Quickly-Cooked Kale with White Beans Recipe

Quickly-Cooked Kale with White Beans Recipe

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Yasmin Fahr

Kale and White Beans

Though packed with nutrients, kale often tastes bland, thick or chewy if not cooked correctly so it isn't a vegetable that most people usually go for. You could also try tossing it with cooked pasta and sliced cherry tomatoes for a quick meal.

Try the kale with the Easy Pan-Roasted Pork Chops recipe pictured.


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of dried red chile flakes (optional)
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 bunch fresh kale*, stems trimmed, leaves rolled together and cut roughly into 1-inch ribbons
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth or water, plus more as needed
  • Good-quality salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 can of cannellini (white) beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

*Note: You can also use other thick greens like chard or mustard greens.


In a wide, shallow pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil and add the chile flakes, if using. Add the garlic, and once you see any sign of browning, immediately add the kale strips, in batches, tossing to coat with the olive oil. After the first batch, add the vegetable broth or water and combine. As the kale shrink down, continue to add the rest and toss. Season with salt and pepper and cover, lowering the heat to medium. Stirring occasionally, and adding more broth if the kale looks dry, cook for about 7-10 minutes.

Just before the kale looks finished (most of the liquid has been absorbed and it's tender), then add the beans and reseason as necessary (I like to add more chile flakes, but that's just me).

Cook for about 2 minutes, or until the beans are warmed through. Add the lemon juice, adjust seasoning and serve.

White Bean Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing

I think there’s something wrong with me. I’ve started to crave kale.

If I haven’t had it in two days, I get something like a twitch. I need a dark, leafy greens fix STAT.

Most mornings, I have a green smoothie loaded with kale and spinach. And if I’m feeling especially healthy, I whip up a Roasted Sweet Potato Chickpea Kale Salad for lunch or dinner. Oh, and Cheesy Kale Chips – they usually call my name around 3 p.m.

This is not me bragging about my healthy diet. This is me confessing that I think I have an addiction. Halp.

In all seriousness, I love that I love leafy greens! I know it’s an acquired taste for some. The first time I tried kale was in a smoothie that wasn’t properly blended and I swore I’d never try the bitter, tough green again.

Fast forward to today and I literally pick the kale that’s meant for garnish off John’s dinner plate like it’s the last bite of chocolate cake on the table.

This salad takes my kale obsession even further. I added in white beans, some garlic croutons, and dressed it in a simple tahini dressing. Friends, it’s like a flavor explosion in the mouth. I (literally) think I’m in love.

It starts with a little kale massage to break down the texture and remove some of the bitterness. Olive oil, lemon juice, fresh garlic, and maple syrup infuse flavor before the dressing even goes on.

If your salad tastes delicious on its own, you don’t need as much dressing! That’s my number one kale salad tip. Pre-season – it’ll get you far in life.

Next come white beans tossed in olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt, and fresh parsley.

And while all of this is happening, roast up some simple garlic croutons and whip up my 5-ingredient tahini dressing. It’s like liquid gold as far as I’m concerned. I rarely deviate from this dressing these days. It’s become my absolute favorite for every kind of salad.

I hope you guys love this salad! It’s:

Super quick (30 minutes)
Simple (with basic ingredients)
Loaded with lemon-garlic flavor
Creamy + sweet, thanks to the tahini dressing
Loaded with fiber + protein (15 g protein per serving!)
Satisfying + healthy
& Perfect for weeknight meals and hosting

I think this salad is perfect for when you’re craving something substantial but nutrient-rich. I personally love big kale salads for lunch because it means I’ve already gotten in nearly all of my vegetables servings before dinner, leaving lots of room for things like pizza and ice cream. Let’s be real – I eat greens so I can have pizza and dessert.

If you try this salad, let us know! Leave us a comment, rate it (once you’ve given it a go), and last but not least – take a picture and tag it #minimalistbaker on Instagram! We’d absolutely love to see what you come up with. Cheers, friends!


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  • It&rsquos a quick and easy weeknight meal. This recipe is not only easy to make but is also easy to clean up!
  • It's made from easy and real ingredients.
  • The sauce has a creamy texture to it and fortunately, there is no additional flour or thickening agent needed.
  • It's a family-friendly recipe. There is no reason why your kids wouldn't love this recipe (my kids sure did)!

This skillet contains healthy and time-saving ingredients, such as fully-cooked chicken sausage, fresh cherry tomatoes, canned white beans (cannellini beans), kale, and is seasoned with thyme, garlic, and basil.

Recipe Summary

  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1/4 pound mild or hot sausages, casings removed
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound kale, tough stems removed, leaves washed well and shredded (about 1 1/2 quarts)
  • 3 1/3 cups canned diced tomatoes with their juice (two 15-ounce cans)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 4 cups drained and rinsed canned cannellini beans (two 19-ounce cans)

In a Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderate heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking the meat up with a fork, until the it loses its pink color, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan and then stir in the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions start to soften, about 3 minutes.

Add the garlic and kale to the pan and cook, stirring, until the kale wilts, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, salt, and pepper bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the kale is tender, about 15 minutes.

Stir the beans into the stew and cook until warmed through, about 5 minutes. If you like, mash some of the beans with a fork to thicken the sauce.


  • 1 3/4 quarts water
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white beans (such as Cannellini or Great Northerns)
  • 4 cups packed kale leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 ¾ cups canned crushed, peeled tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 red or orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon each, leaf thyme, leaf oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 (6-oz.) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 8 ounces lacinato kale, stemmed and thinly sliced (about 1 bunch)
  • 1 cup unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
  • 2 (15-oz.) cans unsalted cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-oz.) can unsalted diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted tomato paste

Nutritional Information

  • Calories 516
  • Fat 13.7g
  • Satfat 2g
  • Monofat 6.6g
  • Polyfat 1.6g
  • Protein 52g
  • Carbohydrate 43g
  • Fiber 12g
  • Cholesterol 124mg
  • Iron 5mg
  • Sodium 609mg
  • Calcium 179mg
  • Sugars 8g
  • Est. added sugars 0g

Braised Kale with White Beans and Tomato

This is not your ordinary side dish. It&rsquos rich, hearty and <mostly> good for you. I say mostly because I used a secret ingredient that is the antithesis of healthy, but it&rsquos so good. Braised Kale with White Beans and Tomato is a luscious, unctuous braise that&rsquos perfect for holiday roasts like lamb, beef or pork, but equally good with a rotisserie chicken!

This dish takes a little planning, but only because you need to soak the beans. I put them in a pot covered with water overnight and they&rsquore ready to go the next day. A low simmer will bring them to a tender, creamy texture. Just be sure to taste a bean to make sure its completely cooked. Depending on how long you&rsquove had them, dried beans can take from 1 hour to 3 hours to soften up. Generally, navy beans are small enough to only require about 1 1/2-2 hours to achieve the right doneness.

When the beans are just tender, add the tomatoes bay leaf, salt, oregano and red pepper flakes and let them braise on a low heat with the lid on the pot for another 10-15 minutes.

And now for the secret ingredient&hellip Duck fat. Ok, ok. I know you probably don&rsquot have a jar of duck fat hanging out in the pantry. Normally, I don&rsquot either &mdash but I recently made some duck confit &mdash which is literally duck cooked in its own fat &mdash and there was so much fat leftover, I saved it.

If you don&rsquot have duck fat or have dietary restrictions &mdash use butter for a vegetarian option or olive oil to make it healthier and vegan.

Mix in the kale, cover the pot and braise for another five or so minutes, just until the kale gets tender. I like to serve this with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

Want more really different side dishes? Also try this German-inspired braised cabbage or carrot and butternut squash puree.

Sausage and Kale Pasta with White Beans

Little ones can be picky eaters – one day they love a food, the next day they hate it. Guess what food my kids always seem to love? PASTA! I’m sure they’re not alone. Heck – who doesn’t love pasta?

While I’ve been making sausage and kale pasta for decades, it’s only been in recent years that I started adding white beans. Inspired by my Italian brother in law, white beans add a delicious creamy texture to the dish along with a hefty boost of protein and fiber.

Not only are beans a great way to stretch your food budget but they are kid-friendly (at least in my house!) and a huge source of other vitamins and nutrients. We usually use cannellini beans but any white bean would work great.

Serve with a simple arugula salad and dinner is done in about 20 minutes.

Creamy White Beans With 'Nduja, Kale, and Gremolata Breadcrumbs Recipe

Why It Works

  • The soft spreadable texture and high fat content of 'nduja allows it to easily emulsify and meld with the beans as they simmer, lending them floral heat from the Calabrian chilies and meaty richness from the pork.
  • Lightly wilted kale balances the rich creaminess of the beans and 'nduja, while lemon juice provides a pop of bright acidity.
  • An easy, lemony, and herby breadcrumb topping gives the dish some crunchy textural contrast.

Beans and greens are a classic duo that works for saucing pasta, topping crusty grilled bread, or on its own as a simple and hearty soup. For this simple weeknight recipe, we give creamy white beans and earthy lacinato kale a funky, fiery, porky boost with the addition of 'nduja.

'Nduja is a spicy, spreadable fermented pork sausage that originated in the southern Italian region of Calabria. Most cured sausages have a three-to-one lean-meat-to-fat ratio, but 'nduja flips that ratio and boasts a three-to-one fat-to-meat ratio. This high fat content gives 'nduja its soft, spreadable texture and allows it to easily emulsify and meld into sauces, stews, and the like. 'Nduja also brings plenty of floral heat from crushed Calabrian chilies, which comprise 30% of the sausage mixture. It is also lightly smoked and fermented, which gives the sausage deep flavor with a nice funky finish.

Here, 'nduja gives meaty richness to a simple stew of white beans and greens that comes together in just 30 minutes. We finish the dish with a crunchy, gremolata-inspired breadcrumb topping that's brightened up with parsley and lemon zest. Keeping flavor-bomb ingredients like 'nduja in your fridge makes it easy to pull off super-tasty and super-easy weeknight dinners.