11 INCREDIBLE Vegan Kale Recipes for kale lovers and skeptics alike. Everything from kale salad to kale chips to green smoothies, there is a wholesome recipe for everyone. Most recipes are gluten-free or gluten-free adaptable.
Kale. Amazing, wonderful kale.
There was a time I didn’t like kale.
I know, I know. It’s absolutely crazy. But I thought the vegetable was tough and bitter and generally without flavor. Hands up if you’ve ever felt that. I KNOW I’m not the only one. Turns out, the problem wasn’t kale. The problem was me; I wasn’t cooking it right! Once I started seeing all the vegan kale recipes out there, I realized that I was just doing kale all wrong.
For the past decade, I’ve been making up for my mistake by experimenting in the kitchen and finding new and inventive ways to try this delicious dark leafy green. Turns out, the ways are countless.
If you want to enjoy kale with me, let’s take a look at how to properly cook with kale.
Tips for Cooking with Kale
1. Choose the Right Variety
There are lots of different kinds of kale that are all best used for different recipes. There’s Curly Kale, Dinosaur Kale, Red Russian, etc. Most recipes should distinguish between the varieties although in some cases, any kale will do.
Read more about kale varieties and their uses.
2. Always Massage Raw Kale
To eat raw kale, it’s important that we give it a gentle massage. A simple massage helps to break down the toughness and bitterness while releasing sweetness and tenderness into the leaves, greatly enhancing the flavor and texture.
How to Massage Kale
Fortunately, massaging kale is really easy. First, you’ll want to chop the kale finely and place it in a large bowl. Next, drizzle it with a little olive oil and salt. I like adding lemon here as well for extra flavor, but that’s not necessary. The oil and salt help break down the leaf’s toughness allowing it to tenderize even more.
As you massage the kale you will notice the leaves get more vibrantly green with a bit of silky shine. The kale will also shrink in volume as the leaves tenderize. (See pictures above)
3. Allow the Flavors to Marinate
Naturally, kale has a slightly bitter earthy flavor which, alone, is an acquired taste. However, even kale newbies can enjoy the bitter flavor when mixed with a variety of different flavors and textures. Try adding sauces and dressings to your kale salads and allow the flavors to marinate a bit before serving. You’ll be surprised by the many flavors complimented by kale.
11 INCREDIBLE Vegan Kale Recipes:
Now let’s take a look at 11 of my favorite vegan kale recipes from around the internet!
While there are many ways to enjoy kale, one of the most common ways is kale salad. And when it comes to kale salad, this Lentil and Curried Cauliflower Kale Salad is one of the best! It’s filled with vibrant flavors of curried cauliflower, sea salt massaged kale, and lemon tahini dressing for a hearty, vegan, and gluten-free entree salad that will absolutely make a kale lover out of you.
Did you know you can start your day off with a healthy serving of kale? Yes, you can! Try this Kale Apple Smoothie from A Virtual Vegan. It’s quick and easy to make and it’s filled with food that will fuel you all morning long. This kale smoothie is light, refreshing, wholesome, AND (for you banana haters) made without banana!
Did you also know that you can make pesto from kale? Kale pesto is one of my favorite varieties, especially in the colder months when basil is out of season, and this particular one from Seitan Beats Your Meat is my go-to kale pesto. It’s a blend of fresh garlic, pine nuts, cashew parmesan, olive oil, and of course, KALE for a savory, delicious winter-friendly pesto!
We’ve all heard of Cream of Broccoli Soup, but have you tried Cream of Kale Soup yet? If not, make sure to do that ASAP. This Cream of Kale soup from My Quiet Kitchen is soooooo good. It’s salty, rich, creamy, and made in under 30 minutes! Serve it with a crusty baguette for a delicious mid-day meal.
Enjoy this creamy Thai-style Sweet Potato Curry with Kale tonight! Made in just one pot in under 30 minutes for an easy weeknight meal. Best part? It’s healthy, it’s delicious and it’s 100% vegan and gluten-free. Serve it with cauliflower rice for a lower-carb option.
What an exciting way to enjoy kale! These Vegan Ricotta and Kale Filo Scrolls from Rainbow Nourishment are a must-try. They are filled with delicious herbed tofu ricotta blended with fresh kale all wrapped inside flaky filo dough. It’s the perfect appetizer for your next party!
One of my favorite ways to enjoy kale is in pasta and this Kale and Mushroom Pasta from Vegan on Board is one of the best kale pasta recipes I’ve tried. It’s a delicious vegan pasta seasoned with soy sauce, garlic and fiery ginger for an easy pasta dish that can be made in just 15 minutes. Make it tonight!
If you haven’t tried kale chips yet then you’re seriously missing out. My picky kids devour these Cheesy Kale Chips! They are perfectly crispy kale chips seasoned with nutritional yeast and garlic powder for a delicious and healthy snack. Made in just 25 minutes. Let’s get roasting!
One of the best ways to try kale is by sneaking it into your favorite recipes. These Sweet Potato and Peanut Enchiladas from Bear Plate do just that! The sweet and savory flavors of sweet potatoes and peanuts pair perfectly with the dark bitterness of the kale. Serve these up to kale skeptics and they will be converted!
Who doesn’t love the flavors of fall! This Baked Gnocchi with Butternut Squash and Crispy Kale from Whitney Bond looks truly divine! It’s baked gnocchi tossed with delicious fall spices and vegetables for an easy and healthy recipe that made in just 25 minutes. This is a must-try!
This Vegan Breakfast Bowl with Tofu and Kale has everything you need to keep you energized all morning long. It’s filled with protein, healthy fats, kale and the best superfoods for a healthy and hearty breakfast that can be made in just 20 minutes. Why not start your day off right?
More Vegetable Roundups
Vegetables are amazing. They are versatile, delicious, and good for you! Do you need help with some of them? Here are a few of my other popular vegetable round-up articles.
- 11 PERFECT Sweet Potato Recipes
- 15 INCREDIBLE Zucchini Recipes
- 11 AMAZING Eggplant Recipes
- 11 SAVORY Pumpkin Recipes
- The BEST Cauliflower Recipes
That’s it! 11 DELICIOUS ways to use kale. What is your favorite way to use kale? Tell me in the comments below.