Garlicky Sauteed Baby Kale

sauteed baby kale

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A good sauteed spinach is a delicious side dish that often is only enjoyed at steak houses – I rarely find people make it at home with fresh greens, plenty of cooking fat (you know that’s what makes the dish!) and lots of fresh garlic. This Thanksgiving, or any day, you can please a crowd with a 10 minute dish and give it a nutrient upgrade without anyone taking notice. Plus, leftover sauteed baby kale goes great in eggs, soups, sandwiches, and more!
vegan sauteed spinach

Baby Kale Nutrition

Baby kale is a great gateway to enjoying the more dense and fibrous versions of the green powerhouse and you can find it right next to the packaged fresh spinach at the grocery store. It’s a great source of vitamins C, K, and A as well as fiber and antioxidants. Baby kale also contains iron, which makes it an excellent addition to the diets of plant-based eaters and omnivores alike. Because of its more tender texture, many people find it to be more palatable raw than regular kale, so be sure to try in salads too.

This sauteed baby kale recipe used a full 16 ounce container, but you can absolutely make smaller batches with two, 5 ounce containers. Just take note: fresh greens like these reduce significantly, so use more than you think you need!
easy sauteed baby kale

Hassel-Free Side Dish

There’s enough going on and enough in the oven on Thanksgiving (or any other time you’re cooking a large meal), that you’ll be extra thankful for being able to make this sauteed baby kale in under 10 minutes on the stove-top. Leftovers will go perfectly in eggs or quiche the next morning, or could also be thrown into a panini or used to give a premade soup a nutrient boost!

Need more plant-based Thanksgiving side dish ideas that pair well with this? Grab my recipes for Lentil Walnut Stuffing, Maple Roasted Butternut Squash, Brussels & Cranberries, and Simple Refined Sugar Free Cranberry Sauce!


Garlicky Sauteed Baby Kale

Made in under 10 minutes on the stove-top with plenty of fresh garlic and vegan butter, this sauteed baby kale is the perfect accompaniment to any meal!
Prep Time 2 mins
Cook Time 8 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 8


  • 1/3 cup vegan butter (such as Miyokos Cultured or Earth Balance)
  • 4-5 cloves garlic freshly minced
  • 16 oz fresh baby kale
  • 2/3 cup soy milk (I like Silk or Whole Foods 365)
  • 3/4 tsp granulated garlic (optional for garlic lovers)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • After mincing garlic, heat a large sauce pan over low-medium heat.
  • Add butter and once melted, add garlic. Stir and cover for 1-2 minutes
  • Chop or tear baby kale so that most leaves are at least halved before adding to the saucepan. Stir and cover for 2-3 minutes.
  • Remove cover and stir well. Increase heat to medium. Add additional garlic powder, salt and pepper if desired (highly recommended).
  • Add the soymilk and cover saucepan immediately so that it can help to steam cook the kale.
  • After 2-3 minutes, stir again. If needed, let cook another 1-2 minutes.
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garlicky baby kale


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