Garlic Bacon Kale Recipe (How to Cook Kale)

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

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 bowl of garlic butter kale with bacon on top

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

  • Clean
    • 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
  • Cut
    • 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.

Kale being prepared for cooking

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.

kale in a frying pan ready to be sauteed

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!

A bowl of sauteed kale topped with crispy bacon

More Healthy Side Dishes


Garlic Bacon Kale

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
This nutrient packed superfood is sure to impress! With bacon and garlic it smells just as good as it tastes! 


  • 3 slices bacon chopped
  • 1/2 cup onion finely chopped
  • 1 bunch kale washed
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • salt & pepper to taste

avatarFollow Spend with Pennies on Pinterest


  1. Cook bacon until crisp over medium heat. Remove bacon and set aside reserving drippings.

  2. Reduce heat to medium low and cook onion in the drippings until tender, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add kale and garlic stirring until cooked, about 5 minutes.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 86, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 10mg, Sodium: 115mg, Potassium: 131mg, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 3g, Vitamin A: 1425%, Vitamin C: 19.1%, Calcium: 29%, Iron: 0.3%

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword how to cook kale, kale recipe

REPIN this Easy Recipe

A bowl of garlic butter kale with bacon on top

Kale can be a tricky superfood to cook! This guide tells you all about how long to cook kale, how to oven bake kale and just how to cook kale in general! We have fallen for this superfood now that we know how to cook it properly! #spendwithpennies #howtocookkale #superfood #healthyeating #sidedish #garlickale

More Recipes You'll Love

About the author


pinterest facebook twitter instagram

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

More Posts by Holly

Latest & Greatest Dishes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *