Kale with Garlic and Sesame

Kale is one over-hyped vegetable lately, I tell you whut. I don’t mean that to sound negative and complainy, but I know it does. Alls I mean is, kale is always on those lists of “Top 10 foods you must eat NOW!” and “Eat this and live FOREVER!” and then it goes on to be all like: Kale is so nutritious and it has vitamins and antioxidants and it prevents cancer and it’s basically a miracle and you’re an idiot if you don’t eat kale at least every meal and put it in your coffee; and maybe that’s all true and fine, but really I think the poor sad collard greens are just as good for you so why are you getting your panties all in a wad about kale, Dr. Oz? I call conspiracy. Or kale-spiracy. Know whut I mean, Vern?

Simple Cooked Kale Recipe
But the almighty Doctor has spoken and he hath said that thou greens shall be of the kale variety and that thou shall also find a way to prepareth the greeneries sans the fat of pigs or a whole bunch of butter and junk because that’s just gonna counteract the powerful kale magic and then there’s no way you’ll live forever. Sad face.

Simple and Delicious Way To Cook Kale

So here ya go. Learn how to cook kale with this easy and delicious recipe. Sauteed kale with garlic and sesame. It’s quick, it’s easy, it goes with a lot of other stuff, and it has garlic which I guarantee is also on every one of those healthy food lists.

How to Cook Kale Video (scroll down for recipe)

How to Cook Kale with Garlic and Sesame Seeds Recipe


Kale with Garlic and Sesame

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5 from 5 reviews

  • Author: Hilah Johnson
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


  • 1 bunch fresh kale
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • a few drops toasted sesame oil (optional)


  1. Wash the kale by rinsing or submerging in a bowl of water and swishing it around. Pull the leafy parts from the stems. Discard the stems. Tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat for a minute.
  3. Add the garlic and cook only about 15-20 seconds until it starts to smell fragrant. Add the sesame seeds and half the kale.
  4. Sprinkle with half the salt and toss around a few minutes until kale starts to wilt. Add in remaining kale and continue to cook until it’s softened and reduced in volume by half. It should still be bright green.
  5. Remove from heat and sprinkle with sesame oil. Serve hot or at room temperature.


Spinach is also delicious this way

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For another thing to do with kale, make these Thai flavored kale chips. They’re the bomb.


  1. Bonnie on January 17, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    Thank you for posting this recipe…I always wondered if kale was good for anything other than a garnish. I tried using it in a salad once and it was awful, I’m guessing probably because it wasn’t prepared right. LOL

    • Hilah on January 17, 2013 at 2:45 pm

      You’re welcome, Bonnie! And you’re not alone. I’ve had a few requests from people wanting to know what to do with kale. 🙂

  2. Great Stone Face on January 17, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    Sprinkle them with a little crushed red pepper flakes and maybe toss them in the pan with some cooked small white cannellini beans.

    • Hilah on January 18, 2013 at 9:19 am

      Yum! Beans! Of course! Thanks, GSF.

  3. Amy @ The Blond Cook on January 17, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    I agree about the collard greens! I got really sick one time as a teenager & my Mama made me eat a side of collards with every meal for a MONTH! This kale recipe looks awesome, though!

    • Hilah on January 18, 2013 at 9:19 am

      Oh no! Are you totally sick of collards now, Amy?! 🙂 Hope you like this.

  4. Zeb on January 17, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    Hilah, I have heard that this substance will make me immortal.

    Will this allow me to begin my conquest of Denmark?

    As my Nana use to say, ‘Wham, blam, thank you…land…(for this kale).’

    • Hilah on January 18, 2013 at 9:19 am

      You have heard correctly, Zeb. In face, along with a daily intake of Vitamin Squid, you shall be invincible. Denmark doesn’t stand a chance.

  5. Heather Wood on January 17, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    I love your recipes and humor Hilah, but I really wish you had a pinterest button so I could add this to my recipe wall 🙁

    • Hilah on January 18, 2013 at 9:17 am

      It’s on our list of things to do! 🙂

  6. Kristin on January 17, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    This recipe sounds great! I make kale chips which my husband, 6 year old son, and 2 year old daughter all devour.

    • Hilah on January 18, 2013 at 9:17 am

      Oh yeah, kale chips are awesome! Hope you try this one, Kristen!

  7. Bev @ Bev Cooks on January 18, 2013 at 9:44 am

    Dying. I love theez.

  8. Joanna on January 19, 2013 at 11:09 pm

    haha loved the dr. oz rant, but its so true kale has become such a fad lately. I tried it once at a restaurant and it was prepared raw with some vinegar and i dunno… i couldnt handle it, BUT but this seems really good… i think i’ll give kale a second chance… just for you ( and to live forever!)

    • Hilah on January 21, 2013 at 11:42 am

      Kale can be bitter when it’s raw for sure. I’ve had some kale salads that were great and some that were terrible. I should try coming up with my one. Thanks for writing, Joanna. Good luck on the living forever thing! 😉

  9. Pennie on January 22, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    Woo gurl I looove me some collard greens. I made them for the first time over Christmas and everyone is hooked (even the kids o_o). My husband had never had neckbones before. Can you believe?

    I just made this now and YUM. Basically the same as cooking spinach. And here I was getting all worked up about nothing. Kale chips are next. I wish my supermarket carried them fresh though :/

  10. Chrispy D. on February 12, 2013 at 11:15 am

    Heeey Hilah,
    Last year, I discovered the joy of cooking Dandelion greens. I thought it was a joke until I actually tried them. Do you want my recipe?

    • Hilah on February 12, 2013 at 11:47 am

      Sure! Thanks!

  11. Mad Betty on February 19, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    I just made this and I’m pretty sure I’m going to live forever. Thanks for the great recipe…and the immortality.

    • Hilah on February 20, 2013 at 9:35 am

      You’re gonna live forever! You’re gonna learn how to FLY! 😉

      • Marlene on June 17, 2013 at 2:04 pm

        Try cooking kale with coconut milk.

        • Hilah on June 17, 2013 at 10:19 pm

          That sounds delicious. Thanks, Marlene!

  12. lauren on September 18, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    Oh god, you are hilarious. From the video to the description I think we might be soul-mates..or I just found my new favorite recipe blog.

    • Hilah on September 19, 2013 at 9:37 am

      Either way, that’s a big “Yay!” from me, Lauren. 🙂

  13. Jen Miller on December 3, 2013 at 10:37 am

    I just bought a chinese wok and I can’t try your recipe. Looks delicious, I’m sure my hubby will love this. Thanks a lot! Jen

    • Hilah on December 3, 2013 at 2:59 pm

      Perfect use for a wok, Jen!

  14. Dipti on May 2, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    Roughly how many ounces is 1 bunch of kale destemmed?

    • Hilah on May 3, 2014 at 8:58 am

      Hi Dipti, I’d guess it’s about 9-10 ounces or about 4 cups of torn leaves or about 10 leaves of kale. The exact amount isn’t crucial for this recipe.

  15. Rudy Santo on June 2, 2018 at 3:37 am

    Hi Hilah, I’m a caretaker for my wife. Have taken over cooking for the last 2 yrs. The dinners I make are the same every week and boring. I have not included greens because I didn’t know how to cook them. Your recipe for cooking Kale looks simple enough and because of all the health benefits I’m going to the store to buy Kale today. Thanks for keeping it simple.

    • Hilah on June 2, 2018 at 8:25 am

      Hi Rudy,
      I’m glad this has inspired you. 🙂 And I’m sure your wife appreciates your cooking. If she has difficulty chewing, you may want to cut the kale smaller before you cook it. Enjoy!

  16. Charlsie on July 27, 2018 at 9:10 am

    Yesterday I hosted a group of jazz musicians at my home. I made and served this dish as one of the sides. They loved it! The sesame oil added the extra depth that kale needs. This is a keeper! Thanks for a quick yet flavorful offering!

    • Hilah on July 28, 2018 at 7:19 am

      Cool! Happy to hear it 🙂 Thanks, Charlsie!

  17. Donna Toth on November 1, 2020 at 4:50 pm

    Can you please put the recipe for kale chips on your site. I need to have a snack that is crispy and not store bought.Thank you.

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