30+ Easy and Delicious Recipes That Prove Kale is Awesome
Rich in magnesium, calcium, antioxidants, and vitamins A, C, and K, kale is one of the leafy greens superstars when it comes to nutrition. It's not only super healthy but also incredibly versatile, lending itself well to hearty soups, smoothies, pasta bakes, homemade dips, and more. If you're wanting to up your nutrition game, browse our collection of easy and delicious kale recipes for fresh ways to eat this uber-healthy green.
Sheet Pan Lemony Chicken With Potatoes and Kale
Fontina-And-Kale Mini Meatballs
These easy, cheesy meatballs are perfect for anything from a holiday party to a tailgating get-together—especially if you need to have a keto-friendly appetizer in the mix. The blend of Italian sausage and lean ground beef provide a great, flavorful base that isn’t overly greasy, and the kale-and-Fontina combo is a surefire crowd-pleaser.
Smoky Field Pea-and-Greens Dip
This rich and cheesy dip is perfect for game day or any get-together that calls for snacking. Made with bacon, spinach or kale, and plenty of field peas, it gets its richness from cream cheese, mayonnaise, and shredded cheese. Bake the dip until it’s golden and bubbly and serve with baguette slices or sturdy chips, like pita chips.
Slow Cooker Vegetable Soup with Bacon
Packed with veggies and flavored with a little bacon, this recipe will warm you up on a chilly day. This hearty soup is as versatile as it is delicious. Substitute collards for the kale, use another type of small dried beans, or add heat with red pepper flakes.
Roasted Pumpkin-and-Baby Kale Salad
This beautiful fall salad makes a tasty meal on its own or a nice addition to any menu. The tangy Dijon mustard-apple cider vinaigrette is a great match for the sweet roasted pumpkin and sharp baby kale leaves.
Mushroom-Potato Tacos with Scallion Relish
Cubed potatoes make a great taco filling. They crisp up nicely and take on the smokiness and faint heat of the spices. Kale adds a little toothsome chew; you can use any hearty green you have on hand (such as Swiss chard, collard greens, or spinach). The scallion relish is a fresh, tangy condiment that brightens the earthy flavor of the mushrooms and kale. It would also be delicious with your next batch of fish tacos.
Roasted Kale and Chickpea Snack Mix
This fiber-filled, gluten-free snack mix is great sprinkled over salads to give them a little spicy crunch.
Toasted Pecan and Kale Pesto
Spread this hearty pesto on pizza, or add a dollop to your favorite comforting fall soup.
Kale and Lentil Bowl with Thai Almond Sauce
This reigning leafy green is jam-packed with vitamins A, C, and K. Kale’s fibrous greens maintain integrity even in long-cooked soups and braises, but we also love it raw in salads. Just be sure to massage the leaves until they start to soften and tenderize.
Left-Over Chicken Soup with Kale, Ginger, and Sumac
This soup isn't just a good way to use up leftovers, it's also rich in nutrients, which means it'd be a great help to anyone who's sick.
Frizzled Kale with Chiles
Massaging the kale first helps tenderize it slightly; this technique is also handy when using this fibrous green in raw preparations like salads and slaws. Serve with steak or top with sunny-side up eggs.
Kale and Wheat Berry Salad with Fresh Cherry Dressing
Fresh summer touches bring what is typically a cool-weather salad firmly into the season. Fresh cherries perform double duty, featuring in both the dressing (in which they’re pureed) and the finished salad. Curly kale has a hearty, slightly tough texture, but massaging it with the salt tenderizes it nicely.
Air-Fried "Everything Bagel" Kale Chips
Welcome to your new go-to snack food—kale chips 2.0! These flavor-packed nutritious chips come out of the air fryer even crispier than they do from your regular oven.
Reginetti with Guanciale, Garlic Sauce, and Greens
Never dump your pasta water! That starchy leftover liquid helps marry sauce to noodle, such as on this ruffled reginetti dish flecked with greens and guanciale—a crucial ingredient in carbonara, as well.
Sausage and Kale Pesto Pizza
Switch things up for family pizza night and enjoy a healthy pesto based option. Instead of the usual tomato sauce, this tasty deep-dish pizza is topped with a vibrant green pesto made with fresh basil and kale. This deep-dish pizza is made in your favorite cast-iron skillet. Don’t skip preheating the cast-iron skillet, which helps create a nice crisp crust.
Garden Greens Pasta
A little bit of pancetta pulls more than its weight in this recipe. Kale and spinach cook in the rendered drippings for rich, salty flavor throughout the dish, and the crisped pork bits make a delicious finishing touch for the pasta. Roasted almonds offer hearty crunch that complements the silky greens and tender pasta; hazelnuts also would be a great choice. For speedy prep, look for pre-diced pancetta near the specialty cheeses in the grocery store.
Lemon Chicken with Artichokes and Kale
This dish gets a generous sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese, which becomes satisfyingly rich when stirred into the kale, artichoke hearts, and baked chicken.
Bulgur and Greens Mini Quiches
Mini quiches are quick, easy go-tos for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Leftovers are great, too, and easy to pack up for lunch at the office or to enjoy for breakfast during the busy workweek.
Zesty Kale and Sweet Potato Bowl
This loaded veggie bowl gets a touch of smoke from the chili-spiced sweet potatoes and roasted bell pepper and plenty of zing from fresh lime. Chili powder and lime also give toasted almonds an addictive crust; make extra and enjoy as a snack.
Chickpea and Kale Curry
Embrace the comfort of Indian flavors with a 25-minute curry that also happens to be vegan. This meatless main offers plenty of protein thanks to quinoa and chickpeas, and boasts 40% of your daily fiber goal. Coconut milk lends velvety richness, while a mix of peanut butter and spices give the sauce rich flavor. A flourish of fresh herbs at the end brightens and freshens the dish.
Supercharged Kale-Avocado Smoothie
This hydrating smoothie is jam-packed with nutrients, delivering one-third your daily goal of vitamin A and 100% of vitamin K—two important nutrients many of us don't get enough of. Matcha green tea powder delivers a jolt of caffeine without the jittery side effects, helping you power through your holiday to-do list with sustained energy and alertness.
Winter Greens Salad with Citrus and Blue Cheese
A great salad is all about balancing flavors and textures. This one gives you all the taste elements in each bite—salty, sour, bitter, sweet, and umami—while the creamy cheese counters the various crunchy components.
Chicken-and-Kale Alfredo Bake
A creamy, Parmesan-laced sauce is a no-brainer for an easy, cheesy pasta bake. Skip the jar and make your own with sautéed shallot and fresh lemon, picking up all the flavor from the same pan used to cook the chicken.
This gutsy North African dish of eggs poached in a super-flavorful tomato-based sauce gets even better with the addition of a mountain of greens. It makes a great brunch or dinner for a crowd of holiday guests.
Cilantro and Kale Pesto Toast with a Fried Egg
Sliced bread is the perfect blank canvas, ready to be loaded up with virtuous ingredients.
Southern Wedding Soup
We gave this Italian-American classic our own spin with fresh greens and pork-and-beef meatballs. If you can't find ditalini pasta, any small shape (like orzo or elbow macaroni) will work just as well.
Italian-Style Grits and Greens
To serve this make-ahead meal family style, spread the Parmesan grits and greens on a wooden board or oversize platter placed in the center of your table. Top with pulled pork and garlicky sautéed mushrooms. Use your slow cooker to keep the grits warm until you're ready to serve. The pork can be made up to two days ahead and reheated in a skillet.
This indulgent, BLT-inspired pasta bake is the perfect recipe for your next Sunday cooking session. A fresh tomato sauce balances the rich bacon béchamel in this fun twist on classic lasagna. While we made a fresh tomato sauce here, you can use your favorite jarred sauce as a convenient shortcut.
Smoothies are a great way to front-load your day with produce and nutrition. Just one serving of this power breakfast offers about two-thirds of the day's calcium and nearly a quarter of potassium in a low-calorie package. Chia seeds amp up fiber and protein, plus they're one of the richest plant sources of heart-healthy alpha-linoleic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid).
Frittatas are some of the most efficient vehicles for leftover vegetables. Here, we combine roasted butternut squash with quick-cooking kale for a fiber-rich breakfast duo. A touch of dairy lends custard-like creaminess to the egg mixture.
Creamy Kale and Pasta Bake
Even self-professed kale haters will fall in love with this cheesy baked pasta with crispy breadcrumbs. Round out the meal with a simple side of roasted carrots.
Lemony Kale Avocado Sandwiches
The ingredients for these fresh-tasting sandwiches will keep a few days in a backpack (stash the kale and avocados near the top so they don't get crushed). Parmesan will last a week if you bring a chunk and grate it as needed. The recipe comes from the outdoor cooking experts behind the blog Dirty Gourmet, dirtygourmet.com.GEAR Bowl or plastic bag, small cutting board, small knife, grater (optional), spork
Sheet Pan Flank Steak, Greens, and Yukon Gold Fries
We split the pitas in half before toasting so the crusts can get extra crisp.
Half-Moon Browned Omelet
Here’s the omelet you get at a breakfast house: folded in half, golden brown outside, delicious fillings within. It’s not nearly as fussy or tricky as something like a French rolled omelet, and the browning adds flavor and texture.