20 Vegan Kale Recipes That Go Beyond Basic Salads

By Megan Edwards,

All hail kale! This nutritious leafy green is chock-full of fiber and antioxidants, but its dense leaves and earthy taste tend to draw a lot of controversy. The key to becoming a full-on kale convert lies in the preparation: Without a little TLC, it’s hard for raw kale to truly shine. After chopping the leaves to your preferred size, squeeze a little lemon juice (or water) onto the leaves and gently massage with your fingers until it turns dark green and the leaves become soft and shiny. This is a great hack for using kale in salads, but there are endless other ways to incorporate this delicious veggie into your diet, too: From warming stews to gooey lasagnas and stuffed calzones, you’ll love our roundup of vegan kale recipes that take you beyond a standard salad.

Kale and Sweet Potato–Stuffed Vegan Ravioli on gray ceramic plates topped with marinara sauce and fresh basil

Kale and Sweet Potato–Stuffed Vegan Ravioli

Homemade pasta is the perfect date-night meal, so whip up a batch of these ravishing ravioli whenever you want to impress your sweetie. The mouthwatering filling is made from a rosemary-infused mixture of creamy sweet potato and wilted kale to ensure that each pasta parcel is bursting with veggie goodness. Nutritional yeast adds a touch of plant-based cheesiness, and a tangy tomato sauce ties it all together.
Microwave Sweet Potato and Kale Chili in a white bowl on a black plate

Microwave Sweet Potato and Kale Chili

Short on time? This quick and easy dish packs in tons of flavor without making a mess of the kitchen. Sweet potatoes, white beans, tomatoes, and kale are spiced with smoky chili seasoning and spooned over fluffy brown rice to create a hearty meal that will keep your belly satiated. While most chilis require stovetop cleanup, all you have to do for this wholesome meal is mix the ingredients together in a microwave-safe bowl, press a button or two, and be ready with a spoon to dig in!
Purple Potato Croquettes with Kale Salad in a gray ceramic bowl

Purple Potato Croquettes with Kale Salad

In this scrumptious recipe, kale serves as the vibrant backdrop to savory purple potato croquettes. The earthy spuds are enhanced with onion, garlic, and Dijon mustard before being shaped into perfectly round patties and baked until crisp. Yellow cherry tomatoes add bursts of sweet contrast while a maple syrup vinaigrette dresses up the greens. Equal parts hearty and refreshing, you’ll love how this salad satisfies a rumbling tummy.
Creamy Avocado Kale Pasta in a white bowl on wooden table next to a small bowl of paprika

Creamy Avocado-Kale Pasta

There’s a reason this bright green dish is one of our most popular vegan kale recipes: The hearty pasta, creamy avocado sauce, and juicy veggies create an absolutely mouthwatering plate. Lemon zest, garlic, and red pepper flakes add depth to the sauce while sprigs of fresh dill accentuate the garden-fresh flavors. One happy reader raves, “Wow, this was delicious. Couldn’t stop eating it!”
Power Berry Quinoa and Kale Salad on a white plate with a metal fork

Power Berry Quinoa and Kale Salad

Berries, baby kale, and quinoa, oh my! This summery salad features a trifecta of raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries to celebrate the very best of the season’s produce. The jammy flavors of the fruit are enhanced by a maple-lime vinaigrette while roasted pumpkin seeds add crunchy contrast to the soft berries. If you aren’t a fan of quinoa, feel free to swap in any other whole grain you enjoy to customize this versatile salad until it’s just right.
Kale Arrabbiata-Stuffed Spaghetti Squash with a metal fork on a white marble counter

Kale Arrabbiata-Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Wilting leafy greens in a tangy tomato sauce is a great way to use up an extra bunch of kale before it goes bad. In this clever recipe, we swap spaghetti noodles for spaghetti squash to up your veggie intake and provide a more interesting mouthfeel. The tender squash strands perfectly soak up the sauce, while hearty chickpeas add extra substance. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast for a cheesy garnish, and dig in.
Hearty Kale Salad with Warm Citrus and Wheat Berries on blue plates

Hearty Kale Salad with Warm Citrus and Wheat Berries

Say bye-bye to boring salads: This warm kale recipe is enhanced with baked citrus, chewy wheat berries, and a spicy-sweet dressing that will tingle your taste buds. Crunchy walnuts and onion-y chives add the finishing touches so each forkful is packed with flavor.
Mashed Potatoes with Kale and fresh dill in a metal serving dish being stirred by a woman's hand

Vegan Mashed Potatoes with Kale

Give your standard mashed potatoes an upgrade by mixing the creamy taters with tender kale. This is a great recipe to reap the nutritional benefits of leafy greens while masking their flavor if you don’t love eating kale on its own. Garlic and dill deliver delicious depth to the hearty spuds and ensure this side dish receives main course treatment.
Summer Squash Soup with White Beans and Kale in a white bowl

Summer Squash Soup with White Beans and Kale

Slurping is encouraged when you’re served a bowl of this bright squash and kale soup. Chopped leeks add a mildly sweet flavor to the broth while Italian herbs punch up the aromatics and transport your taste buds to the Mediterranean coast. Cannellini beans offer nutrient-dense substance while a splash of lemon juice makes every bite taste like you’re sipping on sunshine. Serve with a crack of black pepper, and enjoy this vegan kale recipe that readers are calling “easy and delicious!”
Vegan Kale Caesar Salad in a wooden bowl topped with croutons and tomatoes

Vegan Kale Caesar Salad

One bite is all it takes to dub this dish your new favorite side salad. Baby kale is tossed with chewy chickpeas, juicy cherry tomatoes, and hearty quinoa before being slathered in a cashew-based Caesar dressing that gets its distinct tang from Dijon mustard. Crunchy whole grain croutons are sprinkled on top to complete this classic recipe with whole-food, plant-based flair.
a bowl of minestrone with a thick broth, kale leaves, and chopped potatoes and white beans visible in soup

Vegan Minestrone Soup with Potatoes and Kale

Warm up from the inside out with a bowl of this scrumptious potato and kale minestrone. Umami-rich mushrooms add depth to the herb-infused broth while creamy white beans deliver hunger-busting substance. Enjoy a serving of this veggie-packed soup with a slice of toasted whole grain bread to sop up the extra broth. Licking the bowl is encouraged as well!
polenta lasagna casserole shown topped with marinara sauce and fresh basil leaves

Polenta Lasagna with Kale and Lentils

Now this is one vegan kale recipe you don’t want to miss. Fluffy polenta replaces the noodles in this fun twist on traditional lasagna, ensuring each bite is packed with gluten-free whole grains. Store-bought marinara sauce is zhuzhed up with lentils and veggies before being sandwiched between layers of polenta and baked to perfection. When you pull it out of the oven, this show-stopping dish will leave everyone drooling as they wait for the first slice to be served.
Air Fryer Vegan Calzones

Air-Fryer Sweet Potato and Kale Calzones

Get creative with how you eat kale by whipping up a batch of these air-fryer calzones. The succulent sweet potato filling is mixed with aromatic herbs, leafy greens, and a cheesy nutritional yeast sauce before being tucked inside pockets of homemade dough. Once they’re crisped to golden-brown perfection, dunk each parcel in tangy marinara sauce for an incredible plant-based snack.
Chickpea Curry Stew

Chickpea Curry Stew with Kale

Clear out your pantry with this super tasty Indian-spiced stew. A can of chickpeas, some diced tomatoes, a spare potato, and chopped kale are all it takes to make a mouthwatering masterpiece. Curry powder and cayenne dial up the flavor profile while a sprinkling of cilantro and lemon juice brings brightness to the hearty ingredients. Serve over brown rice and enjoy this dish that one reader calls “delicious, filling, and inexpensive!”

Baby Kale Salad with Farro, Grapes, and Oranges

No dinner party is complete without a refreshing side salad, and this kale medley is bound to complement any menu. Licorice-like fennel, sweet grapes, crunchy celery, and tangy red onion are tossed together in an apple-balsamic vinaigrette so each bite is full of contrasting textures and flavors. Add some farro into the mix to make it more filling, or feel free to keep it on the lighter side by omitting the grains. The world is your oyster, and this salad is the pearl!
Kale Bruschetta

Kale Bruschetta

We love this snackable vegan kale recipe for its crowd-pleasing qualities. Toasty whole grain bread is slathered with a velvety cannellini bean sauce (but you can substitute oil-free hummus if you like) and topped with soft kale leaves and juicy tomatoes. A sweet balsamic glaze ties everything together so your party canapés look just as elegant as they taste.
Israeli Couscous Kale Salad

Israeli Couscous and Kale Salad

Even the staunchest kale nay-sayers will have to admit that this couscous salad is absolutely divine. The tender leafy greens are marinated in lime juice and tossed with bell pepper, cucumber, raisins, and toasted pine nuts to create a medley of Middle Eastern flavors that are accentuated by the curry-spiced couscous. Sprinkle in some fresh herbs and a crack of black pepper to complete this yummy salad— no dressing needed!
Hash browns are a comfort food, and they don’t have to be heavily fried to be good. The added garlic makes these vegan hash browns irresistible.

Garlic Hash Browns with Kale

Bulk up your breakfast with a serving of kale to start your day on a healthy (and delicious) note. The sautéed greens are piled on top of a heaping portion of garlicky hash browns that have been baked instead of fried to avoid using unhealthy oil. Once the crisp-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-inside taters are out of the oven, you can top them with as many leafy greens as you like for a veg-forward morning.
Cannellini Bean, Kale, and Orzo Soup

Cannellini Bean, Kale, and Orzo Soup

Sometimes simpler is better, and this delightful vegan kale recipe proves exactly that. Bay leaves and thyme lend their delicate flavors to a nourishing broth that seeps into whole wheat orzo pasta and cannellini beans. Kale and carrots add earthy substance, while lemon zest brightens everything up with a pop of citrus. The ingredient list may not look particularly bold, but the combination of these classic flavors will leave you searching for a second serving before the first is finished.
Provençal Stuffed Onions with Lentils, Quinoa, and Kale in white ceramic bowls

Provençal Stuffed Onions with Lentils, Quinoa, and Kale

These stuffed onions may look too pretty to eat, but we assure you that the mouthwatering aromas will get the best of your rumbling tummy. Each tender onion is hollowed out and filled with a savory mixture of lentils, quinoa, and baby kale before being baked in the oven. The tangy Dijon vinaigrette adds oomph while slivered almonds create a crunchy garnish that pairs perfectly with the melt-in-your-mouth veggies.

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About the Author

Headshot of Megan Edwards

About the Author

Megan Edwards

Megan Edwards is a staff writer and content producer for Forks Over Knives. She is also a certified RYT-500 yoga teacher who is passionate about cultivating holistic wellness through plant-based eating, mindful movement, and meditation. With a background in journalism and marketing, she supports both the online presence and quarterly print magazine for Forks Over Knives.
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