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23 Best Kale Recipes and Dishes (All Types)

Kale with pasta and wooden ladle.

Kale is a superfood. Adding kale helps pack your diet with antioxidants and healthy nutrients. You’ll enjoy a day’s dose of important vitamins and minerals. Kale is a versatile member of the cabbage family. It also sometimes gets a bad rep for being a healthy but unpleasant food. These recipes will help you understand how delicious kale can be. Enjoy your greens. 

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1. Toasted walnuts, parmesan, and fresh lemon brighten up this skillet sauteed kale pasta dish.

Skillet sautéed kale pasta dish.

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Quick and simple, this one-skillet meal comes together in less than twenty minutes and offers a flavorful, hearty dinner. Anchovy and garlic start the flavorful dressing for the kale, which is cooked until tender and tossed with salt and pepper. The seasoned kale is tossed with drained pasta with a splash of freshly squeezed lemon juice and zest.

To finish off the dish, fresh parmesan, red chili flakes, and chopped walnuts are mixed in. This hearty pasta will convert even a reluctant kale eater.

2. Modeled after classic spinach dip, this healthy warm kale and bean dip is a quick, enjoyable snack.

Classic spinach dip with chips and carrots.

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First, swap the béchamel base of the classic spinach dip for a creamy cannellini bean puree. Olive oil, salt, and Parmesan ensure a silky consistency with plenty of flavor. Kale joins sauteed shallot, garlic, red pepper, and salt.

The greens simmer in white wine. This mixture mixes into the bean puree and is then baked until the parmesan browns. Pair crackers, crisp veggies, or crusty bread with this tantalizing dip. 

3. This kale dip uses caramelized onions to pack powerful flavor.

Kale on a skillet with pecans.

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Minced garlic, sauteed until fragrant, starts the show. Toss in chopped kale until it wilts and releases its water content. To this add cream cheese, chipotle mayo, and a blend of asiago and parmesan cheese. The chipotle mayo lends a kick with a smoky note. Once blended, spread the mixture into a baking dish.

Sprinkle asiago and parmesan generously on top, and baked until the cheese is golden. The creamy, flavorful dip is great with tortilla chips or sliced baguette. Crisp veggies are a great choice for a low-carb companion to this kale dip. 

4. Kale chips are a quick, healthy snack for when you are craving a crunchy, salty treat without the carb load. 

Fried Kale chips on a white bowl.

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Simple as can be, kale chips start by removing the ribs and thoroughly cleaning the greens. Ensure the kale is completely dry. Any moisture left on the kale will steam instead of crisp the produce.

Nobody wants a limp chip. Toss the kale with a drizzle of olive oil and sea salt. Spread out, with space around each piece of kale, on a baking sheet. Turn halfway through the twenty minute baking process. Let them cool and snack happy!

5. Cranberries and kale shine together. This apple, cranberry, and pecan kale salad makes great use of that combination. 

A bowl of kale with apple, pecans and dried cranberries.

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The salad blends kale, sliced radishes, Granny Smith, pecans, dried cranberries, and goat cheese. The tart, sweet fruit combats the bitterness of kale, while the radishes add a little heat and crunch. Goat cheese adds a funky creaminess to the salad and pecans add another layer of texture.

The dressing is simple. Blend apple cider vinegar, olive oil, and Dijon. Add a touch of maple syrup for a little sweetness. The dressing brings the diverse flavors together. This dishes is a healthy, energizing light meal or side salad. 

6. This simple kale salad brings bright citrus flavor and incorporates a hearty mix of vegetables, seeds, and nuts.

A bowl of kale, mango and onions.

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Kale salads are perfect to make ahead, not at risk of wilting like other greens. This one is no exception, featuring a blend of kale and hearty vegetables. Broccoli, carrots, and red onion join the kale. Sliced almonds and sunflower kernels add a nutty crunch, while feta adds a tangy, salty, creamy element.

The bright dressing is a mix of lemon juice, red wine vinegar, minced garlic, olive oil, and Dijon with a smidge of honey and oregano. Make double and enjoy it alongside dinner and for lunch the next day!

7. Grilled kale takes salads to a whole new level, and this one is table ready in just over thirty minutes.

Kale with tomato and sliced avocado.

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Kale isn’t the only grilled element to this tasty salad. Halved avocados and lemons also get the grill treatment, deepening the flavor of both elements as the sugars in the fruit caramelize. Pecans also get a little help from the heat, though these are pan toasted until fragrant.

Once the kale comes off the grill, remove the ribs of the kale. Then tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces. Sliced avocado, toasted pecans, fresh parmesan, and a little garlic powder season the greens. A little olive oil and squeezed lemon juice serve as the dressing. 

8. Sweet, tart, silky, and super tasty, this kale smoothie proves you can enjoy healthy treats!

A glass of kale smoothies with stick-O.

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Vibrant green, this smoothie blends roughly chopped kale with chunks of ripe banana and diced apples. Add water to bring the produce to a smooth slurry. Into this goes ice, frozen pineapple (or mango, if you prefer), and fresh squeezed lemon juice. The end result is a thick, creamy blend that’s full of healthy nutrients and packed with flavor. 

9. This pretty blueberry and kale smoothie combines superfoods for a delicious drink that will keep you energized and ready to take on the day.

Glasses of Blueberry smoothie and kale smoothie.

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Banana, kale, and blueberries form the base of this super smoothie. Low fat yogurt adds a creamy texture. Protein powder and flax seed meal help keep you full with protein and fiber. A pinch of cinnamon helps balance blood sugar. Blend it all together with ice until silky smooth and enjoy! 

10. Greek yogurt and peanut butter help give this kale and pineapple smoothie great texture and added protein.

Greek yogurt with kale and fresh blueberry. 

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If you’ve never blended kale before, remember to remove the tough spine before tossing it in. Even a high powered blender will struggle with the thick fibrous spine. This recipe uses peanut butter and Greek yogurt to provide the creamy texture.

A frozen banana and pineapple chunks help cut the need for ice, which can water down the smoothie as it melts. A little honey to taste and vanilla almond milk help amplify the sweetness and provide your preferred consistency. 

11. This sauteed kale with garlic and olive oil is dazzling side dish that’s quick and easy to make. 

Sauteed kale with garlic on a pan.

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Ready in twenty minutes, this kale dish starts with garlic sliced thin and sauteed in olive oil. Once fragrant and starting to brown, add the de-ribbed kale sliced into manageable pieces. Once all the kale is in the pan, cover and steam.

Once the kale has steamed, remove the lid to evaporate the excess moisture and a little salt and pepper as added. This makes a great side dish but can also become a healthy and robust main meal with fresh pasta or hot grains. It also works well as a pizza topping, try it on a grilled pizza crust. 

12. Lemon and garlic help balance the bitter notes of kale in this easy skillet dish. 

Lemon, garlic with broccoli on a pan.

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This dish is simple, quick, and tasty enough to win over friends suspicious of the leafy green. It comes together in a little over ten minutes. De-rib the kale and rough chop them into bite-sized pieces.

Rinse them to ensure any dirt is gone, but don’t bother drying them off. Over medium heat in a wide pan like a Dutch oven, heat olive oil and sauté garlic and red pepper flakes until fragrant. Add in the kale, stirring as you go.

Salt and pepper the greens and pop the lid on until they’ve reached tender. Usually this takes about five minutes. Remove from the heat promptly and squeeze fresh lemon juice over them. Serve and enjoy!

13. Kale and pizza go together well, and this pesto version is a must try. 

Pizza made from kale and a glass of oil.

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Pesto is tasty. This version uses leafy kale and walnuts to to make a delicious pesto base to serve as the sauce for the pizza. Smear a generous portion of the pesto over the prebaked pizza crust, top with bite-sized pieces of kale, and pile with mozzarella. A dash of red pepper flakes over the top and voila! You’ve created a pizza that will make your body feel as good as it tastes. 

14. A blend of flavorful mushrooms, kale, fresh herbs, and two cheeses make this homemade pizza brag-worthy. 

Kale pizza with sliced mushroom.

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Every part of this delicious pizza is perfection. It begins with a well-seasoned blend of mixed wild mushrooms torn into pieces and shredded Tuscan kale. Massage olive oil, balsamic vinegar, thyme, salt, and pepper into the kale and mushrooms. Stretch homemade pizza dough thin and smear it with a generous serving of fig preserves.

Fresh sage, crushed red pepper, and creamy goat cheese top the preserves. Over this, spread the kale and mushroom mixture. Shredded Havarti and thin slices over butter top the pile. The pizza bakes until the crust is a lovely golden hue and the cheese melts. Delicious.

15. Kale is an excellent addition in this quick sausage and veggie loaded soup. 

A bowl of kale potato with sausage soup.

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Hearty and flavorful, this soup will be a welcome addition on a chilly autumn or winter evening. Thick slices of smoked kielbasa join hearty chunks of potato in a flavorful chicken broth. Garbanzo beans and diced tomatoes join the mix, alongside onions, garlic, and kale.

Serve with a crusty roll or bread to soak up the broth. Other root veggies would be a great addition for a heartier version. Consider including turnips, celeriac, carrots, or parsnips. 

16. Waxy potatoes and diced chourico sausage transform this kale soup into a hearty winter meal.

A bowl of soup made from kale and sausage.

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Chourico, pronounced cherise, is a delightful Portuguese sausage. The fermented, cured, and smoked pork sausage is much like chorizo. This version, however, is cooked and ready to eat. Waxy potatoes, like Yukon Golds, join a the diced sausage in a flavorful chicken-based broth.

Kale, garbanzos, and diced tomatoes float in the rich broth. It comes together in thirty minutes. Like most good soups, it’s best served with a hearty, bread to soak up the broth. 

17. Hearty and delicious, this Tuscan kale soup features orzo and a flavorful vegetable broth. 

White beans with kale and sweet potato.

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Thin ribbons of Tuscan kale are the star in this hearty vegetable soup. It’s joined by fire-roasted tomatoes in a veggie broth seasoned with oregano, basil, and crushed red pepper flakes. Garlic, onions, celery, and carrots help round out every bite. Whole wheat orzo ensures you’ll be happily full by the end of your bowl. A drizzle of fresh lemon juice adds a bright note to the tasty soup. 

18. Kale. Stuffing. Healthy, happy, comforting stuffing loaded with mushrooms and diced vegetables. 

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This traditional stuffing mixes celery, onions, garlic, and mushrooms with ribbons of lacinato kale. Fresh sage, rosemary, and parsley join a tasty vegetable stock. Hearty white bread, torn in to chunks, blends with the stock and vegetables.

Poured into a baking dish, the stuffing bakes until the top is crusty and the inside is creamy soft. Pour your favorite gravy over the top. Or cranberry sauce. Or simply stuff it in your face. 

19. Vegan tamales stuffed with tahini-garlic potatoes and kale that’ll make even your carnivore friends happy. 

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Boil Yukon gold potatoes until just tender, then toss in a blend of seasoned tahini. Mix tahini paste with smoked paprika, minced garlic, and salt. Drain the potatoes and, while they are still warm, coat with the tahini mixture.

Wilt the kale and put in an ice bath to ensure they are tender and not soggy. In each tamale, layer a little kale over a small amount of tahini-coated potatoes. Serve the steamed tamales with pickled onions, radishes, and habanero salsa.

Tamales are a labor of love. They take time to construct and are best made in a team. So gather your friends and make more than you need, they freeze and reheat well. 

20. Kale can be comforting and hearty, like in this bacon, potato, kale, and egg breakfast casserole. 

Potato baked Kale on a baking pan.

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Bacon starts the process, browning in a skillet. Reserve the bacon grease to cook the diced onions and potatoes in. Bacon grease is one of life’s best miracles. Once the potatoes are just tender, add shredded kale to soften it slightly.

Whisk eggs with milk, Dijon, and a little salt. Put the potato, bacon, and kale mixture in the bottom of a greased baking dish, top with shredded cheese, and pour the egg blend over the top. Bake for an hour and serve with diced tomatoes and freshly chopped parsley for a comforting brunch. 

21. Ready in twenty minutes, this veggie-centered breakfast skillet helps you start the day off right. 

Kale with green peas and egg on a skillet.

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Sliced onions, and mushrooms, and minced garlic saute until tender in a medium-high skillet. Add red pepper slices and chopped kale and sauté another five minutes until they, too, are just tender. Once the kale is soft enough, press the back of a spoon into the mounds of kale to make an impression that can hold a cracked egg.

Drop three eggs in, each into their own divot. Bake in a preheated oven until the eggs are cooked to your perfection. Three minutes if you prefer them runny, five if you like a firm yolk. Serve with warm flat bread and top with feta for even more flavor. 

22. Colcannon is among the best ways to consume kale; consider them greens-loaded Irish mashed potatoes.

Kale and Irish mashed potato on a wooden bowl.

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Colcannon is a great way to sneak healthy vegetables into the pickiest of eaters. They offer all the perfection that is a well-made mashed potato, full of buttery, creamy richness. Only the milk simmers onions until tender before it’s added to the mashed potatoes.

Steamed or sauteed greens, like kale and cabbage, are chopped and mashed in with the potatoes. A healthy knob of butter melts into a puddle over the whole. Serve alongside warm soda bread and creamy, sweet butter and thank an Irish ancestor, even if you don’t have one. 

23. Kale, feta, and egg toast is a quick, tasty, and flavorful breakfast that will help you start the day off right in just twenty minutes. 

Kale with toasted bread and feta cheese.

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Feta is a great cheese. It’s salty and creamy and doesn’t require slicing or shredding to add to a dish. It’s also low fat and high in both protein and calcium. It’s a cheese you can feel good about eating.

Added to sauteed kale, the residual heat helps soften it a little to amp up the creamy factor. With garlic, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes tossed in the kale, the greens will be full of flavor. Toast up a whole wheat muffin or another favorite bread. Load your toast up with seasoned kale.

Finally, top with an egg made to your liking. Enjoy your super fast, super healthy breakfast. The greens, protein, and healthy fiber will give you the energy you need to get through your day. The author suggests a fried egg, but a poached or soft boiled egg would work just as well.

Added bonus? A soft boiled egg could be prepared the night before to make breakfast come together even more swiftly.