Creamed Kale

5 from 8 votes

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Total comfort food, and much like creamed spinach, but with a little more substance.

Creamed Kale and a fork in a green bowl.

Creamed kale (or cream of kale, as some folks call it) is a cousin of creamed spinach, with just a little bit more texture from kale, which is a more sturdy leafy green than spinach. It’s really just blanched kale simmered in a sauce made from cream and Parmesan cheese. This recipe has only 4 ingredients, comes together in about 20 minutes, can be made ahead of time and reheated, and is the perfect side to a steak dinner and many other entrees. It’s also a decadent addition to a holiday menu!

Try creamed kale with rib-eye steaks seared in a pan, Beef Tenderloin Roast, Crispy Skinned Salmon, or Roast Chicken with Orange Honey-Mustard Glaze.

Green bowl of Creamed Kale with a fork.

Creamed Kale: Total comfort food, a cousin of creamed spinach, but with a little more substance and texture.

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Ingredients

  • Kale
  • Heavy cream, light cream, or half-and-half – You can decide how decadent you want to be, with heavy cream resulting in the richest dish and half-and-half the lightest.
  • Pinch red pepper flakes – Adds just a touch of heat to balance out the richness.
  • Finely grated Parmesan cheese – This is worth buying freshly grated for (or grating it yourself!).
Creamed Kale on a white plate.

How to Make Creamed Kale

  1. Blanch the kale: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Roughly chop the kale leaves. Add them to the boiling water and boil for 5 minutes, until the kale is fairly tender. Drain and rinse with cold water. Then use your hands to squeeze the kale and dry as you can.
Woman using tongs in a steaming bowl of kale.
  1. Make the cream sauce. Place the cream in the pot. Simmer until reduced by about half, about 4 minutes. Season the sauce.
  2. Add the kale: Stir often, until the cream sauce is further reduced and coats the kale, about 3 minutes.
Woman adding and stirring kale into cream sauce.
  1. Stir in the Parmesan.
Stirring Parmesan into pot of creamed kale.
  1. Serve.
Creamed Kale on pink plate.

FAQs

Is creamed kale healthy?

Kale has similar nutritional perks to spinach and holds up to heat with more presence than spinach. It is rich in vitamins C and K and boasts an ample amount of antioxidants and beta-carotene (via Heathline). However, there is a generous amount of cream and some Parmesan cheese in this creamed kale recipe, so if you are looking for a healthy kale recipe, you may want to replace half of the cream of half-and-half with whole milk. Or, consider Sautéed Kale instead!

Can I use frozen kale instead of fresh for creamed kale?

Yes, but there are a few things to keep in mind. 1) skip the blanching step, as frozen kale is already blanched, 2) defrost it thoroughly, 3) squeeze out any excess liquid once the kale is defrosted. If there is still water in the kale, it will make the sauce watery. Note that frozen kale may result in a softer, mushier texture than fresh, so keep that in mind.

Is creamed kale gluten-free?

This recipe is gluten-free! It’s also vegetarian but definitely not vegan.

Tips

  • If you find the texture of kale to be a bit too rough, try baby kale. It is less rugged than more mature kale but still has a nice texture and doesn’t wilt down to nothing as fast in cooked recipes.
  • If you want a lighter dish with less fat, replace half of the dairy with whole milk.
Fork grabbing Creamed Kale from a green bowl.

Make Ahead and Storage

Creamed kale can be made up to 3 days ahead of time and stored in a container in the refrigerator. It should be reheated in a pot over low heat, stirring often, until warm throughout. If it’s very thick, you might want to add some milk or additional cream of half-and-half to loosen it up. You can also warm leftovers in the microwave, just give the kale a stir every 30 seconds until it is evenly warmed throughout.

If you are planning. to make the dish ahead of time, my suggestion is to blanch the kale, chop it, and squeeze it dry two days ahead of time. Then I would make the creamed kale sauce just before serving. Or you can make the whole thing a couple of hours ahead of time, leave it at room temp, and then reheat it gently just before serving. This will offer the best texture of the kale and the sauce.

What to Serve With Creamed Kale

Plate of creamed kale, rice, and fish.

More Kale Recipes

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5 from 8 votes

Creamed Kale

Total comfort food, and much like creamed spinach, but with a little more substance.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6 People
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Ingredients 

  • 1 pound kale
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream (or light cream or half-and-half)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions 

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Trim the tough middle rib from the leaves of kale and roughly chop the leaves. Rinse them in a colander. Add them to the boiling water and boil for 5 minutes, until the kale is fairly tender. Drain in the colander, rinse with cold water, then use your hands to squeeze the kale and dry as you can.
  • Place the cream or half-and-half in the pot you used to cook the kale. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, and then lower the heat to medium and continue to simmer until reduced by about half, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and the red pepper flakes. Add the blanched kale and simmer, stirring often, until the cream sauce is further reduced and coats the kale, about 3 minutes. Stir in the Parmesan until the cheese is melted and everything is well blended.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl and serve hot.

Notes

  • If you find the texture of kale to be a bit too rough, try baby kale. It is less rugged than more mature kale but still has a nice texture and doesn’t wilt down to nothing as fast in cooked recipes.
  • If you want a lighter dish with less fat, replace half of the dairy with whole milk.

Nutrition

Calories: 278kcal, Carbohydrates: 9g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 25g, Saturated Fat: 15g, Cholesterol: 89mg, Sodium: 179mg, Potassium: 426mg, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 8499IU, Vitamin C: 91mg, Calcium: 244mg, Iron: 1mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Katie Workman

Katie Workman is a cook, a writer, a mother of two, an activist in hunger issues, and an enthusiastic advocate for family meals, which is the inspiration behind her two beloved cookbooks, Dinner Solved! and The Mom 100 Cookbook.

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3 Comments

  1. Mary Ann Krask says:

    Delicious and EASY! Keto.Thank you!

  2. beth says:

    so yummy- heartier and i think even better than creamed spinach!

    1. Katie Workman says:

      thanks!