Kale has become a trendy food item over the last couple of years. It’s packed with nutrients and vitamins, and it tastes great too. If you haven’t tried kale before, now would be a good time to give it a try.
Kale is a leafy green vegetable that belongs to the cabbage family. It contains high amounts of vitamin K, folate, calcium, fiber, and antioxidants.
The health benefits of kale include lowering cholesterol levels, boosting immunity, improving digestion, and reducing cancer risk.
There are lots of ways to prepare kale. Try these 32 recipes from around the web to get started.
1. Chicken Stew With Kale Recipe
This recipe is based on one we stumbled across from a friend! She always used leftover chicken bones from Sunday dinner to make this dish. So, we did too.
We added some kale because it’s healthy and tasty. This is a great way to use up those bones you don’t want to throw away. You won’t even know there are chicken bones in here.
2. Winter Crunch Salad
The Winter Crunch Salad combines shredded Brussels sprouts, kale, apples, walnuts, feta cheese, and pomegranate seeds in a tangy vinaigrette dressing. This healthy side dish makes for a great addition to any holiday table.
In a large bowl, combine the kale, Brussels sprouts, apples, and walnuts. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, cider vinegar, salt, and pepper.
Pour over the vegetables and toss well to coat evenly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
3. Winter Greens Gratin
The recipe starts with three large bunches of kale, chard, collards, or whatever green you like best. You’ll want about 2 pounds total; one bunch per person.
Rinse the leaves well, trim off the stems, tear the leaves into bite-size pieces, and put them in a pot of boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain and dry thoroughly.
In a 9 x 13-inch baking dish, spread half the kale mixture evenly across the bottom. Top with half the cheese mixture. Repeat layers once more.
Pour the remaining cream mixture over the top, cover tightly with foil, and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 more minutes to brown the crust. Serve immediately.
4. Kale Pesto With Pasta Recipe
The best part about pesto is how versatile it is. You can use it as a dip, you can add it to pasta, or you can even make it into a salad dressing.
We love this recipe because it takes advantage of one of our favorite ingredients—kale. If you haven’t tried kale pesto yet, we suggest trying it out today.
5. Chickpea Pancakes With Kale And Fennel
Socca is one of those foods you either love or hate. If you’re like us, it’s the latter. We don’t know what it is about the texture — it seems too dense and dry — but we’ve never been able to make a decent pancake out of it. Until now.
This recipe uses chickpea flour, which gives the batter a lighter consistency than traditional wheat flour. Topped with kale and fennel, it’s a savory breakfast option.
6. Charred Kale With Citrus And Green Tahini
This recipe calls for just one thing: a hot cast iron pan. If you don’t have one, use a grill or a stove-top burner over high heat. You’ll want to start with a bunch of kale—about four bunches’ worth—and let it cook down.
Once wilted, toss some lemon juice and zest into the pan, add a generous drizzle of olive oil, and stir well. Add salt and pepper to taste. When the leaves are tender, transfer to a serving platter and scatter with chopped parsley.
7. Turmeric Fried Eggs And Kale Breakfast Bowl
This breakfast bowl is made with eggs, kale, yogurt, and bacon. Turmeric is known for its health benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidant effects. This recipe uses turmeric powder, which gives it a bright yellow color.
You can use regular powdered turmeric, too. If you don’t want to buy turmeric, you could substitute ground ginger or curry powder.
8. Fried Brown Rice With Kale
The recipe for fried brown rice with kale and turmeric is one you’ll want to make often. This dish is delicious and nutritious – perfect for those days when you don’t feel like cooking anything else.
You’ll love how easy it is to make and how flavorful it tastes. You can use whatever type of rice you’d like, such as jasmine, basmati, short grain brown… even wild rice!
9. Soba Noodles With Crispy Kale
These soba noodles with crispy kale and a nutty tahini-honey-soya dressing are hearty vegetarian weekday dinners or make-ahead lunches. They’re easy enough to put together ahead of time, so you can enjoy them during the workweek.
10. Kale And Cucumber Salad With Roasted Ginger Dressing
This easy recipe is perfect for lunch or dinner. You can make it ahead of time and store it in the fridge. This dish goes well served on a bed of greens, over pasta, or even atop some crusty bread. Ingredients are simple, healthy, and delicious.
Combine the kale, cucumbers, and olive oil in a large bowl; toss gently to coat. Let stand for 10 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
11. Spicy Tuscan Kale And Ricotta Grandma Pie
This pie is bursting with flavor – it tastes like your classic grandma’s cooking. We came up with this dish while trying to find something different to do with leftover kale.
This hearty pie is perfect for a cold winter day. You could easily use spinach or chard in place of the kale. If you want, you can serve this with a salad of arugula and shaved Parmesan cheese.
12. Roasted Eggplant And Crispy Kale With Yogurt
Eggplant is often used as a side dish or appetizer because it is inexpensive and easy to prepare. You can use roasted eggplant in many ways – whether you are cooking it whole or slice it into pieces. This recipe combines both of those methods.
To roast the eggplant, cut off the stem end of the eggplant and lay it flat on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the surface with olive oil and sprinkle salt over the top.
Bake at 400 degrees F for about 40 minutes, turning once halfway through. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Slice the eggplant lengthwise into thin slices.
13. Spaghetti Aglio E Olio With Lots Of Kale
This Italian dish is one of those recipes you see online where the author claims there are too many ingredients. But don’t worry about the kale—it shrinks down to nothing once it hits the boiling water.
This recipe uses lots of garlic and olive oil, but you could use less or none at all, depending on how much flavor you want.
14. Cheesy Kale And Mushroom Strata
You can make these strata ahead of time, wrap them up, and take them to work for lunch. Or you could even make it the night before and pop it into the oven early in the morning.
Either way, it takes less than 30 minutes to put together, and it tastes great.
15. Collard Greens And Kale Pesto
This dish features collard greens and kale tossed in pesto sauce. Collard greens are one of our favorite vegetables. They’re hearty enough to stand up to heavy sauces like pesto.
We love how you can use the stems too; they add a nice flavor to the dish. This recipe serves four people.
16. Oven Risotto With Kale Pesto
This risotto recipe takes just 30 minutes to make and requires no stirring. Instead, you simply add ingredients one at a time to cook. Once cooked, the rice absorbs flavors from the pesto and kale.
You don’t even have to stir—just keep an eye on the pot while enjoying dinner.
17. Garlic Kale Chips
Kale is one of those superfoods that everyone loves — it’s high in fiber, vitamin A, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, folate, copper, protein, and vitamins B6 and C.
But did you know that kale is packed with antioxidants too? Antioxidants are nutrients that help prevent free radicals from damaging cells.
18. Sautéed Kale
This recipe is one of our go-to dishes because it takes just minutes to make and is packed full of nutrients. We love serving it over pasta or rice, but it works well as a side dish too.
19. Kale Pesto Pizza Recipe
The recipe calls for 2 cups of chopped kale leaves, one cup of basil leaves, 3 cloves garlic, ¼ teaspoon salt, ½ tablespoon red pepper flakes, ⅛ teaspoon black pepper, olive oil, and water.
After chopping up the ingredients, mix together the pesto sauce and spread it over the crust.
20. Garlic Parmesan Kale Pasta
This recipe combines two ingredients we are obsessed with—garlic and cheese. This dish is perfect for those nights when you just don’t feel like cooking.
You can make it ahead of time and store it in the fridge for up to three days. Then, when you are ready to eat, simply heat it up in the microwave. It takes about five minutes to cook and tastes amazing!
21. Kale Hummus Dip
Kale hummus is easy to make and perfect for parties because it’s vegan and gluten-free. This recipe takes less than 10 minutes to prepare and tastes great served warm or cold.
You can use whatever type of beans you like; we used black beans, but white beans work well too. Just try to avoid chickpeas.
22. Kale Lasagna With Cottage Cheese
This healthy recipe features plenty of vegetables and pasta. A satisfying meal is guaranteed with this delicious lasagna. This vegan dish includes layers of spinach, peas, tomato sauce, ricotta cheese, and pasta. Enjoy this tasty recipe tonight!
23. Sausage White Bean And Kale Stew
This stew is the perfect way to keep yourself warm during those cold winter days (see also ‘35 Delicious Winter Stews And Soups To Warm Your Insides On A Cold Day‘). Rich chunks of sausage, white beans, and the always popular kale stems swim in a beautifully seasoned broth.
Serve it over rice or pasta, or even eat it straight out of the pot. Either way, you’re sure to enjoy this hearty meal.
24. Kale Smoothie
Kale is one of those foods we know we should eat every day, but it seems like there aren’t many ways to enjoy it. This recipe takes advantage of the fact that kale tastes best when it’s raw.
You won’t miss the bitterness of cooked kale once you try this delicious drink.
25. Kale Soup
Kale is one of those veggies you can eat almost every day. And if you use up what you’ve got growing in your garden, there are still plenty of options at the supermarket.
In fact, kale is one of our favorite ingredients because it’s versatile and easy to cook with. You can sauté it, steam it, roast it, or even make soup out of it. But our absolute favorite thing to do with kale is thrown it into the slow cooker.
26. Vegan Kale Nachos
If nachos are your go-to snack, it might be time to try something different. Crispy kale chips are just what you need to spice things up. They’re packed full of fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and even protein.
Plus, they’re low in calories and fat—and taste great!
27. Twice-Baked Potatoes With Kale
The perfect accompaniment to just about anything — especially hearty soups and stews — a baked potato is one of those dishes you always seem to have around. But what if you want something different?
Well, here it is a twice-baked potato with a kale filling. This recipe combines the best parts of a traditional baked potato and a twice-baked dish into one delicious creation.
28. Kale Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Kale is one of those vegetables that you either love or hate. But it doesn’t matter because there’s no denying its versatility. You can use it in soups, salads, stir-fries, stews, and even pizza.
This recipe takes advantage of its unique flavor profile to make something completely different.
29. Coconut Kale Green Muffins
Coconut kale muffins are the ultimate healthy treat. They’re packed with nutrients like fiber, potassium, vitamin B6, folate, magnesium, zinc, iron, manganese, copper, selenium, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, and biotin.
These muffins contain no trans fats or cholesterol. So enjoy one today!
30. Garlic Bacon Kale
This irresistible side dish is brimming with savory flavors. Sweet and salty applewood smoked bacon wilts your kale, making it a perfect partner for hearty ingredients like sausage, chicken, and beef.
31. Vegan Chickpea, Sweet Potato, And Kale Curry
Kale Chickpea Sweet potato Curry is one of our favorite curries. We love how easy it is to make, especially since you don’t have to cook the lentils separately as some recipes require.
This recipe uses a spice blend called garam masala. You can find it online or in Indian grocery stores.
32. White Beans On Toast
Savory toast toppings have never been very popular in America. They are typically loaded with cheese, bacon, or both. But now there’s another option — white bean and kale toast.
This savory breakfast sandwich is one of the most comforting things we’ve ever eaten.
33. Chipotle Marinated Kale And Mushroom Tacos
Taco Tuesday is a staple in many homes. But there are always ways to make it better. These kale and mushroom tacos are just such an example. They feature mushrooms, kale, and garlic powder.
All three ingredients add great flavor without being too heavy.
34. Savory Oats
Oats are one of our favorite breakfast foods because they’re hearty and filling without being heavy. They’ve got great protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and polyphenols.
Plus, we love how versatile they are – you can eat them hot or cold, alone or with milk, yogurt, cheese, nuts, fruit, etc.
35. Kale Gratin
This recipe makes enough to feed four people. This is a great side dish for chicken, fish, beef, pork, lamb, or vegetarian dishes. You can use whatever type of kale you prefer; we used curly kale because that’s what we had on hand.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Prepare Kale?
Kale is delicious raw, steamed, sautéed, or stir-fried. But there are some things you need to know about preparing it properly before you start eating. First off, don’t wash kale before you eat it.
This removes most of the nutrients found in the plant, including vitamins A and C.
To prepare kale for cooking, just soak the leaves in a big bowl of water until the gritty stuff sinks to the bottom. Then lift the leaves out and repeat with clean water if they’ve got too much grit.
Once you’ve done that, you can either cut the leaves up yourself or use a food processor to make them smaller (see also ‘23 Amazing Food Processor Recipes To Make And Enjoy‘).
How Do You Store Cooked Kale?
Kale is one of those vegetables that you probably don’t think about storing very often. But if you do cook a lot of it, there are some things you should know about how to store cooked kale.
You’ll want to keep it in the refrigerator for up to five days, but if you’re planning ahead, you can actually freeze kale just like you’d freeze broccoli.
Here’s what you need to know:
• Keep in mind that kale is still leafy green even after cooking. If you’ve got a bunch of kale stems, cut away the leaves and stems. Then chop the leaves into bite-size pieces.
• To store leftover kale, let it cool completely. Place it in a shallow airtight storage container.
We hope this guide has helped you learn more about kale and all its wonderful benefits. It’s an amazing vegetable that deserves your attention.
And who doesn’t love a recipe that can involve both your favorite flavors plus something hidden that’s healthy?
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