Cooking Kale and Swiss Chard

I’ve been get­ting a lot of ques­tions lately on how to cook kale and swiss chard. I’m just going to give a few quick sug­ges­tions for some super sim­ple ways to cook these veg­eta­bles. These tips can also be used for any kind of leafy sautéing green, such as spinach or beet greens.

To prep kale or swiss chard for cook­ing, first you want to remove the tough stems (this isn’t nec­es­sary for smaller, ten­derer leafy greens such as spinach, or baby beet greens). Fold the leaf in half so that the rib is exposed and then cut it away with your knife or gen­tly rip the leaves off the stem and rib. The stems are also deli­cious (par­tic­u­larly swiss chard and beet green stems) but I rec­om­mend that you chop them up sep­a­rately into small pieces and steam or sauté them for a lit­tle while before adding the leaves. After the steam is removed, then chop the leaves into bite sized strips.

Win­ter­bor Kale (curly leaf, tougher)
Red Russ­ian Kale (flat leaf, more tender)

The eas­i­est way to pre­pare kale is either by sautéing or steam­ing it. There are many dif­fer­ent types of kale, rang­ing from very ten­der White and Red Russ­ian Kale (my favorite type of kale and the kind we have been grow­ing and sell­ing all sum­mer) to the tougher Win­ter­bor Kale (which we’ll have this Fall). With ten­der vari­eties a short sauté or steam will prob­a­bly be suf­fi­cient to cook it through, but with tougher vari­eties you may want to sauté it for a lit­tle while to incor­po­rate some fla­vors and then add some water and cover to steam until ten­der enough to eat.

Easy Sautéing Recipe for Kale

olive oil
salt and pep­per
red pep­per flakes*
lemon juice*


1. Wash kale well and prep for cook­ing by remov­ing stems
2. Chop the leaves up
3. In a large pan sauté minced gar­lic with a Tbsp of olive oil until gar­lic is wilted (add some chopped up stems and/or onions if desired)
4. Add kale leaves and sea­son with salt and pep­per (Also good: crushed red pep­per flakes and/or cumin)
5. Cook, stir­ring, until leaves are wilted and ten­der enough to eat
6. If cook­ing a tougher, curly leafed kale, add a lit­tle bit of liq­uid (water, vine­gar and wine to name a few) and cover to steam until ten­der enough to eat.
7. Sea­son to taste (maybe add a lit­tle squeeze of lemon juice) and enjoy!

Other Sim­ple Kale and Swiss Chard Recipes:
Baked Kale Chips
Sautéed Swiss Chard with Parme­san cheese
Swiss Chard with Gar­banzo Beans and Tomatoes

Kale and swiss chard are two of my favorite veg­eta­bles, they are deli­cious, nutri­tious and easy to cook.

If you have any tips or favorite kale recipes please share them in the com­ment section.