Gluten Free

Lemony Kale

at a glance
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 6
5 — Votes 6 votes

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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

By: Amber Goulden
5 — Votes 6 votes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Servings: 6


  • 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.


Meet the Author
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Cassy Joy Garcia

HOWDY! I’m Cassy Joy and I am just so happy you’re here. I’m the founder, Editor-in-Chief, and Nutrition Consultant here at Fed and Fit. What started as a food blog back in 2011 has evolved now into so much more.
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    Recipe Rating

  1. Michele says

    Michele —  07/21/2018 At 15:39

    HI Cassie! Do you use enameled cast-iron for this kale recipe? Thanks!

  2. Anna says

    Anna —  07/21/2018 At 16:35

    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 🙂

  3. Michele says

    Michele —  07/22/2018 At 07:32

    What’s the best way to reheat this?

  4. Hope says

    Hope —  11/14/2019 At 15:24

    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. Jessica says

    Jessica —  05/04/2020 At 18:12

    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!!

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  05/04/2020 At 20:41

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

  6. Tanya says

    Tanya —  07/28/2020 At 19:46

    Have you ever tried this recipe with mustard greens?

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  07/30/2020 At 07:42

      I haven’t, but I think they’d work great!

  7. Emily says

    Emily —  02/01/2021 At 07:51

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

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  02/01/2021 At 09:17

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

  8. Cheryl says

    Cheryl —  03/23/2021 At 20:28

    5 stars
    WOW!! This is amazing! I actually like eating kale now!

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  03/24/2021 At 08:07

      SCORE! That’s awesome, Cheryl!

  9. Jessica says

    Jessica —  04/02/2021 At 19:30

    5 stars
    This was quick and so flavorful! We loved it!

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  04/05/2021 At 08:04

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

  10. Kylee says

    Kylee —  06/16/2021 At 07:49

    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.

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  06/16/2021 At 08:13

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