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17 Ways to Use Kale

17 Ways to Use Kale

Kale is the best of everything — super cheap, super tasty, super versatile and super healthy. Loaded with calcium, and vitamins C and D definitely earns that extra-special title of superfood. But, let’s be honest — kale’s rich flavor can be a little intimidating to first-timers. We’re breaking down the basics of cooking with kale. Click through for recipe ideas.

Tips & Tricks

Best Time To Buy: Though it’s available year-round, kale is best in the winter, when frost makes its flavor sweeter.

Choosing Kale: Leaves should be dark green & frilly. They should have some “spring” to them. Bad signs: wilted, yellow or brown spots, dry leaves.

Storing Kale: Keep unwashed kale refrigerated in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

Reviving Limp Kale: Trim the stems & soak in tepid water for about 5 minutes. Voila!

Cutting kale: First, grab the bottom of the stem and pull off the leaves with your hands. Stack leaves on top of each other. Roll into little bundles (like you would with basil, for example) and cut to your desired size.

Reducing Intense Flavor: Kale that’s been massaged with oil and lemon juice will reduce its intense flavor. This method is great for introducing the dark leafy green to kale newbies!

Click here for a Basic Cooked Kale Recipe


Kale Chips


  • 1 Bunch Tuscan Kale Leaves
  • 1 tbs olive oil


1. Rinse and let it dry. Cut kale in half lengthwise, removing center ribs and stems.
2. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
3. In large bowl, toss kale leaves with oil & salt and pepper to taste.
4. On two large baking sheets, arrange a single layer of kale.
5. Bake for 30 minutes, or until crisp. Let cool.

Want to do something more with your kale chips? Check out Smitten Kitchen’s recipe for grinding up the chips to use as a popcorn topping!

Recipe credit: Bon Appetit


Kale Flatbread


  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 chopped garlic cloves
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed & torn into small pieces
  • 1 pound room temperature pizza dough
  • 2 cups grated cheese (recipe calls for cheddar, but feel free to experiment!)
  • 3 cups diced tomatoes
  • Any other desired toppings, like olives, peppers, more onion, etc.


  1. In large skillet over medium-high, heat 2 tbs of olive oil. Add in garlic, onion, salt & pepper. Stir occasionally until softened, or about 4 minutes.
  2. Add kale. Not all of it will fit, so toss frequently and add more when there’s room in the skillet. Cook until softened, and move to bowl to cool.
  3. Lightly oil baking sheets, and place rolled-out dough on top. Brush dough with oil. Add cheese, toppings and kale mixture.
  4. Bake for 15-18 minutes at 450° F. You’ll want to rotating baking sheets halfway through.


Recipe adapted from: Real Simple

Soups & Salads

Kale, Apple and Pear Salad with Honey-Spiced Walnuts

Kale & Brussels Sprouts Salad With Almonds & Pecorino

Spicy Curry Kale Salad

Kale, Blueberry, Goji and Avocado Salad

Creamy Kale & White Bean Soup

Kale & Scallop Soup

White Bean, Carrot and Kale Stew


Grains & Main Dishes

Tuscan Kale and White Bean Pasta

Fresh Greens Enchiladas

Delicata Squash With Dino Kale and Cranberries

Warm Cannellini Beans and Wilted Greens

Beans and Greens with Herbed Polenta


More Tasty Ideas

Kale, Mushroom and Cream Cheese Scramble

Green Smoothie

Corn and Kale Skillet Cakes

Read more: All recipes, Appetizers & Snacks, Basics, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Entrees, Food, Health, Side Dishes, Soups & Salads, Vegan, Vegetarian, , , , , ,

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Katie Waldeck

Katie is a freelance writer focused on pets, food and women’s issues. A Chicago native and longtime resident of the Pacific Northwest, Katie now lives in Oakland, California.


+ add your own
2:55PM PDT on Jul 3, 2015

I love the Kale chips, we eat Kale 3 or 4 times a week, but there is always some in the fridge so I make Kale chips and it never goes bad. It is best to eat fresh if just having greens which is the way we eat it the most. It is so full of vitamins, quick to steam since neither of us spends a lot of time in the kitchen especially during the summer. Make Kale chips once and week and you can't go wrong.

2:38AM PDT on Jul 3, 2015

Thank you

12:30AM PDT on Jul 3, 2015


1:30AM PDT on Jun 27, 2015

Bought Kale for the first time last night - so now to cook it and hopefully enjoy!!! Everyone sings its praises and I know it's very healthy for me - so here goes!!!!!!

11:46AM PDT on Jun 26, 2015

Sorry, but there is simply not a snowball's chance in hades that I'm clicking through SIX pages to read a single article!

4:02AM PDT on Oct 4, 2014

It looks good enough to eat as it is.

9:29PM PDT on Jul 30, 2014

I actually like Kale in my salads.

2:48AM PDT on Jul 17, 2014


7:41PM PDT on Jul 16, 2014

thank you

7:36AM PDT on Mar 20, 2014

I love kale in my smoothies.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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