Chipotle Kale Sauté

Chipotle Kale Sauté

Chipotle Kale Sauté is a simple, nutritious, and particularly flavorful way to prepare fresh kale (or other greens), with a Southwestern spicy heat.

This Chipotle Kale Sauté is one of my favorite veggie dishes – easy, healthy, and it has a wonderful robust and distinctive flavor. I’m currently eating the leftovers cold; I made a double batch. I think it’s just as good cold as it is hot.

The most time consuming part of this dish is just trimming the fresh kale. I actually weighed the kale before and after cutting the ribs out. The ribs were nearly half the weight. I bought this kale at Walmart and I noticed that some of the kale included the bottom part of the plant where the stalks come together. Perhaps this varies at different stores or store chains. Otherwise, this is a very simple recipe.

I always have cans of chipotle in adobo sauce in the pantry. For most recipes, I use very little – no more than a few tablespoons; I generally buy a 4 oz or 7 oz can. You’ll notice there are chunks of the chipotle peppers in the photo as I used chipotle peppers in adobo sauce; I chopped up the chipotles and scooped up some of the adobo sauce to include in the dish. If you don’t want chunks of chipotle peppers, you can buy chipotle sauce, which is essentially a pureed version of chipotles in adobo with a higher proportion of sauce. Brands that make this include La Costeña, San Marcos, and La Morena. This is a very forgiving recipe, so feel free to experiment.

Also note that fresh kale cooks down a lot. If I make this in my biggest skillet, it’s hard to fit the fresh greens in. So to double the recipe I have to use a big pot – something I’d make a vat of chili in for a crowd.

This is a great variation on sauted or stir fried greens – and I’ve never seen anything quite like this before. The chipotle flavor goes really well with greens. Just be sure to adjust how much chipotle you put in to the heat tolerance of your family. I used just over 2 tablespoons and it was definately spicy.

Hope you like it!

Chipotle Kale Sauté
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Vegetable
Cuisine: Southwestern
Serves: 4 servings
  • 2 lbs fresh kale
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion (about 1 medium)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 tbsp chipotle in adobo, chopped, + some sauce
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice (1 lime)
  • optional: another whole lime for garnish
  1. Cut the kale leaves off the ribs and slice them into about ½ inch strips.
  2. In a very large skillet or pot, pour in the olive oil and cook the onion over medium heat for a couple minutes to soften.
  3. Add the garlic and cook another minute.
  4. Dump the kale in and add 2-3 tbsp water. Cover and cook 3-4 minutes, stirring once or twice; kale will cook down to about ⅓ the size.
  5. Remove cover and stir in chipotles and salt, adjusting to taste.
  6. Stir in lime juice and serve; garnish with lime wedges, if desired.
  7. Enjoy!


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