10 Healthy Kale Recipes You’ll Actually Enjoy
Kale is the darling of the greens lately. And no wonder—it's loaded with vitamins A, C, K, and folate. Here are some delicious new recipes that highlight the flavor of this nutritious leafy green.
Kale is a super healthy green
Kale is one of the healthiest vegetables around. It’s a great source of vitamins A, K, and C, as well as antioxidants. Another advantage? It’s hardy, and can last longer than other leafy greens when stashed in your fridge. Although kale is healthy, it can have a bitter or earthy taste, particularly if this leafy green is not prepared correctly. So we asked registered dietitians for their best kale recipes, ones so good they could turn a kale hater into a kale lover. These recipes bring out the delicious flavor of kale, and will make you a fan of this nutrient-dense green.
Garlicky kale salad with Parmesan
One way to make kale taste delicious is to massage the greens with dressing and let them sit for a bit. When you add this garlic-lemon-olive oil dressing into the kale leaves, it helps to soften them up and infuse the flavors directly into the vegetable, says Chelsea Allen, RD. Dried cranberries, toasted almonds, and Parmesan cheese round out this salad that’s satisfying enough to stand alone as a meal. (Here are surprising health benefits of garlic to check out.)
Get the recipe from Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen.
Crispy kale with cherry tomatoes and herbed yogurt
For a new twist on kale chips, these crispy nutrition-packed bites are prepared in a cast-iron skillet instead of the oven. Chef Abbie Gellman, RD, pairs them with roasted veggies and yogurt mixed with fresh herbs for a light lunch. (Here are four more delicious ways to enjoy kale.)
Get the recipe from Culinary Nutrition Cuisine.
Kale salad with pears, apples, and toasted almonds
This beautifully presented salad from Natalie Rizzo, RD, combines seasonal apples and pears, with kale and toasted almonds. Adding hard-boiled eggs for protein to this winter salad results in a complete meal.
Get the recipe from Nutrition a la Natalie.
Butternut squash, kale, and chickpea pasta salad
Filling enough for your dinner entrée, this delicious kale salad from Mandy Enright, RD, uses pasta made from chickpeas for a boost of fiber and protein—it’s naturally gluten-free, too. Pepita and hemp seeds paired with the dried cranberries make the ultimate autumn salad.
Get the recipe from Nutrition Nuptials.
Kale and Brussels sprouts Caesar salad
For a version that will make you forget all about romaine, kick your Caesar salad up a nutrition-notch with the addition of kale and Brussels sprouts, both super high in fiber and antioxidants. Dara Gurau, RD, includes homemade croutons and traditional Caesar dressing that’s lightened up with Greek yogurt. (Don’t miss these other healthy salad dressing recipes that add more than just flavor.)
Get the recipe from How to Eat.
Blueberry kale salad
You could call this “The Superfood Salad” as it combines antioxidant-rich blueberries and goji berries with the healthy fats of hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, pepitas, and almonds. Lindsey Janeiro, RDN, purees avocado for the creamy salad dressing ingredient, for an extra nutrient boost.
Get the recipe from Nutrition to Fit.
Warm kale salad with delicata squash and pomegranate
If you haven’t tried delicata squash, you’ll be pleased to discover how easy it is to prepare. There’s no peeling required, as the thin skin crisps up when roasted and tastes delicious. Julie Harrington, RD, created this warm salad for fall with kale, squash, pomegranate, and pecans. It’s the perfect comfort food. Find out more health benefits of pomegranates you need to know.
Get the recipe from RDelicious Kitchen.
Kale salad with cranberries and pepitas
A masterpiece from Erica Julson, RD, your dinner guests will enjoy this kale salad with sweet dried cranberries, salty pepitas, and savory Parmesan cheese. Erica recommends slicing the kale leaves in thin strips and tenderizing the greens to make them easier to eat.
Get the recipe from Erica Julson.
Kale, green bean, white bean, and tangerine salad
This veggie-packed hearty salad from Lindsey Pine, RD, is topped with a parsley-sage pesto. White cannellini beans, orange tangerine sections, and fresh green beans make this colorful dish perfect for brunch.
Get the recipe from Tasty Balance Nutrition.
Kale salad with cherries and pistachio dressing
Mixing kale with spinach varies the tastes from the greens in this salad from diabetes educator Meg Salvia, RD. Dried cherries and roasted pistachios add texture and fiber. Meg shares a delicious pistachio dressing made with lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and pistachios that completes the salad perfectly. These are the top five nuts to include in your diet.
Get the recipe from Mostly Balanced.
- International Journal of Advanced Research in Biological Sciences: "A Comparative Study on Proximate and Antioxidant Activity of Brassica oleracea (Kale) and Spinacea oleracea (Spinach) Leaves"
- SELFNutritionData.com: "Kale, raw nutrition facts"
- Chelsea Allen, RD
- Abbie Gellman, RD
- Mandy Enright, MS, RD, RYT
- Dara Gurau, RD
- Julie Harrington, RD
- Erica Julson, RD
- Lindsey Pine, RD
- Meg Salvia, RD