How to Eat More Kale and Collard Greens {14+ Recipes}

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Before we talk about greens, I have to say a huge thank you to everyone that took the time to read my Getting Personal: The Story Behind Everyday Maven post. It wasn’t easy for me to write and I really, really appreciate all the kind messages and comments on both my site and Kim’s. So, thank YOU for your support!

Right behind meal planning and shopping for healthy ingredients, the most reader emails I get are for ways to cook Kale and get more leafy greens in our diets. Basically, How to Eat More Kale!

Especially for our family members who we may cook for and might have some push-back around this now popular, yet still controversial leafy green veg.

So, today we are going to talk how to incorporate greens – specifically Kale and Collards – into your diet and do it in a delicious way!

Soups are a natural place to use these hardy greens – they respond really well to the long cooking time and high heat and add a lot of nutrition right into the broth.

1.  This Slow Cooker Lentil Soup is one of my most popular recipes and is very forgiving – I have made it with Swiss Chard, Kale and Collard Greens and they are all excellent in there!

Slow Cooker Lentil Soup with Greens {Vegan}

2.  This next soup is really tasty but it’s one of the first recipes I ever posted on here and let’s just say the photography is not drool-worthy so I will save you from having to stare at a somewhat ugly picture. This is in the “re-take the photo file” but trust me when I say this is one good bowl of soup. Mushroom Barley Soup with Kale.

3.  A personal favorite – Collard Greens Soup with Beans and Spicy Chicken Sausage. This is just a bowl full of goodness and could convert the biggest Greens hater in my opinion. The Collards get so buttery and sweet from the long cooking time, the beans are creamy and then the Spicy Sausage rounds the whole thing out. I’m getting hungry just writing about it! TIP: If you are trying to convert a Greens Hater with this soup, make sure to cut your Collards into small bite sized pieces!

Collard Greens Soup with Creamy White Beans + Spicy Chicken Sausage

4.  This Vegan Chickpea Stew with Bulgur + Za’atar (and Kale) has some great flavors going on and is perfect for those who love Mediterranean flavors. There is just enough Kale to get the benefits of this super-food but not so much that it overwhelms the chickpeas, bulgur and za’atar.

Chickpea Stew with Bulgur and Za’atar {Vegan}

5.  Last but definitely not least in the Soup department is this Vegan Double Greens + Orzo Soup. So, what could be better than a soup with Greens? A soup with not one, but two kinds of Greens. This easy-to-make gem features Kale and Organic Baby Spinach.

Now, let’s talk Salads. Kale Salads are all the rage and for good reason. These greens are one of the few that actually get better the longer they sit around with dressing on them. Think about the implications? Easy to pack, pre-dressed salads that can go to work, travel, picnics, ball games, etc. This is a game changer for me – easy to take-along greens that are ready to eat? Count me in.

6. I would probably get clubbed if I didn’t start with my Sort of A Kale Caesar. This recipe has been pinned over 6K times (as of when I wrote this) and is on weekly rotation in my house.

Sort of A Kale Caesar

7.  Another sneaky place to start getting more of these healthy Greens into your diet is with recognizable side dishes like this Collard Slaw. Who isn’t familiar with Cole Slaw and this while this version modernizes it and adds some greens, the familiar taste is not lost!

Collard Slaw

8.  Now, this Massaged Kale Salad is for you more experienced Kale Lovers out there. This uses Flax Oil and Apple Cider Vinegar to soften the Kale and tosses it around with a couple more detoxifying ingredients. You know that I love Kale and I eat this all the time but I think you have to like the taste of Kale to start with if you are going to make this.

9.  Kale Chips.

Do we even need to introduce them? I still make them all the time and usually eat a whole head of Kale “Chips” to myself. TIP: Winter Kale (after the first frost) is generally sweeter and you may not have to remove the stems. I do recommend removing them in other seasons as the stems can add a lot of bitterness to the chips. Personally, I always remove the stems but play around with it.

Entrees and Side Dishes: Side Dishes are a bit more obvious when it comes to leafy greens so in case you don’t have a couple go-to recipes in your back pocket, here are two.

10.  Garlicky Braised Collard Greens are so delicious. Again, like in the Collard Greens soup above, the Collards cook long enough to get sweet and tender. They are brightened up with just a touch of lemon juice and rounded out with butter, garlic and crushed red pepper. Hands down, one of my most favorite ways to eat Collard Greens!

Garlicky Braised Collard Greens

11. This next side dish features Kale and is a bit spiced up but not in a chili pepper kind of way. Peppery Braised Greens with Mushrooms is an earthy and flavorful way to get more Kale in your life. Like my Mushroom Barley Soup with Kale mentioned above, this is a very early Everyday Maven recipe and I will spare you the ugly photo.

12. A really easy place to get more Greens in your life is in Stir-Fry’s. Most people who eat Stir-Fry’s are accustomed to leafy greens (like Bok Choy, Chinese Cabbage, etc.) in there so if you just substitute some Kale or Collards, you probably won’t scare them at all. This SuperFood Stir Fry has Kale in it and is great. The Kale doesn’t stand out amongst the other strong flavors but really makes this simple Stir Fry a nutritional powerhouse.

13. A family favorite and a totally different way to think about these greens is this Lasagna Inspired Spaghetti Squash Casserole. If you haven’t tried this yet, do it while the cold weather is still here. This is really satisfying and loaded with healthy ingredients plus it is a casserole that feeds a hungry crowd– that always make life a little bit easier!

14.  Finally, a radical way to think about Collards and a Low-Carb Burrito. These Shrimp + Beans in Greens Burritos are fun to make and practically guilt-free. I don’t know about you but those huge flour tortillas are very rarely appealing to me in terms of calories and Points Plus.

Shrimp + Beans in Greens Burritos

And, to top it all off, I also asked some fellow food bloggers for their favorite, healthy Kale and Collards recipes. I was thrilled to get so many great responses so here are even MORE Kale and Collards recipes for inspiration!

Baked Eggs with Kale, Mushrooms and Tomatoes from Family Spice

Red Russian Kale, Baby Bella and Feta Pizza with Roasted Garlic Oil from Farm Fresh Feasts

Kale and Ricotta Pizza from The Girl in The Little Red Kitchen

Spicy Tahini Kale Chips from Savory Simple

Tangy Collard Greens from This Mama Cooks

Sauteed Kale with Tahini from Simply Recipes

Garlic Sauteed Kale from The Gluten Free Doctor

Black-Eyes Pea Cakes with Collard Greens from Joanne Eats Well With Others

Collards Stuffed with Red Beans and Rice from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen

Sausage, Kale and Potato Casserole with Cheese from Poet in the Pantry

Lemony Lentil Patties with Massaged Kale Salad from Healthy. Delicious.

Kale & Cabbage Slaw from Recipe Rebuild

Lemon Avocado Massaged Kale Salad from spabettie

Meyer Lemon Kale Salad with Apples and Hazelnuts from Savour Fare

Hearty Sausage, Kale and Butternut Squash Soup from The Lemon Bowl

Raw Kale Salad from The Veggie Queen

Green Detox Smoothie (with Kale and Spinach) from The Six O’ Clock Scramble

Now, it’s time to pick up some Kale and Collards — I can’t wait to hear what you make! Have a great weekend :)

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  1. says

    this is a fantastic post! i have been trying to get my family to eat more veggies and now i see i can present kale in so many ways without them even knowing it 😉

  2. Tobie says

    Thank you so much for these recipes. My vegetable box has had collards for the past 2 weeks and I’ve been at a loss as to how to use it. For some reason I find kale easier to deal with (and eat) but not collards.

    • EverydayMaven says

      Me too – that Kale Caesar is happening A LOT around here right now and I don’t see myself getting sick of it anytime soon :)

  3. says

    Woo Hoo! I’m bookmarking this post for sure! The hubbers doesn’t know it yet, but we are planting some kale and collards in our garden this weekend. This will be the perfect resource when we start harvesting!
    Letty recently posted..I Hate Not Shopping*My Profile

    • EverydayMaven says

      That is awesome Letty! I planted Kale and Collards last year but I just don’t have enough room or light for them to thrive. I hope you get a great harvest!

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