Braised Kale

by Dawn T in Rouxbe Recipes

Healthy and delicious kale, braised with onions, garlic and stock. This absolutely yummy vegetable goes well with almost anything.

  • Serves: 4
  • Active Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hr

  • Comments: 18
  • Views: 38599
  • Success 97%

Step 1: Preparing and Cooking the Mirepoix

Preparing and Cooking the Mirepoix

To start, finely dice the onion and émincé the garlic.

Next, heat a large heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the oil and sauté the onions for about 5 minutes or so. *Note: For plant-based, use a non-dairy butter such as Earth Balance or omit the oil all together and dry-sauté the onions with a bit of stock or water.

At this point, jump ahead to Step 2.

Once the onions are translucent and just starting to take on nice color, add the garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds.

  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp grapeseed or coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp oil or butter* (optional)

Step 2: Preparing the Kale

Preparing the Kale

To prepare the kale, clean and cut off any thick stems. Cut into roughly 1" -inch pieces.

  • 2 lb kale, preferably flat leaf (can also use Swiss chard or collard greens)

Step 3: Adding the Kale

Adding the Kale

Add the garlic to the onions and cook for a few seconds until it releases its aroma. Add the kale and sauté until it just starts to wilt. This should only take a minute or two.

Step 4: Adding the Stock

Adding the Stock

Once the kale has wilted add the stock.

Stir to combine and bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and let simmer until the kale is very soft, about 45 minutes. Stir occasionally.

  • 2 cups flavorful stock

Step 5: Finishing Touches

Finishing Touches

Once the kale is nice and tender, taste for seasoning. If you are serving something heavy with the kale such as roasted pork, you can add a tablespoon of nice vinegar to brighten up the flavor and give the kale a bit of a punch.

Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

  • 1 tbsp sherry or red wine vinegar (optional)
  • sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper. to taste


This vegetable is heavenly! It makes a super side dish and it's a great way to eat your veggies. It also pairs well with fish, pork, chicken and so on.

Julie N

I'm a gonna try

Dawn, if it weren't you...Although I much prefer escarole (and beans [white] being Italian), I will try this recipe. I LOVED YOUR LAST ONE, it was excellent theTurkish Lamb Lavash although I had a tough time finding all the ingredients for the za'atar spice mix. And Michel and I eat outside unless it is truly freezing or snowing, so maybe it is you Canadians, but what is my excuse? I'm from NYC? Anyway, maybe instead of escarole, I'll use kale and white beans, you pretty much braise it when you make.

Renée S

Divine with Lamb

Hi Dawn.
Just finished trying the braised Kale with a side of lamb -yum!. Thank you, we love Kale and this is an easy and tasty solution! We are in Vancouver but decided to eat inside with the fire a blazing - so I guess the Kale is great whether inside or out!

Elizabeth D

Delicious, but sweet...

I made this tonight with sear-roasted salmon. We liked it a lot, but noticed a definite note of sweetness in the kale. Is that from the onion or the slow braising technique? I have made kale many time in the past but I usually cook it for 10 minute or less.

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

Where the Sweetness Comes From

Most of the sweetness is likely from the onions. The sugars in the kale would also contribute to some of the sweetness, as perhaps the stock.

Glad you liked it.

Janette K

From the Farmer

Kale that is harvested during cold weather is much sweeter!

Yaara B

Collard Greens Variation

This recipe was wonderful, Dawn. Tonight I made it again, but varied it up a bit: cooked up some lardons and set aside, discarded most of the fat, added olive oil, cooked up the onions and then garlic, added collard greens, added the crisped lardons and beef stock (pork stock/shortstock may have been better), and simmered for 45 min. It had an alluring, deep, smokey flavor. Thanks for the inspiration.

Geni P

New Family Favorite

I recently turned a co-worker on to this method of cooking kale and she said it was a real hit with her family. I've been using this method to cook spinach for years and have recently applied it to both kale and beet greens. Both were yummy. I especially liked it for the beet green as I didn't have to wasted them by throwing them out. I've been contemplating using this method to cook collards since their texture reminds me of cabbage which I've also recently sauted using a slightly different method. Now I see that Yaara B has beaten me to it. Still it's inspiring to know that someone has had success with something you were thinking about. I will probably combine cooking ideas. I'm sure it will come out well.

Yaara B

Re: New Family Favorite

Geni - I didn't know beet greens were edible. I'll have to try braising them next time I get some. Do they taste like beets?

Geni P

Yep, you CAN eat beet greens

Yaara - You're the 2nd person to question me about the edibility of beet greens since I mentioned doing so. The greens don't really taste like beets at all. I think most of the greens that I've cooked using olive oil, butter, onions, garlic & mushrooms pretty much taste the same. It's just that some of them (kale, spinach, collards) are more nutrient dense. As I said previously the reason I thought to cook up the beet greens in the first place was that I didn't want to waste them and now I don't. What I didn't mention is that I roasted the beets and peeled and cut up them up and added them at the end of the cooking process. I don't know if leaving the beets out would have made a difference in the flavor but I suspect not.

Neeraj T

Kids really liked it

Always looking for a good way to use kale. The vinegar added at the end really made the dish taste better.

Kevin O

cooking time and kale variations

In the UK supermarkets there seem to be different versions of kale but most come in bags (curly kale) already sliced.

I love the flavour of kale but whenever I've used it, just cooked in a little butter with a touch of stock/water/soy/vinegar... it seems to wilt very quickly. I cooked a couple of handfuls earlier to add to a pasta dish and they were at the just done, soft, not al dente, stage in a minute, two tops. Maybe it's the variety? OR...

Here in the supermarkets they have a kind of cabbage called cavolo nero which is like a long dark green leaf creature that looks more like what I see in the picture above. Would this be more suitable? OR... last one :)...

Am I just cookng curly kale to my liking and to cook it as is, to the recipe above, would still be correct just producing a different result?

I'll try it regardless ;), I just like to reason things out and make sure I understand everything.


Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

RE: Cooking Kale

I am not sure if I understand exactly the question, so forgive me in advance.

I would say that yes, curly kale, or any kale for that matter, can be cooked however long you like. Of course, it can also be served raw, which is often how we eat it. It just depends on whether you are looking for a nice soft texture or whether you are looking for a crispier fresh texture. Braising vegetables is a great way to add different flavours and textures to your cooking, even when using the same ingredient that you would normally serve raw. Just note that generally, the longer a vegetable is cooked the more its nutrients are lost. But sometimes this is a compromise I am will to take for the delicious end result.

Hope that helps to answer you question(s)? Cheers!

Kevin O

Thanks Dawn

I was concerned that the kind of kale I was using here in the UK might be a bit different and not be suited to such extended cooking but I answered my own question and went back and watched the technique video on kale.

Your tip is still very useful since you're helping me think less two dimensionally when considering preparation methods. It's: think! What end result do you want and work backwards... if you understand the different options you can figure out what will achieve what and think autonomously when thinking up a dish.

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Thanks Dawn

That's music to my ears Kevin, you got it! Keep up the great work. Cheers!

Sylvie G

Muchy Kale?

45 minutes looks like there is not be any kale left... It won't be a great big much? Are there any vitamins left?

Barb T

Re: Muchy Kale

Kale does cook down a lot when you put heat to it. Technically, when any vegetable is steamed or cooked past 118 degrees, beneficial enzymes and vitamins are destroyed. Minerals however, which kale is chock full of, remain intact when exposed to heat, so the bone building calcium and magnesium will remain after cooking. To retain the most vitamins, lightly steam the kale or dehydrate it in a dehydrator. Braised kale is still very healthy though and a delicious way to cook vegetables. If you are eating and cooking your own vegetables, you are already doing a great job!

Keep in mind that younger kale is much more tender than older kale, so it will need less cooking time. No matter which cooking method you choose, always treat cooking times as guidelines. It is best to taste test the kale from time to time to see when it is done to your liking. Cheers!

Eric H

Southern cooking

Here, in the southern USA, we pride ourselves on our braised greens...and yet...I've never had any like this. So simple, so wonderful! Testing them out on a dinner party tonight...wish me luck!

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Southern Cooking

I am sure it was a success, but let us know how it turned out Eric. Cheers!

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