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Kale Recipes: How To Cook It AND Make It Taste Good!

By: Erin Coleman, B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.,

Writer, The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project

kale recipes

Kale is loaded with nutrients, but it can be a hard sell to the picky eaters in your house … unless you have some delicious kale recipes on hand!

If you're in search of nutritious kale recipes that taste delicious, choose the recipes below that are loaded with nutrient-dense ingredients and can maximize your health!

Your friends and family will love these flavorful, mouth-watering kale recipes!

The key is choosing nutritious kale recipes that match you and your family's lifestyle and taste preferences to reap a variety of health benefits!

And as always, avoid kale recipes containing high-fat meats, processed meats, fried foods, sugary condiments, or other sources of added sugar.

Learn to love kale today with these amazing kale recipes!

Want more greens? Check out these delicious weight loss salads!

Health Benefits of Kale

Kale offers numerous health and wellness benefits because of its exceptional nutritional content.

Each 1-cup portion of chopped kale offers the following:

  • Calories: 34
  • Carbohydrates: 7 grams
  • Fiber: 1 gram
  • Protein: 2 grams
  • Fat: 0 grams

Kale is also an excellent source of calcium, iron, potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin C.

Kale offers a variety of health and wellness.

It aids in healthy weight management and can lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and your risk of cancer, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic conditions.

Kale can give you a boost of energy and help meet your body's daily nutritional needs, lowering your risk of nutritional deficiencies.

There are many ways you can cook kale or add it to some of your favorite recipes!

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The 7 Best Ways to Cook Kale

You can eat kale raw, add it to salads or smoothies, or cook it!

Some of the healthiest ways to cook kale include:

Crisp It

  • Preheat your oven to 300 Fahrenheit.
  • Trim and discard the stem ends of the kale leaves.
  • Discard any large ribs from the center of the kale leaves.
  • Rinse the kale leaves with cool water and pat them dry.
  • Cut larger kale leaves into smaller pieces.
  • Place kale in a large bowl and drizzle it with olive oil.
  • Toss kale pieces until they're evenly coated with the oil.
  • Arrange kale leaves on a baking sheet in a single layer.
  • Sprinkle the kale with salt.
  • Bake it for 20 minutes (you may have to cook it in batches).
  • Remove kale from the oven and let it cool.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Blanch It

  • Boil a large pot of salted water.
  • Place kale in the water.
  • After a minute or two, remove kale from the boiling water and place it in an ice-water bath.
  • Drain the kale, serve, and enjoy!

    Steam It

    • Add 1-2 inches of water to a pot that fits a steamer basket.
    • Set the steamer basket inside the pot so it sits 3 inches above the bottom of the pan.
    • Bring the water to a boil and add kale.
    • Cover the pot and cook the kale over high heat until it reaches the desired doneness (about 10 minutes).
    • Transfer the kale to an ice bath and drain it.
    • Serve and enjoy!

      Microwave It

      • Clean and shred kale and place it in a microwave-safe bowl.
      • Add 1 tablespoon of water to the bowl.
      • Cover the bowl with a paper towel and place it in the microwave.
      • Cook the kale for about 2 minutes.
      • Pour the kale into a strainer to remove excess water.
      • Serve and enjoy!

      Braise It

      • Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
      • Add salt, pepper, or other seasonings of your choice.
      • Add the kale and reduce heat to medium-low.
      • Cook the kale, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes or until it begins to wilt.
      • Cover the pot and cook until the kale is tender to your liking (a few more minutes).
      • Serve and enjoy!

        Roast It

        • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
        • Place kale in a large bowl of water and wash it.
        • Drain the kale and use a salad spinner to dry it.
        • Place dried kale in a bowl and toss it with olive oil, salt, and pepper if desired.
        • Divide the kale among sheet pans and roast it for about 15 minutes or until crisp.
        • Serve and enjoy!

        Sauté It

        • To sauté kale, rinse the kale and pat it dry.
        • Remove the thick parts of the kale stems.
        • Coarsely chop it into bite-sized chunks.
        • Heat garlic in olive oil over medium-high heat.
        • Add kale and vegetable stock and heat the mixture on high (covered) for about 5 minutes.
        • Remove the cover and cook the mixture, stirring frequently, until the liquid evaporates.
        • Season the kale with salt and pepper if you'd like.
        • Serve and enjoy!

          10 Nutritious Kale Recipes

          Consider some of the following mouth-watering kale recipes for your next family dinner, party, or big event!

          Shredded Pork and Kale Stew

          This shredded pork and kale stew recipe is bursting with flavor and loaded with protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients!

          Ingredients

          • 2 medium sweet potatoes, cubed
          • 2 cups of fresh kale, chopped
          • 1 large onion, chopped
          • 3 garlic cloves, minced
          • 1 boneless lean pork roast (2 1/2-3 1/2 pounds)
          • 14-ounce can of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
          • 1 1/2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning
          • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
          • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
          • 3 14-ounce cans of chicken broth

          Instructions

          • Place sweet potatoes, kale, onion, and garlic in a slow cooker.
          • Place the roast over the vegetables and add beans and seasonings.
          • Pour broth over the top of the mixture.
          • Cook the mixture, covered, on low heat until the meat gets tender (about 8-10 hours).
          • Remove the meat and cool it slightly.
          • Skim fat from the juices.
          • Shred the pork with two forks and return it to the slow cooker.
          • Heat the mixture, serve, and enjoy!

          Servings: 9

          Apple Kale Salad

          If you're in the mood for a festive, refreshing, nutritious salad that's energizing and packed with nutrients, you'll love this apple kale salad recipe!

          Ingredients

          • 10 cups of sliced kale
          • 1 medium apple, sliced
          • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
          • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
          • 1 teaspoon of salt
          • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
          • 1/4 cup of crumbled feta cheese
          • 1/4 cup of salted pumpkin seeds

          Instructions

          • Place kale in a large bowl.
          • Massage kale with your hands until the leaves become soft and darkened (about 2-3 minutes).
          • Sir in the apples.
          • Whisk together oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper until well blended.
          • Drizzle the mixture over the salad and toss to coat.
          • Sprinkle the salad with cheese and pumpkin seeds.
          • Serve and enjoy!

          Servings: 8

          Tai Asparagus, Kale, and Garlic Mushrooms

          This asparagus, kale, and garlic mushroom recipe makes the perfect flavorful side dish for just about any occasion!

          Ingredients

          • 3 tablespoons of coconut oil
          • 10 ounces of fresh mushrooms, quartered (about 4 cups)
          • 1 pound of fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into pieces
          • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
          • 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
          • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
          • 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
          • 2 cups of fresh kale, chopped
          • 2 teaspoons of soy sauce (use low-sodium soy sauce if needed)
          • 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar
          • Toasted sesame seeds (optional)

          Instructions

          • In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.
          • Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned (about 4-6 minutes).
          • Add asparagus, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper.
          • Cook the mixture and stir until tender and crisp (about 2-4 minutes).
          • Add the kale, cook, and stir until wilted (about 2-4 minutes).
          • Remove the mixture from the heat.
          • Stir in soy sauce and vinegar.
          • Top with sesame seeds if desired, serve, and enjoy!

          Servings: 4

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          Kale and Vegetable Frittatas

          Serve this kale and vegetable frittata recipe for breakfast or any time of the day!

          It's loaded with protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

          Ingredients

          • 1 medium sweet potato, cut into bite-sized pieces
          • 2 tablespoons of water
          • 7 large eggs
          • 3 tablespoons of milk
          • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
          • 1/8 teaspoon of pepper
          • 6 uncured turkey bacon strips, chopped
          • 1 small green pepper, chopped
          • 1/2 cup of red onion, chopped
          • 2 cups of fresh kale, chopped

          Instructions

          • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
          • Place sweet potatoes and water in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave them, covered, on high heat until just tender (about 5-6 minutes), and drain.
          • Whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper.
          • In a skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp, stirring occasionally.
          • In olive oil, sauté green peppers, onions, and kale over medium heat until tender (about 4-5 minutes).
          • Reduce heat to low. Stir in the egg mixture and add potatoes and bacon.
          • Cook the mixture until the eggs are partially set (about 1-2 minutes).
          • Transfer the mixture to an oven and bake it until the eggs set (about 5-7 minutes).
          • Cut the frittata into wedges, serve, and enjoy!

          Servings: 4

          Meatball and Kale Couscous Soup

          Consider this nutritious, savory, flavorful, and easy-to-prepare meatball and kale couscous soup recipe!

          Ingredients

          • 1 pound of very lean ground beef or ground turkey
          • 2 teaspoons of dried basil
          • 2 teaspoons of dried oregano
          • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
          • 1 large onion, chopped
          • 2 teaspoons of canola oil
          • 1 bunch of collard greens, chopped (about 8 cups)
          • 1 bunch of kale, chopped (about 8 cups)
          • 2 cartons (32 ounces each) of vegetable stock
          • 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar
          • 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
          • 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
          • 9-ounce package of pearl couscous

          Instructions

          • In a small bowl, combine beef or turkey, basil, oregano, and salt.
          • Shape the mixture into bite-sized balls.
          • In a large skillet coated with cooking spray, brown the meatballs, drain them, remove the meatballs, and set them aside.
          • In the same skillet, brown the onion in canola oil.
          • Add greens and kale and cook for about 6-7 minutes longer, or until wilted.
          • Combine the greens mixture, meatballs, stock, vinegar, pepper flakes, and pepper.
          • Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
          • Return the mixture to a boil and stir in the couscous.
          • Reduce heat, cover, and simmer (stirring once) until the couscous gets tender (about 10-15 minutes).
          • Serve the soup hot and enjoy!

          Servings: 10

          Kale Blueberry Protein Smoothie

          If you're in the mood for a flavorful, nutrient-dense protein shake, consider a kale blueberry protein smoothie recipe to impress friends and family!

          Ingredients

          • 1 cup of frozen blueberries
          • 1 cup of baby kale
          • 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt
          • 1 banana
          • 1 scoop of protein powder
          • 2 tablespoons of old fashioned oats
          • 1 tablespoon of chia seeds
          • Ice

          Instructions

          • Combine the blueberries, kale, yogurt, banana, protein powder, oats, chia seeds, and 1/2 cup of ice in a blender and blend the mixture until smooth.
          • Serve immediately and enjoy!

          Servings: 2

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          Kale Chips

          Replace traditional potato chips with this simple, healthier kale chips recipe!

          Ingredients

          • 1 bunch of kale, washed
          • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
          • 1-3 teaspoons of Old Bay Seasoning
          • Sea salt to taste

          Instructions

          • Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
          • Remove tough stems from the kale and tear the leaves into large pieces.
          • Place them in a bowl and toss with olive oil and seasonings.
          • Arrange the leaves in a single layer on greased baking sheets.
          • Bake the kale, uncovered, for 10 minutes and rotate the pans.
          • Continue baking until the kale is crisp and just brown (about 15 minutes longer).
          • Let the kale chips stand for at least 5 minutes.
          • Serve and enjoy!

          Servings: 4

          Kale Winter Crunch Salad

          Serve this tasty, flavorful, crunchy winter salad recipe during the cold winter months or any time of the year!

          Ingredients

          • 1/4 cup of raw sunflower seeds
          • 1 teaspoon plus 1/3 cup of olive oil
          • Salt and pepper to taste
          • 1/2 small shallot
          • 1/2 large lemon
          • 1 small garlic clove
          • 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
          • 1 large bunch of kale (about 3/4 pound)
          • 6 ounces of Brussels sprouts
          • 2 ounces of Parmesan cheese
          • 1 apple, thinly sliced

          Instructions

          • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
          • Toss 1/4 cup of sunflower seeds and 1 teaspoon of oil on a baking sheet. Season the seeds with salt and pepper.
          • Roast the seeds until darkened and fragrant (about 7–10 minutes) and let them cool.
          • Finely chop the shallot in half and transfer it to a bowl.
          • Using a fork, juice a lemon half over the bowl. You should have about 2 tablespoons of juice.
          • Finely grate 1 garlic clove into the bowl.
          • Whisk in 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard and season the mixture with salt and pepper.
          • Wash and dry 1 bunch of kale and pat the leaves dry. Strip the leaves from the stems and discard the stems. Thinly slice the leaves and transfer them to a large bowl.
          • Trim Brussels sprouts and pull off the dry outer leaves. Cut them in half lengthwise and arrange the halves cut side down on a board. Very thinly slice them and add Brussels sprouts slices to the bowl with the kale.
          • Grate 2 ounces of Parmesan using a box grater.
          • Add apple slices to the bowl with the kale.
          • Whisk 1/3 cup of oil into the bowl with the lemon mixture.
          • Drizzle the dressing over the kale mixture and season it with salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
          • Add cheese and sunflower seeds and toss lightly.
          • Serve and enjoy!

          Servings: 4

          Chickpea Pancakes with Kale

          Skip traditional pancakes for this healthier chickpea pancakes and kale recipe!

          Ingredients

          • 1/2 cup of chickpea flour
          • 6 tablespoons of olive oil, divided
          • Kosher salt
          • 3 garlic cloves, divided
          • 15-ounce can of chickpeas, drained
          • 1 tablespoon of curry powder or chile powder
          • 1 small bunch of kale, stemmed, with the leaves torn
          • 1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
          • 1/4 cup of tahini
          • 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice

          Instructions

          • Whisk chickpea flour, 1 tablespoon of oil, a pinch of salt, and 1/2 cup water in a medium bowl.
          • Let the batter sit for at least 10 minutes.
          • Heat 2 tablespoons of oil and 2 garlic cloves in a skillet over medium heat, tossing occasionally, until the garlic is lightly browned (about 3 minutes).
          • Add the chickpeas and increase the heat to medium-high.
          • Cook, tossing occasionally, until the chickpeas are lightly browned (6–8 minutes).
          • Add seasonings to the chickpeas.
          • Add kale and continue to cook, tossing occasionally, until the kale wilts (about 2 minutes).
          • Transfer it to a medium bowl, add fennel, and toss to combine.
          • Finely grate the remaining garlic clove into a small bowl.
          • Whisk in tahini, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of oil, and 2 tablespoons of water until thick and smooth. Season with salt.
          • Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
          • Add half of the reserved batter to the center of the skillet and tilt the skillet so it spreads out into a thin pancake shape.
          • Cook, undisturbed, until well browned and crisp underneath (2–3 minutes).
          • Flip over and cook just until lightly browned on the second side (about 1 minute).
          • Repeat with the remaining oil and batter.
          • Top each pancake with chickpea salad, drizzle it with tahini sauce, serve, and enjoy!

          Servings: 2

          Mushrooms with Blended White Beans and Kale

          This mushrooms with white beans and kale recipe is loaded with flavor and nutrients, and is very unique!

          Ingredients

          • 6 tablespoons of olive oil, divided
          • 4 ounces of maitake mushrooms, broken into pieces
          • 4 ounces of shiitake mushrooms, cut into slices
          • Kosher salt
          • 14.5-ounce can of cannellini beans, rinsed, drained
          • 2 tablespoons of lime juice, plus wedges for serving
          • 2 garlic cloves, divided
          • 4 scallions, cut into pieces
          • 1 bunch of kale, stems removed and leaves torn
          • 1/2 cup of crumbled feta cheese
          • 1 tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds
          • 1 cup of cilantro leaves

          Instructions

          • Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
          • Add mushrooms and cook, tossing occasionally, until brown and crispy (8–10 minutes).
          • Season with salt and transfer to a plate.
          • Purée beans, lime juice, 3 tablespoons of oil, 1 garlic clove, and 3 tablespoons of water in a blender until smooth (add more water if needed). Season with salt.
          • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
          • Add scallions and remaining garlic and cook, tossing, until slightly brown (about 1 minute).
          • Add the kale and cook, tossing often, until it becomes wilted and crisp-tender (3-5 minutes). Season with salt and transfer the mixture to a plate with the mushrooms.
          • Divide the bean purée between 2 bowls.
          • Top with the greens, feta, mushrooms, sesame seeds, and cilantro.
          • Serve with lime wedges if you'd like and enjoy!

          Servings: 2

          Erin Coleman

          Writer, The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project

          Erin Coleman is a registered and licensed dietitian with over 15 years of freelance writing experience.

          She graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree in nutritional science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and completed her dietetic internship at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

          Prior to beginning her career in medical content writing, Erin worked as Health Educator for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Internal Medicine.

          Her published work appears on hundreds of health and fitness websites, and she’s currently working on publishing her first book! Erin is a wife, and a Mom to two beautiful children.

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          *Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on kale recipes.

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