Because of kale’s emergence in the past several years as a superfood and must-have ingredient in cafes throughout the country, the leafy green has become something of a punchline.
But trendy or not, the health benefits of kale can’t be overstated. It has a whopping 684 percent of your daily recommended value of vitamin K and it’s full of vitamins A and C, too. It’s also an anti-inflammatory agent and full of omega-3 fats. It’s also fantastic for your heart, as it lowers cholesterol.
The trickiest part about kale is that, if not prepared properly, it can have a bitter, too-crunchy taste and texture. Uncertainty about how to use kale in the kitchen often keeps people from eating it. But not anymore! These kale recipes are run the range from salads to soups and mains but they all have one thing in common — you’re going to love eating them!
25 Kale Recipes that Even Kids (!) Will Love
This leafy green salad is full of autumn’s best bounty, like Granny Smith apples and butternut squash, and coated with a homemade cashew butter-based dressing. Topped with toasted pecan pieces, this kale recipe is a hit.
Photo: Happy Healthy Mama
Combining kale with sweet potatoes, which are low in calories but high on fiber, potassium and vitamins, makes for one nutritious duo. It couldn’t be easier, either. Just bake the potato, add the kale to the oven for the last 10 minutes, then stuff with feta, seasonings and any extras you’d like.
Though typical risotto is super rich, creamy and fattening, this scaled-back version is just as delicious but healthy enough to enjoy guilt-free. Using brown rice instead of arborio will keep you feeling full, while swapping out Parmesan cheese for cheddar gives it the smooth, creamy texture you’d expect. I also love that it’s meat- and gluten-free.
Photo: Healthy Seasonal Recipes
There is so much flavor in this soup! The key here is to roast the cauliflower before adding it to the soup base, bring out the vegetable’s nutty taste. The cauliflower and kale are pureed together and then topped with crispy kale chips for a creamy, dairy-free soup.
If you’re a fan of Mexican foods, this might become one of your favorite kale recipes. This salad is hearty, crunchy and drenched in dressing. But that’s a good thing here; the dressing is made from benefit-rich avocado, fresh lime juice, water and seasonings. You could add leftover chicken or steak for more protein, but this veggie-full salad is delicious as is.
These egg muffins are better than anything you’d buy in a fast food restaurant and because they’re make-ahead, you’ll save time during busy mornings, too. With chopped kale, roasted red peppers and crumbled feta (the healthiest cheese out there!), you’ll feel like you’re enjoying a gourmet breakfast. They’re perfect for grab-and-go meals, too!
I didn’t think there was a way to make guacamole even better, but this guackalemole has gone and done it. Adding kale to this guacamole recipe makes it even better for you — plus, it’s super easy! Serve this along with your favorite veggies for a game day appetizer you’ll feel great chowing down on.
When you want something healthy, satisfying and with unique flavors, turn to this Thai-inspired salad. It’s got kale as its base, green beans dressed up with a tamari and maple syrup sauce and a homemade dressing made from cashew butter and fresh ginger, which is awesome for digestion. Dig in!
Photo: Minimalist Baker
This saute is low on carbs, but high on taste — you’ll love adding it to your kale recipes cookbook. It requires just a few ingredients that you might normally see served with pasta: kale, turkey sausage, garlic, red pepper flakes and Parmesan cheese and finished off with fresh lemon juice. The kale keeps it super-filling and pasta-free.
New ways of making old favorites like Caesar salad are always fun and this kale recipe is no exception. Kale stands in for romaine lettuce, while fried, crunchy chickpeas replace croutons. The only change I’d make to this one is skip the canola oil and opt for extra virgin olive oil instead.
Making your own pesto is super simple. It’s usually made with basil, but any leafy green veggie works. I love this version that uses kale instead for a slightly mellower taste. The pepitas and sunflower seeds add a little nuttiness, and the other usual pesto suspects, Parmesan and lemon juice, are here too. Serve this with brown rice pasta or use instead of tomato sauce in your next pizza.
Photo: Sweet Peas and Saffron
12. Kale Pizza Crust
There’s no need to pre-cook the kale in this healthy crust. When mixed with gluten-free crumbs, cheese and eggs, this crispy pizza crust is the perfect base to pile on your favorite toppings.
Quesadillas? Not always so healthy. This kalesadilla? A better-for-you option. These veggie ‘dillas are filled with bell peppers, onions, kale and cheddar and browned in a bit of butter until the cheese is melted and the tortilla is browned. Take that, Taco Bell!
Photo: Simply Recipes
Kale and cranberries are a dynamic mix. In this warm salad, you’ll saute shallots and garlic, then combine with cranberries, red wine vinegar, honey and lemon juice. After massaging the kale and mixing it with that delectable vinaigrette, top the salad with almonds and crumbled cheese. It’s kale recipes like this one that turn people into kale lovers!
This is like a next level burrito bowl. You get juicy, lemony chicken, filling quinoa, a superfood in its own right and a sun-dried tomato sauce that’ll have you licking the spoon. This one is a winner.
Photo: Pinch of Yum
As if you needed another reason to eat hummus! This version is infused with kale and garlic in every bite and takes just five minutes to whip up. Serve with your favorite gluten-free crackers, add to sandwiches, dip vegetables in it — the possibilities are endless!
This is one of my best kale recipes. I’ve mixed two superfoods and served them with a homemade, dairy-free chipotle dressing. You’ll love the amount of healthy fats you’ll be eating from the salmon and how filling this dish is. Just be sure to stick with wild-caught salmon.
This slow cooker soup is the perfect way to get your kale intake with minimal effort. You’ll make turkey meatballs, sear ’em and then add to the slow cooker with a variety of vegetables. Four hours later, you’ll have a tasty soup that’s perfect for ladling into bowls on a cozy evening.
Photo: Foodie Crush
Classic tomato soup is tasty, but there’s not much to it. But tomato soup with kale, quinoa and fiber-rich beans? Now that’s a soup with some heft! The best part is that there aren’t really directions to this kale recipe: dump the ingredients into the slow cooker, come back hours later. I think all of us can get on board with that.
20. Spicy Kale Chips
Skip the potato chips and snack on these kale chips. You could totally make them on their own, but I love preparing these chips with dressings and here, I’ve given you two options. Choose from an Indian spice or chipotle version. Or better yet, make a double batch and try them both!
Hash often gets relegated to breakfast, but this kale recipe can really be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Serve it alongside burgers, top it with fried eggs or eat it solo. Sweet potatoes and maple syrup add just enough sweetness to balance out the kale, and ground chipotle chili pepper adds the right amount of heat. This one gets two thumbs up.
Photo: The Mostly Vegan
This stew has such an interesting mix of ingredients and flavors and yet, somehow it works. It’s loaded with ginger and turmeric, both of which aid in digestion and reduce inflammation. Just a tablespoon of natural peanut butter (or your preferred nut butter) makes this vegan recipe nice and creamy.
Fritters are always so fun. They’re perfect for dipping, snacking and just plain enjoying. These ones are packed with good-for-you ingredients: hello, kale, quinoa and sweet potatoes! They’re also incredibly simple to make and served with dipping sauce made from Greek yogurt for even more protein. Try these with a side salad (or atop a salad) for a complete meal.
Photo: Yes, More Please!
Who needs lasagna noodles when you have a spaghetti squash? A member of the zucchini family, spaghetti squash is a terrific pasta stand-in. Here, you’ll slightly underbake the squash then mix up a yummy bunch of ingredients, like white beans, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, kale and seasonings, with ricotta and Parmesan cheese — yes, please! The squash is stuffed with the filling and goes back in the oven, along with a gluten-free breadcrumb topping. You’ll love this new take on lasagna!
I know this is a side dish, but it’s so good that it could really stand on its own! This jazzy version of cauliflower mashed adds ‘shrooms, kale, garlic and red onion for an explosion of flavor. Top with chopped chives for a recipe so good, no one will care that it’s not actually potatoes!