10 Popular Kale Recipes You’ll Totally Drool Over

10 Popular Kale Recipes You’ll Fall in Love With

Rachel Lark - June 28, 2023

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Are you tired of having the same old salad? These popular kale recipes are great if you want to break out of your usual kale-cooking habits and try something tasty. These dishes have you covered whether you’re looking for a snack, dessert, breakfast, or dinner.

1. Charred Kale With Citrus and Green Tahini

This charred kale with green tahini recipe combines a tasty sauce with a grapefruit kick to elevate the classic kale salad. Combine water, tahini, oil, garlic, and cilantro in a food processor to make the sauce base. Once it’s all blended, you add salt to taste. It takes about one minute to char the kale in a pan with some olive oil. Once it’s ready, toss it with the green tahini and spread grapefruit chunks over everything. 

2. Kale Pesto Pasta

A kale and pesto pasta is incredibly simple to make. Pesto is typically made by crushing greenery pine nuts, garlic, and olive oil, so the addition of kale just makes sense. Start by boiling your choice of noodles in salty water. While they’re cooking, blend the ingredients for your sauce in a food processor or blender. After that, finishing the dish is as easy as pouring the mixture over your pasta. 

3. Kale Chips

Kale chips are the perfect dish for super fans of the vegetable. It’s also super easy to make, which means you can satisfy your cravings for kale almost as soon as you get them. Set your oven to 425 degrees so it has time to heat up while you work. To start, wash the veggie and cut it into small, bite-sized pieces. Lay them on a baking sheet and drizzle the oil of your choice over them. Lightly sprinkle sea salt and whatever other seasonings you’d like on top, then stick them in the oven until they get crispy. 

4. Creamy Butternut Squash and Kale Soup

Adding butternut squash and kale to this creamy oat milk soup recipe makes a delicious vegan dish. Substituting cream, cow’s milk, or half-and-half with oat milk creates a thick, smooth texture perfect for soup. You can saute butternut squash and kale with the seasonings of your choice and add them to your liquid mixture for a unique and savory meal.

5. Kale Salad With Honey-Horseradish Vinaigrette

This kale salad recipe adds a unique twist to a classic. It features a honey-horseradish vinaigrette, crispy bacon pieces, feta cheese crumbles, and thinly-sliced avocado. You’ll also need basil, alfalfa, and tomatoes for the main ingredients. The result is a savory, filling salad that still feels light. 

After thinly slicing the ingredients, you simply toss them into a bowl and mix. Add lemon juice, honey, horseradish, brown mustard, and seasonings to the olive oil base to make the vinaigrette. Drizzle the mixture over top of the salad and mix until it’s fully incorporated. It tastes best when it’s served immediately. 

6. Roasted Tomato and Kale Frittata

Want a morning recipe that incorporates kale? Try a roasted tomato and kale frittata. It’s an egg-based dish that combines veggies and cheese into tasty goodness. You only have to do two main steps for this recipe. Start by roasting or sauteing tomato and kale. After that, whisk some eggs, seasonings, and the veggie mixture and pour everything into a skillet or muffin pan. Cook until everything is solid and crispy, and then serve.

7. Soba Noodle Picnic Salad With Tahini Miso

Looking for something that has healthy ingredients but still tastes like a cheat-day meal? This soba noodle picnic salad recipe can be your answer because it’s gluten-free, vegan, and delicious. It’s a to-go dish, so you can take it with you if you’re on the go or want something for later. The main ingredients are cooked buckwheat soba noodles and assorted vegetables. 

The first step involves making the sauce by whisking miso paste, sesame oil, ginger, tahini, and rice wine vinegar. Making extra dressing is super easy if you like a little more on your salads. Add a few spoonfuls to some 16-ounce mason jars once you’re done. 

You can choose any veggies, but this recipe calls for kale, red cabbage, carrots, and English cucumbers. Finely chop or slice them, then throw them on top of the sauce in the jars. You then top each one with the soba noodles you made earlier. If you have any leftover dressing, you can drizzle it on top. 

8. Coconut Curry Greens With Egg

Ever heard of Shakshuka? This coconut curry and egg dish is super similar to it and uses spinach and kale instead of the traditional ingredients. The green curry base combines coconut milk, lemongrass, cilantro, and hot chiles for a unique and memorable taste. It’s a bit involved, but the end result is worth it.

You want to boil your kale and spinach in salty water to start off with and transfer it to an ice bath once it’s fully cooked. While they’re boiling, saute the lemongrass, garlic, ginger, and chiles with your seasoning of choice for about three minutes. 

Once that’s done, you dump everything into a blender or food processor. Pour the coconut water, cilantro, basil, sugar, and some lime juice over it and blend until you see no chunks. After, pour everything – including the greens you boiled – back into the pan you used earlier and simmer everything. You can add the eggs at this point by making a few indents in the mixture. The recipe calls for a chile-lime sauce and cilantro garnish. 

9. Kale Smoothie

Every kale lover knows of the classic kale smoothie. It’s a versatile and dependable recipe that you can adjust to your liking. Pineapple, avocado, peach, pear, blueberry, and lime are some of the best ingredients to mellow the strength of the vegetable. You can add them altogether or experiment with different combinations of fruits and veggies. As long as you have some kale in it, it counts as a kale smoothie. Remember to add some milk or yogurt to whatever combination you choose. 

10. Kale Buddha Bowl

A Buddha bowl is a super flexible dish, so a kale version works so well. Combine quinoa, butternut squash, cilantro lime dressing, chickpeas, and red cabbage for a kale-inspired take on a tasty classic. The citrus elements work to balance its strong flavor, and the rest creates a subtle base to allow it to shine. 

How and Why You Should Prepare Your Kale

Before digging into these tasty kale dishes, you need to consider where you got your kale from. According to the Environmental Working Group – a nonprofit activist organization based in the United States – kale is in the top three list for produce containing the most pesticides. Now, before you put the kale down and pick up another veggie, it’s actually pretty simple to get it clean.

You can start by buying organic. Produce grown organically typically gets exposed to pesticides much less, so it’s a safe bet. It also usually provides better nutritional value, so it’s a win-win choice. You’ve still got options if you’ve already bought your kale, as you can remove pesticides with a bit of elbow grease, so to speak.

You can remove all the chemicals on its surface by simply rinsing kale under running water for one minute or more. Soaking it in a water and baking soda mixture can help get rid of the rest and make it perfectly healthy to heat. Now that you’ve prepared your kale, you can make some tasty recipes. 

You’ll Love These Popular Kale Recipes

It’s easy to resign yourself to cooking the same kale sides or tossing it in a salad, but there are much tastier options out there. These recipes have your cravings covered and are great for any occasion.

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About the author

Rachel Lark

Rachel serves as the Assistant Editor of Environment.co. A true foodie and activist at heart, she loves covering topics ranging from veganism to off grid living.