Below is our favorite Garlic Bacon Kale Recipe plus the best tips on How to Cook Kale! Everything from sautéing to oven baking can be found below!
This delicious powerhouse veggie adds great flavor to soups and casseroles it’s perfect served up as a Easy Kale Salad with Fresh Lemon Dressing and great on its own as a side dish!
A Real Superfood
So what is Kale? Kale is a leafy green often used as a garnish or in ornamental uses however it’s also a deliciously flavorful green if prepared right! It has a rich earthy flavor and is a very popular superfood these days! You can buy kale chips, kale hummus, and even shredded kale! Kale is good for adding to dishes like salads, soups (like Zuppa Toscana), and green smoothies! It’s also great as a side dish or a Kale Salad!
Is kale good for you? You bet it is! Kale is a powerhouse of nutrition! It’s high in fiber and potassium.
To Prepare Kale for Cooking
- Before cooking kale make sure the leaves are free from dirt and are dry and not mushy.
- Rinse leaves under cold water and shake dry
- Remove any tough stalks by simply pulling the curly leaves off of the stalk. Discard the stalks.
- Cut (or tear) the kale into approximately one inch pieces.
How to Cook Fresh Kale
Fresh kale is an easy veggie to cook and enjoy. Kale can be sauteed in a pan (like in this recipe) or baked in the oven (to make kale chips). If you want to add it to soups/stews you can simply prepare the kale as directed above and add it to the soup allowing it to simmer for at least 12 minutes.
To Cook Kale in Oven simply prepare as above and make sure you dry it very well. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spritz with olive oil and a touch of salt & pepper. Bake until crisp but not burnt (about 10-15 minutes). These are delicious to snack on but they’re also great as a garnish sprinkled over dishes like risotto or creamy casseroles.
How Long to Cook Kale
The leaves are much sturdier than a spinach but don’t take quite as long to cook as Collard Greens.
I saute kale about 5 to 7 minutes so it’s wilted and soft but not mushy. Just when you think it’s done, remove it from the heat, and it will ‘carryover’ cook to perfection!
Sautéed kale is a flavorful alternative to creamed spinach or collard greens and when you make garlic kale with bacon it really adds an irresistible flavor boost to these nutrient packed greens! Season with salt and pepper or a splash of balsamic vinaigrette and enjoy! If you are wanting to keep it vegetarian just sautéed kale with garlic and olive oil is a delicious alternative to bacon kale!
More Healthy Side Dishes
- Garlic Butter Kale Rice – even kale haters will love this one!!
- Cucumber Onion Salad – cool and refreshing side salad.
- Zucchini Casserole – perfect use for your garden vegetables.
- Roasted Cabbage Steaks Recipe – low carb and keto-friendly!
- Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus – another great side dish for all the bacon lovers!
- Crispy Kale Chips – healthy & low carb!
Garlic Bacon Kale Recipe (How to Cook Kale)
- 3 slices bacon chopped
- ½ cup onion finely chopped
- 1 bunch kale washed
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- salt & pepper to taste
- Cook bacon until crisp over medium heat. Remove bacon and set aside reserving drippings.
- Reduce heat to medium low and cook onion in the drippings until tender, about 10 minutes.
- Add kale and garlic stirring until cooked, about 5 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with bacon and serve.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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I’ve never cooked kale fresh. So, pardon my ignorance. I put extra kale in the frying pan. I had to cook it longer and it became somewhat crispy. It should or should not be crispy? It reminded me somewhat of breaded, fried poke. I love that!
Depending on how it’s cooked, kale can get crispy Jeanette. In this recipe on the stove I cook the kale until it’s wilted and soft but not mushy. When you cook kale in the oven it makes kale chips that are quite crispy and almost melt in your mouth. So it’s possible! I hope this helps!
Love this recipe. I might have overdone it on the bacon because well… it’s bacon. My boyfriend and I love sautéed kale, and this just makes it tastier.
This is a great recipe. Very flavorful!
Great recipe. My husband doesn’t care for kale and he gave it a strong thumbs up!
Excellent recipe ***** I’m always looking for different side dishes and this is a true hit.
Glad you enjoyed it Chris! We love serving this as a side dish :)
This was a big hit with the family including my 15-year-old. Will definitely make it again!
So glad all of you loved it!
I made this today & it was so yummy!! I’m usually not a huge fan of kale but I had some leftover from the kale salad w/lemon dressing which was also delicious! I used red onion b/c I had one cut. At the end, I threw in some red wine vinegar, a little lemon balsamic vinegar (to scrape the bits of bacon up) tossed in the bacon & mixed it right in !!! Deeelicious!!
Sounds amazing to me Linda! So glad you enjoyed the kale recipe!
Absolutely phenomenal recipe! Making it a second time now as I just finished the first batch as leftovers. It gets better the next day. My wife and I love, love, love the mixtures, texture, and flavors. I stuck to the recipe and I wouldn’t change a thing. Thank you.
So glad you and your wife enjoyed the recipe so much! You’re so welcome!
Has anyone ever grated fresh parmesan cheese over this?
I haven’t but I do think it would be delicious!
Easy and yummy!
I’ve made this twice in the last week. I used to not care for kale, but serving it like this is delicious! I used shallots this time and it was great.
So happy to hear that Bree!
Awesome and so easy. I didn’t know what to do with kale until now. Thank you.
This is delicious!
I had kale for the first time today and loved it. It reminds of spinach and I hate spinach, but kale was wonderful. I will be cooking y self in the future, but they aren’t going to replace collards. I still love the pot liquor from the collard. The only thing I change about the recipe is to add a few pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce, but that is just me. All in I love kale!!
What about the bacon?
Apologies for the confusion, the bacon is sprinkled on top.