43 Delicious Ways to Cook With Kale

For All Three Meals a Day

Fig and Kale Salad

The Spruce / Emily Hawkes

Kale is everyone's favorite leafy green. It's a nutritional powerhouse, packed with vitamins A and C, high in fiber, and it tastes great raw or cooked. And while it makes a great salad, there's more to kale than standing in for lettuce in a salad. These recipes show just how versatile kale can be.

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    Kale Salad (With Variations)

    Kale Salad (With Variations)

    PoppyB / Getty Images

    This kale salad calls for Tuscan kale, also known as black or dinosaur kale. The simple recipe offers loads of variations, so you can make the recipe a number of different ways. If you find raw kale too tough, try massaging the chopped leaves with the dressing to tenderize the greens a bit.

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    Lemon, Kale, and Lentil Soup

    Lemon, Kale, and Lentil Soup

    The Spruce 

    Healthy and filling yet light, lemon, kale, and lentil soup makes a delicious lunch or dinner paired with crusty bread and salad. If you're a meat eater, add extra flavor with crumbled, cooked spicy sausage.

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    Green Pear Smoothie

    Green Pear Smoothie

    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios 

    For a refreshing green smoothie, combine naturally sweet pear and banana with fresh ginger, kale, and almond milk. Add ice for a chilly treat.

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    Vegan Kale and Basil Pesto

    Vegan Kale and Basil Pesto

    Westend61 / Getty Images

    Add a little nutrition to your pesto by swapping out half of the fresh basil for kale. This kale pesto recipe is also vegan, using nutritional yeast instead of parmesan cheese. It still has all of the flavors you want from pesto and tastes great as a spread, sauce, or dip.

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    Creamed Kale

    Creamed Kale

    The Spruce / Laura Agra

    Any leafy green can be "creamed," and kale pairs deliciously with heavy cream, garlic, and parmesan. Creamed kale has a little more texture than the traditional, delicate spinach, and is the perfect companions to steak.

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    Homemade Kale Chips

    Homemade Kale Chips

    The Spruce 

    Kale chips tend to be high priced at the grocery store, but they're easy to make in your home oven. Crispy and airy, your whole family will love munching the healthy snack like popcorn.

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    Raw Kale Salad With Grated Cheese and Lemon Dressing

    Raw Kale Salad With Grated Cheese and Lemon Dressing

    The Spruce / Jennifer Meier 

    This simple raw kale salad is light and bright thanks to the lemon dressing, and is a crunchy accompaniment to most any meal. Make it a main dish for lunch by topping with grilled chicken and croutons or a few more veggies.

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    Hamburger Soup With Black-Eyed Peas and Kale

    Hamburger Soup With Black-Eyed Peas and Kale

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Ground beef, black-eyed peas, tomatoes, corn, and kale come together to make a delicious hamburger soup. It's an ideal cold weather lunch, perfect for packing away and taking to work.

    Continue to 9 of 43 below.
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    Kale Frittata

    Kale Frittata

    Deborah Ory / Getty Images

    This easy, low-fat kale frittata recipe is a nice main dish for breakfast or brunch. Add a sprinkling of cheese like feta, cheddar, or parmesan for a burst of flavor.

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    Chicken, Kale, and Pasta Casserole With Cheese

    Chicken, Kale, and Pasta Casserole With Cheese

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Adding kale to a chicken and pasta casserole makes it a complete meal. You can even make the dish ahead of time, omitting the breadcrumb topping, and store it in the fridge for up to a day before baking. Add the topping just before baking to keep it crisp.

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    Fig and Kale Salad

    Fig and Kale Salad

    The Spruce / Emily Hawkes

    This vibrant fig and kale salad is a summertime treat. Ripe, fresh figs add sweetness and texture to the light and crunchy dish. Arugula adds a peppery bite and avocado adds mild creaminess.

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    Raw Food Green Kale Smoothie

    Raw Food Green Kale Smoothie

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack 

    Green smoothies are beloved for their vibrant color, good nutrition, and balance of flavor. This recipe combines raw kale with fresh herbs like mint and parsley and naturally sweet banana and orange juice for a real treat.

    Continue to 13 of 43 below.
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    Green Shakshuka

    Green Shakshuka

    The Spruce / Anita Schecter 

    Use kale as the greens in the vibrant shakshuka recipe. Cooked with onions and garlic and topped with eggs, it's a healthy breakfast, brunch, or lunch dish. Serve with warm pita.

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    Kale and Cabbage Slaw With Mustard Vinaigrette

    Kale and Cabbage Slaw With Mustard Vinaigrette

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray 

    This kale and cabbage salad is light and oh-so-crunchy. A simple mustard vinaigrette and a topping of walnuts give the dish lots of flavor. It's ideal served with anything off the grill and only takes minutes to toss together.

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    Kale With Garlic and Peppers

    Kale With Garlic and Peppers

    StockFood / Getty Images

    For a super healthy, hot side dish, boil kale until tender and toss it with sautéed onion, peppers, and garlic. Vinegar adds a nice tang, and fresh tomato lightens everything up. Serve alongside fish or chicken.

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    Sweet Potato, Corn and Kale Chowder

    Sweet Potato, Corn and Kale Chowder

    Zoryana Ivchenko / Getty Images

    Cashews are the secret to this vegan chowder recipe. Vegetables like sweet potato, bell pepper, corn, and kale are combined to make a hearty and warming soup. The dinner-in-a-bowl comes together in just a few minutes—perfect for a weeknight.

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    Blueberry Kale Smoothie

    Blueberry Kale Smoothie

    Cantavero Jr., Agostino P. / Getty Images

    A simple combination of fresh kale, blueberries (fresh or frozen), and orange juice makes a simply delicious smoothie. Try it for breakfast or an afternoon snack.

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    Raw Vegan Kale and Orange Salad

    Raw Vegan Kale and Orange Salad

    Rasmusbredahl / Getty Images

    The crisp texture and slight bitterness of raw kale pairs perfectly with sweet and tart citrus. This vegan salad combines the green with orange segments and a fruity dressing for a colorful dish.

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    Collard Greens and Kale

    Collard Greens and Kale

    Poppy Barach / Getty Images

    A quick stir fry of collard greens and kale makes a delicious and nutritious side. Serve with any kind of meat and mashed potatoes, and add a splash of hot sauce for a bit of spice.

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    Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Sausage and Kale

    Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Sausage and Kale

    The Spruce / Grilled Cheese Social 

    Flavorful sausage, wilted kale, sweet onions, and melty cheese come together to make a very special grilled cheese sandwich. If you're vegetarian, try this sandwich with veggie sausage, or omit the sausage altogether.

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    Northern German Kale and Sausage (Grünkohl und Pinkel)

    Northern German Kale and Sausage (Grünkohl und Pinkel)

    schlauschnacker / pixabay

    Slow-cooked kale is flavored with bacon and topped with sausage for a classic German dish. The greens soak up all the flavors of the meat, making German kale and sausage delicious comfort food.

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    Kale Quinoa Salad

    Kale Quinoa Salad

    The Spruce / Katie Workman

    Two superfoods come together in this dish for a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Kale and quinoa offer lots of texture and make an especially good side dish for salmon.

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    Japanese Kale Kobachi

    Japanese Kale Kobachi

    The Spruce / Judy Ung

    Kobachi means "small bowl" in Japanese and is a common term for side dishes. Stir-fry dinosaur kale, olive oil, soy sauce, and mirin (Japanese sweet cooking sake) for a quick and healthy dish.

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    BBQ Chicken-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

    BBQ Chicken-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

    The Spruce

    Turn sweet potatoes into a main dish by stuffing them with chicken, kale, and barbecue sauce. BBQ chicken-stuffed sweet potatoes are a high-protein and nutritious meal packed with veggies that the whole family will love.

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    Kale and Mustard Greens With Spicy Sausage

    Kale and Mustard Greens With Spicy Sausage

     The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Kale is taken to the next level when cooked with mustard greens, onion, cherry tomatoes, and spicy sausage. Garlic, lemon, and Cajun spices add even more flavor. This kale dish is hearty enough to simply serve with beans or rice for a full meal.

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    Fruit and Kale Salad

    Fruit and Kale Salad
    The Spruce / Allyson Kramer

    For a salad that's bright and fresh, combine raw kale, avocado, various fruits, tomato, and a coconut-lime dressing. A healthy fruit and kale salad is ideal served alongside egg dishes at brunch.

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    Dehydrated Kale Chips

    Dehydrated Kale Chips

    The Spruce

    Light and crispy kale chips are a guilt-free, addictive snack, and they're especially easy to make with a dehydrator. Add nutritional yeast for a cheesy umami boost, and a dash of cayenne pepper for a little heat.

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    Crispy Quinoa With Kale

    Crispy Quinoa With Kale

    The Spruce / Jennifer Meier 

    This fragrant side dish is cooked much like fried rice, with the quinoa crisping in the pan after cooking. The kale adds a nice touch of green and textural contrast. Top the crispy quinoa with Parmesan or grated cheese of your choice.

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    Sausage and Potato Soup With Kale

    Sausage and Potato Soup With Kale

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    This creamy soup is basically a potato chowder with the addition of sausage and kale. It's a hearty meal in a bowl, perfect for cold winter nights. Frozen kale works just fine for this recipe.

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    No-Mayo Vegan Potato Salad With Kale

    No-Mayo Vegan Potato Salad With Kale

     Darren Muir / Stocksy United

    For a healthy alternative to mayo-laden potato salad, try this vegan version with kale. It's dressed simply (add a squeeze of lemon for extra flavor) and can be served at room temperature or cold.

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    Kale Pesto

    Kale Pesto

    The Spruce / Katie Workman

    Turn your pesto into health food by replacing the basil with nutritious kale. Use kale pesto to top pasta, toast, risotto, and more. It's a milder-flavored pesto—toss in a little basil for that familiar flavor.

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    Kale, Mushroom, and Beet Grilled Cheese

    Kale, Mushroom, and Beet Grilled Cheese

    The Spruce / Grilled Cheese Social

    Sautéed mushrooms and kale are paired with tender beets and tangy, creamy goat cheese for this unconventional grilled cheese sandwich. It's a feast of a sandwich for vegetarians (and meat eaters, too).

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    Lentils With Sweet Potatoes and Kale

    Lentils With Sweet Potatoes and Kale

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Looking for a hearty side dish? Tender lentils, sweet potato, and kale is a simple and filling dish that goes well with a variety of meats and grains.

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    Kale and Golden Beet Salad With Tahini-Lemon Dressing

    Kale and Golden Beet Salad With Tahini-Lemon Dressing

    Alanna Taylor Tobin / Getty Images

    This kale salad is an explosion of flavor with roasted golden beets, raisins, walnuts, and a lemon-tahini dressing. To make it a main dish, try topping it with grilled or broiled fish.

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    Kale and White Bean Soup With Spicy Sausage

    Kale and White Bean Soup With Spicy Sausage

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Kale and white bean soup is a quick and easy one-bowl meal, especially when served with crusty bread. Andouille sausage adds plenty of flavor to the hearty dish.

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    Raw Lemon Garlic Marinated Kale Salad

    Raw Lemon Garlic Marinated Kale Salad

    Lindsay Upson / Getty Images

    If you need a bit of green for your dinner plate, this marinated kale salad only takes a few ingredients and is fresh and crunchy. Letting the kale marinate in the vinaigrette tenderizes the leaves while still tasting fresh.

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    Ribollita, A Classic Tuscan Winter Soup

    Ribollita, A Classic Tuscan Winter Soup

    Nico Tondini / Getty Images

    Ribollita is a traditional Tuscan soup of white beans, potatoes, beet greens, and kale. It's served with alternating layers of soup and day-old bread, turning it into a warming stew.

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    Traditional Irish Colcannon

    Traditional Irish Colcannon

    The Spruce

    Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish of mashed potatoes, cooked greens like kale, onions, and butter. It's delicious served with a stew, especially on St. Patrick's Day.

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    Apple Kiwi Superpower Green Smoothie

    Apple Kiwi Superpower Green Smoothie

    Povareshka / Getty Images

    Fresh apple, kiwi, kale, cilantro, and ginger make this green smoothie a healthy and flavor-filled drink. Use a sweet and flavorful apple for this recipe.

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    Kale and Sweet Potato Soup

    Kale and Sweet Potato Soup

     Ruth and Dave / Flickr

    This simple kale and sweet potato soup is a nice light lunch, first course, or main dish. Swap the chicken broth for vegetable broth and pair it with crusty bread and a salad for a vegetarian dinner.

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    Stir-Fried Jasmine Rice with Kale

    Stir-Fried Jasmine Rice with Kale

    Quynh Anh Nguyen / Getty Images

    Use leftover rice to make stir-fried jasmine rice for a toasty side dish. Kale adds green color, while teriyaki sauce, ginger, and garlic add flavor. Serve with stir-fried chicken, beef, or shrimp.

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    Lentil Quinoa Bowl With Kale

    Lentil Quinoa Bowl With Kale

    The Spruce / Marian Blazes

    Red quinoa has a fun texture and is high in protein. Paired with lentils and kale, this quinoa bowl is a nutritional powerhouse. Sun-dried tomatoes and a flavorful sauce make it a tasty meal.

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    Oven-Baked "Cheese-y" Kale Chips

    Oven-Baked

    Paula Thomas / Getty Images

    These kale chips have a similar flavor profile to many store-bought varieties, but for a fraction of the price. Tahini, nutritional yeast, and apple cider vinegar give the greens a cheesy flavor without using actual cheese.