14 Unbeatable Kale Recipes

Although kale has gotten downright trendy of late, I suspect many of you may experience a mild sense of dread upon spying yet another bunch of this gorgeous green (or purple) stuff in your CSA box at this point in the summer. And those of you who grow your own may feel just a tad overwhelmed by the sheer volume of this superfood your garden is churning out on a seemingly daily basis. I know I do…

In order to prevent a dreaded case of “too much of a good thing”, I find it helps TREMENDOUSLY to have a large pool of inspiring recipes to draw from. And the good news is that there is no shortage of delicious ways to prepare kale – this god-sent green that is so packed with good things and flavor.

Kale sign in the Edible Schoolyard by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog

Without further ado, here are 14 great ways to enjoy kale. The first five recipes are from this here blawg and big thanks for the rest of these drool-worthy recipes and photos goes to Bon Appetit, Susan at FoodBlogga, Elise at Simply Recipes, Vanessa at Just the Tip, and Deena at Mostly Food Stuffs (via Food 52.)

Brussels Sprouts & Kale Salad With Toasted Almonds & Parmesan
This is hands-down my favorite salad. A highly addictive mix of flavors that can be enjoyed all year long. I think this recipe is actually also from Bon Appetit but I learned about it from our friend, Polly.

Photo by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog

Wilted Russian Kale Salad With Balsamic Vinegar & Orange Zest
This is a delicious mix of mellow and sweet flavors – caramelized onions and garlic, balsamic vinegar and orange zest. Mighty purty, too.

Wilted kale salad with balsamic vinegar, caramelized onions and orange zest
Photo by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog

Dinosaur (Lacinato) Kale With Cherry Tomatoes & Garlic
I love the simplicity and the savory and sweet mix of this recipe – it’s best made with really sweet cherry tomatoes. Very Christmasy-looking!

Dinosaur kale with cherry tomatoes and garlic
Photo by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog

Sweet Potatoes With Kale (or other Winter Greens)
Inspired by a recipe from the Obama’s White House chef, kale (or any other winter green) is a great pairing for sweet potatoes and a mix of garlic, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, cinnamon and maple syrup to turn it into a true treat.

Photo by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog

Stir-Fried Winter Greens With Garlic Shrimp & Rice
Another dish that can be enjoyed all year long. You certainly don’t need to use shrimp if you’d prefer just the veggie part of this yummy stir-fry or you could substitute tofu, too.

Photo by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog

Wheat Berries with Charred Onions & Kale
Wheat berries have a nice nutty flavor and chewy texture that goes very nicely with the kale and the sweetness of the onions. But you could also sub in another whole grain like farro, barley or brown rice and I’m sure it’d be equally tasty.

Photo by Randy Harris, courtesy of Bon Appetit

Sautťed Kale with Toasted Pine Nuts & Raisins
I love making spinach this way and kale is just as tasty. A great mix of savory (garlic, red pepper flakes, lemon) and sweet (raisins) that is downright addictive. Don’t skimp on the pine nuts.

Photo by Elise Bauer, courtesy of Simply Recipes

Smoky Greens and Beans
Kale and cannellini are a match made in heaven. The smoked paprika provides a really yummy smoky flavor and the grated cheese provides a little extra melting saltiness.

Photo by Misha Gravenor, courtesy of Bon Appetit

Kale Chips
Whenever I ask people what their favorite kale recipes are, kale chips top the list! Roasting brings out the sweetness and deepens the flavors and also turns the greens into a deliciously crispy treat that is tossed with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. You will love these.

Photo by Susan Russo, courtesy NPR’s Kitchen Window

Kale with Sausage & White Beans
Here’s that pairing of kale and white beans again but this time with the addition of the third musketeer, SAUSAGE! A simply stellar combination – hearty, flavorful and deliciously satisfying. If you are veg, you could always substitute some Gimme Lean or other sausage substitute with great results, too.

Photo by Elise Bauer, courtesy Simply Recipes

Kale Salad with Pine Nuts, Currants, and Parmesan
Another dish that comes up regularly when I ask people for their favorite kale recipe is a raw kale salad. Although kale is a very robust green, if you slice it thin and “marinate” or “massage” it with vinegar or lemon juice, it softens up beautifully. I like the pairing of salty cheese, crunchy, rich pine nuts and sweet currants in this version.

Photo by Jamie Chung, courtesy of Bon Appetit

Kale and Mushrooms with Creamy Polenta
This is basically the ultimate in sophisticated comfort food! You could make this without the chicken stock and pancetta with good results (the mushrooms will provide some meatiness) if those are not foods you eat, too.

Photo by Tina Rupp, courtesy of Bon Appetit

Kale, Corn and Leek Fritters
I first tried kale and corn fritters at Sunfrost Farms here in Woodstock – they’re delicious and a great way to make use of two bountiful late summer crops at once, too.

Photo by Vanessa at Just The Tip blog

One-Pot Kale and Quinoa Pilaf
I learned about this wonderfully satisfying recipe from the Food52 cookbook earlier this year – it was one of their winning recipes and it’s easy to see why. The kale and quinoa are both a tiny bit crunchy and the flavors of Meyer lemon, pine nuts, walnut oil and goat cheese give it a wonderful depth.

Photo by Sarah Schatz, courtesy of Food 52

You might also like:
Tomatoes Twelve Ways
Grilled Radicchio Salad With Parmesan
10 Superfood Kale Recipes


Jeanne R
Jeanne Rabout a month ago


Jeanne R
Jeanne Rabout a month ago


Jeanne R
Jeanne Rabout a month ago


Jeanne R
Jeanne Rabout a month ago


Sonia M

Thanks for sharing

Dale O.

Quite a variety of flavourful and delicious recipes in this article.

Karen H.
Karen H4 years ago

They all sound delicious. Can't wait to try them. Thanks.

Fi T.
Past Member 4 years ago

For refreshment

Elisabeth T.
Elisabeth T5 years ago

Thanks for the great recipes and comments...

Jacqueline Fonseca

I LOVE kale!