You will love kale once you make this sauteed kale with olive oil and sea salt recipe. This is my #1 kale recipe that I make because it’s so easy and so good! Serve sautéed kale hot as a side dish or as a base for grilled chicken or roasted vegetables. Even my kids love it so you know it’s going to be delicious!
Best Kale Recipe: Sauteed Kale
There I said it. This is my favorite kale recipe.
Once you try this sautéed kale recipe with olive oil and sea salt, you’ll develop a newfound appreciation for kale. It’s my top go-to kale recipe, not only for its simplicity (3 ingredients!) but also because it’s so good! The fact that my children love it attests to how delicious it is!
Serve sautéed kale hot as a side dish or as a base for other ingredients like grilled chicken or roasted vegetables. Also, during kale season in the garden it’s my lunch everyday, served alongside cubes of cheddar cheese and juicy tomatoes – yum!
Looking for more kale recipes? Try my Kale Salad with Lemon Dressing, Kielbasa Sausage and Kale Soup, Kale Chips and Butter Garlic Kale Pasta. Have lots of kale? Here’s the best way to store kale to make it last for weeks!
What type of kale can you use?
Curly green or lacinato kale are the best for sautéing.
Curly Kale (Curly Green Kale): This is the most common type of kale used for sautéing. It has curly, frilly leaves and a slightly peppery flavor. The texture holds up well when cooked, and it becomes tender with a bit of crispness.
Lacinato Kale (Dinosaur Kale or Tuscan Kale): Lacinato kale has dark, bumpy leaves that are flatter compared to curly kale. It has a slightly sweeter and earthier flavor and tends to be less fibrous, making it a popular choice for sautéing.
How to Saute Kale
Remove the tough stems from the kale leaves. You can do this by holding the stem with one hand and running your other hand along the stem to strip the leaves off. Rip or cut up the kale leaves into bite size pieces.
Wash the kale leaves thoroughly under cold running water to remove any dirt or debris. Dry the kale in a salad spinner or pat dry with a towel.
Add kale, olive oil and salt into a large skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat, stirring to fully coat the kale with oil.
Sauté the kale, stirring occasionally. The kale should become tender and slightly wilted but still vibrant green.
Serve as a side dish and enjoy your delicious kale!
What else can I add to sautéed kale?
Sautéed kale with olive oil and sea salt is a simple and delicious dish on its own, but you can add some more things:
- Garlic: Garlic adds a wonderful depth of flavor. You can mince it and sauté it with the kale or use garlic powder for a milder garlic flavor.
- Lemon Zest or Juice: A squeeze of fresh lemon juice or a sprinkle of lemon zest can provide a refreshing citrusy kick that brightens up the dish.
- Red Pepper Flakes: If you enjoy some heat, a pinch of red pepper flakes can add a nice spicy element to the kale.
- Parmesan Cheese: Grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese can add a savory, salty note to the dish. Sprinkle it over the sautéed kale just before serving.
- Nuts: Toasted pine nuts, almonds, or walnuts can provide a delightful crunch and nutty flavor. Add them during the sautéing process.
- Onions or Shallots: Sautéed onions or shallots can add a sweet, savory flavor to the kale. Cook them until they are caramelized before adding the kale.
- Soy Sauce or Tamari: For an umami-rich twist, a dash of soy sauce or tamari can complement the kale’s earthy taste. Be cautious with the salt if using soy sauce.
- Sesame Oil: A touch of toasted sesame oil can impart a nutty, Asian-inspired flavor to your sautéed kale.
How to Store Leftovers
Transfer the leftover sautéed kale to an airtight container and place in the refrigerator. Leftover sautéed kale can be safely stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
When reheating, you can use a microwave, stovetop, or oven.
Pin for later:
Sautéed Kale With Olive OilPrint
- 1 bunch fresh kale (equals around 7 cups)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt adjust to taste
- Destem and roughly chop or rip into bite size pieces. Wash the kale, giving it a spin in the salad spinner, or patting with a towel to remove excess water.
- Add kale into a large skillet, along with olive oil and salt, stirring to fully coat the kale in olive oil.
- Heat over medium high heat, stirring often for about 5-7 minutes or until kale wilts and is bright green. If you find that kale is starting to crisp or brown, reduce the heat to medium-low.
- Remove from heat, taste and add additional salt if needed. Serve and enjoy!