Navigate / search

Sauteed Kale Recipe: A Quick & Easy Side Dish

It’s a super veggie, and white hot. Of all the kale recipes out there, this might be the easiest one to get on the table in a hurry.

Sauteed Kale

Dark green, leafy and so good for you. Not to mention delicioso. Yeah, I’m talkin’ about kale. Don’t look at me like that. And stop crinkling your nose. This superfood is going to change your mind.

It all started with sauteed spinach. I still love that botanical as well, but danged if it didn’t saute into soggy nothingness if you aren’t paying attention. I needed a beefier vegetable, one that could stand up to all the garlic and olive oil I could throw at it. And the inevitable distraction.

Sauteeing kale as a side dish is so quick and easy. It only takes 5-10 minutes to make, and it goes with just about everything. Not to mention, this veg is so easy to get on the cheap. Maybe the markets are trying to trick us into eating it’s leafy goodness. Count me in.

So stop smirking and try it. What? Afraid you might like something that’s good for you? Welcome to the dark (leafy) side.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Sauteed Kale
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Quick and easiest side dish ever. Or make it a main dish. Just make it.
Recipe type: side
Serves: 4
  • One bunch kale
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Olive oil
  • Pat of butter (optional)
  • Lemon juice (half a lemon) or white wine vinegar
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  1. Wash the kale thoroughly, and pat dry.
  2. Slice or chop kale roughly, into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Heat a skillet (I like cast iron) over medium heat. Add olive oil and lightly brown crushed garlic. Watch it closely!
  4. When garlic is lightly brown, quickly add butter and kale.
  5. Stir and toss until kale is coated with oil and butter, and cover to let the kale steam and slightly soften.
  6. Check the kale after about 3 minutes. It should be soft, still bright green, and NOT soggy.
  7. When it's softened, and just before serving, add your lemon juice (or vinegar). Taste and season with salt and pepper and serve.




When I think of kale, I think of it as a garnish or decoration (I am not very brave in the kitchen)…I was at the local market and circled around the produce section…kale was on sale…I circled again, thinking there is NO way this stuff could taste good. I remembered seeing THIS blog post about kale and so I bought a bunch. I was intrigued…so I made the recipe for dinner tonight!! To my surprise, It was SO EASY AND SO, SO DELICIOUS!! I called my daughter over to the stove (she is 10) and asked her to try it…one bite and her face lit up…the next thing I know, she and I were shoveling it into our mouths straight from the cast iron pan (not very lady like)…THANK YOU BRANDIE for this great side dish…it’s going to be a regular in our house!! Next time, we will try to make it to the table!! And, you are so right, IT IS EASIER than you think…:)


I tried this recipe with the white wine vinegar option… Blech! the vinegar turned the kale brown immediately and added a sour flavor I didn’t like. I bet it’s fine if you add the lemon or vinegar at the last second before serving, but not while steaming as in the recipe directions.

Brandie Kajino

That is great feedback, thank you Jessie! I’ve updated the recipe to show putting the lemon juice or vinegar in at the very end, right before serving. I’m so sorry it didn’t work out! I wonder if the heat was too high? That can make it turn brown quickly too (I agree – blech!)
I hope you will try again, and let me know what you think. 🙂


I sauteed the garlic in lemon infused olive oil and sprinkled it with a little pomegranate white balsamic vinegar before serving, and it was fantastic.


What a fun variation. Thanks for sharing!


I used 2 large shallots and forgot 🙂 the lemon juice or vinegar. The result was delicious. I’ll try to remember the vinegar next time because I do like it on spinach.

Leave a Reply