This kale and spinach side dish recipe is a quick and delicious way to get in your dark leafy greens. It's a perfect balance of garlicky, tangy and salty!
About 18 months ago, my husband started experiencing some very strange health issues. The skin around his eyes would itch and swell and the skin on one of his hands was dry, itchy, cracked easily and also oozed a clear liquid! It was not a fun time for him.
Finally, one night his eyes swelled so much that he could barely see, and the situation went from "this really sucks" to "okay, we REALLY have to do something to stop this"!
With the help of a naturopath and a friend who had achieved relief from crazy health issues of his own, we ended up changing his diet to be mostly vegetables and healthy fats. This was a short term solution to calm the symptoms. We would not recommend eating like this for an extended period of time. (If you are having any health issues, consult a professional.)
So with this change, I really quickly went searching for different ways to cook vegetables so my poor husband wouldn't be just eating carrot sticks and roasted broccoli for months. THIS was one of those recipes that I made and is now a staple even though my husband isn't on a super strict diet anymore.
Are Sautéed Kale and Spinach Healthy?
There is some debate as to whether kale and spinach (and other vegetables) are healthiest in their raw form or cooked! It seems that both have benefits and downsides. It is recommended by some dietitians and nutritionists to consume a little bit of both. But, keep in mind, eating kale and spinach in any form is better than eating none at all! The most important thing is to consume a diet that includes a variety of vegetables, so if you are not currently eating kale or spinach, add this recipe to dinner once a week!
Both of these dark leafy greens contain many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, as well as fibre and carotenoids. Some research has shown that kale and spinach can reduce the risk of cancer, prevent osteoporosis, promote heart health and reduce inflammation in the body! For more information on the health benefits of dark leafy greens, refer to this article.
Many of the nutrients in green leafy vegetables require fat in order to be absorbed by the body, so that's why adding a healthy fat like extra virgin olive oil to these sauteed greens is necessary!
What To Eat Sautéed Kale and Spinach With
This is a great side dish for most main dish recipes. Eat it alongside steak, chicken, fish, pork with another veggie, rice, quinoa or potatoes or add to pasta, pizza or soup!
Can Sautéed Kale and Spinach Be Reheated?
Sautéed kale and spinach are best when eaten immediately after cooking, but can be stored in the fridge and reheated in a pan or microwave with no issue.
Variations of Kale and Spinach Recipe
- Swap out spinach or kale for different leafy greens. You can really use any! I usually use kale and spinach since they are always available at the store. You could also use swiss chard, collard greens, beet greens, mustard greens, baby spinach, baby kale, etc. Adjust the cooking time according to the thickness of the leaf. For example, I start the curly kale first since it's much more robust and takes longer to wilt down. I then add the spinach since it only takes a couple of minutes.
- Add in pine nuts for crunch, parmesan cheese for some cheesy goodness, or red pepper flakes for a kick.
Tools You May Need
Large skillet/frying pan (cast-iron is best!)
Spatula or wooden spoon
Kale and Spinach Recipe Ingredients
1 bunch kale (any variety- I usually use curly kale since that's what's available at my grocery store)
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
5 oz/ 140 g spinach
¾ teaspoon sea salt
4-5 cloves garlic, minced OR 1½ teaspoon garlic powder
1½ tablespoon lemon juice or about half a lemon, juiced
Kale and Spinach Recipe Instructions
Wash kale and spinach thoroughly. Cut the centre stem out of kale leaves and chop kale and spinach leaves into strips.
Add kale and olive oil to a large skillet and cook over medium-low heat for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the kale seems dry, add some more olive oil. Note: This will look like a TON of greens, but it will shrink significantly in volume once cooked.
Add spinach, garlic and salt. Cook for 3 more minutes, stirring about every minute.
Pour in lemon juice, stir and remove from heat. Serve immediately. If needed, add salt and black pepper to taste.
Want More Healthy Recipes and Natural Living Inspiration?
More Healthy Side Dish Ideas
- WARM QUINOA WITH LEMON AND HERBS
- PAN-FRIED ASPARAGUS WITH GARLIC
- ROASTED CAULIFLOWER FLORETS
- OVEN ROASTED CARROTS & ASPARAGUS
- GARLIC OLIVE OIL MASHED POTATOES
- ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH BACON & BALSAMIC VINEGAR
Did you try this recipe and love it? If so, I would so appreciate a 5-star review! Thanks!
- 1 bunch kale
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 5 oz/ 140 g spinach
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt
- 4-5 cloves garlic, minced OR 1½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1½ tablespoon lemon juice OR ½ lemon, juiced
- Wash kale and spinach thoroughly. Cut the centre stem out of kale leaves and chop kale and spinach leaves into strips.
- Add kale and olive oil to a large skillet and cook over medium-low heat for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the kale seems dry, add some more olive oil. Note: This will look like a TON of greens, but it will shrink significantly in volume once cooked.
- Add spinach, garlic and salt. Cook for 3 more minutes, stirring about every minute.
- Pour in lemon juice, stir and remove from heat. Serve immediately. If needed, add salt and black pepper to taste.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 128Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 317mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 2g
This nutrient calculation is done by an automated calculator and may not be accurate.