We may as well have just called this past year “The Year of Kale,” because it seemed like no matter what website we visited or what magazine we read, we were bound to find something about kale and its healthy benefits (like how one cup provides just 30 calories and a whole day’s worth of Vitamin C and A). On top of the fact that kale is a pretty easy veggie to cook with, it’s not impossible to make kale actually taste good. And we have evidence to prove it!
1. White Bean Soup with Kale and Chorizo
The beans and Spanish chorizo add a bit of a fiery kick to this recipe. It’s almost as if the kale isn’t even there!
Recipe from MyRecipes
- 2 ounces Spanish chorizo, finely chopped
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 cups fat-free chicken broth
- 2 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 4 cups chopped kale
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add chorizo to pan; sauté for one minute. Add onion and garlic to pan; sauté for 5 minutes or until tender.
- While onions cook, pour broth into a microwave-safe bowl; microwave at high for 3 minutes.
- Add hot broth and beans to pan; bring to a boil. Partially mash beans with potato masher. Stir in kale and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; cook over medium heat for 6 minutes.
2. Crispy Kale Pizza
Your pizza is basically a salad now! Seriously, your body gets the healthy benefits of kale, while your taste buds get the benefits of pizza.
Recipe from A Beautiful Mess
- 1 cup warm water
- Pinch of sugar
- 2 1/4 teaspoons (one packet) active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
- 1 1/2 cups white flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups chopped kale (center stems removed)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup pizza sauce
- In a small bowl, stir together the warm water and pinch of sugar.
- Next, pour the yeast on to the surface of the water. Allow that to sit and foam for 5 to 6 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine the flours and salt. Stir the yeast water into the flours until a dough ball forms. Knead the dough by hand for 3 to 4 minutes. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and allow to rise for about an hour, until it has doubled in size.
- Meanwhile, rinse and dry the kale. Chop into small pieces. Toss in olive oil and place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Sprinkle with salt. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 6 to 7 minutes until the kale is beginning to crisp.
- Roll your dough out as thin as you can, but make sure it's not too large so that it exceeds the size of your or baking pan. Quickly cover with sauce, cheese and the kale.
- Bake for 24 to 26 minutes, until the edges look crispy and the cheese looks like it’s melting.
3. Kale-Apple Smoothie
This recipe is pretty simple but perfect for a quick and healthy breakfast. If you’re a fruit-and-veggie-smoothie skeptic, no need to worry. The apple juice and banana mask the taste of the kale to the point where it’s barely recognizable!
Recipe from Real Simple
- 3/4 cup chopped kale, ribs and thick stems removed
- 1 small stalk celery, chopped
- 1/2 banana
- 1/2 cup apple juice
- 1/2 cup ice
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Place the kale, celery, banana, apple juice, ice and lemon juice in a blender.
- Blend until smooth.
4. Whole-Wheat Pasta with Kale and Fontina
Pasta is pretty easy to make, which makes this recipe a win-win. There’s also bacon, involved so this recipe gets an automatic thumbs up.
Recipe from Martha Stewart
- 4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch strips
- 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 pound kale, thick stems trimmed, leaves chopped
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 2 cups reduced-sodium canned chicken broth
- 1 pound whole-wheat spaghetti
- 1/2 cup chopped fontina cheese
- Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-low heat, turning occasionally, until browned and crisp. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Pour off all but three tablespoons rendered fat.
- Cook garlic in same skillet over medium heat until golden, stirring frequently. Add half the kale; cook, tossing until just wilted. Add remaining kale and season with salt and pepper; cook, tossing, until all kale has wilted. Add broth; cover. Simmer for about 10 minutes, or until kale is tender.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking water. Return pasta to pot. Add kale and fontina; toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Add reserved cooking water as desired. Divide pasta among plates; top with reserved bacon.
5. Kale and Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese
Grilled cheese is obviously a classic, but sometimes it needs a little accessory. Enter: kale.
Recipe from MyRecipes
- 4 kale leaves, stems removed
- 2 teaspoons canola oil
- 2 red onions, sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 8 slices bread
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 3 1/2 ounces shredded raclette cheese
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Bring a small pot of water to a boil; add kale.
- Remove from heat and let stand 4 minutes or until kale is bright green. Drain and rinse kale under cold water until cool. Pat leaves dry.
- Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and swirl to coat. Add onion, pepper and salt.
- Cook 10 minutes or until onion is tender and browned, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in vinegar, tossing to coat. Coarsely chop onion.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Lightly coat one side of each bread slice with cooking spray. Working with 2 slices at a time, arrange bread in pan, sprayed side down. Cook 1 1/2 minutes or until bread begins to brown. Sprinkle one tablespoon Parmesan on one bread slice in pan. Top with a kale leaf, 1/4 of onion mixture and about 1/4 cup raclette. Top with other toasted bread slice.
- Repeat procedure with remaining six bread slices, Parmesan, three kale leaves, onion mixture and raclette.
- Bake sandwiches at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 5 minutes or until cheese melts.
6. Lasagna with Sausage and Kale
Lasagna is always a good idea. Consider the kale an added bonus.
Recipe from Martha Stewart
- 12 ounces spicy Italian sausage, removed from casings and crumbled
- 2 large onions, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 to 2 bunches kale, thick stems removed
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 9 lasagna noodles, each broken crosswise into 4 to 6 pieces
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 3 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a 5-quart pot, cook sausage over medium heat, stirring often, until browned. Stir in onions; cover and cook until softened. Uncover; cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Add garlic; cook for 2 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Add kale and 1/2 cup water to pot; season with salt and pepper. Cover; cook over medium-low heat, tossing occasionally, until tender. Drain; coarsely chop. Transfer to bowl with onions.
- Meanwhile, cook noodles 2 minutes less than package instructions. Drain; rinse under cold water.
- Add noodles, tomatoes and ricotta to the bowl; season with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Toss well. Pour into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish; smooth top with a spatula. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake until golden brown, about 40 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before serving.
7. Braised Kale Frittata
We promise this recipe isn’t as intimidating as it sounds. Make it for brunch after a long weekend and reap the benefits of kale.
Recipe from Health.com
- 6 large eggs
- 4 large egg whites
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 tablespoons chopped oregano
- Cooking spray
- 2 cups braised kale without cheese, drained, finely chopped
- 3/4 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, whisk the first 6 ingredients.
- Lightly coat an 8-inch ovenproof cast-iron or nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Heat over medium heat. Add the kale and tomatoes. Cook, stirring, until hot (about 3 minutes). Add the eggs and swirl to distribute.
- Transfer to the oven and bake until set and hot (about 20 minutes). Cut in wedges.
Yes, there are other (tasty) ways to eat kale that don’t involve turning them into chips. The next time you think kale is boring, try one of these recipes to ease your mind a bit!