27 Inventive Ways to Get Your Kale Fix

Nov 11 2014 - 5:30am

We've all heard about the bounty of benefits [1] a heaping helping of kale has to offer our stomachs and taste buds, but actually putting the dark, leafy green on your plate is a whole different story. That's where we come in! Once you've learned how to prep kale hassle-free [2], try one of these 27 recipes.

— Additional reporting by Lizzie Fuhr

Photos: Anna Monette Roberts, Nicole Perry, Camilla Salem, Fresh Tart [3], Susannah Chen

Italian Sausage, White Bean, and Kale Soup

Cozy up with a bowl of this classic Italian sausage, white bean, and kale soup [4].

Photo: Nicole Perry

Cheesy Kale Chips

If a bag of Kale Krunch's Quite Cheezy [5] kale chips keeps winding up in your shopping cart, take matters into your own hands with this homemade take on this snack [6] that's only decadent in flavor.

Photo: Anna Monette Roberts

Kale Caesar Salad

Add extra bite to your caesar salad [7] by swapping the usual romaine leaves for toothsome, torn-up kale.

Photo: Nicole Perry

Leftover Greens and Grains Bowl

Give leftover greens (like kale) and grains a second life [8] by adding teriyaki sauce, a soft boiled egg, and Vietnamese-inspired quick pickled carrots and daikon to the mix.

Source: Alexandra's Kitchen [9]

Kale, Cantaloupe, and Ginger Smoothie

Smoothies make for the perfect snack or even meal; they're fast, filling, and full of whatever fruits and veggies sound good to you. Go green with a kale, cantaloupe, and ginger smoothie [10] — round it off with a squeezed lemon for extra zest.

Photo: Anna Monette Roberts

Brussels Sprout, Lentil, and Kale Salad

This gloriously green salad [11] is brightened by clementine segments, dried cranberries, and a zippy honey-mustard dressing.

Photo: Nicole Perry

Kale and Burrata Bruschetta

Creamy burrata and garlicky sautéed kale combine for a vegetarian-friendly appetizer [12] equally at home as a weeknight nibble as it is at a cocktail party.

Photo: Camilla Salem

Kale and Sweet Potato Chips

Savory kale and nutty sweet potatoes bake up into crisp, addictive chips [13] that pair perfectly together.

Photo: Anna Monette Roberts

Brussels Sprouts and Kale Salad With Candied Pancetta and Blue Cheese

A trio of greens — brussels sprouts, kale, and swiss chard — provide a hearty base for a smattering of toppings [14], including candied pancetta, gorgonzola, and pear.

Source: Cooking for Keeps [15]

Linguine With Kale and Chickpeas

This fast and easy linguine main [16] is chock-full of hearty greens and beans and bolstered by garlic and crushed red pepper.

Photo: Nicole Perry

Miso-Glazed Kale and Shiitakes With a Poached Egg

For a big plate of greens that doesn't skimp on flavor, try miso-glazed kale with shiitake mushrooms [17], and top it all off with a poached egg.

Photo: Nicole Perry

Shredded Brussels Sprouts, Kale, and Kumquat Salad

With its many components (coins of kumquat, shredded kale and brussels sprouts, tart dried cherries, and soy-sauce-glazed pepitas), this salad [18] may seem like more effort than it's worth. Thankfully, its phenomenal flavor and staying power (leftovers make a great brown bag lunch) more than make up for time expended.

Photo: Nicole Perry

Spicy Miso Kale Chips

Salty-savory miso and a sprinkle of shichimi togarashi (Japanese seven-spice powder) dress up already-irresistible kale chips [19] for a virtuous snack you'll devour with vigor.

Photo: Nicole Perry

Napa Valley Grille's Kale Chopped Salad

This chopped kale salad [20] offsets a tart lemon parmesan vinaigrette with plump golden raisins and hearty, mellow quinoa.

Steamed Kale

Steamed kale [21] takes a mere five minutes to cook and is a blank-slate side practically begging to be dressed up with whatever flavors you're craving. Our current fix: a splash of fish sauce, lime juice, and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes for an Asian-inspired twist.

Photo: Anna Monette Roberts

Chicken Caesar Mason Jar Kale Salad

Avoid sad desk lunches by packing this kale caesar salad with chicken and avocado [22] in your work bag.

Photo: Jenny Sugar

Mochi Squares Stuffed With Sesame Kale

Mix up your weeknight dinner repertoire with this fast and easy vegan recipe [23] that stuffs pillowy pockets of mochi (no, not the sweet type [24]) with greens and mushrooms dressed in a bold glaze.

Photo: Nicole Perry

Lemony Kale Salad With Feta

We're not sure what's better about this pine nut and feta kale salad [25]: its leftover-friendly nature (like many kale salads, it can handle, and arguably improves with, an overnight sit in the fridge) or its bold flavors and ease of preparation. Either way, it's more than worthy of an inclusion in your salad repertoire.

Source: Fresh Tart [26]

Slow-Cooked Kale, Fennel, and Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Sauce

It doesn't get much simpler than this slow-cooker kale, fennel, and sun-dried tomato pasta sauce [27]. Simply add the vegetables, some garlic, and broth to the crockpot; set it; and forget it.

Source: America's Test Kitchen [28]

Salt and Vinegar Kale Chips

Like their deep-fried potato cousins, salt and vinegar kale chips [29] are crisp, salty, sour, and dangerously addictive.

Photo: Nicole Perry


For a lighter take on mashed potatoes, try colcannon [30], an Irish specialty that combines cabbage (or in this case, kale), bacon, butter, and potatoes.

Photo: Anna Monette Roberts

Hot Cheetos Kale Salad

Think kale and Hot Cheetos don't mix? In most cases, you're right, but when sliced apple and walnuts come to the party [31], it's a surprisingly satisfying combination.

Photo: Nicole Perry

Chickpea and Kale Soup With Garlic Tortilla Triangles

Chickpeas, kale, noodles, carrots, and garlic tortilla triangles add a variety of textures and flavors to this brothy soup [32].

Source: Top With Cinnamon [33]

Chicken and Kale Salad With Lemon-Cumin Vinaigrette

For a taste of one of our editor's go-to lunch spots, try this restaurant-inspired composed salad [34] that combines kale, quinoa, avocado, and more with a zesty lemon-cumin vinaigrette.

Photo: Susannah Chen

Spicy Garlic Kale With Poached Eggs

Too tired to cook? You may reconsider when you realize just how fast and easy this spicy and satisfying dinner [35] is. (You might even have all the ingredients on hand — no grocery store run needed.)

Photo: Nicole Perry

Shredded Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad

A constant fixture on our tables, this ribboned kale and brussels sprouts salad [36] is heartier than most, mighty delicious, and highly adaptable (just stick to some sort of tart fruit and salty nut combination). Take a stab at it whether you have all of the ingredients stocked or not!

Photo: Susannah Chen

Maple Bacon Kale Chips

Kale chips never tasted as naughty (or nice) as these maple bacon crisps [37] that are at once salty, savory, and sweet.

Photo: Nicole Perry

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