Creamy Winter Greens Gratin

Looking for a flavorful side dish for your Thanksgiving or Christmas party?  There’s no compromising on flavor with this creamy Winter greens gratin.

creamy winter greens gratin hero

Updated 17 Nov 2009
Originally posted 25 Nov 2006

Annie last made this gratin a while ago but I wanted to revisit it because it was such a memorable dish. It was one of two, fantastic side dishes that she made for a Thanksgiving party at our place. (The other was a really wonderful green bean casserole that I unfortunately don’t have very good pictures of – guess we’ll have to make it again soon!)

This recipe calls for Swiss chard, but you can use almost any dark, leafy green like kale or even spinach if you have to. I love Swiss chard, though, because it still maintains some texture when cooked, not dissolving into almost nothing like spinach does.  Swiss chard is especially good in soups, such as our Barley and Lentil Soup with Swiss Chard.

Swiss Chard

swiss chard

The recipe also calls for bacon, cream, butter, and cheese. Definitely not a low-fat dish! But you can be sure that it’ll be high in flavor!

Creamy Winter Greens Gratin

From Fine Cooking Magazine, February/March 2006 issue, p 41.


1-3/4 lbs Swiss chard, center ribs cut away, leaves roughly chopped
3 strips bacon, minced and fried until browned
2 cloves garlic
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp melted butter
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Buttered Breadcrumbs, Parmesan Cheese, Browned Bacon

bread crumbs parmesan bacon


1. Fry the minced bacon in a large nonstick skillet until browned. Set aside.

2. Add the greens to the pan and toss until wilted, about 1 minute.

3. In a medium sauce pan, simmer 2 cloves garlic in 1 cup heavy cream until the cream is reduced to 3/4 cup. Remove the garlic cloves.

4. Toss 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs with 1 tablespoon melted butter.

5. Place the greens in a casserole dish and spread them out evenly. Crumble the bacon over the greens. Sprinkle on grated Parmesan.

Swiss Chard, Bacon, Parmesan Cheese

creamy winter greens gratin 2

6. Pour the cream over the greens. Top with the breadcrumbs.

pouring cream on winter greens gratin

7. Bake at 400*F until the gratin is browned and bubbly, about 25 minutes.

creamy winter greens gratin

This dish was the first to be finished at our Thanksgiving party. It’s not a lot of work, but there is a lot of flavor here!

Aloha, Nate

9 thoughts on “Creamy Winter Greens Gratin”

  1. >Hey Nate and Annie,
    Just wanna let you know I enjoy reading your blog and recipes. Are you able to get most of the ingredients for your baking needs?

    Have an a nice Thanksgiving in Malaysia!

  2. >You're saving my life! My family isn't big on vegetables but I've finally convinced them to let me bring greens to Thanksgiving. I bet everyone will love this dish! Thank you thank you.

  3. >What a great way to serve veggies to your family! My honey's not big on greens either but anything covered with cheese I'm sure will work! I might have to add some ham or bacon though.

  4. >One Christmas, I improvised something very similar to this. It had spinach and cremini mushrooms in it instead. I used a little cream and some Parmesan and Gruyere. No bacon, though. But that would have made it all the better. Next time, I'll remember that must-have addition.

  5. >@all – thanks for your comments!

    @mvmaithai – I'm so glad you enjoy our blog 🙂 Yes, we can find most of the ingredients. In fact, we can find stuff here that we couldn't find back home in the US!

    @Ellen – You're welcome, you're welcome! Let us know what your family thought of it.

    @The Food Hunter – tasted great too!

    @Cookie – uh, you did read where the recipe calls for crumbling bacon on top, right 😉

    @Carolyn – everything's better with…oh, you know the rest 😉

  6. >Hi there. Please give me a substitute vegetable for swiss chard. I don't know what it tastes like but it looks like "pechay" or bok choy. I'd really like to make this : )

  7. >@Jenster – panko would be perfect! Let us know how it comes out for you.

    @Anonymous – I suppose you could use bok choy for it, but not too much of the white center rib. Good luck!

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