Braised Kale – Always a Hit at Our House

Braised KaleBraised kale is a delicious way to prepare kale. Kale is a winter vegetable that can be cooked a variety of ways. This recipe is for braised kale with bacon and onions. Enjoy!

Kale is generally regarded as one of the healthiest, if not the healthiest, greens. It is rich in nutrients, packed with health benefits, and also delicious.

Kale is an excellent source of fiber, calcium, copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and vitamin K.

I admit that for many years I wasn’t even aware of kale. My first attempt at kale didn’t turn out so good, even though I’m a fan of cooked greens. Then I created this recipe, complete with its secret ingredient! (See the Recipe Notes for the one item NOT to forget!) Now, kale is a common dish in our house.

Braised Kale

Heart Healthy Kale. Bitter greens are known to support the heart. Here's a fairly simple and very tasty recipe for kale. Read the notes at the end for how to make it your own!

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 servings
Author Barbara H. McNeely


  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 small onion
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper


  1. Cook bacon in a large pot until crisp. Drain bacon on paper towels, crumble it, and set it aside.
  2. Remove and reserve kale stems. Cut along leaf on each side of the stem.
  3. Roughly chop the leaves.
  4. Cut stems into small pieces. (optional)
  5. Dice the onion.
  6. Cook the onion and kale stems in the bacon grease over medium heat until the onions begin to brown, about 5 minutes.
  7. Add the kale to the onions and stems. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The kale leaves should turn bright green.
  8. Add the red wine vinegar and the bacon.
  9. Season with salt & pepper.

Recipe Notes

Make It Your Own:

This recipe can be varied in many ways, here are some suggestions:

  • If you don't have bacon or just want to save time, you can omit the bacon. I do that sometimes and use saved bacon grease. If that makes you cringe, then use olive oil!
  • Another short cut I use often is to use chopped onion in place of fresh. I buy it at Costco in the spice section. It is chopped, dried onion. I put it in the hot grease or oil for a couple of minutes and it's hard to tell the difference.
  • Often, I will double the recipe because it never seems like enough otherwise.
  • DO NOT SKIP the red wine vinegar. It really makes the dish!
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Hi, I’m Barbara McNeely, author and publisher in San Antonio, Texas. I coach authors who have a personal story they want to share in a book. And I consult and guide authors through the process of self-publishing their books.
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