Wondering how to cook kale? My Sauteed Kale with Garlic and Lemon is THE BEST way to cook this vitamin-packed superfood. You are going to love this Lemon Garlic Kale Saute!
I love kale. It’s not a crush but a true love that has grown deeper over the years. The dark greens make my heart literally swoon. If you haven’t tried kale yet or wondering how to cook kale… let me get you started. My Sauteed Kale and Garlic and Lemon is so simple and will turn even kale haters into kale lovers like me.
Sauteed Kale with Garlic and Lemon
I know that rough curly kale can be tough for some people to like. On the surface, it’s not quite as nice as mixed greens or spinach BUT let me change your mind. The trick is to do this… Sauteed Kale with Garlic and Lemon.
A simple sautee of the kale makes it tender and full of flavor. The result is a side dish that’s tasty to enjoy for any meal.
What is Kale?
So what is kale? I happen to be one of those strange folks who strongly naturally like a lot of healthier food BUT if you knew why it’s so healthy you might add it to your diet too.
I used curly kale for this recipe but you can also find dinosaur kale and baby kale in most stores.
Curly kale features these dark, thick and ruffled edges. It has an earthy green flavor with a peppery edge. I LIKE how it’s tougher and more substantial.
Kale is actually one of the healthiest foods out there and is high in vitamins A, K and C. It’s also a powerful source of antioxidants, can reduce the risk of heart disease AND has cancer-fighting substances. That alone should make you want to give it a try!
What’s in my Sauteed Kale with Garlic and Lemon?
Making kale at home has never been easier… especially with my sauteed kale with garlic and lemon. Kale comes in these super easy to use pre-washed bags these days. Open up the bag and take any big stems you see out. If you get a big bunch at the store pull the leaves off the big stem in the middle and chop them.
Here’s what else you need…
- Olive Oil or Butter
- Optional: red pepper flakes and/or parmesan
I use olive oil OR butter depending on what I’m using the kale for and my mood. I honestly think the butter tastes a bit better but if I’m in a slightly healthier mood I go for the olive oil. You could also use some ghee if you had it.
I skipped the parmesan for this picture but did add some yummy red pepper flakes. 🙂
How to cook kale?
Before we dive into how to cook kale I wanted to spill my secret to make kale more DELISH and less BITTER.
Before you start cooking the kale you massage it. YES, like you are going to the spa, massage it. This step makes the finished recipe a little softer and less bitter.
Here are the rest of the steps…
- Massage the kale
- Saute the garlic in the olive oil or butter.
- Add the kale to the pan.
- To start the steaming process add the lemon and a tablespoon or two of water.
- Sautee the kale until it’s tender.
- If desired add either red pepper flakes and/or parmesan to the end.
Remember the kale cooks A LOT like spinach or another green so get out a big pan but expect the final product to be a fraction of what you start with. Don’t be afraid to cook a bunch at a time.
Lemon Garlic Kale Saute
The finished product is this super tasty lemon garlic kale saute. This delightfully tender green is perfect as a side dish for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Try it with eggs!
It’s even the base for my super tasty Kale Pasta.
My Sauteed kale with Garlic and Lemon is the perfect recipe to make at the beginning of the week and add to your meals to get an extra boost of veggies and greens. It reheats well and it’s so healthy I feel like I magically power when I eat it. Lord knows I need those chasing twin toddler boys around!
I’ll give this recipe some bonus points because my boys will eat it too.
If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear what you think! Leave a comment and a star rating ★ below.
Love kale too? Also try these…
- Kale Pasta
- Healthy Kale Ceasar Salad
- Kale Ceasar Pasta Salad
- 30 Minute Kale Tortellini Soup
- Roasted Salmon and Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing
Pin for later…
Sauteed Kale with Garlic and Lemon
- 8 cups curly kale, loosely packed
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons olive oil or butter
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1-2 tablespoons water
- salt and pepper to taste
- optional: red pepper flakes or parmesan
- Remove any large stems from kale. Massage the kale until it starts to become a bit more tender.
- In a large non-stick saute pan under medium-low heat cook the garlic in the olive oil to about 30 seconds.
- Add the kale and stir the garlic around so it's not all sitting at the bottom. Turn the heat up to medium.
- Add the lemon on top and a tablespoon of water to start steaming the kale. Cover the pot but stir frequently. If it's not moving you can add another tablespoon of water if the kale is not steaming and reducing.
- The kale is done when it's tender and bright green. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the red pepper flakes or parmesan to the top.
Do you love kale? Do you cook it at home?