Braised Kale and Black Beans

17 Jul

Kale. Not exactly everyone’s favorite food, but a super food that everyone should be eating, you just need to prepare it right. If you’ve been with me since the beginning you might remember the experimental pasta sauce my roommate made with kale. At first it was bitter, but after it had simmered for awhile it was actually not as bad as we first thought. So when my fellow cast mate from TRAINSPOTTING, Martin Berishaj, suggested a recipe that was mostly kale, I was a little skeptical. He assured me that it was a really good dish, so I said as soon as I had the chance I’d make it. It only took about 2 months for a weekend to present itself, but it finally did and as Martin promised, it was delicious! The recipe came from a user on and my only critique is that the recipe said it was for 4 servings, but it turned out to be enough for 6, but probably because I had a larger bunch of kale than was necessary. I didn’t want to have leftover kale in the fridge so I used it all. Oh well, live and learn. All in all an excellent dish that you should all try! Enjoy!

Ingredients (L-R): Kale, Tomatoes, Yellow Onion, Garlic, Chicken Broth, Black Beans, Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper

Ingredients (L-R): Kale, Tomatoes, Yellow Onion, Garlic, Chicken Broth, Black Beans, Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper


  • 1 Bunch of Kale
  • 1 Large Onion
  • 6 Medium Plum/Roma Tomatoes
  • 3 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 15 oz. Can Black Beans
  • 1 1/2 Cups Chicken (or Vegetable) Broth
  • 2 Tsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes (optional if you like spice)
  • Salt & Pepper To Taste

You want to do all your prep work before you start cooking. If there was ever a recipe that needed some mise en place, it’s this one. Dice your onion and set aside in a bowl. For your tomatoes, you want to remove all the seeds and then dice up the tomatoes. I cut the tomatoes in half and using a melon baller, scooped out the seeds, then diced them up. Next take your kale leaves (and if you only want to make enough for 4 use about 8 to 10 leaves, everything else can stay the same) and a pairing knife and cut out the central vein of each leaf from tip to tip.

Chopped yellow onion

Chopped yellow onion

Roma Tomatoes

Roma Tomatoes after removing the seeds and ready for dicing

Roma Tomatoes

So many tomatoes!

If you leave the vein in the kale will remain more bitter (which might have been the problem with the pasta sauce), so be sure to remove them all. After all the veins are removed, chop the kale into about one inch strips and rinse in a colander. (*Note: the recipe online calls for 1/2 inch strips, but inch strips work just as well.) Finally take your garlic cloves and slice them lengthwise.


Slicing the middle stem out.


All the kale chopped up. That’s a lot of kale…

In a large pot heat your oil over medium-high heat and toss in your diced up onion, sauteing until translucent (about 4 minutes or so). Add in your kale and mix until it becomes wilted, another 3 to 4 minutes. Add in your tomatoes and garlic and continue to cook until your tomatoes start to soften, again about 3 to 4 minutes. While you’re waiting for all of these ingredients to cook down, open your black beans and rinse, then add to the pot along with the broth after the tomatoes are soft.

Onions and olive oil in the pot!

Onions and olive oil in the pot!

Adding in the tomatoes and kale.

Adding in the tomatoes and kale.

Braised Kale with Tomatoes and Black Beans

Braised Kale with Tomatoes and Black Beans

Once the mixture boils turn to low and simmer for 30 minutes.

Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer the mixture until the kale is tender, which will be about 25-35 minutes, depending on your stove. Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes (if you want a little heat), or any other additional herbs or spices you prefer.

elbow macaroni

My elbow macaroni is almost done!

This can be a side dish or as an entrée paired with some kind of starch. I decided to pair mine with elbow macaroni. So once the mixture had come to a boil and I turned to low, I started a medium pot of water to boil for my pasta. The pasta finished just before the kale mixture did. Rice is also a good option, and should be started at about the same time, or after you add the beans and broth in. Serve and enjoy! This is a great gluten-free (without the starch or at least a GF version) and vegetarian option. If you need the urge to add some meat, use ground beef or turkey. Cook in a separate pan and add into the mix at the end. However you decide to enjoy this dish-enjoy it-especially the kale!

Braised Kale with Tomatoes and Black Beans served over elbow macaroni

Braised Kale with Tomatoes and Black Beans served over elbow macaroni. Yum!

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4 Responses to “Braised Kale and Black Beans”

  1. Debi Baker July 17, 2013 at 1:58 pm #

    I don’t like Kale, so I will have to try this because I know Kale is good for you. Actually yesterday I made kale chips for the first time (I’m desperate to find a way to eat kale. LOL) and they actually were pretty good.

  2. Mary Ann Williams July 17, 2013 at 3:55 pm #

    BIG fan of kale!! I can show you how I make my kale chips if you want… let me know! I would also recommend that you try the kale at The Veggie Grill. It’s an amazing vegetable.

    • Debi Baker July 17, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

      How do you make your chips. I put mine in olive oil and used seasoning salt. Cooked for approx. 20 minutes at 350 degrees. I also tried a batch using the Hot and Spicy Spike. I LOVE that spice! They turned out really good-almost edible 🙂

    • actinglikeachef July 17, 2013 at 7:07 pm #

      It’s a date Mary! Our next adventure together 🙂

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