Cheesy Creamed Kale

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Looking for an easy, yet delicious, dinner idea? Try this Cheesy Creamed Kale recipe! It's perfect for home cooks of all skill levels, and it'll please even the pickiest of eaters. Plus, it's a great way to get your family to eat their greens. So give this recipe a try - you won't regret it!

If you've ever had creamed spinach before, I can guarantee you'll love this Cheesy Creamed Kale just as much! It's savory and extra cheesy, easy to make and easy to eat, and goes well as a side dish for just about everything!

A shallow bowl with cheesy creamed kale topped with panko bread crumbs, with a persimmon on the side and a brown dish cloth.


 

Why I Love This Recipe

Creamed kale originally caught my eye over on NYT Cooking and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it! It's basically like a spinach dip appetizer that gets served as a side dish and I am so here for it. Can you even imagine?

The recipe on NYT originally gets made in a slow cooker, but if you're familiar with my Thanksgiving menu, than you know my slow cooker will be re-heating the mashed potatoes on the big day so I gave this a spin on the stove top... it's genius.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Mise-en-place of all the ingredients to make cheesy creamed kale.
  • Kale stems removed and leaves roughly chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper freshly cracked
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Unsalted Butter
  • Panko Bread Crumbs
  • Lemon zested and juiced
  • Cream Cheese at room temp
  • Fontina Cheese grated
  • Heavy Cream

*For a full list of ingredients and instructions please see recipe card below.

How To Make Cheesy Creamed Kale

A bowl with kale drizzled with olive oil and salt and massaged with kale.

Step 1: In a large bowl, add the kale and ½ cup of olive oil and season with salt. Massage the kale for 2-3 minutes so it starts to soften. Heat the remaining olive oil in a very large pot or Dutch oven. Add the kale in batches, stirring to wilt until all the kale has been added.

A white dutch oven with chopped kale being cooked.

Step 2: Cover the pot and cook on medium-low, stirring every few minutes, until the kale is soft, about 20-30 minutes. Add the balsamic and stir to combine. If the kale starts to brown, reduce heat to low and continue to cook.

A skillet with butter and panko bread crumbs.

Step 3: While the kale is cooking, melt the butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the panko bread crumbs and season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

A skillet with panko bread crumbs toasted in butter, with lemon zest added to it.

Step 4: Stir and sauté until the bread crumbs are golden-brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in the lemon zest and remove from the heat.

White dutch oven with kale cooked, and cream cheese topped on it.

Step 5: Add the cream cheese in small pieces and into the kale, while still over low heat. Stir the cream cheese until it's melted into the kale.

A white dutch oven with kale cooked, with cream and shredded fontina cheese added.

Step 6: Add the fontina, lemon juice and heavy cream and combine for about 1 minute until the fontina is melted.

A white bowl with cheesy creamed kale with panko bread crumbs added on top.

Step 7: Transfer the kale mixture to a serving bowl and sprinkle the toasted panko over the top to serve.

How To Store Cheesy Creamed Kale

You can store this in an airtight container for about 3-4 days, and can heat it on the stovetop over low heat or in the oven.

How to Freeze Cheesy Creamed Kale

You can freeze this in an airtight container for a month. When its time to eat, warm it in the oven till its warm and melty!

Tips & Tricks

You can also make this recipe with spinach, half spinach/half kale, or any other hearty leafy green.

A close-up shot with cheese creamed kale with panko bread crumbs on top.

FAQs

Do you have to blanch the kale for Cheesy Creamed Kale?

Nope! It gets cooked over about 30 minutes so need to blanch and take that extra step.

Could you make this with Spinach?

You absolutely can! Or you could do it with half spinach and half kale. Or throw in some Swiss chard. Bottom line... it's great with any hearty leafy green.

Can I use frozen kale?

Yes! But make sure you thaw it out completely and then ring it dry to remove all excess moisture!

PS – are you thinking of putting this Creamed Kale on your Thanksgiving menu? Check out the full What’s Gaby Cooking menu here along with the master prep schedule to keep things organized and on track!
And if you need more Thanksgiving Ideas check out this roundup of 80+ Thanksgiving Recipes and Ideas

Similar Recipes

If you tried this recipe, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it goes in the 📝 comments below. Thanks for visiting today!

Cheesy Creamed Kale from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@Whatsgabycookin)

Cheesy Creamed Kale

Author: Gaby Dalkin
5 from 8 votes
Imagine your favorite restaurant that serves spinach dip as an appetizer and then imagine it as a side dish but with kale... you honestly can't go wrong!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 8 people

Ingredients
  

  • 3 lbs kale (roughly 3 to 5 large bunches), stems removed and leaves roughly chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temp
  • 8 ounces grated fontina cheese (white cheddar also delish)
  • ½ cup heavy cream

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl, add the kale and ½ cup of olive oil and season with salt. Massage the kale for 2-3 minutes so it starts to soften.
  • Heat the remaining olive oil in a very large pot or Dutch oven. Add the kale in batches, stirring to wilt until all the kale has been added. Cover the pot and cook on medium-low, stirring every few minutes, until the kale is soft, about 20-30 minutes. Add the balsamic and stir to combine. If the kale starts to brown, reduce heat to low and continue to cook.
  • While the kale is cooking, melt the butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the panko bread crumbs and season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Stir and sauté until the bread crumbs are golden-brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in the lemon zest and remove from the heat.
  • Add the cream cheese in small pieces and into the kale, while still over low heat. Stir the cream cheese until it's melted into the kale. Add the fontina, lemon juice and heavy cream and combine for about 1 minute until the fontina is melted. Transfer the kale mixture to a serving bowl and sprinkle the toasted panko over the top to serve.

Notes

Prep Ahead Instructions: This is an amazing recipe that you can prep ahead. The entire kale recipe could be made a day or two ahead of your dinner party and then re-heated over low heat on the day of your event. The panko needs to be made day of, and preferably just before serving so it's a little warm and still quite crispy!
You can also make this with spinach, or half spinach and half kale. You can even throw in some Swiss chard. Bottom line… it’s great with any hearty leafy green.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 529kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 50g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 22g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 90mg | Sodium: 407mg | Potassium: 276mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 5863IU | Vitamin C: 53mg | Calcium: 336mg | Iron: 1mg
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33 Comments

  1. Should it end up like a dip texture? I made this and its yummy but it turned out with a consistency like cheese dip, with some kale. I thought I did all the measurements correctly. Again, it was delicious, just much more thick and heavy on the cheese than I expected. 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    I made this kale dish today for Thanksgiving tomorrow. I have not put the panko and lemon on it yet. I did a taste test and this stuff is fantastic!!!! I used Kale, Chard and Spinach. To be honest all l want to do is put it in a bowl and eat it now. BUT I will be good and wait until tomorrow! Gaby did it again!

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