you are making the mini-size, rather than the large pie, because the sausage to filling ratio is a little different.   These are insanely filling by the way, which is great because just a few bites keep me full for hours!  Hope you guys like them and as always I love hearing your feedback in the comments!

 

Swiss Chard & Ricotta Pie (LC & GF)

Yield: 1 pie, 12 muffins, or 24 mini muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbl olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 8 cups swiss chard, chopped
  • 2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lb mild sausage

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan and add the onions and garlic. Cook for several minutes or until soft. Add the swiss chard (or other greens of your choice) and cook for about 5 minutes until the leaves are wilted and the stems have softened. Add the nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add the ricotta, parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. Stir in the sauteed greens. If making the large pie, you will have to roll out your sausage or press it into the pie tin uniformly. Then pour in the filling, place on a cookie sheet (to catch any dripping oil from the sausage) and bake at 350 degrees (F) for about 30 - 35 minutes or until firm.
  • If making the muffins, use your fingers to press the sausage into place, lining the cups about 1/4 inch thick. Then spoon in your filling - don't overfill because they will puff up slightly when baking. Make sure you bake these on a cookie sheet, as the grease from the cooking sausage will overflow the cups and you will have a mess on your hands if you don't put something underneath it to catch it! Also, by all means add more cheese on top if you so desire.

Notes

Approximate nutrition information WITH sausage crust: Per serving (one 8th) of pie: 344 calories, 27g fat, 4g net carbs, 23g protein Per standard sized muffin: 230 calories, 18g fat, 2.6g net carbs, 16g protein Per mini muffin: 115 calories, 9g fat, 1.3g net carbs, 8g protein

Approximate nutrition information WITHOUT sausage crust: Per serving (one 8th) of pie: 200 calories, 15g fat, 4g net carbs, 15g protein Per standard sized muffin: 134 calories, 10g fat, 2.6g net carbs, 10g protein Per mini muffin: 67 calories, 5g fat, 1.3g net carbs, 5g protein

 
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Comments

  1. says

    Great idea to use the sausage meat as a crust for the quichy things!
    Mellissa I have just requested a refund for my purchase of your cookbook. Please don’t be dismayed. I mucked up my Amazon account (ended up with two) and didn’t want to lose my books. Refunding is the only way to fix it – once that is done I will re-order your book on the correct account. Regards Janet K XO

    • Leah says

      Do you mean the crust for the muffins? If so, look at the second paragraph. Somehow I missed this too, but the directions are there!

      Did anyone have a bunch of filling left when making the muffins?

  2. Ja says

    I made these last night but they weren’t all that flavourful. I did use Spinach instead of chard, so maybe there’s a flavour booster to add to the mix to make up for the less punchy greens??
    Sausage as crust was tasty, but harder to get evenly into the muffin cups than i anticipated. Maybe takes practice?
    Good advice about the baking tray to catch the juices. Even my tall, silicon, muffin tray was bubbling to the brim

    • says

      You can add more nutmeg or even some cayenne – a sharper cheese, whatever flavors you like that go with spinach I guess. The chard does have a distinct flavor so that may have been missing. And yes, the sausage crust takes a few tries to get the hang of it! Hope your next batch is more flavorful and thanks for the feedback!

  3. Samantha says

    I followed as direct and did the “pie” version. Unsure why after 35 mins of oven time as directed and I came out with raw sausage and that wasn’t cooked all the way through. Pre-heated as usual, used pie pan, used mild sausage, cooked the 35 to make sure…yikes!

  4. says

    We made these today and they are delicious! So we could do a side-by-side taste test, we made them in a muffin tin, half with mild sausage and half with Italian sausage, and we all preferred the Italian. It would also be good with hot Italian. Great recipe, thanks for sharing!!

  5. Cristina says

    These look so good and I am thinking of making them, but looks like it makes quite a bit. Did you ever freeze them? Just wondering if they would still be ok. Thanks so much!

  6. Jennifer says

    I love swiss chard and am always on the lookout for more recipes that use it. Made these last night and immediately ate three! I loved them, though found the ricotta I used a bit grainy, so next time I’ll try a different brand. I erred on the underside when measuring out the cheeses, and I still had enough filling for several extra ‘muffins’ which I just made in ramekins. I love that the sausage causes the muffins to slide ride out – no sticking! It was great to just reheat a couple for breakfast. Next time I’ll double the recipe and try freezing some – great idea!

  7. Nicki says

    My oven runs hot, but the pie was soup after 40 minutes. I increased the temperature to 380 and after 10 more minutes it was still soupy. I’m guessing “30-35 minutes or until firm” actually means “1 hour or more.” Too much cheese, maybe? Maybe more eggs, less ricotta would cook better?

  8. Sabrina says

    This was really delicious! I used italian sausage and made it as one pie. I also used kale, which is my thing. Definitely in rotation for me

  9. says

    Delicious and such an easy breakfast choice. My husband also likes them.

    In comparing the F/C/P and calories from MFP with those on the recipe, my batch came out with much higher numbers. MFP give me 407 calories, 32g fat, 4g carbs, and 24g protein and I got 15 muffins out of the recipe. I used spinach instead of the chard but I don’t think that would make a significant difference. So, don’t know which numbers to log.

    • says

      I find mfp unreliable so I add everything up myself, but if you plugged in specific brands that you were Using it may account for the difference. Part skim ricotta is different from full fat, some sausage is higher in sugar, etc. I would go with your own numbers to be on the safe side!

      • says

        Thanks, Mellissa. I was going to redo MFP using my own numbers and see what I get. Regardless, this is my new go-to breakfast – easy and oh so yummy. My husband, who does not do LCHF, uses them to make an egg/sausage sandwich for breakfast.

      • says

        I recalculated nutrients using my own numbers. The results were more in line with yours. Thanks for the tip about MFP. From now on I’ll calculate my own recipe nutrients!

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