These kale recipes highlight all the best ways to use this leafy green! How to eat kale? Try it in soups, pizzas, salads, chips and more.
Want to eat more kale but not sure where to start? Like us, you might be on a mission to get more leafy greens into your diet. So try this list of delicious kale recipes: absolutely delicious and chock full of nutrients and fiber. These are all the best ways to eat this leafy green, from kale chips to kale salad to kale lasagna. Ready to start tasting?
Kale is an ideal addition to a classic Caesar salad! Topped with a creamy homemade Caesar dressing, this kale salad has a unique feature: crispy cornbread croutons! The crunchy, lightly sweet bites make this kale recipe is one salad you won’t want to stop eating!
Need a healthy soup recipe that pleases everyone? Try this Kale Soup with White Beans! Hearty Tuscan kale, white beans and tomatoes float in a tangy broth flavored with oregano and fennel. It’s like a combination of all our favorite soup recipes in one bowl: comforting and full of bold Mediterranean-style flavors. It comes together in just 30 minutes and makes a huge pot that’s great for leftovers.
The best easy kale recipe? Sauteed kale! The flavor of this kale is so good, it will have you wanting to make it daily. Which is a big feat! Leafy greens can be a difficult flavor to acquire when they're served solo (versus stuffed into spinach artichoke dip). But it takes only 10 minutes to make kale into a side dish you won't want to stop eating. It's lightly flavored with garlic and cooked until bright green and tender.
This kale quinoa salad recipe is perfect for lunches, or a side dish! It's so easy to make and stays good in the refrigerator for days. It's full of nutrient-dense ingredients like Tuscan kale, chickpeas, bell peppers, carrots, and quinoa, and covered in a tangy dressing. The perfect healthy lunch!
This is one of the BEST kale recipes we know of: we promise! This Tuscan kale salad has the power to transform the minds of kale haters everywhere. If your complaint is that kale tastes bitter: it’s true! But after you taste this kale salad you’ll agree that kale smothered in a lemony, garlicky Parmesan dressing can only be one thing: over-the-top delicious.
Try this kale slaw with apples! This colorful mix of fresh veggies is simple to put together and tastes refreshingly sweet tart. It stars hearty kale, crisp apples, sweet carrot, and a zingy maple apple cider vinegar dressing. Toss the entire mixture with sliced toasted almonds to make it sing! This side dish is perfect for any meal in any season.
Did you know you can use kale to make…pesto? Try this irresistible kale pesto recipe! Whiz that leafy green with Parmesan cheese, garlic, nuts and olive oil, and it makes a savory bright green puree with a spicy kick.
Next up in our kale recipes: this spicy kale lasagna! This is one of the easiest ways to convince people to eat kale, we’ve found. It might not be the healthiest, but this one’s a gateway to other kale recipes! Our spicy kale lasagna uses no-boil noodles to cut down on prep time, and cottage cheese for a twist on the classic ricotta filling. The earthy flavor of the kale is complemented by tangy tomato sauce and spicy red pepper flakes, making this dish hard to resist.
Why not eat your kale in the form of chips? This kale chips recipe satisfies any salty snack craving! They're easy to make with Tuscan kale, which has the perfect shape and flavor. They come out perfectly crisp and satisfying. The only problem is, they're gone in a flash!
Meet the very best kale smoothie! Yes, we know. “Kale smoothie” sounds like it would be intensely bitter. This one is anything but! It’s full of fruity flavor from green apple, pineapple and banana. It tastes heavenly, yet at the same time you’re getting a big dose of nutrients from leafy greens.
Here’s a tasty healthy side dish: roasted kale! Oven roasting Tuscan kale makes it wilted and tender but crispy at the edges, which gives it a unique texture. Even better: you can refrigerate it and use it in meals throughout the week. It works as a side, thrown into a grain bowl, or in sandwiches or stir fries.
Ribollita is an Italian vegetable stew traditionally thickened by bread as a way to use up old crusts going stale. It’s gently simmered so that the flavors meld together beautifully. The crusty bread cubes are almost like dumplings when soaked in the savory broth. The kale soaks up the broth too, making it melt in your mouth.
If you’re not convinced by kale lasagna, how about kale pizza? One of our favorite kale recipes, the combination of flavors and textures hit the spot. Sauteed kale, crunchy pistachios, and the zing of red onion fit perfectly with gooey mozzarella and bright pizza sauce.
Let us introduce you to grilled kale! Just like grilled romaine, throwing leafy greens on the grill is a thing. This grilled kale comes out crispy and charred, with a smoky undertone. It’s perfect for throwing onto a grill rack while you’re cooking a main dish or other veggies. Eat it as an appetizer or side dish to a grilled meal: it’s almost like roasted kale meets kale chips.
This cozy Tuscan lentil stew with kale, tomatoes and artichokes is a healthy and easy soup recipe that’s full of Italian flavors. It comes together in under an hour and requires very little skill to make. The Italian seasonings and tangy fire-roasted tomatoes make it a seriously irresistible kale recipe.
Want a unique kale recipe? Try this kale artichoke veggie frittata! The Italian version of an omelette, a frittata is ultra versatile. It can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and served hot, warm, or even cold. (Try it cold on a sandwich, you won’t regret it!). This one is filled with chopped kale, tangy artichokes, and savory Pecorino Romano cheese.
Want to eat your greens and love it? Try this creamy kale pasta, starring chewy al dente pasta and an irresistible Parmesan garlic cream sauce! The way the creamy sauce and garlic accentuate the leafy greens makes it one of our top vegetarian pasta recipes. Substitute Tuscan or curly kale for the spinach in the linked recipe and cook the greens until tender, about 2 minutes longer than the stated cook time.
What’s not to love about the iconic spinach artichoke party dip? That creamy, gooey cheese and tang from the artichokes make it some kind of addictive substance. You can use kale in all the same places. So try this kale artichoke pizza! Gooey, savory, and tangy, it tastes like that popular dip on top of pizza crust. Substitute Tuscan or curly kale for the spinach in the linked recipe and cook the greens until tender, about 2 minutes longer than the stated cook time.
Here’s a tasty, simple soup that impresses every time: Kale & Tortellini Soup! Doughy pillows of tortellini and leafy greens float in a tangy, tomato broth seasoned with Italian herbs and Parmesan cheese. It’s loaded up with nutrient-dense greens and tender vegetables like carrot and fennel, which add nuance and crunch. Substitute Tuscan or curly kale for the spinach in the linked recipe and cook the greens until tender.
Last up in these kale recipes: massaged kale salad! Massaging the kale before eating it in this salad makes it taste tender and sweet, instead of bitter! All you do is use a little olive oil and massage the leaves so they become softer. The massaged kale is paired with pomegranate seeds and an apple cider vinaigrette: it’s sweet, tangy, and so, so good.
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! Try one of the kale recipes above.
Types of kale
There are a few main types of kale you can find at the grocery store. Here’s a breakdown:
Curly kale is brighter green and very curly! Curly kale can have a bitter and spicy flavor. 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.
Video: How to cut kale
Wondering how to stem kale or chop kale but not sure the best way? Here’s one that is slick and simple. Use this when you’re testing out some of the kale recipes above!
Chop the kale into bite-sized pieces and place it in a bowl. Sprinkle the kale with a very small drizzle of olive oil. Massage the leaves with your fingers for 2 to 3 minutes until the pieces are tender and softened.
Whisk together all the ingredients in a bowl. Store leftovers refrigerated in a covered jar for up to 1 week.
Drizzle the kale with about ½ cup of the dressing and mix to combine. Add the Parmesan cheese shavings. Place the kale on a large platter or small serving plates. Sprinkle with panko and serve.
*Panko is a Japanese-style breadcrumb mixture that is airier and lighter than traditional breadcrumbs. “Italian” means herbs and salt are added. You should be able to find Italian panko or plain panko easily at your local grocery store (often they also sell gluten-free). If all you have is plain panko, you can season it: mix ½ cup panko with ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt and ½ tablespoon Italian seasoning (or 1 teaspoon dried oregano and ¼ teaspoon each dried basil and thyme).