Sauteed Kale Garlic and Onions

Sauteed Garlic Kale is a must-have at your holiday table; it will be gone before you know it! Even the pickiest eater will fall head over heels!


I normally plant leafy greens in my garden, and they do pretty well. This year was a disaster because I planted them too late, and it was way too hot for them to thrive. This was actually our first year living here in Florida, so I’m learning more about the growing seasons, soil, etc.

Gardening here is way different from anywhere we have lived in the United States, but I’m excited though because the growing season is much longer.

Growing up in Jamaica, we enjoyed eating leafy greens for breakfast, particularly callaloo or amaranth. We recently had family visiting from Jamaica, so I prepared greens quite often. I made a variety of greens, including spinach, kale, collards, and callaloo.

Sauteed Garlic Kale is one of my favorite way of preparing greens, except I omitted the Jamaican Scotch bonnet pepper and fresh thyme. I usually cook my greens with water, and sometimes I may stir in a teaspoon of cold processed olive oil when the greens are tender.   

If you have never tried kale before, this is the perfect recipe to try! I think most people are intimidated by it because they don’t know how to prepare it properly or what to do with it after preparing it at home. This aromatic garlic kale recipe is so easy to make and requires just a few ingredients. It’s also a healthy, low-carb option for dinner!

It’s a great side dish that can be made into a meal by tossing it with cooked grains or pasta or serving it atop toasted bread. This is also a delicious vegetarian pizza topping.

You can really replace any veggies you’re not in the mood for (try repeating with broccoli, cauliflower, broccoli rabe, etc.) and adjust the dressing to your taste.


Sauteed Kale Garlic And Onions

Why Do I Love Kale So Much?

Kale appeals to me because of its versatility.

Kale, a versatile vegetable, can be enjoyed raw, cooked, in a tofu scramble, or blended in a cherry smoothie. It pairs well with various dishes, such as vegan chicken or lasagna, and holds its shape when cooked due to its hardiness. It’s lighter and less fibrous than collard greens, thus requiring less cooking time.


Kale is nutrient-dense, rich in fiber, antioxidants, iron, vitamins C and K, calcium, and other vital nutrients. It promotes heart health with elements like potassium that help control blood pressure and compounds that manage cholesterol levels. You can reap these benefits from juiced or steamed kale.


Kale boasts higher levels of vitamin C, selenium, vitamin E, and beta-carotene than spinach, crucial for a robust immune system. It’s an excellent source of plant-based calcium, which is essential for bone health. Its vitamin K content aids bone metabolism when paired with vitamin D.


The vegetable also contains lutein and zeaxanthin, nutrients that support eye health and may help prevent conditions like age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.


It’s an effective weight-loss food due to its low-calorie content and high volume. Kale’s high water content and low energy density make it filling, aiding weight loss.


Beneficial for liver health and natural detoxification, it’s rich in fiber and sulfur, assisting digestion and toxin removal.


Kale is also good for your skin and hair, as it contains beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A, necessary for tissue growth and maintenance.


Lastly, it’s rich in cancer-fighting compounds like sulforaphane and indol-3-carbonyl, although research is ongoing. Enjoy kale for its numerous health benefits.

Kale plant in my garden

Ingredients For Sauteed Kale

Kale: This nutrient-dense green leafy vegetable is high in antioxidants and vitamins. It adds a hearty texture and rich, slightly bitter flavor to the dish.

Onion: Onions are aromatic vegetables that add a sweet and tangy flavor to dishes when sautéed. They also provide a beneficial amount of vitamin C and fiber.

Olive Oil: Used for sautéing, olive oil contributes a smooth and slightly fruity flavor, while also serving as a healthy source of monounsaturated fats.

Garlic: Garlic has a pungent and spicy flavor that mellows and sweetens when cooked, adding depth to dishes. It’s also known for its potential health benefits, including antimicrobial properties.

Red Bell Pepper: Red bell peppers are sweet, slightly tangy, and full of vitamins, particularly vitamin C. They add color and a crisp texture to the dish.

Tomato: Tomatoes contribute a juicy texture and a balance of sweetness and acidity to dishes. They are also a good source of vitamin C and the antioxidant lycopene.

Vegetable Broth: This liquid adds flavor and moisture to the dish, making the kale more tender and infusing it with a savory taste.

Lime or Lemon Juice: The citrus juice brightens up the flavors of the dish with its acidic tang, and also aids in the absorption of the iron in the kale.

Almonds: Almonds are crunchy and have a subtle, slightly sweet flavor. They add a nice textural contrast to the dish and offer healthy fats, protein, and fiber.

How To Make Sauteed Kale Garlic and Onions?

Making this kale recipe is very simple and easy. Heat some oil in a skillet, add onion, and cook until soft. Then add garlic and bell pepper, and cook for a few minutes. Add tomatoes and stir for a minute. Stir kale and toss to coat with the vegetables.

Add vegetable broth and cover the skillet cook for 5 minutes.

Remove the lid and stir until the liquid has evaporated.

Remove from heat, season with salt to taste, and add lime juice. Garnish with almonds and serve immediately!

Serving Suggestions

This simple side dish is appropriate for any season. It’s appropriate for both winter holidays and summer patio get-togethers.

It goes well with the following main dishes:

Leftover Storage

The leftovers can be kept in the fridge for 3-4 days in a sealed container. However, they will not be as delicious as when they are freshly made. Microwave the leftovers on 50% power for a gentle reheating.

Chef’s Notes

Here are a few pointers that will help you if you keep them in your mind while making this recipe:

  • In this recipe, you can use any one of the following varieties of kale:
    • The most common type of kale found in supermarkets is curly kale. It has ruffled-looking bright green leaves.
    • My favorite kale variety is dinosaur kale. The leaves are flatter, leafy, and have a darker green tint.
    • Redbor kale has ruffled, reddish-purple leaves as opposed to green ones.
    • The stems of Russian kale are purple, while the leaves are flat and dark green.


 Sauteed Kale Garlic and Onions

  • I’ve never tried this dish with frozen kale, but it should work if you thaw it beforehand and drain the excess water.
  • You can use any type of vegetable oil for this recipe, but I prefer olive oil because it is healthy. If you don’t want to use oil, you can substitute water or vegetable stock, although sauteed kale will taste much better with oil.
  • Garlic adds depth of flavor and gives this dish a lot of kick! You can use fresh or jarred garlic cloves here—just make sure that you peel them first.
  • Fresh onion and garlic are preferred for this recipe, but garlic powder or onion powder would suffice.
  • The broth assists in steaming the kale, which reduces some of its bitterness.
  • Kale has a bit of a bland flavor (in my opinion). Personally, I don’t like to eat bland vegetables, so I don’t like to serve them that way. I believe it turns people off eating more veggies when they aren’t tasty. By using garlic and lemon juice, I’ve managed to create an appetizing side dish that’s high in antioxidants and boosts your immune system. Additionally, you can eat an entire bowl alone and be very satisfied.
  • Balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar are excellent substitutes if you don’t have a lemon on hand. Red wine vinegar can also be substituted.

Other Leafy Green Vegetables To Try:

Vegan Southern-Style Collard Greens

African Braised Kale And Tomatoes

Vegan Southern Style Mixed Greens

Frequently Asked Questions:

Are Kale And Spinach The Same?

Not at all. Kale and spinach are both green leafy vegetables; however, kale is a member of the brassica family, whereas spinach is from the beet family.

Should I Eat Kale Raw Or Cooked?

Both are feasible, but I have found that sautéing kale in oil/butter significantly enhances its flavor and texture.

How Can You Get The Bitterness Out Of Kale?

I notice that cooking it in copious quantities of garlic, oil, and salt really lessens its natural bitterness. As it cooks, it caramelizes slightly, giving the dish a sweet flavor.

Is Sautéed Kale Healthy?

Yes, of course! Kale’s popularity has risen in recent years due to its nutritional value, as it is high in vitamins and antioxidants. Kale is a nutrient-dense Superfood! Vitamins A, C, & K, as well as calcium, iron, manganese, copper, potassium, and potent antioxidants, are abundant. Kale is beneficial for digestive health, cardiovascular support, liver health, cancer prevention, and more. To make it even healthier, I recommend sautéing it in extra virgin olive oil!

Is It Necessary To Clean Kale Before Cooking It?

Yes. The thick, woody stems of kale should be removed since they are unpalatable. To remove, simply grab the stem and tear the leaf with your hand as you go up the stem. After removing the leaves, cut them up and wash them in a salad spinner.

Can You Eat Yellow Kale Leaves?

In short, the yellowed leaves are okay to consume, but they will have a bitter taste. Kale, like most dark leafy greens, is a nutrient-dense Superfood. When the leaves become yellow, the nutrients in them start to diminish, so you won’t obtain as much nutrition as you would from brilliant green leaves.

What Does Sautéed Kale Taste Like?

Kale has a bitter, pungent, and earthy flavor. The leaves are stiff, crunchy, and have a powerful flavor. The leaves of young kale are softer and thinner, with a moderate flavor. Kale is less spicy than arugula and has a milder flavor.


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Sauteed kale garlic and onions

Sauteed Garlic Kale is a must-have at your holiday table; it will be gone before you know it! Even the pickiest eater will fall head over heels!
5 from 13 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Sauteed kale garlic and onion
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 131kcal


  • 1 1/2 pounds kale collards, mustard, beet leaves, spinach (chopped)
  • 1 small onion thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper diced
  • 1 small tomato chopped
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons lime or lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup almonds garnish


  • Wash the kale thoroughly and drain the excess water. Trim off the tough stems.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced onion and sauté until it becomes translucent.
  • Add the thinly sliced garlic to the skillet and sauté for another minute until the garlic is fragrant.
  • Stir in the diced red bell pepper and continue to sauté for another minute.
  • Add the chopped tomato to the skillet and cook for about two minutes until it begins to break down.
  • Add the chopped kale to the skillet and stir to mix well with the other ingredients. Sauté for a couple of minutes until the kale starts to wilt.
  • Pour in the vegetable broth, cover the skillet, and let it simmer for about 5-10 minutes until the kale is tender.
  • Uncover the skillet, and stir in the lime or lemon juice. Continue to cook for another minute or two until most of the broth has evaporated.
  • Adjust the seasoning as necessary.
  • Transfer the sautéed kale to a serving dish and sprinkle with the almonds for garnish.


Calories: 131kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.002g | Sodium: 141mg | Potassium: 531mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 11736IU | Vitamin C: 119mg | Calcium: 313mg | Iron: 2mg

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  1. I don’t like kale and I don’t leave comments, but this was so good I now do both. Excellent recipe, easy and tasty and my wife and I both thoroughly enjoyed the kale. Thank you!

    1. Sometimes all it takes is the right flavor for things we don’t like to finally enjoy them. Makes me so happy to hear that you enjoyed this recipe despite kale not being ur go to vegie. thank you for leaving a comment on your experience! 🥰

  2. 5 stars
    This sauteed kale garlic look so good and tasty! Plus it’s healthy! I’d love to try this for dinner and I think they would love it too for sure! Thanks for this quick and easy recipe!

  3. 5 stars
    This kale recipe sounds amazing and easy to make. Heat up oil, add onion, garlic, and bell pepper for flavour. Add tomatoes and kale, and cook with vegetable broth for 5 minutes. Season with salt and lime juice. Garnish with almonds. Enjoy!

  4. Ooohhhh….this turned out really good and sounds very nutritious. I am not so big with kale but I am ready to give it a go!

  5. 5 stars
    Great instructions on making sauteed garlic kale. My husband and I are trying to eat healthier and I know we’ll love this recipe.

  6. 5 stars
    I LOVE Kale. This recipe is great; perfect side dish. I love both kale and spinach and thought they were similar, so intersting to find out they are from different families.

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