Wilted Kale With Bacon and Garlic

Admit it, bacon makes everything better. And if there are not enough reasons to eat kale already, bacon makes it even easier to do so. Case it point, this wilted kale with bacon and garlic is one of the easiest most flavorful kale dishes you can make.

Kale is a popular vegetable and a member of the cabbage family. It is a cruciferous vegetable like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens and Brussels sprouts. There are many different types of kale. The leaves can be green or purple, and have either a smooth or curly shape. The most common type of kale is called curly kale or Scots kale, which has green and curly leaves and a hard, fibrous stem.

Is Kale a Superfood?  

In the past kale was the leafy green restaurants used for garnish or in ornamental uses. But things have changed and the whole kale craze has shown no sign of slowing down. And yes—they call it a superfood for a reason. Cooked kale offers more iron per ounce than beef, says Julie Morris, author of Superfood Smoothies. But some of its nutrients are actually considered a bit difficult for the body to absorb, so pair it with a fat (like bacon) to get the most out of them, says Julia Mueller, recipe developer and author of Let Them Eat Kale! 

wilted kale with bacon

Health Benefits of Kale:

One serving of kale — a cup of raw greens or half a cup of cooked ones — only has 35 calories, but is a very good source of vitamins A, C, and K, and also contains calcium, iron and folate. Kale is also a good source of antioxidants. And antioxidants neutralize free radicals — unstable chemicals produced in your body that are thought to contribute to diseases like cancer and diabetes.

Kale is a deliciously flavorful green that when prepared right is amazing. It has a rich earthy flavor and makes a great addition to lots of recipes from salads to soups, or even for making a simple healthy snack like kale chips. Let’s face it, we all could benefit from eating more leafy green vegetables, so why not start with a nice easy recipe like this one.

wilted kale with bacon

Kale Cooking Tips:

  • Clean it: Before cooking kale make sure the leaves are free from dirt and are dry and not mushy. Rinse leaves under cold water and shake dry.
  • Cut or tear it: Remove any tough stalks by simply pulling the curly leaves off of the stalk. Discard the stalks. Cut or tear the kale into smaller bite-size pieces.
  • Add flavor: Bacon, pancetta, garlic, onions, you name it, add it. Flavoring this leafy green actually enhances the lovely earthy flavor even more.

Recipe: Wilted Kale With Bacon and Garlic

: 4 : 15 min : 5 min : 20 min : easy


  • 1 1/2 pounds kale
  • 2 teaspoons Extra Virgin olive oil
  • 4 thick slices bacon, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • salt and black pepper to taste


  • Step 1 Remove the stem and entire rib of the kale and discard. Tear the leaves into small pieces and set aside.
  • Step 2 Place a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, when hot, but not smoking, add the diced bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crispy, about 2-3 minutes. Next, add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the kale leaves and wilt, stirring as needed, for about 1 minute. Remove from he heat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot.
About the Author

Andrea Potischman

I am a professionally trained NYC chef turned CA mom and food blogger. I post about real food, with doable ingredient lists that are family friendly.

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