If you need an easy side dish to join your mains, this tender, and savory garlic butter braised kale is exactly what should be hanging out at the dinner table.
The benefits of braising kale are that they breakdown into a very tender, and flavorful dish. Additionally, braising gives the broth time to penetrate the kale and bring forth a deep umami flavor.
The crushed garlic and butter play an important part in this dish, too. Simmering the garlic in fat for one minute gives it a sweet, buttery, umami flavor.
Using A Dutch Oven For Braising
Some of the most delicious recipes are fuss-free. This recipe only requires 4 easy-to-find ingredients and a dutch oven.
I chose to use a dutch oven for this recipe since it can handle a large volume of greens.
Additionally, a dutch oven is great a retaining and distributing heat evenly, both at high and low heats, making a great cooking tool for braises, soups, and stews.
What Type Of Vegan Butter To Use
I used vegan Melt Organic butter, which is my butter of choice. Feel free to use what you prefer.
If you don’t have access to vegan butter, olive oil works well in this recipe, too.
Here are other popular dairy-free butter options to consider in your daily cooking:
- Earth Balance
- I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter
What Does It Mean To Braise Food?
Braising is a cooking method that includes cooking in fat and in high heat first to enhance the flavor in the food, then introducing a braising liquid, for example, stock, water, wine, beer, or soy sauce.
Then, the heat is brought down to a simmer and gently cooked until most of the liquid has been cooked off.
If you’re on a braising kick, check out our stewed mushrooms and onions.
This is the method we use in this recipe. The butter is melted, then the garlic is cooked until fragrant. After, we toss the chopped kale into the butter. Next, the kale is left simmering for about 30 minutes in a broth.
Should I Remove The Kale’s Ribs?
If your kale is pre-chopped from purchase, you may not need to remove any additional part of the kale.
Pre-chopped kale usually removes the tougher part of the kale, which includes the stem below and the center of the leaves.
If the kale has some of the central ribs still intact, you can either remove them or leave them.
What To Serve With Braised Kale
My favorite way to turn this side dish into a complete meal is to pair it with creamy mashed potatoes along with a high-protein dish, for example, pan-fried tofu "chicken."
If I am not in the mood for potatoes, my go-to is a side of Puerto Rican yellow rice with beans and olives.
Substitutions + Storage Tips
- If you don't have raw, fresh garlic, garlic powder works just fine here. Go for about a teaspoon of garlic powder. Or, add as much or as little you want.
- If you want to add other spices to this dish, onion powder, smoked paprika, garam masala, adobo, sazon, cayenne, chili pepper, and curry powder are all great additions. I love adding a pinch of smoked paprika to my cooked kale.
- To store, transfer the kale to an air-tight container or reusable silicone bag. It will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Garlic Butter Braised Kale
- 10 ounces Kale chopped, ribs removed
- 3 tablespoons vegan butter
- 3 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 cup not-beef broth (½ boullion cube + 1 cup water)
- Set a dutch oven over medium heat. Add butter. Once butter has melted and at a soft simmer, add crushed garlic. Cook for 1 minute, until fragrant.
- Add the kale. Stir to combine and cook for 1 minute. Then, add the vegetable stock.
- Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover the dutch oven with a lid, and cook for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove lid, increase heat to medium-high heat. Cook and stir occasionally until most of the liquid has been cooked off about 5-8 minutes. Serve.
- If you’re using whole kale leaves, remove the stems and chop them into about 3-inch pieces. The stems can be very tough to breakdown during this short cook. However, if you have a preference, go for that.
- If you purchased pre-chopped kale, then you are good to go. Most pre-chopped kale either have little to no stems. Remove the stems if needed.
- Use any kind of vegetable stock you prefer. For this recipe, I opted to use Edward & Sons Not-Beef bouillon cubes with water to make a stock.
Did you try out this Garlic Butter Braised Kale recipe?