This sauteed kale recipe is fresh greens cooked with butter, garlic and onions until tender, then topped with fresh herbs. A simple and healthy side dish that pairs perfectly with chicken, fish and beef.

I love to serve a green veggie with my meals, some of my favorite options include roasted broccoli, grilled zucchini and this super easy sauteed kale.

Sauteed Kale Sauteed Kale

A pan of sauteed kale with a serving spoon in it.

Kale is a versatile and healthy vegetable that can be added to so many different dishes. My favorite way to enjoy this leafy green is in sauteed kale with plenty of garlic and herbs. It takes just 10 minutes to make and always gets rave reviews!

How to prepare kale

The first step is to wash your kale. I recommend soaking your kale leaves in a bowl of water, then either pat them dry, or dry the kale in a salad spinner. Each leaf of kale has a hard stem that runs down the middle. You’ll want to slice the leafy part of the kale away from the stems, then discard the stems. Cut or tear the kale leaves into bite sized pieces. You can also skip this process and buy a bag of prepared kale to save on prep time.

Chopped kale in a mixing bowl.

How do you make sauteed kale?

Place olive oil in a pan, then add onion to the pan. Cook the onion until it’s softened. Add seasonings to the onions, then place the kale in the pan, along with a little chicken or vegetable broth. Cook the kale, stirring occasionally, until the kale has wilted and the liquid has evaporated. Add some garlic to the pan, then garnish with fresh herbs and serve.

Tips for the perfect side dish

  • This dish works with both traditional curly kale and dinosaur kale, which is a flat leaf variety.
  • Sauteed kale will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 4 days, which makes it great for meal prep.
  • You can use any type of fresh herbs in this dish. I typically use chopped parsley because I always have it on hand, but other great options include green onions, basil or dill.
  • Add the garlic towards the very end of the cooking time so that it doesn’t burn.

Sauteed onions in a skillet.

Is sauteed kale healthy?

This kale recipe is a great addition to a healthy diet. Kale is low calorie, low in carbohydrates and high in fiber. This leafy green contains antioxidants, calcium and Vitamins B, C and K. Kale also contains iron, potassium, phosphorous, folate and iron.

Cooked kale with olive oil, onions and garlic.

Sauteed kale flavor variations

This is a basic recipe for kale, but you can add any number of ingredients to this dish to customize it to your tastes.

  • Flavorings: Amp up the flavor with some bacon, olives, smoked paprika, shallots or try swapping butter for olive oil.
  • Vegetables: Add more veggies to the mix by making a blend of kale with mushrooms, green beans, artichokes or fennel.
  • Greens: This dish also works well with other types of greens such as spinach, turnip greens and escarole.
  • Cheese: Add a sprinkling of cheese such as feta cheese or freshly grated parmesan.

Grilled chicken served with a side of sauteed kale.

You can’t go wrong with a quick and easy side dish, and this sauteed kale is sure to please any crowd!

More vegetable recipes you’ll enjoy

Sauteed Kale Video

5 from 8 votes

Sauteed Kale

AuthorSara Welch
A pan of sauteed kale with a serving spoon in it.
This sauteed kale recipe is fresh greens cooked with butter, garlic and onions until tender, then topped with fresh herbs. A simple and healthy side dish that pairs perfectly with chicken, fish and beef.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Serves 4


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup onion finely diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 6 cups kale leaves stems removed, cut or torn into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth can also use vegetable broth or water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs such as parsley or dill


  • Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes or until just softened.
  • Add the salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes to the pan. Stir to combine.
  • Place the kale in the pan, and pour in the chicken broth.
  • Cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until kale is tender and most of the liquid has evaporated.
  • Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  • Sprinkle the fresh herbs over the top, then serve.


Calories: 89kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 345mg | Potassium: 26mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 2mg

Hello! I’m Sara!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I made this last night and was very very impressed. I love kale. I also sliced red pepper and sauteed that along with the greens.

  2. 5 stars
    I love the fresh herbs that are combined into this side dish. I am thinking that this will be pair alongside some tilapia for dinner tonight.

  3. 5 stars
    I can’t wait to make this again! I am loving how flavorful and healthy this simple side dish is to make.

  4. 5 stars
    Thanks for the suggestion about buying the precut kale in the bags. I guess I’ve never noticed that in my produce area. Definitely looking for next time. Can’t wait to make this!

  5. Sara I’m so impressed with your recipes and photography! Would you mind telling me what camera and lens you are using?