Go-to Garlicky Kale

This time of year I find myself craving cooked greens as opposed to large raw salads. And my Go-To Garlicky Kale is one of my favorite recipes for fast, easy and flavorful greens...

3 Reasons to Eat More Kale:

1. Nutrients. Kale contains iron, protein, folate, magnesium, calcium and more.
2. Fiber. Kale can help fill you up. Eating more fiber-rich foods means you may not over-indulge in snacks and desserts.
3. How You Feel. I don't know about you, but probably the main reason why I continue to be a kale fan is the way I feel. Sometimes I actually CRAVE kale. I cannot say that about too many veggies. But something about enjoying a big kale salad or a large plate of this garlicky kale just makes me feel good. Nourished, satisfied and fueled. Plus, I personally love the taste of kale.

In fact, kale was one of the very first veggies that I loved as a kid. The recipe we would make at home was pretty similar to this one. EVOO, some garlic and apple cider vinegar. Nutritional yeast is an added flavor you can play around with. My husband loves to add some vegan Parmesan cheese shreds to his kale. And sometimes I like to add some hot sauce over top.

This garlicky kale is delicious as a side salad to just about any main entree. I love serving it with spaghetti. As well as pizza.

Stems or No Stems? I have been buying big bags of pre-washed and pre-chopped organic kale from Whole Foods lately. But I also love to buy bunches and prep it myself. The pre-chopped kale has the stems left on. If you cook the kale long enough the stems shouldn't be a huge problem because they can get nice and tender. But if you are cooking your kale very lightly, then you might want to prep yourself and remove the thick vein of stem in each leaf. Doing that is pretty easy. You just hold onto the thick end and pull the fluffy part right off, from the bottom, up. You can also slice out the stem.

Other greens?
This recipe works really well with other types of greens. Spinach and chard are my two faves. Collards also work. And even broccoli, if you steam it for a bit longer. If you use spinach, just remember that spinach wilts down much more dramatically and so the cooking time will be less.

How much garlic? I could add five cloves to this recipe easily. For me, it is all about that garlic. But you could get away with one or two for a lighter garlic flavor. Just make sure you slice the garlic thinly enough for it to tenderize and brown, but not so thin that it will end up burning. Garlic burns pretty quickly in a hot oily pan. But you also don't want raw garlic because the flavor it too spicy and bitter. Figuring out how long the garlic needs in your specific pan, with your specific amounts of oil and kale will take some trial and error, but once you nail this recipe, I just know you will be making it over and over!

Other flavors? I absolutely love peanut sauce on garlic. So if you want, drizzle that over top. But omit the nooch if you add peanut sauce. Hot sauce is another yummy add on.

VIDEO: Watch me make it

Go-to Garlicky Kale

Kathy Patalsky

Published 12/11/2018

Go-to Garlicky Kale

This tender, flavorful kale is the perfect way to get your greens in winter. Garlicky flavor in every bite.


  • 3 handfuls of chopped kale
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1-2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-3 tsp nutritional yeast - optional


  1. Warm a skillet over high heat.
  2. Add a generous drizzle of olive oil to the pan.
  3. Add the garlic, allow the garlic to toast for a minute.
  4. Add the kale over top the garlic. Add another splash of oil if desired.
  5. Cover the pan with a lid and turn heat to low. Allow the kale to steam with the garlic for 2-3 minutes or just until tender -- but not mushy. The kale should still have some fluffiness to it.
  6. Remove the lid. Add the optional nutritional yeast. Add the cider vinegar. Turn off the heat and toss the kale in the pan.
  7. Allow the kale to sit in the pan for another few minutes to rest and to allow the liquid to cook off and be absorbed. Serve warm!

Yield: 2 servings

Prep Time: 00 hrs. 08 mins.

Cook time: 00 hrs. 08 mins.

Total time: 16 mins.


  • Calories: 200

Tags: kale,greens,vegetables,side,salad,vegan,easy,garlic,garlicky greens,veggies,vegan,recipe,

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