Sauteed Kale and Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Serves 6 as a side dish

IMG_2190Is this Sauteed Kale and Brussels Sprouts with Bacon the prettiest dish you will serve this week?  No.  It is one of the most delicious, and the most nutritious (if you squint at the small amount of bacon involved, which in our case was actually turkey bacon)?  Yes.

Like many great dishes, this was born of stuff that was lying around in the fridge.  Making something from what you have on had is one of the most gratifying ways I know of to cook.  You feel like a hero.  “I made this, from things I already had around?  And didn’t have to run to the supermarket?  Me smart.”

Two bunches of kale in the fridge (I have cheerfully hopped on the kale bandwagon.  Kale is the new black, and all of that jazz.)  A slightly sad looking container of brussels sprouts that needed to be cooked or forever hold their peace.  And a small container of crispy pre-sauteed crumbled bacon, leftover from a spit pea soup that had come and gone.

(Hint: if you are sauteing or baking bacon for one recipe, make more than you need.  You will use it later in the week on pasta, in a casserole, in a quesadilla, in a pan sauce, in a frittata, in a salad.)

The red pepper flakes and garlic provide heat and interest, but temper the amounts if you have people at the table who don’t like a little gasp of spiciness in their vegetables.  You can always pass more pepper flakes on the side.  Also, I used the leftovers of this recipe in a fantastic quesadilla with some pre-shredded Mexican blend cheese in a bag.  It was one of my favorite quesadillas ever.

If you are in a brussels sprouts state of mind, also try Sauteed Sliced Brussels Sprouts, with mustard seeds.

Sauteed Kale and Brussels Sprouts with Bacon


  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pints brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 1 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 bunches kale, tough stems discarded, leaves torn into small pieces (about 8 cups)
  • 1/4 cups crumbled cooked bacon
  • 1/2 cups or so of water

1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the brussels sprouts and cook, letting them sit for a bit in between stirs, so the outsides brown up nicely, about 4 minutes.  Add the garlic and saute until it colors slightly, about 1 minute.  Stir in the red pepper flakes, and season with salt and pepper. Add the kale, you may have to do this in batches, letting it cook down a bit before you can add more.  Stir in the bacon.

2. Add the water and cover the pot, removing the lid and giving it a stir every minute or so co it cooks evenly.  Cook until the kale is nice wilted but not fully deflated, about 5 minutes.  If the water dries out, add a bit more.  Taste and adjust seasonings.

3. Turn onto a serving platter and serve.

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4 thoughts on “Sauteed Kale and Brussels Sprouts with Bacon”

  1. Danielle says:

    Thanks for the recipe. I put it in quesadillas, per your suggestion…delish!

  2. Suzanne says:

    I like your writing style, and I am of the same mind…cook/use up what’s already on hand…brings out my creativity!
    I look forward to making this for the Thanksgiving table. ;)

    1. Katie Workman says:

      Would love to hear what you thought!

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