Kale is one of the healthiest and most nutritious veggies you can eat for good health.
It’s low in calories, low in fat, and high in fibers.
In fact, you find zero grams of fat in kale.
With only 33 calories per cup, you’ll get a full day worth of vitamin C, twice the recommended daily intake of Vitamin A, and almost seven times more than the recommended amount of vitamin K (1, 2).
Add a sizable dose of minerals and healthy fatty acids, and you’ve got yourself a very healthy meal.
But due to its sturdy texture and slightly bitter flavor, kale can be a tough sell for many people. But don’t be intimidated!
These 10 easy healthy recipes will give you plenty of tasty ideas for how you can incorporate kale in your next meal.
Breakfast is arguably the most important meal of the day, because in part, it breaks the body’s starvation mode and kicks start your metabolism. What better way to start your morning than including some kale?
1. Kale Smoothie Recipe
Smoothies are a great way to load up on many essential nutrients. And since they are easy and fast to make (5 mins tops), they make the perfect breakfast.
To simplify things, I often prep all the ingredients for the kale smoothie except for milk the night before, so all I’m left to do in the morning is to add all the prepped ingredients to the blender and blend everything.
This recipe from The Daily Meal is real simple to make and is great for breakfast.
Berries are some of the best fruits you can eat.
Blueberries are especially my favorite and have been ranked by the USDA as the #1 antioxidant containing fruit. Strawberries provide fiber and vitamin C, while blackberries contribute to a healthy brain and good digestion health (3).
But that’s not all. Flaxseed is a rich source of fiber and omega 3 fatty acids, and ginger is a potent anti-inflammatory. All in all, these ingredients make for a fairly impressive healthy breakfast smoothie (4, 5).
What a great way to kick start your morning!
Ingredients to make 1 serving:
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1/2 cup blackberries
- 1/2 cup strawberries
- 2 tsp flax seeds (chia seeds would also work well here too)
- 1 cup kale
- 1/2 inch ginger, peeled
- Ice cubes
Directions: Simple – blend all of the ingredients and enjoy!
2. Kale Breakfast Eggs & Garlic Omelette
I love spinach—but this recipe calls for kale. And I think you’ll love it! Really.
I have been experiencing with this omelet kale recipe for a while, ever since I stumbled on it from the New York Times Cooking. Though the original recipe uses spinach, we’ll swap the spinach for kale.
Aside from the kale, this recipe includes some eggs and garlic, which brings a more powerful nutritional punch.
Eggs are one of the healthiest things you can eat! It’s packed with high-quality protein and amino acids.
And garlic has antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties (6, 7).
This simply means garlic is great for heart health, brain, skin and immunity.
When you combine these two incredibly healthy foods with kale, you have power breakfast to start your day.
Ingredients for 1 serving:
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups of tightly packed, destemmed kale
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2-3 tsps almond milk
- 2 tsp freshly grated Parmesan (optional)
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil (or other healthy cooking oil)
- Wash the kale leaves (don’t dry) and soften in a frying pan over medium to high heat. Cool, chop and then toss with half the garlic, salt, and pepper.
- Beat the eggs in a bowl and add remaining garlic, almond milk, salt and pepper.
- Heat an omelette pan over medium-high heat and add your healthy oil. Pour in the egg mixture and shake the pan gently. Lift up the sides, allowing the eggs run underneath.
- Once the eggs are set on the bottom, sprinkle the kale over the middle of the egg pancake and top with the Parmesan (if using), and fold the omelette over on itself.
Cook to your liking and serve!
3. Kale Breakfast Burritos with Tofu & Tomatoes
This kale recipe is great for non meat eaters—who want to pack on quality protein and other important key nutrients in the breakfast.
And let’s not to forget, it tastes amazing even without eggs.
It’s a real treat for your morning.
This vegan breakfast burrito recipe is from Veggie and the Beast Feast, and it’s definitely worth a try!
This particular recipe takes a little more time to make, about 25 minutes, so if you are time crunched in the morning, save it for the weekend. Or better yet, make it ahead the night before.
Tofu is high in protein and contains all the essential amino acids your body needs. It also contains healthy fats, carbs, and a wide variety of vitamins and minerals that make you healthier (8).
And addition to that, you’ll also get some healthy monounsaturated fat from the avocado (9).
Ingredients to make 4 burritos:
- 1 (14-ounce) package organic firm tofu, drained & pressed
- 2 tbsp olive oil (or coconut oil)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1 tomato, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 5 large kale leaves, destemmed and chopped
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 ripe avocado
- Hot sauce, to taste
- 4 whole-wheat tortillas, warmed
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and add the garlic, onion and half the salt. Cook until the onions are softened.
- Add the red pepper and tomato, and cook for another 2 minutes, then stir in the kale and cook until softened.
- Crumble the tofu on top of the veggies, and add all the spices, nutritional yeast and remaining salt. Cook over medium heat for 7-10 minutes. Stir frequently until the tofu has absorbed the liquid from the tomatoes. Don’t let the tofu get crispy – it should be egg-like!
- Spread each tortilla with a quarter of the avocado, top with some tofu mixture, a drizzle of hot sauce and roll up tight.
Let’s get to lunch.
Lunch is another one of my favorite meal times, because there’s always tons of healthy options, which makes healthy eating more fun.
4. Kale Salad with Warm Cranberry and Vinaigrette
This kale salad recipe is from Gimme Some Oven, and it is my top favorite among all other kales recipes. It is so yummy and super easy to prep.
The best part is the bold flavor of nuts and cranberry.
Cranberry is another antioxidant-rich berry, which is known to promote and support urinary tract health (10).
Ingredients to make 2-4 servings:
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
- 1 shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons honey
- juice and zest of half a lemon
- 1/8 tsp. sea salt
- 1/8 tsp. black pepper
- 1 bunch organic kale, very thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- (optional) 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese or goat cheese
- Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a medium to large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add shallot and saute for at least 5 minutes or until tender.
- Add garlic and saute for 1 minute. Then add cranberries, red wine vinegar, honey and lemon juice and zest, and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
- In a large bowl, toss the kale with olive oil and an extra pinch of salt. Massage kale with your fingers for 1 minute until tender. Add in the cranberry/shallot mixture and almonds, and toss to combine.
Serve topped with crumbled cheese if desired. Enjoyed!
5. Kale White Bean Soup
I love white bean soup even more with all the added kale benefits. This white bean and kale soup is from Whole Foods Market and is so delicious and simple to make.
Aside from the kale, this soup has a wonderful list of heart healthy ingredients to power you through the midday.
White kidney beans are protein rich, full of vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. Adding them to your diet offers a variety of health benefits such as promoting a healthier digestive health and preventing heart disease (11).
Ingredients to make 4 servings:
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 4 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 (32-ounce) box low-sodium vegetable broth
- 4 cups packed chopped kale
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with Italian herbs
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 large carrots, cut into coins
- In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and carrots and cook for 3 minutes.
- Add garlic and cook 2 minutes longer. Add broth, kale and tomatoes and cover.
- Cook 5 minutes or until kale is tender. Add beans and heat thoroughly. Serve hot.
6. Kale Lentil Soup
Lentils are one of my favorite protein packed foods to eat, and not surprisingly they are the secret healthy punch behind this kale soup recipe.
Another powerful ingredient in this kale lentil soup is carrots.
Carrots are a rich source of beta-carotene, our bodies convert beta-carotene into vitamin A (retinol). We need vitamin A for healthy skin and mucus membranes, our immune system, and eye health vision (12).
Ingredients to makes 4 servings:
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 stalks of celery, diced
- 2 large carrots, diced
- 1 cup dry brown lentils, rinsed
- 4 cups vegetable broth & ½ cup water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp coriander
- 1 large potato, diced (I also like sweet potato)
- 1/2 bunch kale, destemmed and finely chopped
- 2 tsp red wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat your oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add onion, celery and carrots and sauté until softened.
- Add lentils, broth, water, salt, garlic, cumin and coriander. Stir together and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for 18 to 20 minutes.
- Add chopped potatoes and simmer until tender.
- Finally, add the kale and simmer until wilted.
- Remove from the heat and stir in red wine vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve and enjoy!
7. Kale Avocado Wrap
Two of my favorite superfood “kale” and “avocado” in one meal.
The fiber and healthy fat from the avocado will keep your blood sugar at bay and help you stay full.
Avocado contains an array of amazing health benefits. It’s rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, including the powerful oleic acid also found in olive oil. They are also anti-inflammatory (13).
They help with digestion are high in vitamin K, fiber, folate and vitamin C. Avocados are also high in fat but it is considered to be the good fat that helps you absorb nutrients, protects you from inflammation, and helps lower your risk of heart disease.
Pine nuts are high in iron and magnesium.
Ingredients to make 1:
- 1 cup kale, shredded
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Juice of one lime
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp hummus
- 1/2 avocado, sliced
- 2 tbsp feta cheese
- Spelt wrap
- In a bowl, combine the kale, olive oil, lime juice and salt. Massage the dressing into kale until it feels soft.
- Assemble the wrap by adding the hummus, avocado, feta cheese and finally the kale mixture.
Wrap up tightly. Enjoy!
Dinners are my favorite meal to prep. After a long day at work, and there’s nothing more relaxing than a nice red glass of wine and some delicious healthy dinners to help wind down the evening.
8. Raw Avocado Kale Pesto—Lucchini Pasta
This is one of the most satisfying meal I think you can eat—kale, avocado, zucchini, and pine nuts.
Ingredients to makes 4 servings:
- 4 medium zucchini
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 3-4 cloves garlic
- 2 avocados
- 1/4 cup cold pressed olive oil
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional)
- 1/2 cup pine nuts plus some for garnish
- 1 small bunch kale, de-stemmed and torn into small pieces (about 1 BIG handful)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice punch Himalayan salt and fresh cracked pepper
- Spiralize the zucchini. Set aside in a colander to drain excess liquid.
- Start food processor running. Drop cloves of garlic in, one at a time.
- Add avocado, olive oil, nutritional yeast, pine nuts and lemon juice. Pulse until blended.
- Add kale and pulse until kale is well chopped and incorporated.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper, then toss with the zucchini noodles and tomatoes.
9. Crispy Coconut Kale with Roasted Salmon
Salmon is full of omega-3 fatty acids and protein, yet mild in flavor (14). It’s no less than the perfect choice if you’re hoping to add more fish to your diet.
Choose wild salmon whenever you can.
It has been found to be a rich source of vitamin D, a must-to-have if you want to absorb calcium and promote bone growth (15).
This salmon recipe is from Ashley Couse at Goop.
The coconut flakes and coconut milk complement kale perfectly, while adding healthy fat to the dish.
Again good fats fight off the bad fats. It’s a good thing we got plenty in this recipe.
Ingredients to serves 4:
- 1 cup jasmine rice, uncooked (although I prefer brown rice)
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 tbsp coconut aminos (or tamari)
- 1 tbsp sriracha
- 1 bunch kale, destemmed and sliced
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 4 fillets of salmon
- Rinse the jasmine rice and add to a saucepan with coconut milk, water, and salt. Bring to a boil and stir. Reduce to the lowest heat, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Once cooked, remove and let stand for 5-10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat oven to 400F. In a lidded jar, add melted coconut oil, sesame oil, coconut aminos and sriracha. Shake until emulsified.
- Place the kale and coconut flakes on baking sheet. Drizzle with about two thirds of the dressing and toss until well-coated. Drizzle the salmon with 1 to 2 tbsp of the remaining dressing.
- Bake the salmon and coconut kale mixture until cooked through. Be careful not to let the kale burn.
- Take it out from the oven and serve over fluffed rice with an extra drizzle of dressing. Enjoy!
10. Moroccan Chicken with Kale and Roasted Squash
This delicious Moroccan chicken kale recipe is from Real Simple, and is really easy and to make.
Chicken is a great source of lean protein, and it pairs really well with the unique taste of kale (16). Squash is an important source of many great nutrients, including magnesium and potassium which has been shown to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke (17).
This is one healthy dinner recipe.
Ingredients to serves 4:
- large acorn squash (about 2 pounds)—halved, seeded, and sliced 1/2 inch thick
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 4 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 bunch kale, thick stems removed and leaves torn (about 6 cups)
- 1 cup pitted prunes, halved
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- Heat oven to 450° F. Toss the squash,1 tablespoon of the oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast, turning once, until tender, 18 to 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season the chicken with the coriander, ginger, cinnamon, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted in each breast registers 165º F – about 7 to 10 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and tent loosely with aluminum foil to keep warm. Reserve the skillet.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the drippings in the skillet. Add the kale, prunes, and garlic; cover and cook, tossing occasionally, until the kale is tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the squash and toss to combine. Serve with the chicken.
There you have it!
10 amazing kale recipes that includes breakfast, lunch and dinner, all under 30 minutes.
Now, I hope you can see that kale is not just a superfood but is very versatile and can be paired with any meal.
Which one of these kale recipes would you love to try? Leave me a comment below to let me know.