15+ Best Kale Recipes

Looking for easy kale recipes? Kale is one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. Here are the best ways to eat it.

Kale salad

Want to eat more kale but not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered. Alex and I have been on a mission for years to get more leafy greens into our diet. Why? They’re a healthy food full of nutrients and fiber. We’ve been collecting all the best ways to eat kale, from kale chips to kale salad to kale lasagna. Ready to start tasting?

Kale nutrition

But first! Let’s talk nutrition. Leafy greens like kale are some of the healthiest foods you can eat! Kale is full of nutrients, antioxidants, and fiber. One cup of raw kale is only 33 calories, 6 grams of carbs (2 of which are fiber), and 3 grams of protein. Because of its low calorie content, kale is among the most nutrient-dense foods on earth. Eating more of this cruciferous vegetable is a great way to increase the total nutrient content of your diet. So the big takeaway: EAT MORE KALE!

Tuscan kale and curly kale

Types of kale

There are a few main types of kale you can find at the grocery store. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Tuscan kale has dark green, flat leaves and a mellow flavor. It’s also sometimes called Lacinato or dinosaur kale. It’s common in Italian dishes like our Best Kale Salad or Tuscan Vegetable Stew (Ribollita).
  • Curly kale is brighter green and very curly! Curly kale can be a bitter more bitter and spicy. If you’re eating it raw, make sure to massage it like in our Massaged Kale Pomegranate Salad, which removes the bitterness and gives it a sweeter flavor.
  • Baby kale is often included in leafy green mixes that are sold in boxes in grocery stores. You can also often find it at farmer’s markets. Baby kale has a super mild flavor and is much more tender. You won’t have to cut baby kale since it’s already in small leaves.

And now, our best kale recipes!

Video: How to cut kale

Wondering how to stem kale or chop kale but not sure the best way? Alex and I have toyed with various methods over the years, but we’ve finally ended up with one that is slick and simple. We use this method all the time, like when we make the kale recipes below. Check out the video below to see the best way to chop kale.

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Sauteed kale

Easy Sauteed Kale


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (8 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 minutes
  • Total Time: 8 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x

Description

Sauteed kale is the best way to eat this healthy leafy green! Scented with garlic and cooked in olive oil until tender, you’ll want to eat it every day.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 pound or 2 bunches Tuscan kale*
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Optional: Lemon wedges, shredded Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Wash and dry the kale leaves, then destem and roughly chop the kale.
  2. Smash and peel the garlic cloves.
  3. Add the olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add the smashed garlic and kale and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently until wilted and bright green.
  4. Remove from the heat and add the kosher salt and several grinds of fresh ground pepper. Discard the garlic cloves and serve immediately. (If desired, you can add lemon juice or Parmesan: but neither are necessary with the sweet flavor of Tuscan kale! You may want to consider them if using curly kale.)

Notes

*Tuscan kale has a milder flavor than curly kale and flatter, dark green leaves. We recommend it for this recipe: though curly kale works too! Tuscan kale is available in most standard grocery stores.

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Kale Recipes, Sauteed Kale

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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