This Lemony Kale is possibly one of my most famous recipes ever! It solves two problems: how to make kale delicious and how to eat it more often.

lemony kale

Lemony kale! It has officially swept the Nation and I can’t tell you how much that makes my little kale-loving heart swell. When I learned of the nutritional POWERHOUSE that is kale, I made a deal with myself that I would do two things:

  1. Figure out a way to eat it that actually tastes REALLY GOOD.
  2. Find a way to plug it into my routine so I can enjoy it regularly.

You see, kale really is king of the veggie world. It contains more Vitamin A, C, and K than you can shake a stick at. But, it also has a reputation for being the worst kind of health food: chewy and without great flavor. Before I learned how to prepare lemony kale, I really thought: rabbit food.

Lemony kale got its official debut in my first book, Fed & Fit. While my dear friend Diane Sanfilippo and I were out on our combined book tour, I introduced her to the lemony kale. You see, I prefer this kale for (brace yourself) breakfast. I do! It’s light, bright, and (believe it or not) totally crave-able if prepared correctly.

What are the secrets to preparing kale that actually tastes REALLY GOOD? The following:

  • Though curly kale is acceptable in a pinch, lacinato (or “dino”) kale is best. The texture of lacinato kale can’t be beat!
  • Use a tasty cooking fat to start: bacon grease is my preference, but butter and ghee are great, too!
  • DESTEM! Peel the leafy kale off the stem. Nobody, save for actual rabbits, enjoy eating those thick stems.
  • Saute in your hot pan with cooking fat just until the kale wilts and reduces in size a bit. Undercooked = warm salad. Overcooked = better than undercooked, but not as good as perfectly cooked. This usually takes me about 3-4 minutes until it’s all bright green and a little droopy.
  • Season with: SALT AND ACID. This is the most important part. You really need to season the kale with both salt and acid. I sprinkle mine with a pinch of sea salt and then (hence the name) I add a liberal amount of FRESH lemon juice.

This preparation method takes (maybe?) 5-7 minutes in total and BOOM, you have a health-packed side dish that actually tastes great.

The next part of my “let’s eat more kale riddle” was finding a way to plug it into my routine. That’s when BREAKFAST KALE was born! While lunch and dinner are sometimes a toss-up (maybe we’re dining out or want a specific dish), breakfast is highly consistent in our house. Adding a pile of lemony kale to our breakfast plates was easy and ensured that I enjoyed this chewable vitamin OFTEN.

lemony kale

Lemony Kale

5 — Votes 6 votes
By Amber Goulden
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
This Lemony Kale is possibly one of my most famous recipes ever! It solves two problems: how to make kale delicious and how to eat it more often.


  • 1 tablespoon butter olive oil, or bacon fat
  • 1 bunch kale de-stemmed and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice about 1/2 small lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt


  • Melt the butter over medium heat in a large frying pan that has a matching lid. Add the greens, toss to coat in the butter, and cover to steam until wilted, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the lemon juice and salt and stir to combine with the wilted greens. Serve warm.


Calories: 25kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 220mg | Potassium: 79mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.2g | Vitamin A: 2223IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 0.3mg

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 25
Keyword: easy kale, lemon kale

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Amber Goulden

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This is so simple and delicious! I meal prepped breakfasts this week with roasted sweet potatoes, this kale, and sautéed ground turkey. It keeps me feeling full and satisfied until lunchtime.

    1. That’s amazing, Kylee! Thanks so much for sharing this with us!

    1. We’re so glad, Jessica! Thank you for sharing this with us!

  2. 5 stars
    Super simple but adds a punch of flavor and is particularly delicious served with smoked salmon and eggs

    1. So glad you enjoy this recipe, Emily! Thank you for letting us know!

  3. 5 stars
    Time and again I come back to this recipe, and it is so delicious every time!! Even my toddlers gobble it right up! Thanks thanks thanks!!

    1. So glad you love it, Jessica! Thanks so much for sharing!

  4. 5 stars
    I made this today with curly kale with tons of stems and it was DELICIOUS!! My 2 year old kept ditching his cold pizza slice for more of it. I can only imagine how much better it is with destemmed Dino kale. Totally recommend though if this is all you have, it’s dynamite!

  5. Woohoo! I have been waiting for this recipe because I am not a huge fan of kale but I wish I were! I’m happy to report that I tried this recipe already with a bunch of kale from my local farmer’s market and I loved it!!! Thank you, thank you! Will for sure be making this again 🙂