Cooking with Kale
Say hello to the Hulk of all superfoods! The reason this mean green is so popular? 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.
Kale, Mushroom, and Bacon Pita Pizzas
Not just for stuffing, pitas are an instant pizza base and your all-purpose bread for breadcrumbs. For a satisfying vegetarian main, omit the bacon; instead, sauté the vegetables in 2 teaspoons olive oil, and sprinkle pizzas with 1 ounce shaved Parmesan cheese for a hit of salty, savory flavor.
Sausage and Kale Pesto Pizza with Blistered Tomato-Arugula Salad
Cooking pizza in a skillet is a revelation: guaranteed dough success for even the most timid pie makers—just pat the dough out to size, and the pan shapes it into a perfect circle.
Kale and Mushroom Quinoa with Romesco
You'll have plenty of smoky romesco sauce—enough for a generous dollop on top. Meaty, no-prep mushrooms add richness and earthiness to gravies, sautés, and stir-fries.
Sautéed Greens, Smoked Turkey, and Provolone Panini
The crusty grilled exterior gives way to a cheesy, savory interior loaded with earthy kale. Even finicky eaters will find this a delicious way to get their greens.
Kale Pesto Pasta with Shrimp
Making pesto out of leafy greens is a great way to pack lots of veggies into each serving of pasta. Baby kale is your all-purpose green. It's tender enough for salad and sturdy enough for wilting and blending, with zero prep.
Onion, Kale, Chickpea, and Chicken Soup
Few things beat a steaming bowl of veggie-packed chicken soup on a crisp autumn evening, and this one happens to be a perfect potion for the seasonal chills. You can leave the thyme sprigs in the broth (just ladle around them) so they'll keep releasing herbaceous goodness into any leftovers.
Peppered White Bean, Kale, and Egg Stack
One egg adds 6g protein to this vegetarian plate; the yolk is also a creamy dressing.
Content From Marzetti: Mushroom Tacos
Mix up Taco Tuesday with these vegetarian mushroom tacos! We love them with avocado, radishes, and cherry tomatoes, but top with whatever veggies you prefer.
Smothered Vinegar Pork Shoulder with Apples and Kale
Settle in tonight for a cozy, comforting dinner. The pork is wonderfully tender and the kale-apple mixture provides the perfect complement to this meal.
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.
Marinated Kale Salad
Massage the hearty kale with olive oil and a little salt and then let it stand for up to an hour to soften and make it tender yet crisp.
Sausage and Kale Sauté with Polenta
Leftovers from this one-dish hit make for an easy, delicious breakfast—simply reheat and top with an over-easy egg.
Quinoa-Stuffed Kale Rolls with Goat Cheese
Lacinato kale, also called Tuscan or dinosaur kale, is the easiest variety to stuff because of its long, pliable, flat leaves. Say goodbye to boring, sad vegetable wraps, as these rolls are packed with creamy, nutty goodness and hearty whole grains. Even the pickiest of eaters might have to confess that this is one of their favorite dinner options.
Cranberry-Goat Cheese White Bean and Kale Salad
Pack in the protein with white bean and kale to make a heart-healthy salad. Top it off with seasonal cranberries and crumbled goat cheese. Orange rinds and dried cranberries bring bright, fresh flavors to this perfect fall salad. The best part? It gets better with age, so don't be afraid to make a big bowl of it tonight and eat the rest with lunch tomorrow.
Brown Rice Bowl with Miso, Poached Egg, and Kale-Radish Slaw
Nutrient-rich kale has a mild flavor and becomes tender very quickly, making it a snap to add to speedy meals like this one. Mix and match those greens and grains! Sub farro or quinoa for brown rice, and spinach, chard, or cabbage for kale.
Kale Garden Salad
Brightly colored, fresh golden beets are a beautiful addition to this classic kale salad. They have the same nutritional value as their red cousins but don’t stain your hands.
Butternut Squash, Kale, and Black Bean Quesadillas
Mashing half of the beans provides creamy texture and helps to seal the quesadillas.
Goat Cheese Polenta with Sautéed Kale
We love the versatility of this 25-minute entrée. It's a hearty choice for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Black Bean, Hominy, and Kale Stew
Roasting the poblano chiles offers a fast route to deep flavor in this hearty bowl of vegetable stew.
Grilled Lamb Chops with Wheat Berry, Strawberry, and Lacinato Kale Salad
Lacinato kale, often called dinosaur kale because of its crinkled, bumpy texture, grows year-round in the Pacific Northwest. Massaging the leaves with your hands tenderizes them and tones down their bitter edge, which is a little more pronounced with summer harvests.
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.
Smoky Potato Cakes with Kale and Creamy Ricotta
Perk up your spuds with kale, creamy ricotta, and a hit of smoky goodness. These hearty cakes pack twice the potassium of a banana. Fill out the plate with a simple, crisp green salad.
Spinach and Feta Quiche with Quinoa Crust
We’ve turned a classic dish into a perfectly clean brunch option that the whole family will love. The crunchy quinoa crust gives heartiness to the light and fluffy quiche inside. Swap out canola oil for coconut, almond, avocado, or olive oil, and look for organic eggs and dairy products.
Sweet Onion Risotto with Sautéed Kale
Using short-grain brown rice instead of Arborio gives the risotto a pleasant heartiness and a dose of whole grains without losing the creamy goodness of the classic dish.
Chicken, Kale, and Mushroom Chimichangas
Fresh tomatoes and an avocado cream offer a bright finish. It's a crisp, flavor-packed wrap of veggies, meat, and cheese for less than 300 calories.
Lamb Meatballs with Kale, Cumin Yogurt, and Carolina Gold Rice
Lamb meatballs appear in various forms across the Middle East, but the beauty of the foodways in the Southern U.S. is that there is great lamb from people like Craig Rogers of Virginia's Border Springs Farm. Handle the meatballs gently, and form them with as little handling as possible. This will keep them tender.
Balsamic Kale and Radicchio Sauté
Serve a delicious and healthy side dish made with kale, radicchio, and garlic.
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.
Anchovy-Parmesan White Bean and Kale Salad
Need a last minute side to complete your favorite main dish? This cheesy kale salad comes together in just two simple steps.
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.
Grilled Flatiron Steaks with Kale and Beet Risotto
Flatiron steaks are cuts from the top blade with the shoulder tendon removed. We encourage cooking with local grass-fed beef, but grain-fed beef will also work in this dish.
Wilted Kale with Bacon and Vinegar
Lacinato kale is also called Tuscan, dinosaur, or black kale. You can also use regular curly kale.
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.
Cajun Steak Frites with Kale
Kale is perfectly paired with Cajun-seasoned steak and potato frites—all for under 400 calories per serving.
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.
Wilted Kale with Golden Shallots
Make sure to stir the shallots frequently for even cooking.
Whole-Wheat Spaghetti with Kale, Poached Eggs, and Toasted Breadcrumbs
Tuscan kale, sometimes labeled cavolo nero or lacinato or black kale, has dark leaves that are richly flavored. Combined with whole-wheat spaghetti and poached eggs in this dish, the kale brings out a deep and irresistible flavor in just under an hour.
Fizz Kale Salad with Roasted Garlic-Bacon Dressing and Beets
Fizz kale boasts delicate cabbage flavor and hearty crunch. If Fizz is unavailable, the salad will still be delicious using all Lacinato.
Kale and Mushroom Lasagna
A small amount of pancetta adds richness and depth to the mushroom mixture; feel free to omit it—and swap in vegetable stock for beef—for a vegetarian version.
Linguine with Garlicky Kale and White Beans
This dish gets its flavor from loads of chopped fresh garlic. We recommend serving it with toasted baguette slices and a glass of white wine.
Thai Green Curry with Shrimp and Kale
Lacinato kale ups the green in this green curry dish, providing a delightful textural contrast to the tender rice noodles.
Bacon-Onion White Bean and Kale Salad
This salad incorporates bacon, onions, white beans, and kale for a sweet-and-salty side the whole family will enjoy.
Smashed Bacony Potatoes with Kale and Roasted Salmon
Since falling in love with very smoky Tennessee bacon (Benton's), I've moved to using it as a flavor agent; I almost never eat it on its own. Any very smoky bacon will do. This is a hearty winter dish, layering potatoes with kale and crisp-skinned roasted salmon.
Brimming with fresh vegetables, this hearty minestrone also features creamy, heirloom borlotti beans—the Italian variety of cranberry beans.
Wilted Kale with Farro and Walnuts
Personalize this versatile dish by using pecans instead of the walnuts, or couscous in place of the farro.
Kale and Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese
Let veggies in on the grilled cheese action with this gooey sandwich recipe.
Fresh Artichoke and Kale Dip
Fresh artichoke leaves make the best earth-friendly disposable utensils: Their shape is perfect for scooping up dip, and after you nibble the tasty meat from the base of the leaf, you can toss it out guilt-free. Cook the artichokes and kale up to two days ahead—it will be a time-saver during the last-minute rush of putting on a party.
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.
Kale Salad with Apple and Cheddar
The classic delight of sweet apples and extra-sharp white cheddar cheese meet in this kale salad to give the vitamin-enriched green an extra boost of flavor.
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.
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.
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.
Sausage and Clams with Chickpeas
Wilted Kale with Coconut, Ginger, and Lime
This sweet and nutty dish is ready to go in just 10 minutes.
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.
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.
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.
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.