Creamed kale is a new take on an old classic and the perfect cheesy side dish if you’re looking for some savory greens to go with dinner! Quick, easy, and utterly delicious, creamed kale might just be your new favorite way to eat your greens!
Creamed kale is the ultimate savory side dish you didn’t know you needed!
I feel like kale often gets a bad rap. After the “kale craze” started back in 2010, it began to be associated with bland, overly healthy dishes and quickly dropped back off the radar.
Kale doesn’t deserve the hate. Once you try it prepared with three kinds of delicious cheeses, cream, and all the right seasonings, you’ll be a fan of kale, too!
This super easy creamed kale recipe is a new spin on creamed spinach, and I have to say I like this more. Kale is substantially heartier than spinach and really holds up to heat. Plus, it has similar nutritional traits to spinach, so dare I say it may be superior?
Either way, it’s not for me to decide. Try this dreamy, creamy kale recipe and decide for yourself!
❤️ Why You'll Love This Recipe!
It’s quick! You can whip up a luscious side of cheesy greens in 30 minutes or less!
It’s savory! Rich and comforting, you’ll want to eat the whole bowl!
It goes with anything! Beef, fish, poultry, you name it!
This recipe may require a trip to the store, but all the ingredients are common and easy to find. Kale is sold both by the bag, and in fresh bundles. Often times, you can find bags of fresh kale with the stems already removed.
- 1 pound Kale - Stems removed. Fresh is best, but frozen kale can be used. Make sure that the frozen kale is fully thawed, and the water is pressed or rung out. It does not need to be boiled as it is already cooked.
- 2 tablespoons Butter - If using salted butter, you may want to use less salt in the dish.
- ¼ cup Yellow Onion - 1 small onion, or half of a medium-sized onion, finely diced or minced.
- 1 teaspoon Garlic - 1 garlic clove is roughly a teaspoon when minced.
- 2 tablespoons All-Purpose Flour - The most common and versatile type of flour.
- 1½ cups Milk (Half-and-Half or Heavy Cream)- Heavy cream will make the dish thicker & richer.
- ½ cup Mozzarella Cheese - Freshly grated mozzarella is preferable as the pre-packaged mozzarella has preservatives that keep it from melting properly.
- 2 ounces Cream Cheese - You can use full fat or reduced-fat cream cheese, either will work just fine.
- ⅓ cup Parmesan Cheese - Grated. Once again, fresh is best!
- Seasonings - This recipe calls for ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg. If using fresh nutmeg and grinding it yourself, you will want to use half that amount as the flavor of fresh nutmeg is significantly stronger.
*Be sure to see the recipe card below for ingredients, amounts & instructions!*
🔪 Step-By-Step Instructions
You'll need a few common kitchen instruments including a stockpot (or large pot), a frying pan, a colander, a cheese grater, a cutting board and knife, and a rubber spatula. You will want to have your cheese grated and ready to go because once you start cooking it's going to go fast!
- Boil. Bring a large stockpot filled with salted water (enough to cover the kale) to a boil. First, add in 1 pound of kale and boil until wilted, about 3-5 minutes. Once wilted, immediately pour the kale into a colander to drain and rinse it with cold water until the kale feels cool to the touch. Set it aside for later.
- Saute. Place the 2 tablespoons of butter in a large non-stick frying pan or skillet and melt it over medium-low heat. Once melted, add in ¼ cup yellow onion and 1 teaspoon minced garlic. Saute until fragrant and the onion becomes translucent or 8-10 minutes.
- Season. Add the seasonings (1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg) to the pan and stir. Next, add 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour and mix until it becomes a paste. Saute the flour paste for 2-3 minutes to cook off the taste of flour. Then, slowly pour in the 1½ cups half & half as you whisk. Bring to a boil.
Melt Cheese & Finish
- Melt cheese. Once boiling, drop the heat to low and stir in the 2 ounces of cream cheese and ½ cup of mozzarella. Stir for about 5 minutes until the cheese is fully melted, smooth, and thickened.
- Chop. Using your hands, squeeze as much water out of the kale as you possibly can. Transfer the kale to a cutting board and chop it into strips roughly ½-inch to ¾-inch in width.
- Finish and serve. Finally, add the chopped kale and ⅓ cup grated Parmesan to the pan. Stir to break up the kale and melt the Parmesan. Once the kale is warmed to your satisfaction, remove from heat and serve immediately.
Creamed kale is wonderful alongside a meaty main dish such as this lemon butter baked cod or a tasty ribeye steak. You can make creamed kale in advance and it can be reheated on the stove-top, making it a wonderfully easy side for holiday meals!
💭 Angela's Tips & Recipe Notes
- Kale can be removed from the stems with a sharp knife or by hand. Gently pull the leafy green part up and away from the stem and it should easily separate.
- For a lighter dish, milk can be used in place of half & half or heavy cream.
- Creamed kale can be made the day before and refrigerated overnight, then reheated on the stove top over medium-low heat when ready to use.
🥡 Storing & Reheating
Once cooled, place creamed kale in an air-tight dish and store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
To freeze, place leftovers in an air-tight, freezer-safe container and then wrap it in foil and put it in the freezer. Because of the dairy in the dish, it should be eaten within 3 months.
Reheating Creamed Kale
Allow frozen creamed kale to thaw in the fridge overnight. Reheat it by placing the kale in a skillet over medium-low heat until it is warm enough to eat.
🍲 More Great Side Dishes
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- 1 lb kale (stems removed)
- 2 tablespoon butter
- ¼ cup yellow onion (minced or finely diced)
- 1 teaspoon garlic (minced)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups half & half (or heavy cream)
- ½ cup mozzarella cheese (grated)
- 2 oz cream cheese
- ⅓ cup Parmesan cheese (grated)
- Fill a large stockpot with salted water and bring it to a boil (it should be enough water to cover the kale). Add the kale to the pot and boil it until it begins to wilt, roughly 3-5 minutes. Immediately drain the pot into a colander and rinse the kale with cold water until it is fully cooled. Set aside.1 lb kale
- Heat the butter in a large non-stick frying pan or skillet over medium-low heat. Once melted, add the onion and garlic and saute until fragrant and the onion is translucent or 8-10 minutes.2 tablespoon butter, ¼ cup yellow onion, 1 teaspoon garlic
- Add the seasonings (salt, ground black pepper, and ground nutmeg) to your pan and stir gently. Next, add the all-purpose flour. Mix it in until it becomes a paste-like consistency. Saute the flour paste for 2-3 minutes, continuing to mix occasionally, to cook off the taste of the flour. Then, slowly pour in the half & half while whisking and bring to a boil.1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour, 1 ½ cups half & half
- Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and stir in the cream cheese and mozzarella. Continue stirring for about 5 minutes until all the cheese is smooth, melted, and thickened.½ cup mozzarella cheese, 2 oz cream cheese
- Using your hands, squeeze the rinsed kale until you've removed as much water as possible. Transfer the kale to a cutting board and roughly chop it into strips that are between ½-inch and ¾-inch in width.
- Add the chopped kale and Parmesan cheese to the pan, stirring to break up the kale and melt the Parmesan. Once the kale is warmed through and the cheese is melted, remove from heat and serve immediately.⅓ cup Parmesan cheese, 1 lb kale
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!