Kale Madeline

A take on the ever-popular Spinach Madeline, Kale Madeline is heartier than the dish that inspired it. Fresh kale is cooked and tossed with onion, seasonings and cheese before baking into a casserole. This dish makes for a fantastic Thanksgiving or Christmas side dish.

Angled view of kale madeline in yellow casserole dish

I was introduced to a little dish called Spinach Madeline a few New Year’s Eves ago.

I was working at a sales-based company, and December 31st was the end of quarter, so I was working late while Winston and my mother planned out and made a decadent New Year’s Dinner for us.

One of the dishes Winston prepared was Spinach Madeline.

I’d never heard of it before, but I fell in love with it at first bite.

A hand scooping kale madeline onto  plate from casserole dish

Fast forward two years, and I was on assignment for 225, a local magazine in Baton Rouge, and they told me during one meeting that they wanted me to go out and photograph Madeline Wright, the woman who is the originator of Spinach Madeline. So I did, and it was awesome.

When I was thinking about Thanksgiving this year, I wanted to add a little twist to Madeline’s original recipe, so I used kale instead of spinach. Not surprisingly, it is every bit as wonderful.

Here’s how you make it:

Angled view of kale madeline in yellow casserole dish
Yield: 6 servings

Kale Madeline

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

A take on the ever-popular Spinach Madeline, Kale Madeline is heartier than the dish that inspired it. Fresh kale is cooked and tossed with onion, seasonings and cheese before baking into a casserole. This dish makes for a fantastic Thanksgiving or Christmas side dish.

Ingredients

  • 10 oz. fresh kale
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons onion, finely diced
  • ½ cup evaporated milk (unsweetened)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup remaining kale liquid
  • ½ teaspoon celery salt
  • 3 oz. pepper jack cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. In a large pot, bring water seasoned with salt to a boil.
  3. Add the kale to the salted water and boil for 10 minutes before draining and setting aside. Make sure to keep 1/3 cup of the liquid the kale boiled in for later in the recipe.
  4. In a skillet, melt the butter and add the flour, forming a blonde roux.
  5. Add the onion, cooking until translucent and coated in the roux.
  6. Pour in the evaporated milk, Worcestershire and the remaining kale liquid. Season with the celery salt, as well as freshly ground black pepper and salt.
  7. Simmer until the sauce has thickened substantially, then add in the kale and the cheese, stirring until combined.
  8. Pour into a greased baking dish, top with an additional sprinkling of cheese, and transfer to the oven.
  9. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the cheese on top is brown and bubbly.
  10. Serve warm and enjoy!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1 serving

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 138Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 281mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 6g

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

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16 Comments

  1. I have to say, I saw the title and immediately pictured bright green madeleine cookies! So (although that is actually kind of intriguing) I’m glad to see that I’m wrong. This beautiful gratin sounds like such a decadent way to eat your greens!

    1. I’m embarrassed to admit that I had NO IDEA what a bright green madeline cookie was when I first saw your comment… and I’ve just looked it up, and I DO know what they are. Hmm.

      Thanks! It’s really gorgeous and decadent and pretty delightful because of this. 😉

  2. I’ve always wanted to try Kale, and this recipe is really making me want to start right now! Looks delicious! Thanks for posting the recipe!

    1. Kale is really wonderful, LeSha! It’s super similar to spinach, but it’s more like collard and mustard greens because it offers more ‘uumph,’ if that makes any sense… I was totally freaked out to try it for the first time. However, it’s wonderful, and it works really nicely in this casserole, too! If you try it out, be sure to let me know how you like kale!

    1. You definitely gotta give it a try! And when you do, let me know what you think! I didn’t try kale until last year, and I am so happy I did!

  3. I have never had Kale but it looks like spinach hmmm this gives me something new to consider as I make my Thanksgiving dinner I am tired of the traditional stuff I want something different.

    1. Kale is super similar to spinach, though I like to think it’s a little meatier, if that makes any sense. (So it’s more filling/robust than the spinach and is similar to collard and mustard greens, in my humble opinion.) Let me know if you give this a shot, Kita!

  4. My aunt was just saying we should try a couple healthier dishes for Thanksgiving!! This looks amazing! I think I could adjust to this over green bean casserole! 🙂

    1. Thanks, Kalee! This recipe is a gem, and it’s perfect for a crowd because it’s easily doubled and tripled. 🙂 Let me know if y’all try it this year instead of the green bean casserole!

    1. Ha! Come on down, girl! Granted, I’m not the one doing the cooking, but I can guarantee it’ll be amazing. After all, Louisiana Thanksgiving is ALWAYS delicious!

    1. Thanks, Tiffany! It’s delicious, relatively painless, and hopefully a hit with any crowd! I know the folks we hosted enjoyed the twist on a classic.

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