How to Make Creamy Kale (with fresh kale!)

A twist on the classic, Creamy Kale is a luscious side dish to serve on the holiday table or for an at-home date night. Easy to make and calling for simple ingredients, this kale recipe is comforting and delicious. Makes 4 servings.

Love greens to go alongside your favorite main dishes? Be sure to check out Bacon Collard GreensLemon Kale and Sauteed Greens!

A spoon lifts a spoonful of Creamy Kale out of an orange serving dish that sits on a gray striped towel

Whether you want to add greens to your holiday table or you’re wanting to make a steakhouse-inspired date night at home, these creamy greens are exactly what you want on your menu.

In fact, this recipe is inspired by a steakhouse favorite of mine: Creamed Spinach.

I could inhale an entire helping of it in one sitting without a problem (and love twists on it, like Spinach Madeline)… but today, I wanted to present something a little different.

Why I love this recipe:

Kale is such a popular green in the fall and winter months because it’s being harvested. Goodness knows that we receive a ton of it with our CSA these days.

This Creamy Kale recipe is remniscent of the steakhouse creamed spinach, but it’s heartier since kale is a heartier green than spinach… yet it’s still utterly decadent.

The best part about this dish is that it’s a total and utter treat, but it cooks up quickly and easily, so it’s done and on the table in 30 minutes or less. Also, it can be dressed up to be a part of a Thanksgiving dinner or be a decadent side dish to go alongside a weeknight meal… your choice!

Other fall side dishes that we can’t get enough of: Creamed Cornbread Casserole | Lemon Pepper Green Beans | Garlicky Spaghetti Squash | Cranberry Feta Brussels Sprout Salad with Candied Pecans and Warm Bacon Vinaigrette | Honey Roasted Whole Carrots

Looking for another side dish or more inspiration? Check out my Side Dish Recipe Index to find that and more!

Fresh kale, onion and other ingredients on a gray striped towel

What you’ll need to make this creamy kale recipe

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In addition to these tools, you’re going to need some ingredients to make this creamed kale recipe, too.

  • Fresh kale—curly or lacinato are OK!
  • Olive oil
  • Onion—or you could get fancy and use a shallot for a mellower flavor
  • Garlic
  • Heavy cream—yes, the real deal stuff. Indulge… it’s worth it!
  • Cream cheese

How to make this Creamy Kale recipe

First and foremost, you need to remove the stems of your kale. You can do this with a sharp knife, cutting them out carefully, or you can use your hands to remove them.

If you use your hands, start at the bottom of the leaf. Wrap your hand around the kale and gently pull upwards, effectively pulling the green from the stem.

Next, chop the kale into small ribbons. Chop that onion and garlic, too!

In a large skillet, add the olive oil, and heat it up. Once it’s hot, add the onion and garlic, and cook ’em until they’re translucent. This shouldn’t take more than 3 or so minutes.

Next, add the chopped kale to the skillet. Use a spoon or tongs to mix it in with the onion and garlic, and allow it the time to cook down until softened.

When the kale is wilted, pour in the heavy cream and lower the heat of the pan. (We don’t want to curdle the cream!) Add the cream cheese, too, and cook the ingredients until the cream cheese has melted and the cream sauce coats the kale.

Serve warm, and enjoy with your favorite holiday or steakhouse main dishes, like Browned Butter Sage Turkey or Broiled Steak!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use frozen kale instead?

If that’s what you’ve got on hand, yes. Just be sure to steam and drain it before you toss it into the skillet.

Can I make this creamed kale recipe lower fat?

You can… but it’ll be lacking some of the awesome flavor you get from the full-fat ingredients, like the heavy cream and the cream cheese.

What can I serve this creamy kale recipe with?

This recipe is super versatile, so you could serve it along any dinner, as well as at the holiday table.

A silver spoon sits in an orange dish of Creamy Kale sitting on a gray striped towel
Close up of cooked creamy kale in a skillet from above
Yield: 4 servings

Creamy Kale

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

A twist on the classic, Creamy Kale is a luscious side dish to serve on the holiday table or for an at-home date night. Easy to make and calling for simple ingredients, this kale recipe is comforting and delicious.

Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch of kale or 2 small bunches (about 9 oz.)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 oz. cream cheese
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Remove the stems of the kale leaves, and chop them into small ribbons with a sharp knife.
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil.
  3. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the onion and garlic. Cook the onion and garlic until translucent, about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the chopped kale to the skillet, mixing it into the onions and garlic.
  5. Let the kale cook down until softened, about 5-8 minutes. This will take a little longer than if you were doing this with spinach, as kale is a heartier green.
  6. When the kale is wilted, pour the heavy cream into the skillet. Stir it into the kale and other ingredients. Then immediately lower the heat so the cream doesn’t curdle.
  7. Add the cream cheese, too, and cook the ingredients until the cream cheese has melted and the cream sauce coats the kale.
  8. Serve warm, and enjoy immediately after the dish is cooked through.

Notes

This is a twist on a classic recipe involving spinach. It takes a little longer to cook because kale is a heartier green.

Recommended Products

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 179Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 90mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 2g

Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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Creamy kale in a silver skillet, on a beige towel
A silver skillet of a creamed kale recipe sits on a beige tablerunner next to a silver serving spoon and a white plate holding forks
Close up of cooked creamy kale in a skillet from above

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