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This Sautéed Kale with Chili and Lime is simplicity at its best. It is a healthy side that comes together in minutes and is lightly seasoned with lime, chili powder, and fresh garlic.
Sometimes the simplest recipes are truly the best. Let me introduce you to this Sautéed Kale with Chili and Lime, which has recently became my favorite way to enjoy kale, aside from making Sweet Potato and Kale Tacos with Garlicky Cilantro Mojo Sauce.
About This Side Dish
To be 1000% transparent, I hardly ever cook with kale. Its one of those leafy greens that I tend to forget about unless it’s in soup, baked into kale chips, or blended into a smoothie. Since making Sweet Potato Kale Tacos with Garlicky Cilantro Mojo Sauce, I’ve been looking for more ways to incorporate this super star veggie into more of our daily meals and this Sautéed Kale with Chili and Lime is one of my favorite ways.
Raw kale is rough and tough. Lightly sautéing kale in olive oil transforms this cruciferous veggie until it becomes silky and turns the most beautiful shade of green. I like to lightly season the kale with fresh garlic, chili powder and fresh lime juice, but you could use any spices. I think smoky cumin and paprika would also be an interesting combination. However you season the kale, you must remove the leaves from the tough stems, they don’t cook down well and throw the texture off. The few minutes of prep will pay off in the end!
Ingredients in Sautéed Kale with Chili and Lime
This recipe is super simple and requires only a handful of ingredients:
- Kale: I typically use 2 bunches of kale, but you can easily double the recipe. Like most leafy greens, kale will shrink down a considerable amount while it cooks.
- Olive Oil: Olive oil helps flavor and cook the kale. Also, fat soluble vitamins found in kale (such as vitamin A and vitamin K) are best absorbed by your body when cooked with a healthy fat, such as olive oil.
- Garlic: I love how garlic flavors the oil as it cooks and help round out the chili lime flavors.
- Spices: Just chili powder and salt, for flavor and to help remove some of the bitterness commonly associated with kale.
- Lime Juice: Adding lime juice adds a little brightness and zing to this Sautéed Kale.
What to Serve with Sautéed Kale with Chili and Lime
While I think the flavors of this Sautéed Chili Lime Kale go especially well with Mexican flavors, you can serve this with anything. Here are some suggestions:
- Chicken Tinga Tacos
- Tossed with freshly cooked pasta and white beans
- In a breakfast bowl with black beans, Quick Pickled Red Onions, a soft boiled egg, and sliced avocado
- Stuffed into a quesadilla with goat cheese and white cheddar cheese
- Serve alongside grilled chicken or fish
Is Sauteed Kale Healthy?
Yes! Kale is considered a superfood and is rich in so many different things like vitamins A, K, E, C, B6, iron, copper, magnesium, Omega 3s, calcium, fiber, and more. Kale actually has more iron per calorie than beef and is known to help the body naturally detox. As someone who is regularly iron deficient, I’m always looking for ways to up my iron intake.
Some studies suggest that kale is healthier when lightly cooked, as the vitamins and minerals are more easily absorbed by the human body. When cooking kale, you want to use a limited amount of liquid when cooking, because the nutrients will leach into the kale stock (source). So don’t boil or steam the kale for too long, a quick cooking time is all you need!
How Long will Sautéed Kale Leftovers Keep?
This Sautéed Kale with Chili and Lime is best when enjoyed immediately after cooking. I do not recommend this for meal prep or as leftovers.
Sautéed Kale with Chili and Lime
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 bunches of kale tough stems removed and roughly chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
- 3/4 teaspoons salt
- 3 tablespoons lime juice divided
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium low heat and sautee garlic until soft.
In a small bowl, mix 1/3 cup water, 2 tablespoons lime juice, chili powder, and salt. Add chopped kale to the skillet along with the water mixture. Cover and cook for about 3-5 minutes until kale has dramatically reduced in size.
Remove cover and continue to cook kale, stirring often, until kale is vibrant and has reached desired doneness. Drizzle remaining lime juice on kale before serving.
DID YOU MAKE THis sauteed kale with chili and lime?
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HELPFUL RECIPE INFORMATION
All recipes are tested and developed in my home kitchen. Unless otherwise stated, I always use extra virgin olive oil and this Himalayan pink salt in my recipes.