I love kale. We grow kale in our garden, and I go out everyday and just eat it raw. So of course, I had to come up with a bunch of kale recipes to eat what was growing in the garden.
What’s great is kale is so versatile. You can eat it raw, cooked, alone, in soups, and more.
If you’re cringing because kale is not your thing, I promise it can be. But, salt is your friend. Kale can be a little bitter if you’re not completely sold on it, so a bit of salt can completely change the taste and make it palatable.
Budget-Friendly Kale Recipes
When you’re making any kale recipe, a key thing to remember is that you don’t want to overcook it. Kale will wilt a bit, but it won’t wilt down completely like spinach. When it’s “done,” kale will still be hardy and full. It shouldn’t be soft and stringy. If it is, you’ve overcooked the kale.
Vegan and Kale Bean Soup
Kale is a huge part of this soup, which is why it’s in the name. The kale wilts down in the broth, but still holds its integrity, so it adds a nice texture to the soup. It’s a great way to use up any kale that might be getting close to past its prime.
There are also beans and other vegetables in the soup, which actually is unintentionally vegan.
The soup tastes great with some crunchy bread on the side ad freezes really well too.
Red, White and Bleu Kale Salad
Raw kale is the base for this delicious, patriotic-perfect salad. You’ll need to rinse and cut an entire bunch of kale for this salad. Be sure to cut the kale into bite-sized pieces to make the salad easier to eat.
Berries, croutons, and dressing round out this tasty summer side dish.
You can assemble it ahead of time, but I wouldn’t recommend dressing it until you’re ready to serve it. The dressing could cause the kale to get soggy.
Air Fryer Kale Chips
Kale is, basically, the only Ingredient in these kale chips. You do need a little oil and salt for texture, but otherwise, it’s just kale.
These kale chips are so crunchy and tasty. The air fryer is clutch in this recipe. I tried and failed to make them so many times in the oven. But I never gave up hope. Once we got an air fryer, I tried kale chips and perfected this recipe.
Simple Sautéed Kale
The simplest way to make kale is to cut up half a bunch and sauté it on the stovetop.
It only takes a couple minutes to make sautéed kale, and the result is a really incredible side dish.
If you’ve never made kale before, but you want to try, this is the perfect beginner kale recipe. It’s easy to make and tastes great. Once you master this, and realize how delicious kale can be, you’ll start branching out to make other kale recipes.
Kale and Walnut Pesto
It’s impossible for me to say enough good things about this kale and walnut pesto. Like, honestly, if I had to survive on one food for the rest of my life, this would be it.
It’s pesto, but really it’s a delicious creamy, nutty, cheesy blend of incredibleness. The flavors are perfectly balanced, the consistency is amazing, and the recipe costs a lot less than a traditional pesto.
See, a traditional pesto needs a ton of basil. And even though we grow basil in our garden, we still never have enough to make a substantial amount of pesto. You need a lot, and that’s expensive. Kale is so much more cost effective, and this pesto made from kale is, honestly, so much more delicious than pesto made from basil.
Homemade Kale Pesto Ravioli
If you’re looking for a way to use the aforementioned Kale and Walnut Pesto, this Kale Pesto Ravioli is the perfect way.
Not only is this homemade ravioli topped with the kale pesto, each one is filled with a dollop of ricotta cheese and a dollop of kale pesto. The recipe even has a recipe for the homemade pasta, which is a lot easier to make than you think.
This Kale Pasta recipe is so easy, and a great way to use the bunch of kale and package of mushrooms sitting in your fridge.
Cook the kale, mushrooms, pasta, and a few other ingredients, then combine them in a casserole pan and bake.
We’ve made this recipe topped with a marinara sauce too, which was really tasty.
Black Bean and Kale Pasta
One of our favorite easy weeknight dinners is this Black Bean and Kale Pasta.
Half a bunch of kale, beans, and a few other ingredients cook in a pan, then they’re mixed into pasta.
This recipe is super simple and gets on the table easy, which is good when you want something tasty and simple because you have other plans for the day.
Kale Pesto Bruschetta
Bruschetta is such a popular appetizer, and this kale pesto version is a great twist.
Top the bread with homemade kale pesto, then with tomatoes, and a little parmesan to create the perfect Kale Pesto Bruschetta.
Every time we’ve made these, they’ve been a huge hit.
What type of kale works best in recipes?
The most common type of grocery store kale is Curly Kale. Curly Kale works great in any of these recipes.
We grow Dinosaur Kale, also known as Tuscan or Lacinato kale, in our garden because they’re really good at surviving through a frost. Since we have it planted in our raised garden bed, we can’t bring it in for the winter. So we needed to grow something that would survive outdoors in winter.
Because it’s what we grow, we’ve used Dinosaur Kale in each of these recipes as well, and it has worked.
Which of these budget-friendly kale recipes will you try first? Be sure to let us know in the comments.