Cheesy Cannellini and Swiss Chard Bake

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This is a hearty and healthy vegetarian dish that is easy to make and full of flavor. The cannellini beans are cooked in a homemade tomato sauce, then layered with swiss chard and cheese in a baking dish. The cheese melts and forms a golden crust on top, adding a delicious contrast to the tender beans and greens. Serve this with some some crusty bread or a green salad for a satisfying meal.
Dinner
Freezer Friendly
Vegetarian

If you’re looking for a simple and satisfying vegetarian meal that is packed with protein, fiber, and vitamins, look no further than this Cheesy Cannellini and Swiss Chard Bake. It’s a great way to use up any leftover beans or greens you have in your fridge or pantry, and it’s also budget-friendly and easy to make.

This dish is inspired by the Italian cuisine, where beans and greens are often paired together in soups, stews, and salads. In this recipe, the beans and greens are cooked in a flavorful tomato sauce that is made from scratch with fresh tomatoes, garlic, onion, and herbs. The sauce is then mixed with the beans and chard and transferred to a baking dish. The cheese is sprinkled on top, and the dish is baked until the cheese is melted and browned. The result is a warm and comforting dish that is filling and nutritious.

Customizing This Dish

This dish is very versatile and can be adapted to your preferences and dietary needs. Here are some suggestions for substitutions and customizations:

  • You can use dried beans instead of canned beans, but you will need to soak and cook them first. Just use 1 2/3 cups of cooked beans for every 1 can of 14 oz canned beans in the recipe.
  • You can use any kind of greens you like, such as kale, spinach, or collard greens. You can also use frozen greens instead of fresh greens, but you will need to thaw and squeeze out the excess water first.
  • You can easily make this recipe vegan by using a plant-based cheese, or just omit the cheese entirely.
  • You can top the dish with some fresh herbs, such as basil, parsley, or oregano, for some extra flavor and color.

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

This dish can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat the dish, you can either microwave it in a microwave-safe dish, or bake it in a preheated oven at 350°F until heated through. If the dish is frozen, you will need to thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before reheating it. You can also reheat individual portions of the dish in a toaster oven or an air fryer.

Freezing and Reheating

  • To freeze leftovers, transfer them to a freezer safe container. If the container doesn't have a lid (like a baking pan), cover it tightly with plastic wrap and then a layer of foil. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to serve, thaw the leftovers completely. Then reheat in the over at 350°F until warm and bubbly, about 15 - 20 minutes. If the cheese starts to brown too much, cover the dish in foil.
  • To store this dish before baking it, be sure to first prepare the dish in a freezer and oven safe baking dish. Wrap the dish tightly, first in plastic wrap and then in a layer of foil. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to serve, thaw the dish completely. Remove any plastic wrap covering the dish and cover it with foil. Bake in the oven at 375°F until warm and bubbly, about 20-25 minutes. Remove the foil and turn on the broiler. Broil the dish until the cheese is golden brown, about 5 minutes.
Cheesy Cannellini and Swiss Chard Bake

Cheesy Cannellini and Swiss Chard Bake

Prep Time:
25 min
Cook Time:
45 min
Total Time:
1 hour, 10 min
Serves:
6
Difficulty:
Intermediate
Equipment Needed
  • 3 quart baking dish
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed, or 3 1/3 cups cooked beans
  • 4 cups fresh roma tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2  cup vegetable stock
  • 1 bunch of swiss chard, stems removed and leaves chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and lightly grease the baking dish.
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil and cook the onion, stirring occasionally, until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
  3. Add the oregano, red pepper, salt, pepper, tomatoes, tomato paste, and stock, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the tomatoes are soft and the sauce is slightly thickened, about 20 minutes.
  4. Add the beans and swiss chard to the skillet and stir to combine. Cover the skillet with a lid and cook until the chard is wilted, about 5 minutes.
  5. Transfer half of the bean and chard mixture to the prepared baking dish and spread it evenly. Sprinkle 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese on top. Repeat with the remaining bean and chard mixture and cheese.
  6. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese over the cheese layer.
  7. Bake the dish for 15 minutes, or until the bean mixture begins to bubble. Turn on the broiler and broil the dish until the cheese begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Be careful not to burn it!
Recipe Tips
  • The amount of vegetable stock needed may vary depending on how juicy your tomatoes are. If you find your sauce is to think or dry, just add more stock.
  • If you want your sauce to be smoother, you can use an immersion blender or transfer the sauce to a food processor or blender before adding the beans and chard.
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