Soparnik - Swiss chard pie

Back in the old days, people were making simple dishes from the ingredients they had available in their gardens and in their pantries. Dishes like this one were seen as poor man's food, but, nowadays we realize that less is more, and simple food like Soparnik has become a real specialty. That is why, in 2016, Soparnik was listed as a national heritage of Croatia, certified with a specific geographical origin.


A whole soparnik next to a serving tray with slices of the pie


  • 500 g all-purpose flour

  • ½ tsp salt

  • 4 tbsp olive oil

  • 250 ml of water

For the filling:

  • 800g-1kg swiss chard

  • 1 small onion

  • 1 tbsp salt

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

For the topping:

  • 2-3 cloves of garlic

  • 1 dl olive oil

  • salt

How to make it

  1. You might want to prepare the dough first. Just mix the ingredients together and knead the dough for a few minutes. It might seem a bit tough but that's ok.

  2. Now prepare the chard. Wash it, dry it and cut it into thin strips. You can use the white parts as well, just cut them into smaller pieces so they're sure to be cooked throughout.

  3. Chop the onion and mix in with the chard. Add some salt and just a tbsp of olive oil, then mix it together by using your hands.

  4. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Now divide your dough into two similar-sized pieces, and roll one of them out so it becomes a big thin circle.

  5. Spread the chard/onion mixture all over it, making sure to evenly cover the dough, leaving just about a centimeter of free space along the edge.

  6. Now roll out the remaining dough and cover the bottom layer of dough. Tuck the edges on the outside or on the inside so the pie is closed all the way around.

  7. Use a fork to make random holes around the top of the pastry, so that the air can get out. If you notice that the pie is keeping in a lot of air while baking, you can always poke more holes when checking it in the oven.

  8. Originally, Soparnik was baked in the fire of proper stone ovens. This method still exists in the Dalmatian region of Croatia still are those in Dalmatian region of Croatia, and the fire also helps to give the pie a special taste. But do not worry, it will be just as delicious when baked in your conventional oven, I promise.

  9. Put the Soparnik into the pre-heated oven and bake it for about 20-30 minutes.

  10. In the meantime, prepare the top spread. Chop garlic cloves very finely and add it to the olive oil.

  11. When the pie is done baking, take it out of the oven. While it is still very hot, spread the coating all over and sprinkle with more salt.

  12. Now, you can let it cool, or you can serve it while it is still warm. I suggest that you enjoy it with some wine. Bon appetit!

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Recipe by Marcela Sambol