Sautéed Garlic Kale

8 Servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Sautéed Garlic Kale is a great way to enjoy tender, flavorful leafy greens that are made with olive oil, garlic, butter, salt, and pepper.

This is an easy Side Dish that you can serve with your favorite dinners. Make this simple side with recipes like Braised Chicken Breast with Mushrooms, or Roast Turkey.

About Our Sautéed Garlic Kale Recipe

This kale recipe is the perfect way to get your family eating healthy, while still enjoying a delicious buttery dish. While raw kale is bitter, this recipe pairs tender kale with garlic to achieve amazing flavor and aroma. Even the pickiest eaters will enjoy kale once it’s sautéed in this delicious garlic mixture.

You’ve no doubt heard people rave about how healthy kale is, but there’s a reason for all the hype. Kale is a great food to add to any diet. It’s one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables in the world and it’s packed with antioxidants and vitamins. Along with every serving of kale, you’ll get a healthy dose of magnesium, potassium, calcium, and vitamins A, K, C, and B6. Kale also lowers cholesterol and has cancer-fighting agents.

“Can Sautéed Garlic Kale be made ahead?”

Yes, it is easy to make this Kale recipe ahead of time! Prepare the recipe and let the kale cool completely. Store it in the fridge with an airtight cover for a couple of days. When you’d like to serve it, take it out and warm it up in a pan or skillet for the best flavor. You could also microwave the kale to warm it up before serving.

Back to
Table of Contents

Sautéed Garlic Kale Ingredients

  • 2 bunches kale, tough stalks removed: Kale is not like spinach where you can eat the stalks. Kale Stalks are tough so just remove them, slice the leaves, cook your kale, and you’ll have a lovely, tender result.
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil: The butter and olive oil will coat the kale, and will help the seasoning stick to every piece for deliciousness in each bite.
  • Seasoning: 3 garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper come together to season your kale. Garlic is, of course, the star and blends very nicely with the butter, oil, and kale.
Back to
Table of Contents

Kitchen Tools & Equipment

  • Knife and Cutting Board: Grab your favorite kitchen knife to cut the kale into bite-sized ribbons. Use a cutting board to protect your counter and keep you knife nice and sharp.
  • Large Pot and Slotted Spoon: You need to boil the kale for a few minutes before sautéing in order to ensure you have tender kale. Use a the slotted spoon to take the kale out of the pot when finished.
  • Bowl with Ice Water: Have a large bowl ready with ice water. You’ll plunge the kale into an ice bath to stop them from cooking after they boil. Otherwise, you risk overcooking your kale. 
  • Skillet and Spoon or Spatula: This is where the sautéing comes into play. A skillet or pan is necessary to bring all of your ingredients together. Make sure your slotted spoon is appropriate for your skillet, for example, keeping metal off of nonstick surfaces.
Back to
Table of Contents

How to Make Sautéed Garlic Kale

Time needed: 15 minutes.

  1. Prep Time

    Tear the green kale leaves from the stem. Be careful to keep the leaves as untorn as possible. Stack the leaves up in bundles then cut them into 1/4-inch thick ribbons for bite-sized pieces.Sautéed Garlic Kale in mixing bowl before cooking

  2. Blanch the Kale

    In a large pot boil water and add in the kale ribbons to the rapid boil. Cook the kale in boiling water for 3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to move the kale from the boiling water to an ice water bath. Then use your hands to squeeze the water out of the kale.Sautéed Garlic Kale in ice water bath

  3. Cooking Time

    Add the kale to a skillet over medium heat. Add in the butter, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper to the pan. Stir the ingredients together and cook for 4-6 minutes until the kale has softened. Remove the kale from the pan and serve.Sautéed Garlic Kale in cooking pan

Back to
Table of Contents

Nutritional Facts

Nutrition Facts
Sautéed Garlic Kale
Amount Per Serving
Calories 58 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Trans Fat 0.1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 8mg3%
Sodium 291mg13%
Potassium 6mg0%
Carbohydrates 0.4g0%
Fiber 0.04g0%
Sugar 0.01g0%
Protein 0.1g0%
Vitamin A 88IU2%
Vitamin C 0.4mg0%
Calcium 3mg0%
Iron 0.05mg0%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Back to
Table of Contents

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Master the art of culinary perfection with these handy hints! (Change to fit recipe)

  1. Achieve Tender Greens
    • Make sure you tear all the stems from the kale, as these tough stems are not pleasant to chew through. No matter how perfectly you cook the kale, those stems will get in the way.
  2. Avoid Burning the Garlic
    • Even though this has a quick cooking time, be sure to watch your heat and stir the kale frequently while it sautés. Garlic can burn easily, and once it does it becomes very bitter. Bitter garlic will not pair as nicely with kale as aromatic, savory garlic will.
Back to
Table of Contents

What to Pair With Sautéed Garlic Kale

Along with being healthy, this buttery, tender, and flavorful dish makes the perfect complement to so many Main Dishes. Serve this Sautéed Kale recipe with dinners as simple as Slow Cooker Chicken Breasts or as one of many sides with Bourbon Glazed Ham at a holiday dinner. It doesn’t matter how laid back or extravagant of an occasion you’re cooking for, kale with garlic is a great way to bring something that’s equally delicious and healthy to the table.

Back to
Table of Contents

How to Store Sautéed Garlic Kale

  • Serve: To keep Sautéed Garlic Kale fresh, don’t leave it out at room temperature for longer than a few hours.
  • Store: Once the kale has cooled down to room temperature, put it in an airtight container and store it in the fridge. Cooked kale can keep well in the fridge for 5-7 days.
  • Freeze: You can also freeze the Sautéed Kale for 10-12 months. Let it thaw in the fridge, then reheat it again in a skillet.
Back to
Table of Contents

Ideas to Serve Sautéed Garlic Kale

Bring the Kale recipe to a picnic or barbecue. This versatile side dish isn’t dairy-based side so it can sit out a bit longer without the danger of spoiling. Kale is also a great option for those who are interested in getting extra nutrition at a potluck, where nutrition can sometimes be hard to come by. Serving this for dinner, you can plate it next to your protein, or place the protein on top of the kale. A nice piece of salmon on top of the kale would look beautiful.

Back to
Table of Contents

FAQ for Sautéed Garlic Kale

What does kale taste like?

Kale is a wonderful base for adding bright or bold flavors. It is slightly bitter, but that just means more complex flavors whether you pair it with something salty and savory like this recipe, or if you were to make a naturally sweet, creamy, or cheesy recipe with kale.

Why is kale boiled and iced before sautéing?

The boiling and ice bath is a process called “blanching”. It will help the kale retain fresh flavors and a bright green color when it’s sautéed, as opposed to the darker, more wilted look that sautéed veggies can have.

Sautéed Garlic Kale in cooking pan 1x1

Recipe Card

Sautéed Garlic Kale

Sautéed Garlic Kale is a great way to enjoy tender, flavorful leafy greens that are made with olive oil, garlic, butter, salt, and pepper.
Yield 8 Servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 2 bunches fresh kale , tough stalks removed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper


  • Cut kale into thin ribbons.
  • Add to boiling water and cook for 3 minutes, then remove to ice water.
  • Squeeze water out of kale and add to a skillet on medium heat.
  • Add in butter, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper and stir.
  • Cook for 4-6 minutes until kale has softened.


Calories: 58kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.4g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 291mg | Potassium: 6mg | Fiber: 0.04g | Sugar: 0.01g | Vitamin A: 88IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 0.05mg

Pin this recipe now to remember it later

Pin Recipe
Back to
Table of Contents

Sautéed Garlic Kale Variations

  • Lemon Garlic Kale: To add some refreshing and citrus taste to your kale that contrasts nicely with the garlic flavor, you can add in some lemon juice. Use a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice from the store, or get fresh lemon juice from a small lemon. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the lemon juice over the top of the kale and toss it together. A small amount of grated lemon peel over the top of the kale would add an extra punch of lemon flavor. However be careful, because a little goes a long way!
  • Add-Ins: There are a few add-ins you can try mixing in with the Sautéed Garlic Kale once it’s cooked. Try putting in some thinly sliced almonds for crunch or pieces of apple for some extra sweetness. You could even add in some bacon bits.
  • Seasonings: Some other add-ins you can try putting over the Garlic Kale are red pepper flakes, paprika, onion salt, or cumin.
  • Cooking Liquid: For some extra flavor you can sauté the kale in red wine vinegar, white wine, or vegetable stock.
Back to
Table of Contents

More Leafy Greens

Sautéed Garlic Kale collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


Leave a comment & rating

Have you checked the FAQ section above to see if your question has already been answered? View previous questions.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.