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How to Cook Kale

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Every now and then, someone finds this site while google searching for “how to cook kale.”

How to cook kale (the easy way) @choccoveredkt

How to cook kale?

It’s incredibly easy! I make the following recipe at least every other week (sometimes substituting other greens for the kale), and it’s probably one of the simplest things you’ll ever try. Yet at the same time, the recipe tastes like something you’d find at a fancy, expensive restaurants. Others will be impressed with your cooking skills, never knowing all you used to make the dish were a few simple ingredients and a sauté pan.

And although it’s true some people say kale is over-hyped, you’ll never hear this from me. Kale’s nutritional profile reads like a who’s-who of vitamins (Beta carotene! Vitamin C! Vitamin K! Lutein! Fiber!), and you can turn the versatile veggie into chips, sneak it in smoothies, or even make Kale Brownies.

Remember the kale brownies? 😉

How to cook kale

Or you can go for the traditional option…

How To Cook Kale

Print This Recipe 5/5


  • 10 oz raw kale leaves (or two 5-oz packages), or raw greens of choice
  • 1 cup raw onion, diced
  • 1 tsp garlic powder, or minced garlic to taste
  • salt to taste (I use about 1/4 tsp)
  • oil or oil spray of choice


How to cook kale: In a large sauté pan over medium heat, cook the onion and minced garlic (if using) in the oil (or oil spray, but keep in mind that kale’s vitamins are more optimally absorbed when fat is added) until the onion begins to turn brown. Stir. Add the kale, or as much of it as will fit in the pan. Let cook until it wilts enough to stir, then add the rest of the kale as soon as you can. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. When the kale looks wilted and onions are nicely browned, turn off the heat. Season with garlic powder and salt to taste. Feel free to add any other spices if desired, such as chili powder or ground ginger. You can also stir in a little sesame oil and a sprinkle of sesame seeds at this time. Yields about 2 cups (440g).

*View How to Cook Kale Nutrition Facts*

Question of the Day:

Do you like kale? What’s your favorite way to eat it?

I know a lot of people are really big into the green smoothies (especially on instagram… wow there are a lot of green smoothies posted to instagram!). My favorite way to eat kale, however, is definitely when it’s sautéed with onions and garlic. P.S. all of the photos in this “how to make kale” post were taken with an iphone!

Link Of The Day:

banana bread

Flourless Banana Bread


Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. Bre & Ree says:

    I absolutely love kale, but only recently discovered it a couple years ago. My paleo friends would have it every morning with eggs, so finally I gave it a shot. It’s amazing and, as you said, so easy to make. I usually use it in smoothies or sauté it just as you did, but I’ve been itching to try the kale chips as well. Soon perhaps! Thanks for sharing this recipe, I will definitely add it to my list.

  2. Nikki says:

    How long does cooked kale as in this recipe stay fresh in your fridge?

  3. I love kale! I’ve done a variety of flavors and combining it with other vegetables before but haven’t tried onions yet, for some reason. Thanks for the great idea! :)

  4. Hollie says:

    Kale and spinach are my two favorite greens. I always cook them with garlic or onions. It’s perfect.

  5. I like kale chopped finely and mixed in with warm quinoa so it just barely wilts. I could eat that salad for every meal, honestly!

  6. EVA says:


    My college makes a mean sautéed sesame kale, which I get in bucketloads every time they serve it. I’m pretty sure it’s the exact way you prepare it, sans the garlic. If I could eat garlic I’d definitely add some in because it sounds like a great addition. I don’t see the big craze with it though. I think it’s more of a “because it’s good for you” trend over it’s actual taste. It IS great when you add lots o’ spices and such, but I have a REAL hard time choking it down raw.

    1. EVA says:

      Also, I agree. You just can’t use oil spray for something like this. No fat no flavor, and dats the troof.

  7. I love to just toss some kale and coconut oil in a pan and sautee it, delish!

  8. Tammela says:

    I love kale, and have a similar recipe to yours that I also make pretty much every week without fail:

  9. I love making Kale chips! I spray them with some coconut oil, add a little s&p and pop them in the oven for barely 10 minutes!

  10. laura says:

    vegan kale ‘Caesar’ salad using nutritional yeast for parmesan and tempeh strips for bacon is my favourite you have to massage the leaves for quite awhile to soften but tastes delicious.

    1. Pamanista says:

      OOh, Kale ceasar sounds good! I love to make a big bowl of cleaned, cut kale and then massage olive oil and lemon juice. Over the next couple of days, I add whatever leftover veggies or topping I have on hand. Walnuts and Apples are always a hit with my kid. I like mushrooms and red onions.
      Thanks for the post, Katie!

  11. I love cooking kale like this and always l-o-v-e kale chips! yumm!!

  12. Jennifer says:

    How much dehydrated onion would you say to use?

  13. Jaime says:

    Very similar to my go-to recipe! I use fresh garlic because I have the patience for it – and I usually spritz some lemon on top. If I’m feeling fancy, a handful of golden raisins and toasted almonds goes a looong way!

  14. Megan says:

    I like kale but I always add it to other stuff, but this would be great as a stand alone!

  15. Michelle says:

    I’m one of the people who has (shamefully) googled this. I used your recipe tonight with spinach, along with carrots, celery, and some red bell pepper. So good. Thanks for babying us newbies through something so basic, haha.

  16. Christine says:

    Kale chips are the best, but I could eat it in any shape or form. I’m curious about the type of kale you used for these pictures; it looks a lot like spinach!

  17. Kayla says:

    I love exploring your blog every day. I have never commented, but I want to thank you for all of your inspiration and for helping to convince everybody how delicious vegan food is. I happened to come on upon your VGP interview on today. You mentioned your “pre-run snack” and I was wondering if you started running again. I know a lot of people really connected to your effort to listen to your body and give it a break from running. Maybe the interview was done a while ago.

    1. Michelle says:

      Yeah, the interview was done a while ago. In the post, Kathy apologizes for the late posting of the interview saying, “I have been meaning to post their two amazing interviews for months now and I am so happy I am finally doing it.” Hope that helps!

  18. Mischelle says:

    I’ve always love it steamed with a drizzle of rice bran oil and salt flakes :)

  19. Candace says:

    This looks incredible. Can’t wait to try it!
    My favorite way to eat kale (so far) is actually in salads. I massage the kale with salt until it changes consistency, then top it with tomatoes, onions, walnuts, mushrooms, or whatever I happen to have on hand.
    Green smoothies are pretty good, too, though I haven’t tried your brownies yet.

  20. Thanks for a great recipe. We made these last night, and they were perfect!

  21. Sautéed onion and garlic can dress up the taste (and look) of ANYTHING!

  22. Madeleine says:

    Perfect timing! I have some kale left over from soup that I’ve been wondering what to do with, thanks!

  23. Robin says:

    My favourite way to eat kale is in a salad that has been sitting for a couple of days to get that “massaged” effect. My two faves are one from Tone it Up!, which has cranberries, feta, and balsamic vinegar, and also the kale cabbage pad thai from Eating Bird Food – seriously, I make one or the other of these salads every weekend and it usually lasts until Thursday… getting yummier as it wilts! If you have trouble with raw kale, do not underestimate the value of massaging it (or letting it wilt in an acidic dressing for a similar effect) – it changes the texture completely and it turns into what you always wished salad would be!

  24. Helen says:

    I regularly eat kale pan fried in garlic, butter and a little oil but I really like the added dimension of the onions – will definitely do this version next time I plan to have kale. Thanks for the suggestion!

  25. Rosa @HHR says:

    Kale is so tasty! It’s nice and chewy, though it can be tough if it’s prepared improperly. Love simple ideas like this :)

  26. Steph says:

    Mmmm, spicy kale chippies! Soo crunchy and so tasty! :)

  27. Simple and delicious, thanks! I like adding chopped kale to soups, smoothies, or just having a massaged kale salad.

  28. RDP says:

    Every time I want to leave a comment, I find sooooo many others have beaten me to it and commented similarly!

    As i used to run a dehydrated kale chip company, kale chips (mine!) are probably my favourite way to eat them. However, I love kale salad — caesar or vinaigrette — with apple slivers and granola (also mine), and for non-vegan vegetarians, adding strong cheese in the salad is yum too.

    Go iPhone !

  29. Kezia says:

    Brilliant, I have just gotten in to kale and was looking for a non smoothie alternative! Sounds like it will be perfect with eggs!

    1. I just posted a link for a recipe with kale, eggs, and prosciutto…best combo ever! 😉

  30. Lol, I woke up this morning complaining of a stomachache because I ate too much kale last night (2 stalks BY MYSELF) and then stumbled upon your post! As much as I love kale, it’s the last thing I want to think about right now, lol!! For the record, these ar my fave ways to eat it:

  31. Aqiyl Aniys says:

    I love adding kale and amaranth greens together. They are 2 nutritional powerhouses and they complement each other.

  32. Angie says:

    This looks so yummy! I’m going to try it tonight. :)

  33. Bethy says:

    Oh yes, I do totally remember kale brownies! Mmm,they where SOOO good!!! And for this recipe, ooh, you know what I’m having for lunch tomorrow (;!!

  34. Amanda says:

    I often make kale similarly to this (any other greens, too.) I don’t always use garlic, and I often add pine nuts (or whatever other nut I have around — walnuts are great) and raisins. The sweetness of the raisins works nicely greens that are more bitter.

  35. GiGi Eats says:

    THIS is the EXACT WAY I love to enjoy kale!! Sauteed in coconut oil with garlic and caramelized ONIONS! So delicious :) I am glad we are on the same page!

  36. Shani says:

    Hi Katie!
    Kale has only recently been popping up in the shops here in Brisbane, Australia but I did try making kale chips – they were ok, but I would be keen to know how you make them :)

    Also, on a completely unrelated note, your “You might also like” links includes one for “cooking the perfect beef tenderloin” and one for “red lobster biscuits” – I thought it a was a little strange that you would link things like this when yours is a vegan blog?

  37. Sam says:

    I’ve wanted to make kale forever and I was so happy to see your recipe. It was delicious! Thanks again Katie. Love your blog! :)

  38. Ashley says:

    Add fennel or anise seeds to your sauteed kale.. it’s incredible! It complements the kale so well! My other favorite is to make Thai Curry with tofu, kale, broccoli, and sweet potato. Soooo good! =)

  39. Love kale this way :)
    My other favourites are kale chips, kale and bean soup and kale, sweet potato and peanut stew.

  40. jen yance says:

    hi katie,
    i like to blanch my kale first, like with broccoli rabe, just drop in boiling water for about 2 minutes, then transfer to sauté pan…this way it retains all the moisture to last for a 25 min. sauté and comes out extra flavorful and not tasting tough or underdone. some people like it just a little crispy on the edges so you can sauté until all the water is gone.
    :) jennifer

  41. Carol Conrad says:

    Just signed you up for the best dessert blog on
    Thank you so very much for helping us stay healthy.

  42. Aleatha says:

    I re-discovered kale a couple of years ago. When I was younger I didn’t like it all. I cook it low and slow in a soup pot with chicken broth, chopped onions, diced tomatoes, chickpeas, lots of minced garlic and serve with a health spoonful of feta cheese.

  43. agatha says:

    i have found rwo types of kale at the grocery store,, one is curlier than the other. i like the curly one the best for chips, be sure to cut away the rib before cooking. the rib becomes hard during cooking and you have to spit it out. coat with oil and salt before baking. delish

  44. Layla Copeland says:

    My favorite is ‘stamppot boerenkool’. It is a Dutch dish (I am from the Netherlands). You boil potatoes and kale together, mash them up with milk, salt and pepper. Traditionally you serve it with smoked sausage, but it tastes great without that too! Awesome with some mustard and vegan mayonaise.

  45. Anne says:

    I’m dutch and there’s this one dish, stamppot, that’s SO dutch and all about kale. I think it’s really funny that kale is such a hype right now, because even my grandparents’ grandparents already knew kale is good for you and made stamppot with it 😀 So yeah, I’ve grown up eating kale, because it’s still a very normal and common dish here… but never eaten it as a health food or any other way than stamppot!

  46. Cameron says:

    I don’t like Kale. That’s what I used to think. I made this today and had to let you know that I actually do like kale. Thanks for a great recipe.



  47. mssandi says:

    Just made this and it is amazing!! I added some walnuts and just a bit parmesan cheese.



  48. Sarah says:

    This was really easy and delicious!



  49. Jen says:

    This got even my kale hating boyfriend to say it was pretty good. :)