All hail the King of Greens because October 5th is National Kale Day. It wasn’t so long ago that few people knew about kale but now this leafy green superfood has become one of the most popular greens out there. Kale comes in many different varieties. The leaves can be green or a beautiful purple color like Red Russian Kale. Kale can be curly or smooth like Lacinato, Tuscan, or dinosaur kale. There is also Baby Kale which has extremely tender leaves.
Did you know that kale is a member of the cabbage family? It’s also related to broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and other cruciferous veggies so it’s no surprise that kale is packed with health benefits. A single cup of kale can give us good amounts of vitamins A, K, C, B1, B2, B3, and B6 as well as manganese, calcium, copper, potassium, iron, phosphorous, and magnesium.
There are so many ways to cook with kale. Blend it into a smoothie, make a salad, or toss it into a stew. Use kale on your burgers and sandwiches instead of lettuce. For recipes and ideas, see 20 Ways to Enjoy Kale, The King of Greens and last year’s Celebrate National Kale Day With These 21 Recipes That Go Beyond Kale Salad. Then use everyone’s favorite leafy green in these 20 recipes that prove kale is not just for salad.
1. Parmesan Kale Pesto Pizza
This Parmesan Kale Pesto Pizza is so delicious, anyone you share a slice with will be shocked to find out that it is actually free from gluten, eggs, soy, corn, and dairy. Instead of tomato sauce, this pizza is topped with a garlicky kale pesto, as well as vegan Parmesan, grape tomatoes, and broccoli. This pie is vibrant, delightfully textured, and healthy to boot!
2. Cherry Tomato and Kale Bread Pudding
Bread pudding is such a wonderfully versatile dish. While many bakeries serve it sweet, it is also perfect as a warm, rustic, savory pie. This Cherry Tomato and Kale Bread Pudding has bright cherry tomatoes, crispy kale, crunchy walnuts, a cheesy flavor from nooch, and of course, fluffy bread pieces that tie everything together. Add more bread if you’d like a thicker, more stuffing-like consistency or bake it for longer to get a similar effect.
3. Chickpea Flour Omelet With Spinach and Kale
Omelets are a great go-to option for breakfast or even dinner because they’re easy to make, they cook fast, and there are endless opportunities for toppings. Mixing chickpea flour together with flax, water, and a little bit of seasoning creates a batter you can use to make egg-free omelets. This Chickpea Flour Omelet With Spinach and Kale loads up on leafy greens, fresh tomatoes, and avocado, but try mixing up the filling with ingredients like mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, and peppers.
4. Kale Falafel Salad Bowl
This Kale Falafel Salad Bowl is the epitome of comfort food but with a nutritious spin. It is spicy, flavorful, and hearty enough to be considered a meal. The salad itself has so much flavor, texture, and nutrition that the tahini jalapeño vinaigrette just puts it over the top!
5. Spicy Kale Pesto With Zucchini Noodles
Kale pesto is a perfect way to enjoy pesto in the colder months. This Spicy Kale Pesto with Zucchini Noodles is a green treat you’ll love to eat. With some diced avocado (more green), you have a meal that’s pretty to look at, easy to make and satisfying for your tummy.
6. Quinoa Kale Veggie Burgers
These Quinoa Kale Veggie Burgers are super easy to make. A combination of fresh herbs, like garlic and fresh cilantro, and a blend of spices with tangy barbecue sauce ensures that these crispy burgers never fall short on flavor. How you cook them — on the grill, on stovetop, or in the oven, is up to you and all three ways work great.
7. Peppery Red Lentil Soup With Kale and Lemon
You can’t go wrong with a warm and comforting bowl of this Peppery Red Lentil Soup With Kale and Lemon. Red lentils, in particular, are extremely simple to cook and have the amazing ability to dissolve into a creamy soup in very little time. Cooked with kale, pepper, and a zing of lemon, this soup is one you’ll make again and again.
8. Brussels Sprouts Caesar Salad Wraps
This tangy, crunchy, and refreshing Brussels Sprouts Caesar Salad Wrap marries the delicious creaminess of Caesar salad with smoky mushrooms. Brussels sprouts and kale take the nutrition of this wrap to the next level and add a nice crunch to it as well. Be sure to make extra Caesar dressing for dipping!
9. Easy Green Casserole
Green veggies, crunchy quinoa, and a creamy, dairy-free sauce make this savory Easy Green Casserole a new comfort food favorite. Make this casserole at the start of your week and you’ll have a week-worth of dinner! Best of all, this recipe only requires one-pot meaning it’s an easy make and an easy clean up.
10. Kale Pesto Pizza
Cheesy and dripping in oil, pizza has a notorious rep for being a greasy and indulgent snack. Thankfully, many creative minds have taken the idea of pizza and have created healthy and energizing versions of this famous dish. Take this Kale Pesto Pizza. With greens, juicy cherry tomatoes, walnuts, and a refreshing kale pesto spread are set atop a cauliflower head crust, this is a pizza you can feel good about eating.
11. Lentil Kale Fritters
These Lentil Kale Fritters are so tasty and light, yet incredibly filling! You can blend the lentils if you prefer a smoother texture but this recipe leaves in whole lentil pieces for a crunch. They are delicious served with a refreshing cilantro mayo dipping sauce.
12. Mushroom and Kale Farro Salad
This Mushroom and Kale Farro Salad is refreshing and light, but still filling. The farro provides the bulk of the sustenance while the vegetables sautéed in broth add a delicious flavor, and the pomegranate seeds add a delightful crunch. Enjoy this for lunch or dinner, or make a big batch as a side dish for your next gathering.
13. BBQ Tofu and Garlic Kale Bowl With Ranch Dressing
This BBQ Tofu and Garlic Kale Bowl With Ranch Dressing is a filling and delicious meal. On a bed of rice sits braised kale, oven-baked tofu, juicy sautéed mushrooms, and crunchy carrots, drizzled with homemade ranch dressing. Who says vegetables aren’t filling enough? This dish makes the satisfying perfect dinner after a long day of work. Best of all, it can be prepped the night before!
14. Kale Tofu Balls
These Kale Tofu Balls are a nice change-up from the usual veggie balls. They’re light in color and flavor but are a filling addition to pasta. Nutritional yeast and panko flakes give them a unique texture and subtle cheesy tones. These are fun and everyone will love them.
15. Spicy Bean Balls with Kale
These tiny and Spicy Bean Balls with Kale are the perfect pick-me-up snack when you crave something simple, savory, but energizing. They are filling, cheesy, soft in texture, and very delicious! These little treats also leave a lot of room for creativity since you can decorate them with a number of things from sweet paprika powder to sesame seeds!
16. Raw Mushroom Kale Rice
This Raw Mushroom Kale Rice dish is a healthy substitute for when you want the texture of rice without the carbs. Celeriac and garlic make up the base of this side with walnut butter added for richness and nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor. Thyme is also included for savory measure and hemp seeds for added protein and healthy oils.
17. Kale and Orzo Soup With White Bean Balls
This Kale and Orzo Soup With White Bean Balls is warm, nourishing, and super nutritious!. The soft and savory white bean balls give this dish some added protein to last through your day’s adventures. Enjoy it as is, or add rice or grains of your choice, for some added bulk.
18. Tuscan Kale and Mushroom Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Bake
This Tuscan Kale and Mushroom Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Bake is the perfect winter recipe. Stuffed with a mixture of white mushrooms, kale, and white beans, it’s savory, satisfying, warming, and nourishing … Essentially, it’s everything you want. This recipe will be your new obsession.
19. Potato and Kale Latkes
Just one ingredient is all that it takes to breathe new life into an old recipe. These Potato and Kale Latkes have all the goodness of the traditional dish, with the added goodness of fresh kale! Frying them makes them perfectly crispy. Serve them as a side to a tofu scramble or as a snack on their own!
20. Kale and Cranberry Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
These Kale and Cranberry Stuffed Sweet Potatoes are a mini-meal on their own! With cranberry, kale, and walnuts, they’re as festive as they are filling. Serve these as a hearty side or a light but satisfying entrée.
Of course, kale salads are delicious, but this leafy green is so versatile, it’s only right to include kale in all our dishes. At breakfast, lunch, and dinner, kale is always a great choice.
Lead image source: Kale and Cranberry Stuffed Sweet Potatoes