Quick Fix: Super Easy Kale With Pecans Recipe

by | Feb 8, 2010
Easy Kale With Pecans Recipe

Easy Kale With Pecans Recipe

It has been forever since I’ve posted a recipe, and I apologize. The thing is, I’ve been really busy. And when I’m busy my meals don’t tend to be super interesting or fancy.

But they are definitely delicious.

Kale has been my favorite instant meal lately. I can usually find three different kinds–curly, Tuscan (aka dinosaur), and red Russian–and they all work with this recipe. You can also substitute chard or any other sturdy greens to mix things up. If you want to make your life even easier look for kale with smaller, young leaves so the stems are tender enough to leave in while cooking.

The key to making a plain green vegetable worthy of an entire meal is adding something with protein or fat (preferably both). Nuts work perfectly, as do any kind of beans or lentils. This recipe calls for pecans, which are wonderful, but I usually use roasted pistachio nuts since they don’t need to be chopped. I was out of pistachios today since I ate so much kale last week (these things happen).

For me this meal is a perfect lunch. Alternatively you can serve it as a side dish and it can serve a few people. If you would like a little more substance serve it with lentils and brown rice or quinoa. I will sometimes have sardines or smoked mackerel or trout on the side.

Super Easy Kale With Pecans Recipe

Serves 1-3 people. 10 minutes.


  • 1 bunch kale or chard
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans or pistachios
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Sea salt to taste

Start by mincing your garlic, just to make it a tiny bit healthier. Rinse your greens and place them all on a cutting board oriented in the same direction. If the leaves have very thick stems you may want to remove them as explained here. Personally I buy greens that are fresh and tender enough that I rarely bother removing stems.

Pile the greens on top of each other. Starting at the tip of the leaves, cut 1 inch strips until you have cut the entire bunch. If you are using Tuscan or red Russian kale, a lot less chopping is necessary because the leaves are thin and only need be cut in one direction. If your leaves are wide, cut them into 1-2 inch squares. It’s okay if your greens are still wet, the water will help them steam.

Using a pan with tall sides and a lid, add the nuts and turn it on medium heat. Lightly toast the nuts, stirring regularly with tongs. After 2-3 minutes, add olive oil to the pan and allow it to heat up. Add your chopped greens to the pan, sprinkle generously with sea salt and toss with tongs. Cover.

Stir the greens occasionally so they don’t burn, always replacing the lid after stirring. Continue cooking the greens as they wilt and turn dark green. If they start to burn lower the heat, add 1-2 tbsp of water and cover again to steam.

Kale is done cooking when it is dark green and the stems are tender. Unlike spinach, it is very difficult to over-cook kale because it retains its crispness very well.  Before turning off the heat, use tongs to clear a space in the center of the pan and add your minced garlic in a single layer. Allow the garlic to cook until it becomes fragrant, about 30 seconds, then mix it up with the kale and nuts. Add half cup of beans or lentils at this point if desired.

Continue to cook greens uncovered for another minute or two. Taste test a leaf for saltiness and adjust to taste (be careful if you are using chard, it is naturally salty and easy to over-season).

Serve immediately.

Who loves kale as much as I do?

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
You deserve to feel great, look great and LOVE your body
Let me show you how with my FREE starter kit for getting healthy
and losing weight without dieting.

Where should I send your free information?
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

46 Responses to “Quick Fix: Super Easy Kale With Pecans Recipe”

  1. Reel Whore says:

    I only started eating kale the last few years, but I love it. This sounds like an easy and tasty way to fix it. Can’t wait to give it a try.

  2. MissTdJ says:

    I’ve got dino kale & pistachios from my CSA this week, perfect timing!

  3. Allie says:

    My favorite right now is adding chick peas and preserved lemons to my kale, along with some garlic and olive oil. Yum!

  4. jennifer says:

    Oh how I wish I loved kale! It would make healthy eating SO much easier… But alas, greens are not a category of food I like all that much… 🙁

  5. Love food like this! Unfortunately I’ve had to cut back on nuts because they’re making me break out lately. Sigh. Now, do you soak your nuts? I have been reading about how important it is for digestibility.

  6. Bodine says:

    I love, love, love kale. And I just made this for dinner, with pistachios, and I added chickpeas at the end. Served with brown rice. The husband and I both adored it. We adored it so much that I had to comment. It’s the third recipes of yours that I’ve made, and my favorite so far. Thank you!

    • Darya Pino says:

      Awesome, thanks for letting me know 🙂 I cook this several times a week and also love to add chickpeas or other beans. It’s also great with tahini drizzled on it at the end.

      • Irina says:

        Could I ask if you think tahini is healthy? Guessing from your comment, you use it and think it’s fine. I’m seriously addicted to it and wonder if that may be harmful to have it often. I read it’s high in omega6 and isn’t recommended by the Palestinian folk. Thank you in advance!

  7. Craig Dugas says:

    I love this recipe! We made it a few times, using kale and pistachios – they have a very complimentary flavor. I shared a very slightly different version of kale & pistachios on Inspired Eats.

    Thanks for sharing it 🙂

  8. I’ve seen kale several times at my grocery store and never knew what to do with it. Now I know 🙂

  9. Wendy says:

    I love this dish and I cook it for anyone who says they don’t like Kale! On suggestion of previous poster, tonight I will try adding chickpeas (my daughter will love it!)

  10. Grok says:

    Kale is yum, but I might be a beet greens kind of guy 🙂

  11. Sarah says:

    I was inspired to buy some kale this weekend but was stuck for an easy worknight recipe, until I saw this. Amazing! I added sunflower seeds with the pistachios, just because they were on-hand. My maiden voyage into kale-cooking was a success, thanks to you!

  12. Cristina says:

    Hi… so I’m making a white bean and kale soup tonight… the timing made me laugh… using a different meat though…


    happy 2011!!!

  13. Oscar says:

    Before attempting this recipe, I had never eaten kale before. There was something about it that made me feel like I wouldn’t like it. But since recently I decided to put my big-boy pants on and start eat my veggies, I went to the local farmers, bought some kale, and cooked it. And, I have to say, I’m converted. I really like the crunch of the kale. The texture is what really made me like it. Thanks for the recipe. This made me realize how easy it is to eat veggies.

  14. AJ says:

    After months of following this easy recipe, this dish just never fails. I love it so much, thank you for sharing this!

  15. PF says:

    Hi Darya,
    You asked, “Who loves kale as much as I do?” Well, when i was a kid, my mother called me “Kale-head” because i was always good for another helping of kale instead of dessert. This year, in the Pacific NW, we’ve had a very cool summer so far. My broccoli bolted in an early, 2-day heat wave, but the dinosaur kale is still pumping out good eating. I’ll try your recipe with the walnuts i have on hand. BTW, i frequently toss sliced radishes into kale once it’s done cooking. Thanks for the addition to my recipes!

  16. Sandra says:

    I made this last night using sliced almonds. Wonderful!

  17. Jody says:

    So my husband is more of a mac and cheese sort of guy. I had this kale dish as a sidedish along with some tuna in the mac ‘n cheese. By mixing it altogether he says, “What is this green stuff? It is pretty good!” Score one point for nutrition!

  18. Dave says:

    I’ve been trying to make this recipe frequently. My shedule doesn’t permit time for me to go to a farmers market. The Kale that’s available to me has been too strong for my palate but I read how you use some form of acid like lemon juice or vinegar. I happened to have some White Balsamic Vinegar and I put a few splashes of it while cooking this dish and man did it change everything! This stuff is freakin awesome now. I made it with black rice. It looks cool too. Thanks!

  19. DMills says:

    I make your kale recipe for my wife and I at least once a month. I have modified slightly by starting with caramelized onions to which I add the kale, followed by the pecans and garlic. We love it.

  20. Stephen says:

    Borrowing from your Brussels sprouts acid tip, I added sherry vinegar and great olive oil near the end. Then served it over pasta with a summer tomato marinara. Unbelievable.

  21. Katie Kobelinski says:

    I know this post is like 3 years old, but i just made this recipe (with pistacios and almomds, and added 1/3 of lentils) for lunch today. Heaven! I mean, it tasted delicious, was SUPER easy to make this morning and I feel great. I have never been a lentils eater, but I think I am a new convert. Thanks for the great recipe.

  22. Julie Brz says:

    I was looking for an easy, tasty way to serve the boatloads of kale from the crop share. My kids and husband are generally resistant to cooked greens, but we all inhaled this dish. It is so delicious! And the kale cooks way down, so I can use all of it in one meal! Thank you. This is my new favorite blog!

  23. Michele says:

    Is there a way to get the bitterness out of swiss chard?

    I just made this with curly kale and red-veined swiss chard. This looks so good, but it’s bitter to me.

    But then again, I’ve only been eating healthfully for a few days. Maybe it’s an acquired taste?

    Or the the swiss chard isn’t a good one? It’s not organic… I bought it at local fresh produce store yesterday.

    P.S. Darya~ I like your summertomato site/foodist book/healthful ideas/inspiration to awesome life! Thank you! ~Michele

  24. Emma says:

    I just made your Kale recipe for lunch but I used walnuts instead of pecans and I also used Tuscan Kale. I also threw in a couple of cut up anchovies – I was surprised by how nice it was! So simple but so delicious 🙂 best lunch of the week!

  25. Amanda Young says:

    I know this is a really old post, but I just needed to comment. We have a food truck park where I live, every Saturday, and one of the vendors there is actually an organic farmer. He had some kale available today and I have just been reading Foodist and remembered this recipe so I thought I would try it out. It was one of the most delicious things I’ve ever tasted. I didn’t even know I LIKED kale! I’m certainly not someone who is averse to green vegetables, but as I’m lucky enough to have parents who grow a TONNE of their own produce, I’ll usually cook whatever my mum has picked for me that week. I might suggest she grows some kale, this is definitely going to become one of my go-to meals!

What do you think?

Want a picture next to your comment? Click here to register your email address for a Gravatar you can use on most websites.

Please be respectful. Thoughtful critiques are welcome, but rudeness is not. Please help keep this community awesome.