23 Kale Recipes

Bursting with nutrients, kale makes a tasty addition to soups, casseroles, or even simply sautéed as a side dish.

Braised Kale with Bacon and Cider Recipe

Photo: Randy Mayor

Cooking with Kale

There's a reason why sweet, earthy kale is the most popular of the greens these days: it's delicious, versatile, and incredibly nutritious. Kale contains beta-carotene and the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin—which are associated with eye health—as well as potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber, iron, and calcium. Plus, you get 2 grams of protein in a serving. Consider using kale as a stand-in for spinach in dishes, or try out some of these recipes.

First up: Braised Kale with Bacon and Cider is a suitable side for roast chicken or pork, plus each serving contains about 15 percent of the minimum daily recommended amount of fiber.

View Recipe: Braised Kale with Bacon and Cider

Garbanzo Beans and Greens Recipe

Photo: John Autry

Garbanzo Beans and Greens

Kale comes together with ingredients you probably already have on hand—bacon, canned chickpeas, onion, carrot, Greek yogurt—for a budget-friendly dish full of smoky, earthy flavor. Serve with torn baguette bread to soak up all the tasty juices.

View Recipe: Garbanzo Beans and Greens

Spinach and Kale Turnovers Recipe

Photo: Lee Harrelson

Spinach and Kale Turnovers

Spinach, kale, feta cheese, and a dash of nutmeg makes for a tasty turnover filling. Serve as a side dish with steak or roast chicken, or enjoy two turnovers with tomato soup as a meatless supper. Make-ahead tip: Prepare the turnovers in advance, and freeze them for up to two months.

View Recipe: Spinach and Kale Turnovers

Farfalle with Sausage, Cannellini Beans, and Kale Recipe

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Farfalle with Sausage, Cannellini Beans, and Kale

Try a rustic pasta dish featuring sun-dried tomatoes, turkey Italian sausage, and fresh kale and dinner is ready in just 35 minutes.

View Recipe: Farfalle with Sausage, Cannellini Beans, and Kale

White Bean and Sausage Ragout with Tomatoes, Kale, and Zucchini Recipe

Photo: Randy Mayor

White Bean and Sausage Ragout with Tomatoes, Kale, and Zucchini

Chock-full of vegetables, this one-pot ragout—a thick, well-seasoned stew—warms up a chilly winter evening. This hearty meal comes together in just 35 minutes thanks to convenience items such as canned beans and diced tomatoes.

View Recipe: White Bean and Sausage Ragout with Tomatoes, Kale, and Zucchini

Bacon and Butternut Pasta Recipe

Photo: Johnny Autry

Bacon and Butternut Pasta

Broth, thickened with flour and enriched with crème fraîche, forms the savory sauce in this dish. We like the addition of earthy, hearty kale which helps balance the sweetness from the squash.

View Recipe: Bacon and Butternut Pasta

Braised Chicken with Kale Recipe

Photo: John Autry

Braised Chicken with Kale

Braised with kale, garlic, and fire-roasted tomatoes, bone-in chicken thighs come out of the oven tender and superbly moist.

View Recipe: Braised Chicken with Kale

Pasta with Black Kale, Caramelized Onions, and Parsnips Recipe

Photo: John Autry

Pasta with Black Kale, Caramelized Onions, and Parsnips

This meatless pasta dishes calls for black kale—also called cavolo nero—which is dark green and becomes very tender when cooked. If black kale is unavailable, feel free to use regular kale. Lightly browning the parsnip helps its natural sugars emerge, lending rich, caramelized flavor to the dish.

View Recipe: Pasta with Black Kale, Caramelized Onions, and Parsnips

White Bean Soup with Kale and Chorizo Recipes

Photo: John Autry

White Bean Soup with Kale and Chorizo

Be sure to use smoked Spanish chorizo, not raw Mexican chorizo when preparing this 20-minute soup. This is the perfect dinner option for a cold winter's night.

View Recipe: White Bean Soup with Kale and Chorizo

Sausage and Clams with Chickpeas Recipe

Photo: Randy Mayor

Sausage and Clams with Chickpeas

Get inspiration from the Portuguese and combine sausage, kale, and clams in one flavorful dish. Serve over fideos, a dish of thin noodles broken into small pieces, browned in the pan, and then simmered in broth until tender.

View Recipe: Sausage and Clams with Chickpeas

Orecchiette with Kale, Bacon, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Photo: John Autry

Orecchiette with Kale, Bacon, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Orecchiette (little ears pasta) is a classic shape that's ideal for this chunky sauce. You can also substitute short pasta shapes like penne or rigatoni. If you can find mild-tasting cavolo nero (black kale), try it here.

View Recipe: Orecchiette with Kale, Bacon, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Vegetarian Dinner Recipe: Two-Bean Soup with Kale

Photo: Kana Okada

Two-Bean Soup with Kale

Pureeing a portion of cannellini beans lends a creamy quality to this vegetarian soup featuring fresh kale and a variety of veggies.  Serve with Cheese-Tomato Toasts: Broil 4 (1-ounce) slices ciabatta bread for 1 minute. Turn bread over; top each slice with 2 thin plum tomato slices and 1 tablespoon shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Broil 2 minutes or until cheese melts.

View Recipe: Two-Bean Soup with Kale

Borlotti Minestrone Recipe

Photo: Randy Mayor

Borlotti Minestrone

Brimming with fresh vegetables, this hearty minestrone also features creamy, heirloom borlotti beans—the Italian variety of cranberry beans.

View Recipe: Borlotti Minestrone

Cajun Steak Frites with Kale Recipe

Photo: Romulo Yanes

Cajun Steak Frites with Kale

Kale is perfectly paired with Cajun-seasoned steak and potato frites—all for under 400 calories per serving.

View Recipe: Cajun Steak Frites with Kale

Garlic-Roasted Kale Recipes

Photo: Jonny Valiant

Garlic-Roasted Kale

Roasting kale is amazing—the leaves turn from a dusty dark green to dark emerald with brown-tinged curly edges that crunch. This vegetable side is delicious served hot from the oven; the leaves lose their crisp texture as the dish stands.

View Recipe: Garlic-Roasted Kale

Wilted Kale with Bacon and Vinegar

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Wilted Kale with Bacon and Vinegar

Lacinato kale is also called Tuscan, dinosaur, or black kale. You can also use regular curly kale.

View Recipe: Wilted Kale with Bacon and Vinegar

Wilted Kale with Coconut, Ginger, and Lime

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Wilted Kale with Coconut, Ginger, and Lime

This sweet and nutty dish is ready to go in just 10 minutes.

View Recipe: Wilted Kale with Coconut, Ginger, and Lime

Wilted Kale with Farro and Walnuts

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Wilted Kale with Farro and Walnuts

Personalize this versatile dish by using pecans instead of the walnuts, or couscous in place of the farro.

View Recipe: Wilted Kale with Farro and Walnuts

Wilted Kale with Golden Shallots

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Wilted Kale with Golden Shallots

Make sure to stir the shallots frequently for even cooking.

View Recipe: Wilted Kale with Golden Shallots

Wheat Berry, Kale, and Cranberry Salad

Photo: Grant Cornett

Wheat Berry, Kale, and Cranberry Salad

If your supermarket carries frozen or shelf-stable precooked wheat berries, you'll save 50 minutes; use 1 cup of cooked grains.

View Recipe: Wheat Berry, Kale, and Cranberry Salad

Turkey Meatball Soup with Greens

Photo: Iain Bagwell

Turkey Meatball Soup with Greens

In our play on Italian wedding soup, cooked quinoa serves as a nutty, whole-grain binder for the meatballs. We like the tenderness of lacinato kale in this soup, but you easily can substitute other varieties.

View Recipe: Turkey Meatball Soup with Greens

Kale and Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese

Photo: Brian Woodcock

Kale and Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese

Let veggies in on the grilled cheese action with this gooey sandwich recipe.

View Recipe: Kale and Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese

Pita Pizzas with Kale Pesto, Tomatoes, and Bacon

Photo: Randy Mayor

Pita Pizzas with Kale Pesto, Tomatoes, and Bacon

Make-ahead prep tip: Double the pesto portion of the recipe, and freeze half for a future pita pizza dinner.

View Photo: Pita Pizzas with Kale Pesto, Tomatoes, and Bacon

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