Roasted Kale

Roasted kale is a tasty, easy side dish! Baked until tender and crispy at the edges, it’s quick to make and a total crowd pleaser.

Roasted kale

Here’s a unique healthy side dish: roasted kale! Usually Alex and I saute kale when we’re looking to serve it as a side dish. Our Best Sauteed Kale recipe is our go-to for garlicky leafy greens. But, did you know you can roast kale? It 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 dish, thrown into a grain bowl, or in sandwiches or stir fries. Here’s what to do!

Looking for crispy roasted kale? Go to Kale Chips.

How to make roasted kale: basic steps

This roasted kale is like a combination between sauteed kale and kale chips. It’s tender and wilted, yet at the same time crispy at the edges. The best part about it is that it’s hardy and will last for quite a while refrigerated so you can use it for lots of meals. Here’s how to make it:

  • Chop a few bunches Tuscan kale into bite-sized pieces. For this recipe we used 2 bunches, which was 12 ounces. It’s also easy to double, so feel free to use more and spread them across 2 baking sheets.
  • Mix with olive oil and kosher salt. The quantities are fairly loose: just make sure the leaves are coated and sprinkle with a bit of salt. (Greens are easy to oversalt, so take care.)
  • Roast at 425 degrees for 9 to 10 minutes, stirring twice. Because it cooks quickly, you’ll need to stir a few times in this recipe. Once it’s mainly wilted but crisp at the edges, it’s ready!
Tuscan kale

Use Tuscan kale if you can! Curly also works

Go out and grab a few bunches of Tuscan kale for this recipe! You should be able to find it at your local grocery. Tuscan kale is an Italian variety of kale with dark green leaves and a mild, almost sweet flavor. You can also find it labeled as Lacinato kale, dinosaur kale, black kale, or cavolo nero (black cabbage in Italian). Why is it called dinosaur kale? Its “scaly” leaves almost resemble dinosaur skin!

You can use curly kale if that’s all that you can find. Curly kale has a fluffier texture than Tuscan, and the flavor is a little more bitter and spicy. But the flavor becomes much more mellowed when roasted…

Roasted kale

Roasted kale: why it works

So, here’s why this roasted kale works! With sauteed kale you only want to cook it for about 3 minutes: until it’s just wilted and not over-cooked. But when you cook it for that same time in the oven, the flavor becomes a little bitter! Alex and I were about to just stick with sauteed kale and scrap the whole oven idea…until we decided to roast it a little longer.

If you go past that point to 10 minutes (removing it and stirring several times), the flavor mellows out and the edges get wonderfully crispy. Much longer in the oven would leave it browned and crispy, so about 10 minutes is the literal sweet spot in terms of texture and flavor.

Conclusion: you gotta try this!

It’s easy to double! Leftovers save well.

Another great thing about this roasted kale: leftovers save well! You can save this kale up to 1 week in the refrigerator. Just keep it in a sealed container. Then you can add it to meals throughout the week (see below).

You may want to make a double batch: which is easy to do. Just double the kale and make sure to use 2 baking sheets to spread the leaves in a single layer.

Roasted kale

Ways to serve roasted kale

Leafy greens as a side dish work with just about anything! And there are more creative ways to serve roasted kale too. Here are some of our favorite ideas:

This roasted kale recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

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Roasted kale

Roasted Kale


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (11 votes, average: 4.27 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Roasted kale is a tasty, easy side dish! Baked until tender and crispy at the edges, it’s quick to make and a total crowd pleaser.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 small/medium bunches (about 12 ounces) Tuscan kale*
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or two if you’re doubling the recipe). Chop the kale. In a large bowl, mix the kale with the olive oil, garlic power, kosher salt, and black pepper. Place the kale leaves onto the baking sheet in a single layer.
  3. Place the baking sheet in the oven and roast for 5 minutes. Remove the tray, stir and roast another 2 minutes. Remove the tray one more time, stir, and roast 2 minutes more until wilted and crispy on the edges. Eat immediately, or you can refrigerate up to 1 week and add to meals throughout the week.

Notes

*Substitute curly kale if you’d like, but we like the flavor and texture of Tuscan kale best. For curly kale, go by the weight (not the bunch size). This recipe is easy to double: simply use 2 baking sheets for the kale.

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Roasted
  • Cuisine: Vegan

Keywords: Roasted 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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