My Easy Buttered Kale is a fast and delicious healthy side, comprising sautéed kale with butter and lemon. If you're trying to get more greens in your life this is the recipe for you! Ready in 5 minutes and so versatile, this side goes with everything from breakfast eggs to roast veggies and meats. Try it once and you'll make it on repeat.
With only 4 ingredients, curly kale is combined with lemon juice, butter and seasoned with flaky salt.
This great tasting wilted kale dish features regularly in my weekly meal planning as it can be ready in just 5 minutes, ideal for those days when we are pushed for time.
This method of cooking raw kale is an excellent way to persuade the kale haters as the salt and lemon balance out any bitterness you might detect in this yummy green veg.
In fact, even my 8 year old daughter can't get enough of this delicious veggie side.
- Why You'll Love This Easy Buttered Kale recipe:
- Sautéed Kale Ingredients
- How to Make Easy Buttered Kale - Step-By-Step
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Variations & Substitutions for Easy Buttered Kale
- Tips & Tricks For Making Easy Buttered Kale
- Pin This Easy Buttered Kale Recipe For Later
- What Do You Think?!
- More Easy Side Dish Recipe Ideas
- Printable Recipe
- Easy Buttered Kale
- Reader Comments & Ratings
Why You'll Love This Easy Buttered Kale recipe:
- Any dish with 4 ingredients, that can be made in 5 minutes is a winner for me.
- Sautéing the curly kale helps to soften it and the addition of salt and lemon juice ramps up the flavor.
- We should all be including low carb leafy greens in our daily diets! This is one of the easiest kale recipes you can find.
- Kids are happier eating sautéed rather than plain steamed kale.
- For other quick and tasty veggie sides the whole family will enjoy, try my Easy Corn Ribs, Roasted Shishito Peppers, Roasted Asparagus & Carrots or my Kitchenaid Mashed Potatoes.
Sautéed Kale Ingredients
Find the full list and quantities in the recipe below.
Kale - I have used curly kale in my recipe. However, this simple cooking method works with a whole host of greens. Try it with cavoli nero, swiss chard, collard greens or spinach.
Butter - I use unsalted butter, but you can use salted butter too, just cut back a little on the salt when you come to season. For dairy free and vegan diners, swap the butter for coconut oil or olive oil instead.
Lemon Juice - freshly squeezed lemon juice has the best flavor. Save any leftover juice for another day by freezing it in an ice-cube tray.
Salt- use a good quality sea salt to season the kale as it will make all the difference to the finished dish.
How to Make Easy Buttered Kale - Step-By-Step
Find the full printable recipe below.
Prepare the kale by trimming and discarding the tough stalks. Tear into bite-size pieces. Wash it well and drain.
Heat the butter in a large pan or cast iron skillet and add the drained kale and a sprinkle of sea salt.
Stir and cook until wilted. This will take around 3 minutes - then add the lemon juice.
Check the seasoning and add more salt if needed before serving.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is sautéed kale healthy?
Kale is a super-food, that is packed full of Vitamin A, K, B6 and C as well as iron, calcium, potassium, copper and manganese. This leafy green is something we should all include in our daily diet.
Both raw and cooked kale are good for you. I like to cook kale as the heat softens it, making it less chewy.
I sauté my kale in a little butter with a splash of lemon juice for flavor, which really ramps up the flavor. The thing with kale is not to add too much liquid, so that it doesn't become soggy and retains all of its nutrients.
How do you add flavor to kale?
There are 2 techniques that work best when adding flavor to kale. Firstly, massaging the kale with olive oil and/or lemon juice will tenderize it, making it far easier to chew.
Secondly cook the kale by either steaming or sautéing it with a little oil or butter and a splash of citrus.
How do you get the bitterness out of kale?
The best way to balance out any bitterness in kale is to add salt and also a sour acid, like lemon juice, red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar.
How long should you cook kale for?
The trick to cooking kale is to sauté until it is just wilted and still bright green! Around 3 minutes over a medium heat, stirring constantly so it doesn't catch.
Variations & Substitutions for Easy Buttered Kale
Curly kale has a strong flavor so it can handle other flavors being added to it. Here are some suggestions:
- Add chili flakes or red pepper flakes for added spice.
- A clove of minced garlic works well with the kale and the lemon juice.
- Keep things simple and cook the kale in a splash of vegetable broth.
- For an Asian twist, sauté the kale with minced garlic and ginger, add a splash of light soy sauce and a dash of sesame oil.
How do I make this side vegan?
I've used butter but a great vegan or plant based alternative fat to use is coconut oil. Olive oil will also work too.
Tips & Tricks For Making Easy Buttered Kale
- Be sure to season well with flaky sea salt as it will make all the difference to the finished dish.
- Don't dry the kale leaves too thoroughly as you will need some residue water to help the leaves wilt in the pan.
How To Serve Buttered Kale
This versatile side dish can be served with any main course, where you would normally serve spinach, cabbage or other leafy greens.
However, it can also be a key component in a dish, like the light lunch dish I have here, where I've simply topped the wilted spinach with a fried egg and a dash of my favorite chili sauce.
How To Reheat Buttered Kale?
This is a dish that is best serve hot, straight from the pan. However you can keep kale in an air tight container for a day in the fridge. It can be re-heated in a pan on a gentle heat. Just don't overcook the kale or it will become mushy.
Pin This Easy Buttered Kale Recipe For Later
What Do You Think?!
I'd love to know what you think about this recipe! I'd be so grateful if you scroll down to the bottom of the page and leave a star rating and comment.
More Easy Side Dish Recipe Ideas
Easy Buttered Kale
- 8 oz Curly Kale - One large bunch kale. Note: 1oz = 1 packed cup
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
- Sea Salt
- Trim and discard the tough stalks from the kale.
- Tear into bite sized pieces and then wash well in a strainer and drain. It's ok if it's still slightly wet as the kale needs a little water to wilt in the pan.
- Heat the butter on a medium high-heat in a large heavy based frying pan or cast iron skillet.
- Add the kale and a sprinkle of sea salt. Cook until wilted, stirring, for around 3 minutes so the kale remains a bright green color.
- Add the lemon juice.
- Check the seasoning and add more salt if needed.