30 Kale Recipes That Will Make You Fall In Love With This Leafy Green (2024)

30 Kale Recipes That Will Make You Fall In Love With This Leafy Green (1)

Years ago, kale exploded as a salad green thanks to, as the story goes, a winter produce shortage that led a few New York chefs to turn to the under-appreciated green. We’re so glad they did, and that kale is no longer relegated to just being a sad plate garnish. Get inspired to use it yourself with our 30 recipes that celebrate kale.

If you’re unfamiliar, kale is a member of the brassica family, alongside other faves like cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli. We LOVE how versatile these veggies are, and kale is no different. There are two main types to look out for: lighter green curly kale, and darker green lacinato kale (also known as tuscan or dinosaur kale for its bumpy, “scaly” leaves). Both work well in most applications, though we’re often partial to lacinato for its slightly sweeter taste and less tough stems. Hot tip: if you’ve ever had kale and thought it was too bitter or tough, try massaging it first. You could use tongs if you have them, but the best way is to add a little dressing or olive oil and really get in there with your hands.

When it comes to the best application for kale, you really can’t beat a soup or salad—it’s hearty enough to turn them into a full meal, like in our coconut ranch kale salad or white bean and sausage kale soup (+ a slow cooker option!), or can be enjoyed as a simple side, like in our Lolita’s kale salad. It’s both heartier to eat and to grow, which means it’s a great winter option when spring and summer greens are unavailable. Use it to jazz up a stuffing or alongside cranberries and sweet potatoes for a holiday side everyone will love.

Kale is also one of the most nutrient-dense veggies available, and is full of vitamins and antioxidants. Because of that, we’re putting it into smoothies and enjoying it as a healthy snack, like in our cool ranch kale chips (or try them in your air fryer!).

For more leafy green inspiration, check out our lists of our favorite spinach and arugula recipes too.

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1

Tomato Fried Rice Salad

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How does a bowl of warm, savory grains and tender, dressed greens with creamy crumbly feta on top sound to you? With much of the same toppings as our classic Greek Salad but with an element of hearty carbs added, this is as much a salad as it is a rice bowl.

Get the Tomato Fried Rice Salad recipe.

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2

Best Vegetarian Kale Soup

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If you want this soup to be extra thick and creamy, you could immersion blend it before adding the kale. We like it chunky, so we just mash the beans to thicken it once they come to a simmer.

Get the Best Vegetarian Kale Soup recipe.

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3

Coconut Ranch Kale Salad

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This vegan coconut ranch is absolutely irresistible. (Seriously, you'll want to dip everything in it.) But the crunchy chickpeas may just be our favorite part. Who needs croutons?

Get the Coconut Ranch Kale Salad recipe.

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4

Air-Fryer Kale Chips

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These air fryer kale chips are a super tasty way to start a healthy chip habit. They take just minutes to prepare and using your air fryer means less grease and guilt. Feel free to customize your chips with different herbs and spices—the possibilities really are endless.

Get the Air-Fryer Kale Chips recipe.

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5

Turkey, Mozzarella, and Kale Pesto Panini

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Combining kale and basil for this pesto make this pressed grilled cheese sandwich extra special. Omit the turkey if you want a vegetarian option!

Get the Turkey, Mozzarella, and Kale Pesto Panini recipe.

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6

Creamy Shrimp Linguine

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Linguine with tomatoes, greens, and shrimp in a buttery sauce is so simple, yet so good. Stir in a bit of fresh lemon zest at the end before tasting for salt—sometimetimes a little citrusy brightness is all it will need.

Get the Creamy Shrimp Linguine recipe.

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7

Chicken Heart Kale Breakfast Cups

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Chicken hearts, like most offal meat, are underrated. We've made it our mission to preach the offal gospel to omnivores and meat lovers everywhere and this recipe is no exception. You can use any hearty green leaf, any seasoning, any peppers you can get your hands on; you use any crumbly cheese; you can even switch out the chicken hearts for gizzards or liver.

Get the Chicken Heart Kale Breakfast Cups recipe.

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8

Lolita's Kale Salad

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At Lolita’s, one of Poughkeepsie, NY’s best restaurants, the ultra-creamy kale salad is bound with what is essentially a Caesar dressing amplified by extra lemon juice, and then grounded and offset by toasted breadcrumbs, pistachios, and Pecorino.

Get the Lolita's Kale Salad recipe.

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9

Slow-Cooker Sausage and White Bean Soup

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A good, hearty white bean soup is one of our favorite ways to warm up in the colder months. The best part of this particular one? You can make everything in the slow cooker, which means less mess and less work. We *do* suggest searing the sausage though, if you can swing it. Seared sausage = more flavor.

Get the Slow-Cooker Sausage and White Bean Soup recipe.

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10

Kale Pesto Chicken Pasta

Ready in under 30 minutes, you'll flip for this simple homemade pesto. Using part kale and basil, it's a next level sauce your pasta deserves.

Get the Kale Pesto Chicken Pasta recipe.

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11

Parmesan Crusted Kale Grilled Cheese

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There's an ENTIRE bunch of kale in this grilled cheese. Thanks to a quick braise in sweet and spicy apple cider vinegar, it reduces considerably, transforming into dark lacquered greens with just the right amount of tang. Paired with creamy Swiss cheese, this is the grownup take on your childhood fave.

Get the Parmesan Crusted Kale Grilled Cheese recipe.

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12

Spicy Turkey Sausage and Kale Chili

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This Italian-inspired stew is packed with spicy turkey sausage and leafy kale for a lighter take on chili. Go lighter on the chili powder and cayenne if you're not a huge fan of spice.

Get the Spicy Turkey Sausage and Kale Chili recipe.

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13

BBQ Braised Kale

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Far too few kale recipes use the rib stems. The good thing about braising is, with enough cook time, the low and slow simmering process will take care of any undesirable toughness, infusing homemade BBQ flavor into the stems while breaking it down into a tender bite.

Get the BBQ Braised Kale recipe.

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14

Cool Ranch Kale Chips

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Homemade kale chips are the easiest healthy snack we've ever made. We tossed ours with ranch seasoning because we're obsessed with cool ranch, but the options are truly endless.

Get the Cool Ranch Kale Chips recipe.

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15

Sausage, White Bean, & Kale Soup

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We turn to this soup when we're trying to be healthy—it's super hearty and will keep you full for hours. And honestly, you won't miss the noodles.

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16

Pulled Pork and Kale Biscuit Sandwiches

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These pulled pork sandwiches are full of Southern charm. Using refrigerated biscuit dough means you can make these as big or as little as you want—we think they'd make great

Get the Pulled Pork and Kale Biscuit Sandwiches recipe.

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17

Quinoa Salad With Roasted Squash, Dried Cranberries, and Pecans

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This recipe is the ultimate make-ahead meal. Loaded with sweet delicata squash, kale, and feta, it's a total flavor bomb we love taking for lunch or pairing with protein for dinner. Serve it hot or cold!

Get the Quinoa Salad With Roasted Squash, Dried Cranberries, and Pecans recipe.

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18

Guilt-Free Kale and Artichoke Dip

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This lightened-up play on spinach and artichoke dip replaces traditional cream cheese and sour cream with Greek yogurt. Dip away, guilt-free!

Get the Guilt-Free Kale and Artichoke Dip recipe.

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19

Spaghetti with Kale Pesto and Meatballs

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Thanks to walnuts and kale, this killer riff on pesto is anything but classic. We love these cheat meatballs too—just roll sausage into balls and pan fry, and you're good to go.

Get the Spaghetti with Kale Pesto and Meatballs recipe.

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20

Cheesy Sausage and Kale Lasagna

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Lasagna doesn't have to take forever. This insanely delicious version is super quick and simple thanks to store-bought marinara and no-boil lasagna noodles.

Get the Cheesy Sausage and Kale Lasagna recipe.

30 Kale Recipes That Will Make You Fall In Love With This Leafy Green (2024)
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