What goes with Kale
Category Ingredients that Pair with Kale
Fruits Apple, Lemon, Raisin
Vegetables Garlic, Onion, Sweet potato
Spices/Herbs Garlic, Black pepper, Cayenne
Proteins Chicken, Sausage, Chickpeas
Drinks Green tea, Red wine, Smoothies

If you’re looking for kale recipe ideas, kale salad recipes, or kale side dishes, this nutrient-packed vegetable can be paired with an array of ingredients to create delicious and satisfying meals.

Key Takeaways:

  • Kale is a versatile leafy green that pairs well with a variety of ingredients.
  • Popular combinations include kale with apple or beetroot, vinegar, and walnuts; kale with garlic, lemon, and olive oil; and kale with garlic and soy sauce.
  • Other ingredients that go well with kale include bell peppers, Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, chillies, ginger, leeks, mushrooms, onions, potatoes, scallions, spinach, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, avocados, blueberries, cranberries, grapefruit, lemon, lime, mango, melon, olives, oranges, papaya, pineapple, raisins, basil, dill, mint, savory, black pepper, caraway seeds, chilli flakes, curry powder, cumin, salt, coconut milk, nutritional yeast, vegan feta, vegan parmesan, garbanzo beans/chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils, soy mince/TVP, tofu, vegan bacon, vegan sausages, white beans, almonds, cashews, hemp seeds, peanuts, pecans, pine nuts, sesame seeds, walnuts, barley, breadcrumbs, pasta, rice, quinoa, dijon mustard, maple syrup, miso paste, olive oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, and tahini.
  • These ingredients can be used together with kale to create delicious and nutrient-rich meals.
  • Experiment with different combinations and cooking techniques to discover your favorite kale dishes!

Kale in Salads, Soups, and Stir-Fries

Kale can be a fantastic addition to salads, soups, and stir-fries, adding both taste and nutritional value to these dishes. Its hearty texture and earthy flavor make it a versatile ingredient that pairs well with a variety of vegetables and cooking styles. Whether you prefer a light and refreshing salad, a comforting bowl of soup, or a flavorful stir-fry, kale can elevate your meals to new levels of deliciousness and healthiness.

In salads, kale brings a satisfying crunch and a vibrant green color. Combine it with other vegetables like bell peppers, carrots, and tomatoes for a colorful medley of flavors. For added sweetness, toss in some blueberries or orange slices. Top it off with a sprinkle of toasted nuts or seeds for an extra layer of texture. Dress your salad with a simple vinaigrette made with olive oil, lemon juice, and a touch of honey or dijon mustard for a tangy twist.

When it comes to soups, kale adds a nutritious punch. Its sturdy leaves hold up well to simmering, adding a pleasant chewiness to the broth. Combine it with other vegetables and legumes like carrots, celery, and white beans to create a hearty and filling soup. Season it with garlic, herbs, and spices for added depth of flavor. Serve with a crusty bread roll for a complete and satisfying meal.

kale in salads, soups, and stir-fries

In stir-fries, kale adds a deliciously crisp texture and a subtle bitterness that complements other vegetables and proteins. Saute it along with garlic, ginger, and soy sauce for an Asian-inspired dish. Add in your favorite stir-fry vegetables like bell peppers, mushrooms, and onions, and toss in some tofu or tempeh for a plant-based protein boost. Serve over steamed rice or noodles for a satisfying and flavorful meal.

Kale in Salads, Soups, and Stir-Fries

In summary, kale is a versatile leafy green that can enhance the taste and nutritional value of salads, soups, and stir-fries. Experiment with different combinations of vegetables, fruits, herbs, and spices to create delicious and healthy meals. Whether you choose to enjoy kale in a refreshing salad, a comforting soup, or a flavorful stir-fry, it is sure to add a burst of flavor and a boost of nutrients to your dishes.

Kale with Fruits, Nuts, and Seeds

Combining kale with fruits, nuts, and seeds can take your meals to a whole new level of deliciousness. Not only does it add a burst of flavor, but it also enhances the texture and nutritional value of your dishes. Whether you are making a wholesome salad, a refreshing smoothie, or a hearty quinoa bowl, kale can be the perfect companion.

When it comes to fruits, options like apple, mango, pineapple, and citrus fruits such as lemon and lime work beautifully with kale. The natural sweetness and acidity of these fruits balance out the earthy bitterness of the kale, creating a harmonious flavor profile. Adding some dried fruits like cranberries or raisins can also provide a pleasant chewiness and a touch of natural sweetness.

As for nuts and seeds, there are endless possibilities. Walnuts, almonds, cashews, and pine nuts are just a few examples that add crunch and a rich nuttiness to your kale-based recipes. For an extra boost of nutrition, consider incorporating hemp seeds, sesame seeds, or chia seeds. These seeds are packed with essential fatty acids, fiber, and other valuable nutrients.

To give you an idea of how you can combine kale with fruits, nuts, and seeds, here’s a simple yet delightful recipe:

Ingredients: Instructions:
2 cups kale, washed and torn into bite-sized pieces 1. In a large bowl, massage the kale with a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice for a few minutes until it becomes tender. This helps to soften the leaves and reduce bitterness.
1 apple, thinly sliced 2. Add the sliced apple to the bowl and gently toss it with the kale.
1/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped 3. Sprinkle the walnuts over the kale and apple mixture.
2 tablespoons dried cranberries 4. Lastly, add the dried cranberries.
Extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste 5. Drizzle the salad with olive oil, lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss everything together until well combined.
kale salad
6. Serve and enjoy!

This refreshing kale salad combines the crispness of apple, the crunchiness of walnuts, and the tanginess of dried cranberries. The vibrant colors and flavors make it a delightful addition to any meal or even as a standalone dish. Feel free to customize it by adding other fruits, nuts, or seeds that you love.

Remember, experimenting with different combinations is the key to discovering your favorite kale recipes. Don’t be afraid to get creative and tailor them to your personal taste preferences. By incorporating fruits, nuts, and seeds, you can transform kale into a star ingredient that not only nourishes your body but also tantalizes your taste buds.

Kale with Herbs and Spices

Adding herbs and spices to kale can enhance its taste and create a dynamic flavor profile. The earthy bitterness of kale can be balanced with the right combination of seasonings, resulting in delicious dishes that are both healthy and satisfying.

When it comes to herbs, options like basil, dill, mint, and savory work well with kale. Their fresh and aromatic qualities add depth to the leafy green, complementing its natural flavors. Whether tossed into a salad or stirred into a soup, these herbs bring a burst of brightness and vibrancy.

Spices also play a crucial role in elevating kale-based recipes. Black pepper, caraway seeds, chili flakes, curry powder, and cumin are just a few examples of spices that pair beautifully with kale. They add warmth, complexity, and a touch of heat, transforming simple kale dishes into culinary delights.

Here’s a recipe idea to inspire you: Kale and chickpea curry. Sauté onions, garlic, and ginger in olive oil until fragrant. Add curry powder, cumin, and chili flakes for a kick of heat. Then, toss in chopped kale and cooked chickpeas, allowing them to simmer in a rich tomato-based sauce. Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice and serve over fluffy rice. This flavorful dish brings together the goodness of kale with the aromatic spices of a curry, creating a satisfying and nourishing meal.

So, don’t shy away from experimenting with herbs and spices when cooking with kale. Let your taste buds guide you as you discover exciting and delicious flavor combinations. With the right seasonings, kale can truly shine and become a staple ingredient in your culinary repertoire.

Kale with Herbs and Spices

Herbs Spices
Basil Black pepper
Dill Caraway seeds
Mint Chili flakes
Savory Curry powder

kale with herbs and spices

Kale with Grains and Legumes

Combining kale with grains and legumes provides a nutritious and satisfying meal. Kale’s earthy flavor and hearty texture pair perfectly with the nuttiness of grains and the creaminess of legumes. Whether you’re looking to create a nutritious salad, a filling side dish, or a hearty main course, there are plenty of kale recipe ideas that incorporate grains and legumes.

One delicious option is a kale and quinoa salad. Quinoa, a protein-rich grain, adds a satisfying crunch to the salad while complementing the kale’s robust flavor. Top it off with some cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and a lemon-tahini dressing for a refreshing and nutrient-packed meal.

If you’re in the mood for a warming bowl of soup, consider making a kale and lentil soup. Lentils are a great source of plant-based protein and provide a hearty texture that pairs well with the kale. Add some carrots, celery, and warm spices like cumin and paprika for a flavorful and comforting dish.

For a more substantial meal, try a kale and chickpea curry. The creamy texture of chickpeas pairs beautifully with the kale’s leafy greens. Add some aromatic spices like turmeric, cumin, and coriander, and serve it over a bed of fluffy rice for a satisfying and flavorful dinner.

Table: Kale, Grains, and Legumes Pairings

Grains Legumes
Quinoa Lentils
Barley Chickpeas
Rice Black beans
Pasta White beans

As you can see, there are numerous possibilities when it comes to combining kale with grains and legumes. Don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with different flavors and textures. The versatility of kale allows you to create delicious and nutrient-rich meals that will satisfy both your taste buds and your hunger.

kale grains and legumes


Kale is a versatile and nutrient-rich green that can be paired with a wide range of ingredients to create delicious and healthy meals. Whether you prefer salads, stir-fries, soups, or pasta dishes, kale can elevate any recipe with its vibrant flavor and numerous health benefits. In this article, we have explored various ingredient combinations that go well with kale, offering endless possibilities for culinary creativity.

For salads, consider combining kale with apple or beetroot, vinegar, and walnuts for a refreshing and crunchy experience. If you’re craving a warm dish, try sautéing kale with garlic, lemon, and olive oil, or experiment with garlic and soy sauce for an Asian-inspired twist. Kale also pairs well with a variety of vegetables such as bell peppers, Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, and more, adding depth and texture to your meals.

When it comes to incorporating fruits, nuts, and seeds, kale can be combined with a myriad of options to create a delicious balance of flavors. From blueberries, mango, and pineapple to almonds, cashews, and sesame seeds, these ingredients add sweetness, crunch, and an array of nutrients to your kale-based dishes.

And let’s not forget the powerful combination of kale with grains and legumes. Whether it’s quinoa, lentils, or chickpeas, these hearty ingredients complement the robustness of kale, creating filling and satisfying meals. Finish off your culinary creations with a sprinkle of herbs and spices like basil, dill, or black pepper for an extra burst of flavor.

In conclusion, kale is an incredibly versatile ingredient that can be paired with a wide variety of ingredients to create delicious and healthy meals. So go ahead, get creative in the kitchen, and discover just how incredible kale can be when combined with the right ingredients.

By Mat Stuckey

Ex professional chef with a passion for cooking and unique flavours.

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