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Egg and Swiss Chard Italian Easter Pie

Egg and Swiss Chard Italian Easter Pie

Egg & Swiss Chard Italian Easter Pie |

Easter Ricotta Pie is a delicious Italian tradition. While there are many, many variations, the sweet version, Pastiera is usually made with arborio rice, wheat berries or farro, like my Easter Ricotta Rice Pie with Raspberry Glaze. The savory ricotta version, Torta Pasqualina is often made with eggs and cooked greens, which I made for the first time ever this week.

For help, I turned to my favorite Italian cookbook resource (note: this is an affiliate link): The Silver Spoonwhich is like a Fanny Farmer or Betty Crocker primer for Italian home cooks. Torta Pasqualina is similar to Greek spinach pie but with a fun twist. Whole eggs are cooked in the filling so when you cut a slice, you see what looks like hard boiled eggs in the center of the pie. My 5 year old thought this was super cool. My father, who is an engineer but not exactly competent in the kitchen, was actually baffled on how this was possible.

Egg & Swiss Chard Italian Easter Pie |

For this verision, I put on my dietitian hat (that would be my food loving dietitian hat!) and made some tweaks to reduce calories but keep the integrity (and the flavor) of the original dish. My changes:

  • 8 eggs instead of 10. While that may still seem high, this pie serves 8 – 12 people and nowadays, the general rule of thumb is eating an egg a day is okay. (Plus, eggs are a wonderful source of protein and many other vitamins & minerals.)
  • No pie crust on top which slashes a bunch of calories and saturated fat. Instead, I sprinkled some Parmesan cheese over the filling for a “crust” and extra layer of flavor.
  • Fresh nutmeg & thyme added to amp up the flavor of the filling.
  • Nix the heavy cream. The recipe called for 1 cup of cream and I was going to substitue in lowfat milk but I actually forgot to add the milk (oops!) but the pie still tasted wonderful without it.

Egg & Swiss Chard Italian Easter Pie |

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Egg & Swiss Chard Italian Easter Pie |

Egg & Swiss Chard Italian Easter Pie

  • Yield: 8 - 12 servings 1x


Adapted from The Silver Spoon’s Torta Pasqualina, Easter Ricotta Pie is a delicious Italian tradition.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large bunch of Swiss chard (about 1 pound), rinsed and chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 8 medium eggs
  • 15 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 6 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme (or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 (9 ounce) pie crust


  1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
  2. Add Swiss chard and sauté for 2 minutes, until starts to wilt. Mix in nutmeg, pepper & salt. Stir and sauté 8 – 10 more minutes, or until chard is completely wilted. Remove from heat and add to a colander. When slightly cooled, squeeze as much liquid as possible out of the chard. Place in a large bowl.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  4. Stir 2 eggs, ricotta cheese, 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese and thyme into the Swiss chard, mix until completely incorporated. Mix in flour. Set aside.
  5. Roll out pie dough to fit into 9–inch pie pan. Place in pan and flute the edges. Spread half of the Swiss chard mixture over the pie dough.
  6. Hollow out 6 small oval areas in the Swiss chard mixture to place the cracked eggs. Carefully crack each of the 6 remaining eggs to fit into each hollow.
  7. Carefully spread the remaining Swiss chard mixture over top the eggs. Sprinkle remaining 3 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese on top.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes, then check to see if the pie crust edges are getting brown. Cover the edges of the pie with tin foil to prevent from burning and cook for another 20 minutes or until the filling is completely set (about 45 minutes total.) Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Egg & Swiss Chard Italian Easter Pie |

So, now that I’ve made both savory and sweet ricotta pies, I can’t decide which one I like more!

Have you ever made a savory pie like this? If you celebrate Easter, do you have a traditional dish you make for the holiday?

Diana Pack

Thursday 18th of April 2019

What would be the best substitute for Swiss chard in this recipe? It is hard to find in my area. Would celery be too strong, or maybe sine celery and some spinach to make for the green leaves?

Deanna Segrave-Daly

Wednesday 24th of April 2019

You could use spinach or kale instead!

[email protected] A Dash of Cinnamon

Monday 10th of April 2017

Loving the healthy update! We always have ham and scalloped potatoes on Easter dinner and deviled eggs for apps. The other dishes are variable, but those so fart have been part of the usual lineup!

Tara } Treble in the Kitchen

Monday 10th of April 2017

I've never heard of this traditional Italian pie, but I could totally jump on board with it!! Yum!


Tuesday 26th of March 2013

Did you make a pie crust or is there a premade one you'd recommend? I need to juggle Easter bunny duties with my cooking so simplier is better! Thanks.


Tuesday 26th of March 2013

I'm not skilled at making pie crust so my 2 favorite brands are Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts and Trader Joe's frozen pie shells - happy Easter to you!


Monday 25th of March 2013

Oh! I love Healthy Aperture evennn more now that it brought me to this!! Thanks for the awesome, Easter themed recipe. My Italian nanny will be so proud when this shows up to Easter!


Monday 25th of March 2013

Your comment made my day - definitely let me know what your Nanny says, you are going knock her socks off! It's really pretty straightforward to make :)

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