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
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.
Let’s talk specifics…
- Q: Do you have to blanch the kale for Cheesy Creamed Kale?
- A: Nope! It gets cooked over about 30 minutes so need to blanch and take that extra step.
- Q: Could you make this with Spinach?
- A: 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.
- Q: Can I use frozen kale?
- Yes! But make sure you thaw it out completely and then ring it dry to remove all excess moisture!
Cheesy Creamed Kale
- 3 lbs kale (roughly 3 to 5 large bunches), stems removed and leaves roughly chopped into 1 inch pieces
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- 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
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- In a large bowl, add the kale and 1/2 cup of olive oil and season with salt. Massage the kale to tenderize for 2-3 minutes. The kale should start to wilt and shrink.
- Heat the remaining olive oil in your largest pot or Dutch oven. Add the kale in batches, stirring to wilt even further until all the kale has been added. Add the vinegar and stir to combine. Cover the pot and cook on medium-low, stirring every few minutes, until the kale is soft, about 30 minutes. 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.
- Break the cream cheese into small pieces and drop them into the Dutch oven with the kale, while still over low heat. Stir the cream cheese until it's fully combined 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.